If you are going to take on the project of scanning your old home photos it is not as simple as laying down your photo on the scanner and hitting scan. There are certain settings that will need to be made in order to get a quality photo scan. You will want to find these setting in your software and adjust accordingly. Contrast, sharpness, color, and brightness. These settings will effect how each scan will treat your photo. Almost all scanners come with automatic settings which is nice, but letting your scanner guess how the photo should look is not always the best shortcut. The other adjustment that is very important is the resolution you will be scanning your photos at. For true archiving of your photos you should not go any lower than 300 DPI. Lower DPI photo scans are good for emailing or for photos that are going to be placed on an online photo sharing site. If you want to make a print of your photo that is larger than the original, then you will want to move up to 600 DPI. This setting will be good for making a print up to an 8×10.
If your photos are in black and white you have a choice of scanning them in color or grayscale. If you choose to scan your black and white photo in the color setting it will give you better manipulation of the photo. If you come across a photo that is sepia toned it should also be scanned in color. Before starting your project it is best to do a few test scans of your photos to see what settings will work best.