SALT LAKE CITY — Countless irreplaceable family memories were lost last year due to natural disasters around the world.

Mitch Goldstone, president and CEO of, believes the loss of old family photos is preventable.

"The need to digitize pictures is more relevant than ever due to the hurricanes and natural disasters," he said in an email to the Deseret News. "This is 100 percent preventable if pictures are scanned and uploaded to the cloud."

Goldstone's company has digitized more than 600 million pictures since it started in 1990 and was recently mentioned in the The Washington Post and on as a recommended source for scanning photos. ScanMyPhotos has also been an avid support of RootsTech and plans to attend RootsTech London in October, as nearly 30 percent of his international orders are from the United Kingdom.

Mitch Goldstone, co-founder and CEO of, offers tips on how to preserve old photos.
Mitch Goldstone, co-founder and CEO of, offers tips on how to preserve old photos. | Provided by Mitch Goldstone

"Every day we hear from people who lost everything due to natural disasters," Goldstone said. "They reach us afterwards asking how to recover flood and smoke damaged pictures."

To meet the increasing demand, ScanMyPhotos developed a way to digitize with same-day scanning and instant uploading. Using flat rate shipping and super-speed scanners, they digitize around 300,000 photos a day, Goldstone said.

Several FamilySearch Centers have scanners and other equipment that patrons can use to scan images and digitize documents.

Goldstone suggests the following tips for preserving old photos:

• Keep pictures out of the basement and away from mildew or heat.

• Keep in a safe place that's easy to get access to in an emergency.

• After digitizing, make multiple backups off-site and give digital copies to relatives to safeguard.

"The best way to preserve old photos is to revisit them," Goldstone said. "Share your family history with relatives and narrate stories behind those memories."

• Among the tips in this 2017 FamilySearch blog is that it's helpful to label your old photos.

• It's also important to handle old photos with care, according to