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Footprint - legacy / history left behind

Scanning Services: Options and Prices


Before the actual scanning begins, we recommend to our clients that they do a rough chronological pre-sort of the photos and slides.  We have outlined a useful Approach to Organizing Photos in the Story Approaches section that offers a quick and dirty way to do this.  When pre-sorted by years prior to scanning them, photos are tagged with the year at the time the photo is uploaded.  This makes further organizing of photos much easier and faster.  With that said, some of our clients prefer handing off all their loose photos and albums for us to just scan them all.  Then within weeks they can sit at their computer as they find the time to do the initial organizing online.    


P r e - s c a n n i n g   c o n s i d e r a t i o n s

Scan photos, slides, 8mm film

No matter what your end goal is, the digitizing (scanning) of your photos, slides, 8mm film reels etc. is the first step. There is no reason to put this step off any longer.  There are only two decisions you need to make.  

  1. Which of your photos, slides and film reels will you digitize (scan)?  
     

  2. Who will do it, you, us or both of us?  

 


 

Typically, families have accumulated anywhere from hundreds to four or five thousand photos and slides spanning four or five generations of life experiences.  How do you approach that volume and size of task?  Here you have options as well.

  1. Just knock it all out and get it behind you - scan them all at once and be done with it.  Consider using scanning service companies such as ours.
     

  2. Approach it one project or story at a time.  Find those photos that relate to the first story you want to tell.  E.g. if telling a story of the courtship of your parents, just scan those photos relating to that period of their lives, upload and create the story.  Then plan your next project and repeat.


F r e q u e n t l y   a s k e d   q u e s t i o n   a b o u t   s c a n n i n g

Top 12 scanning questions you may or may not have thought about.

  1. Where do I begin with such an overwhelming task?

  2. What should I do with those photos containing people I don't recognize?

  3. Should I organize the photos before or after they are scanned?

  4. How should I organize the photos?

  5. What resolution should I use when scanning the photos?

  6. How do I scan the photos that are in a photo album?

  7. Should I do it myself or use a service?

  8. What if I don't want to send my one-of-a-kind photos in the mail?

  9. How do I scan 35mm slides?

  10. Can I convert 8mm movie reels to photos?

  11. Now what?  Once photos are scanned, how do I proceed?

  12. I want to surprise my parents. How can I get my parents photos from them without them knowing.

 Answers:
 

 

1

How do I begin with such an overwhelming task?

Remember that scanning is a precursor to doing something productive with the photos even if only to give all family members their own copy.  Knowing what you want to do with the images beyond that will help you decide how to best prep for the scanning.  If you have not yet formed a vision of where you ultimately want to go with your photos, you cannot go wrong with chronologically organizing them prior to scanning.   This is a no-brainer way to lay a foundation for making further organization efforts more efficient. See tips on organizing chronologically. 
 

2

What should I do with those photos containing people I don't recognize?

Scan them whether you recognize them or not. Depending on the context in which you found them, you may be able to figure it out based on other photos you come across later.  Additionally, when images are scanned and shared with other family members, they may have insights that can help identify people.
 

3

Should I organize the photos before or after they are scanned?

It can be done either way but as stated in #1 above, try to do a pre-sort chronologically.  The reason for this is that the nature of review you loose photos is that they usually are mixed in with other around the same time, place or family members and the human brain takes advantage of this context in helping identify places, people and time.  If you do it after they are scanned you will lose some advantage of that context.
 

4

How should I organize the photos after they are scanned and uploaded?

Once photos are scanned and uploaded, you will be able to assign a date, a place, who is in the picture.   Once this kind of information is assigned to the photos, then accessing them in different ways makes it easy to create special collections in real time.  Album folders and tagging are also features that give you flexibility in creating unique slide shows that are sure to entertain without making everyone sit through a bunch of boring pictures.  E.g. show Susan all the pictures with Susan at the click of a button.
 

5

What resolution should I use when scanning the photos?

This depends on how you want to use the photos.  We recommend that any photo you may want to print out be scanned at 600 dpi or greater, depending on the size of the original photo. An 8 x 10 photo will print out nicely at 8 x 10 inches if scanned at 300 dpi (dots per inch).  A 4 x 5 inch photo however should be scanned at 600 dpi if you want to print an 8 x 10 version.  Many old photographs are very small, some only an inch wide.  If they are of good quality, we recommend scanning them at 1200 dpi or higher if your scanner will do it.

A good rule of thumb would be for any given photo, measure it's width then decide what size you might want to print the picture at.  If you want the printed picture to be the same size then scan at 300 dpi.  If you want it twice as large as the original, scan at 600 dpi.  If you want the printed picture to be 4 times as large, then scan at 1200 dpi.
 

6

How do I scan the photos that are in a photo album?

The best way is to remove them carefully.  It is possible to scan them while on the page of the album if the album pages can come apart (most can) but you will loose some quality due to the film protector over the photos.  
 

7

Should I do it myself or use a service?

Scanning is the most labor intense part of the process and is the step that keeps people from moving forward.  If you can afford it, use a service and just get it done.  Paying someone $500 to scan 1000 of your photos might be cheap depending on how much you value your time.  If you have more time than money, by all means buy a scanner and enjoy the process as you pick up each picture and reminisce.
 

8

What if I don't want to send my one-of-a-kind photos in the mail?

You sometime don't know where your valued photos are going to get scanned when you mail them unless you ask.  Some services ship them overseas where labor is cheaper.  We service the local area and can pick them up in most cases and can even come to your house and do the scanning their, working with you to organize them during the scanning process.
  

9

How do I scan 35mm slides?

One at a time in most cases.  Some flatbed scanners allow you to put from 5 to a dozen in the scanner at a time.  Slides should be scanned at a minimum of 1200 dpi and 2400 and up if possible because they are small to begin with.  

We charge 75 cents per slide scan at 2400 dpi.

There are services that provide extremely high end scanning for those slides that are of particularly high quality.  
 

10

Can I convert 8mm movie reels to photos?

Yes this can be done.  However, the frame size of 8mm film is pretty small but you can capture images that will give you pretty decent 4 x 5 prints.  8mm and super 8 can also be converted to video on a DVD.  We can also add a sound track, your voice or music to make the video more interesting.
 

11

Now what?  Once photos are scanned, what do I do?

You can do almost anything you can think of.  Create online slide shows customized for each child and grandchild.  Create stories that sequence photos and allow you to add voice narrative.  Export a story with all it's chapters and photos and then import that into available photo book providers.

In addition to these capabilities, our system also provides a way to create family trees that further enhance the organization and display of stories about any give family member.
 

12

I want to surprise my parents. How can I get my parents photos from them without them knowing.

We run across this question often.  

Short of stealing, the best thing do to is to play down what all you intend to do with them.  

State that you want to preserve the photos by scanning them and want to give all siblings copies  of all photos and slides rather than dividing them up.

Then once you get them scanned and return them, you can surprise them with a story your create on your computer, show it on a large flat screen TV or give them a high end coffee table quality photo book that they will cherish.
   


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