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Hello and welcome to our photo, negative and slide scanning service (scanning and digitizing is the same thing). Our prices include almost everything and there are No Surprise Costs. Some other companies charge extra for "this and that" resulting in the final price being more than expected (I personally don't like it when that happens). We include Color Correction on all photo scans and Dust and Scratch Correction on most color negative scans, Free. Many conveniences are also Free (see "Services and conveniences included in our prices" below). We've been in business since 1985 and we've always taken great care of our customers. We have an A+ Better Business Bureau Rating, so you can order with confidence.
Important note: A flatbed scanner is important for the safety of your printed photos. Please read below.
You've got a lot of memories and history in your photos. Unfortunately, your old photos will fade, change color and deteriorate over time. They could also get lost in a fire, flood or some other way. You can preserve your photos for all future generations by getting your photos scanned into high quality digital image file formats that you can print from and view on your television, computer, phone or other digital file viewing device.
We scan the following into digital images:
- Any size printed photos, pictures or other items, up to 8 1/2 inch x 11 1/2 inch.
- Photo negative film formats: 35mm, 120, 220 and 4x5. We do not develop film.
- Any slide film format, that is in a 2" x 2" mount (frame).
Which should you have scanned, your printed photos, film negatives or slides? It depends on the condition they are in. If they are all in equally good condition, then the negatives or slides should give the best digital image. View comparison images HERE.
All printed photos are carefully placed by hand onto a photo flatbed scanner (not auto-feed and not a document scanner). Automatic machine feeder scanners can damage or tear the original photos before they get scanned (these feeders can rush photos through as fast as 1 per second). The auto-feeders can also add lines or marks to the original photos. Even rubbing against other photos in the feeder can add smudges and defects. Worse yet, the feeder could jam the photo in the machine resulting in damage so bad that the memory and history is lost forever. BEWARE: Some sneaky companies say "scanned by hand" even though they are using an automatic machine feeder scanner. If they request all photos rotated the same, facing up or sorted by size, they are probably using a scanner with an auto-feeder. If they don't accept curled, bent or thick photos, they are probably using an auto-fed scanner.
Also beware of document scanners; they do not produce good quality digital photos.
All of our scanning services are done in the USA.
Initially you only need to pay a $10 return S&H estimate. Pay the rest after our services are complete.
Services and conveniences included in our scanning prices:
- Personalized service. We take pride in treating our customers right and communication is key. We will contact you if we have questions about your order. If you have any questions or want updates, please contact us.
- Sample scanned photos. If you choose, we can email you 20 sample photos with 150ppi resolution. Select and label 20 printed photos (no larger than 5x7), negatives and/or slides (any combination) for us to scan and email to you. After we get your approval, we will continue with the rest of your photos. What does PPI mean?
- Clippings, cards, child's artwork, etc. (300ppi, no larger than 8.5 inch by 11.5 inch). We can scan these for you also.
- Photo albums (no larger than 8.5" by 11.5"). We recommend that you carefully remove the photos and etc. from the photo album, group and label them before sending to us (for grouping and labeling, please read Packing Tips). If you want us to do it, no problem. We will scan everything in the album and put the digital files in its own folder. Please keep in mind that if it appears an item will be damaged by removing it, we won't risk it and we will leave it in the album. In that case, we will contact you before proceeding. We may be able to scan the entire photo album page and crop them into individual photos or leave it as one scanned page.
- Slide carousels. You can send us your slides in carousels if you want (no additional charge).
- We will scan individually cut negative film frames (within reason). Some companies charge extra for this. Standard practice for many photo processing companies was to cut the negatives to fit into the envelope with the printed photos. This sometimes left individual frames. We do not charge extra for that. Please do not cut the negatives into single frames before sending them to us.
- High Quality JPEG (JPG) digital file format images of your photos. This is a standard compressed digital file format for viewing and printing. We also offer professional high quality uncompressed TIFF (TIF) digital file format images of your photos for a minor additional cost (to help cover the cost of the additional storage media needed). Read about JPEG and TIFF HERE.
- Color correction on the Digital JPEG images of your photos. Photos fade and change color over time. The color correction makes the digital photo image look a lot better. You can see comparison photos HERE.
- We clean minor dust off your prints, negatives and slides. If a print, negative or slide is really dirty, we recommend that you clean them before you send them to us. We will scan what you give us. If the photo is dirty when you give it to us, the scanned image will also appear dirty. Although, since you will have the digital file, some enhancements can be done later. If a photo is in really bad condition, we will get your approval before scanning.
- Digital ICE dust and scratch correction on most color negatives. Old color negatives and slides often have dust and scratches. Digital ICE technology uses an additional infrared light scan to detect these defects. Special software is then used to remove a lot of the defects from the digital photo, making the photo look much better. Digital ICE does have limitations. It does not work with printed photos, black and white negatives, black and white slides, Kodak Kodachrome and any negatives containing metallic silver. Dust and scratch correction for those photos will need to be done by someone with photo editing software later. We recommend you add the TIF file to your order because it's the best file format for photo editing. You can see a Digital ICE photo comparison HERE.
Printed Photo flipping. We will make sure the front side of all photos is scanned. Some other scanning services, that use automatic machine feeders, charge extra to flip the photo over or they simply scan the back of the photo.
- Printed Photo rotation. All photos will be rotated so that the correct side is facing up (north).
- Scan photos in order. We will scan the photos in the order you sort and bundle. We will do our best to scan the photos in the order you request, but there will likely be some variations. If you don't want to take the time to sort and bundle now, later you can transfer the files to your computer where they can easily be rearranged and renamed to your liking.
- Custom labeled folders. We will put the photos you sort and bundle into file folders labeled the way you indicate to us. If you don't have the time to do it now, you can transfer the files to your computer and easily rename the folders later. We will put the photos in file folders with generic names like "Scanned_Photo_001". Photos that are grouped in an envelope or by other means will be put in their own folders.
- We accept curled / bent photos.
- We will crop your photos as needed.
- We accept any photograph thickness.
- The data DVD (or set) of your scanned photos is included. The DVD is not a movie. The scanned digital image files will be stored and mailed to you on one or more data DVDs (depending on the total data size of your digital files). If you want your files stored on a USB Flash Drive instead of the DVD, the cost is an additional $9 per 16GB of data storage. Regardless of the storage media you choose, technology is likely to change in the future (Will you be able to find a DVD player 30 years from now?). When technology changes, the digital image files will need to be moved to the most current and recommended archiving media. Not to worry though, that task should be quick, easy and cheap.
- The digital files stored on DVDs for archiving should last 30-70 years if stored properly. All digital image files copied to the DVDs are completely verified to be identical to the original before we send them to you.
- The digital files stored on USB flash drives (thumb drives) are not recommended for archiving. Your photos will last on a new unused USB flash drive for a maximum of about 10 years if stored properly. Realistically though, it would probably be a lot less.
- Fast turnaround. Right now, we should have your photos mailed back out to you in about 2 weeks.
Our scanning prices do not include:
- S&H to us.
- S&H to you. We will charge you the actual S&H cost plus $5.00.
- High Quality TIFF (TIF) digital file format images (uncompressed) of your photos. For 5¢ extra per scanned image, you'll receive the TIFF file in addition to the JPEG file. The TIF file size is about 8 times larger than an archive quality JPG file. The only reason we charge extra is to help cover the cost of the additional media storage needed. Read about TIFF files HERE.
- USB Flash Drive storage instead of DVD storage. The cost is $9 per 16GB of data storage.
- Slideshow Movie featuring your scanned photos. The price is $30 each. You will receive the movie either on DVD or in MP4 file format, so it can be viewed on your television, computer or phone. Maximum 200 photos per movie.
To ensure your precious photos are never left outside our door during stormy weather, we have you mail them to our PO Box where it's kept safe and dry.
We recommend that you copy the scanned photos to another device (for a backup) as soon as you receive them.
Keeping the CD/DVD and/or USB flash drive stored in a cool, dark, dry location will help maximize the life of the data stored on it.
How does the order process work?