More and more people are using photo scanning services to make sure all their old family photos are digital. Digital photos are easier to share with friends and family, but some people also worry it takes some of the fun out of it—after all, what about gathering around the family scrapbook to go through your memories together?

This is why digital scrapbooking is becoming more and more popular. Contrary to the name, digital scrapbooking doesn’t just mean a virtual scrapbook you look at online—it means a real, physical scrapbook you hold in your hands. The difference is that it was designed digitally, using photos scanned by a photo scanning service or at home, and then professionally printed out and sent to you.

So how do you get started with a digital scrapbook? Here are the basic steps:vistapix

1. Make sure all your photos are scanned. Scanning photos not only makes them shareable, it also preserves them much longer than prints or negatives alone. For high quality scans, seek out the best photo scanning service professionals you can find and have them scan your photos at high resolution.

2. Decide on a theme. Just like any other scrapbook, your digital scrapbook will be the most fun if it follows a fun theme or time period. That could be a couple’s dates together before they got married, it could be all the kids’ birthdays over the years, or it could be a single family vacation. It can be whatever you want it to be—and you can do a series of scrapbooks if you want!

3. Choose the photos you want to include, collaboratively. Scrapbooks mean the most when friends and family are involved in making them. An easy way to involve others is to let them help choose the photos. Chances are you have hundreds of images to go through, so put them all in an album online and ask people to choose their favorites—or just let Facebook “likes” be your guide!

4. Drop the photos into your scrapbook outline. You can choose the style you like and easily arrange your photos on the page just like a regular scrapbook.

5. Choose details, print, and share with family. Most digital scrapbooking services offer details like embossing and they handle all printing professionally. You receive the finished product in the mail and it’s time to share it.

Digital scrapbooking is just one of the many advantages of digitizing your photos. So look for the best photo scanning service you can find and get started!