Using a photo scanning service to get all your photo prints, slides, and negatives digitized is becoming hugely popular. Once old photos are scanned they can be easily added to your digital image collection, digitally archived and backed-up for safe keeping, and be instantly shared online. Saving time and getting the highest quality results possible at a reasonable price is the primary reason to use a photo scanning service.
After choosing the right photo scanning service (see Top Ten Questions to Ask Your Photo Scanning Service) based upon your requirements and research, consider these tips to help the process go smoothly.
Tips for Using a Photo Scanning Service
1) If you have the same images on both prints and negatives, and incremental cost does not blow your budget, choose to have the negatives scanned instead of the prints. The negatives have more image information that can be captured and are likely less faded, if at all. The resulting image file from scanning negatives will be larger and more versatile than those from paper photo scanning.
2) Understand and choose the scanning options that match your specific requirements. For example, if subsequent printing of enlargements is likely, opt for higher scan dpi options or ensure the standard scan dpi is sufficient for your needs.
3) Save money, and possibly increase turnaround time, by doing some of the work of organizing and preparing your collection yourself. Understand the packing guidelines of the photo scanning service and adhere to the suggestions. Keep schemes simple, and to the extent possible, remove slides from trays, prints from albums, and keep negatives in protective sleeves. This may save on extra fees and shipping costs.
4) Pack your photos in a box, not mailers or soft pouches. Rigid boxes, when combined with plastic utility bags and packing material (paper, not peanuts), provide the best protection for your treasured photo collection while in transit. Use reputable shippers with real-time tracking and track your packages to the photo scanning service, often they will confirm receipts via email.
5) If concerned about shipping, divide your collection into three or four separate shipments. While it’s extremely unlikely a single package will go missing from a reputable shipper in transit, the chances more than one package will be lost are virtually zero.
Photo: Slip sliding away by comedy_nose via Flickr