What is the best way to estimate how many photos I have?
A good way to estimate the number of photos you have is to stack them and measure them with a ruler. One inch of stacked photos equals approximately 100 photos. The average photo album may contain in the range of 200-600 photos depending on size and type.
What is the best way to prepare my photos?
We do not have strict requirements for how to prepare your photos, but it works great to organize into groups using zippered plastic bags which you can use a marker to title the bag or make a title card to place inside each bag. Here is a link to some more tips for preparing your project.
What scanning resolution do you use?
600 DPI is our standard resolution for scanning photos and memorabilia items up to 12 x 17 in size. We also offer optional 1200 DPI scanning for photos up to 5 x 7 in size. For example, a 2 x 3 size photo scanned at 600 DPI will yield a digital image of 1200 x 1800 pixels, but scanning at 1200 DPI will yield a size of 2400 x 3600 pixels for greater detail and enlargement.
What is included in the price of each scan?
Each photo is scanned at high resolution for archival quality digital images, which offers increased flexibility for enlarging, editing, and printing. Each photo is carefully scanned by hand using flatbed scanners and includes precise cropping and manual editing for best quality results. We do not use any automatic processes for the retouching process, and we also offer more advanced restoration for damaged and aged photos. All images are reviewed 3 times through our digitizing process for proper quality assurance.
What image file format options do you offer?
The standard digital image output we offer is JPEG. Uncompressed TIFF format is optional by request for a surcharge.
How are the digital files returned to me?
We output your digital files to either an appropriately sized USB flash drive and/or a digital download link via Dropbox.
Do you scan memorabilia items besides just printed photos?
Yes, we can also scan newspaper articles, awards, documents, greeting cards, diary pages, or most any other memorabilia items.
Can you scan the annotations on the back of photos? Do you enter the descriptions in the EXIF data?
We do offer scanning of the back of photos with annotations a separate image in sequence after the front (only photos with annotations, not blanks). However, we do not offer a service to manually enter descriptions since it is a very subjective process. It can also be difficult to decipher handwriting and pertinent information to be entered, so this would be best done by the client upon return of the digital output.
If I choose to have backs of photos scanned, do you charge for every back even in if blank?
We offer the option to scan the back of photos with descriptive annotations as a separate image, following the front in sequence, and use discretion to only scan backs with pertinent information, and exclude and do not charge for backs without description.
Do you crop out borders that are on my photos?
We start with over-scanning each photo with space around the edges, and then rotate and precisely crop the edges. Our default is to crop out blank borders on photos, but keep borders with dates or annotations. However, you can choose how you would like us to handle borders in editing with the options on our order form.
Do you offer restoration of damaged or aged photos?
Yes, we offer professional digital restoration of damaged and aged photos or film. The pricing varies by condition and level of restoration at an $80 hourly rate, prorated to the quarter hour.
If you see photos you think needs restoration, do you automatically do that or request approval first?
Our standard editing process includes precise cropping and light enhancements of color, contrast, and cleanliness, which often greatly improves a scan. For photos that are more damaged or aged, we offer more advanced restoration, which we will not perform without prior discussion or approval. Upon review of the digitized photos, you may choose to have certain photos restored further and we keep your images backed up and available for one year. If there are specific photos of importance that are damaged which you want the best possible quality, please separate or mark accordingly and we can assess and offer a time and cost estimate.
Do you handle photos in albums?
Yes. We carefully handle all types of photo albums, from pocket style to sticky adhesive pages to early 20th century scrapbook album pages. For album pages with descriptive writing or if the photos are stuck or glued to the pages, we can scan the full page at high resolution to preserve written descriptions and reduce potential risk of damaging photos by attempting to remove from the pages.
If I have both prints and negatives, which one is better to scan?
As a general rule, scanning from the original negative will yield a higher resolution image, but the quality will depend on the condition of the negative and associated print. The digital image from either a negative or a print will vary since each is digitized using a different process. The image from a negative may show more film grain but more detail, and a scan from a print may look a little less sharp.
How large of a photo can you scan?
We have the capability to digitize larger photos or news articles up to 12″ x 17″ and even larger using a multiple scan and digital stitching method. Generally about 24″ x 36″ is the largest size we can digitize, although we can also work with longer more narrow panoramas up to 50″-60″ in length.
Do you need me to put landscape versus portrait photos in the right orientation in a stack of photos I send to you?
We do not require you to orient your photos in a certain way as we will take care of proper rotations in our scanning and editing process.
How will my digital images be organized?
We will create custom titled folders by subject (if applicable) for each group of photos provided. We make it easy to correlate the digital transfers to the original media.