originally published Spring 2019
Written by Abbie Walker
“I’ve always been the keeper of the family history,” says Laurie McCarthy.
After discovering her love of preserving family memories, McCarthy started Scan South in July 2018. By digitally converting photos, film, audio, documents, and more Scan South helps bring new life to forgotten family treasures and ensure they live on into the next generation.
“It started when my neighbor’s mother moved in with her,” says McCarthy. “She had brought all her old slide photos and I offered to scan them for her. They were thrilled.”
With a background in graphic design and a few quality scanners that were collecting dust in her house, she began scanning photos for friends and making slideshows for birthdays and anniversaries. Pretty soon, McCarthy was being asked to convert everything from audio cassettes and VHS tapes to records.
“My philosophy is to always say yes,” says McCarthy. “Every time I got a new request, I upgraded my equipment.”
Whether she’s converting old home videos or scanning 8mm films, McCarthy says helping people save their family memories brings her just as much joy as when her clients rediscover them.
“They get to see people and places they haven’t seen in years,” she says. “I love doing this. It’s what I feel like I was born to do.”
McCarthy says that many people want to do something with the boxes of photos and tapes they have stacked away in their homes, but they simply have no clue where to begin. She says Scan South is there to help eliminate the stress and add a personal touch.
“You don’t have to send your photos to anyone in the mail. I’ll come to you,” says McCarthy. “It’s my job to take the worry out of the process.”
With many people interested in researching their genealogy, she’s even helped create family history books and yearbooks that preserve and share family legacies.
With tens of thousands of photos scanned and hours of film viewed, McCarthy has glimpsed into the lives of many interesting people. She says she spends so much time with people’s histories, she’s become friends with many of her clients and often feels like she’s a part of their family.
“People have such fascinating lives,” says McCarthy. “It’s amazing how similar everyone’s family pictures are.”
To get started preserving family memories with Scan South, call 601.238.3322 or visit scansouth.net.