Photo Scanning Questions

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 scanning resolution do you use?

The scanning resolution we use varies based on the original media format, ranging from 600 dpi for most photos to 4000 dpi for slides and negatives. High resolution is our standard, which offers greater flexibility for cropping and enlarging the digital images. We scan small wallet-size photos at 1200 dpi.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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 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.