So you want to get some family photos scanned but you're not sure where to start? Have no idea how to find the right person / company for the job?
Here are a few of the questions you should have answers to before you decide:
1. Are they Certified Photo Managers?
A Certified Photo Manager has made the time and financial committment to become educated on best practices, maintain up to date standards and connect with specialists in all areas of photo management. If they don't know how to do it, they can connect you with someone who does.
2. What resolution will your prints be scanned at?
For many companies it is all about speed, not quality. Scanning your photos at a low resolution for the purpose of speed or due to low quality equipment can seriously restrict what you can do with the digital images in the future. You may not be able to use low resolution images in photo books, video montages or enlarge them for framing. Best practices would involve scanning images at a resolution that is compatible with your digital storage space and useful for any future photo projects. 600 dpi is what I would recommend for most images.
3. What service options are available?
If you hand over a messy box of old, disganized photos in, will you be sent home with a scanned digital mess too? Many companies will only offer a scanning service, so if you bring them a mess, you will simply take home a digital mess as well. Most of my clients bring me their disorganized photos because they don't want to deal with the overwhelm themselves. As a Certified Photo Manager, I can not only organize their print photos but build an organized folder system for their digital images, with the correct orientation, and file renaming and tagging, making it easy to find the photos they want to view and share. I can consult with clients on a personalized print and digital storage and sharing system that works with their technical abilities and goals for the photo project.
4. What are their standard operating procedures to protect your photos from damage?
Cotton or medical gloves should be worn when handling photos to protect them from dirt and skin oils. As well, options should be available for scanning delicate photos, letters, etc. from damage, such as using specialized scanners or camera scanning. Your family memories should be treated with care, find out if you will receive a personalized experience or if your photos are simply one of 20 other projects that will be tossed into the automated scanner that day.
These are just a few of the questions you will want to know before you choose which business to trust your scanning project to, but it should give you a good start. In the end, you have to feel confident that they will do a good job on your scanning project and that they are knowledgable and upfront with their service agreement, fees and should be happy to answer your questions. Happy scanning!!!