Scanning Photos

45 Questions You Should Know the Answers to Before Choosing a Photo Scanning Service

45 Questions You Should Know the Answers to Before Choosing a Photo Scanning Service

You’ve considered scanning your collection of photos but for some reason or other, possibly because you don’t want to invest the time or money in buying a suitable scanner and learning how to use it properly, maybe because you don’t have the time to do the job, you’ve decided to hire someone to do the scanning for you.

How do you decide which of the various companies who offer this service you should choose?

Here is a list of 45 questions you should ask any vendor (scanning service company) you might be considering trusting your precious original images to.

The Benefits of Recording Your 35mm Slide's Exposure Number

The Benefits of Recording Your 35mm Slide's Exposure Number

Did you ever notice those little 2-digit numbers printed at the top of your 35mm slides?

I have to keep in mind some of you reading this may have never even touched a roll of film in your life!

It's scary for guys like me to think that's even possible, but it really is since we live in a time when digital cameras have been affordable since about 2000.

For the uninitiated, [cough] when you shot pictures that would be developed as those little plastic or cardboard slides you later projected onto a large screen for family viewings, you used a special roll of film in your camera.

One of the choices you had to make when picking out a box of film was how many exposures you wanted.

How to Date Photos When Even Your Family Can't Remember Them!

How to Date Photos When Even Your Family Can't Remember Them!

Q&A: A couple of years ago, I started organizing my digital photos the way you showed in your naming scanned photos post, instead of by subject, etc.

I'm just now starting to archive all the photos my Mom has. As we are taking them out of the albums (which, by the way, I hate those old “magnetic” albums–the photos stick to the pages), she is telling me who is in the pictures, etc.

Most of the ones we are doing now are the real old ones–her family photos and my Dad's family photos. Some are dated and/or have captions to help identify them, but several don't.

The problem is she can't always narrow down the date enough to come up with a year. So that's causing me to have a lot of photos with '19xx-xx-xx' as the date. There aren't really any other family members who will know the answer so I doubt if the dates will ever be completed.

Any suggestions as to how to handle situations like this so I don't have a long list of '19xx' photos?

Could This Be the Most Ingenious Way to Scan the Backs of Your Photographs?

Could This Be the Most Ingenious Way to Scan the Backs of Your Photographs?

When I started scanning my photo collection, I had no plans to scan the backs of my prints.

This is even considering that maybe 60% of my family's prints have handwriting on the other side. It's either a date when the photo was taken, the names of people in the photo, or sometimes — like in the photo above — a lengthy description.

But, over the last several months, I've really been considering digitally capturing the backs of my photos and archiving them away too.

Here are three reasons why.

My Inspiring Photo Scanning Progress Report for May 2012

My Inspiring Photo Scanning Progress Report for May 2012

Welcome to my fourth monthly progress report covering the month of May 2012!

Last month was a fun month for me. Not only was I this close (holding two fingers close together) to completing a personal goal of mine to scan every day of an entire month, but I also received a package from my Aunt Karen with a bunch of amazing old photos of her and my Dad when they were kids that I had never seen before!

This month, was… not so fun.

For me, this month was insane! So read on, I'll tell you all about it.

Every month, I am posting a detailed report — just like this one — sharing with you how far I have come with my goal to scan and restore my entire 10,000+ family photo collection.

By doing so, I hope to inspire you to do the same!

Itoya Art Profolio Marker — Photo Safe Archival Pen Review

Itoya Art Profolio Marker — Photo Safe Archival Pen Review

When I first started scanning my photo collection, I starting out writing on the back of my prints with a fairly dull pencil. However, I pushed down extremely lightly though as to not etch through to the other side!

But, you know, I just really hate using pencils now.

I'm an adult now. I already had my fair share of NFL pencil sets in the 1980's. I feel like I have moved past pencils in my life.

What I really wanted was a decent ink pen that I could feel safe using on photos and slides. And if I had to make a list of the qualities I was looking for in particular, it would look something like this:

My Dream Photo Pen Criteria:

Photo safe, Non-toxic, Permanent ink, Fade resistant, Dries quickly, Will not smear once dry, and Won't bleed through.

Did this one pass the test?

If You Don't Add This to the Filename of Your Scanned Photos, You'll Probably Hate Yourself Later

If You Don't Add This to the Filename of Your Scanned Photos, You'll Probably Hate Yourself Later

Whether you keep all of your scanned master (original) image files in folders on a hard drive, or you allow an image manager like Picasa, iPhoto or Aperture to manage them inside a library file, you will still be required to give each photo a filename.

It could be as simple and non-descriptive as “photo-1.jpg” or maybe even simple yet somewhat descriptive like “mom at the beach 1984.tif”.

But, it's actually a very important part of the process of scanning photos, that if done with a little bit of forethought, can save you a lot of time and headache later.

My Inspiring Photo Scanning Progress Report for April 2012

My Inspiring Photo Scanning Progress Report for April 2012

Welcome to my third monthly progress report!

Last month I covered two complete months of scanning, but I learned that was just too much to talk about!

So this time is only one month and it'll be a lot shorter.

What This Progress Report Is Really About:

Every month, I am posting a detailed report — just like this one — sharing with you how far I have come with my goal to scan and restore my entire 10,000+ family photo collection.

By doing so, I hope to inspire you to do the same!

In my first progress report, I set a goal for myself to do a little bit of work on my collection every single day. I shoot for about an hour a day which turns out to be about 30 scans a day. And I am going to record and detail each one of them so that you can learn from my transparency.

I don't want to be “that guy” — a guy that tells you how you should scan your own photos but then sends all of my own to a scanning service to do the work for me.

13 More Reasons Why You Should Already Be Scanning Your Photo Collection

13 More Reasons Why You Should Already Be Scanning Your Photo Collection

Guest post by: Art Taylor

If you've been reading the post comments on this website in the last month, I'm sure you've seen 1 or 7 detailed comments from a man named Art Taylor.

I haven't met someone in some time who is as passionate about preserving photographs as he is. And since he's been so generous sharing his scanning experience with others, I couldn't help but take him up on his offer to write a few guest posts for us.

Art has been an amateur photographer for over 40 years, taking close to 50,000 or more slides and negatives on film. But, what really got my attention was his love for trains. Even though I can't say I have ever ridden a real train — just miniature ones in amusement parks — I just love them. Most of Art's photo collection was taken of trains and railroad-related subjects.