Scanning photos can be a challenge, especially if your collection is large and contains a mix of mediums such as prints, slides and negatives. Not only are top quality film scanners expensive, but they can be difficult to configure and use for non-professionals. And even with the best equipment and powerful computers, the time it takes to digitize photos can be significant.
This has led to the emergence of photo scanning services that will scan your photos for you. And that makes sense, given the cost and technical capabilities necessary to create high quality digital images from tradition analog photos. In most cases, a reputable photo scanning service can safely and quickly deliver your entire collection in digital form at lower cost and higher quality than would otherwise possible, while saving you tons of time in the process.
But before you turn you treasured lifetime photo collection over to a photo scanning service, what do you need to know about a prospective photo scanning service? How do you ensure you choose the most trust-worthy provider that meets your requirements for quality, price, speed and customer service? To start, consider asking the follow ten questions to candidate photo scanning services:
Top Ten Questions to Ask Your Photo Scanning Service
1) Does the service scan the types and formats of media in your collection (e.g. some services don’t convert stereo slides or large format negatives)?
2) Does the service provide industry-standard quality, image sizes and features needed to ensure high quality image files – such as high dpi options, digital cleaning, enhancements and a quality guarantee?
3) How are your original photos and newly digital images organized upon return? What are the options for digital file delivery (CD/DVD/Drive/Online)?
4) How long has the photo scanning service been in business and do independent parties recommend and trust the company?
5) How will your photo collection be safeguarded from start to finish and do they outsource, off-shore operations or use subcontractors?
6) How will the company respond to customer service inquiries, what is their standard of service?
7) What is the turnaround performance promised? Have they consistently delivered to, or exceeded, customer expectations?
8)_What is included in their basic service? What extras and options are available and how are they priced?
9) How is shipping handled – included?, ala cart?, prescribed shippers? real-time tracking?
10) Does the photo scanning service provide samples and what is the cost, if any?
Photo: Bye bye Kodachrome by e_pics via Flickr