For many years, you have been contemplating sorting out those shoeboxes and albums containing irreplaceable family memories. Digitizing photos and slides, prone to the ravages of time, is the best way to preserve your family history. The entire process may seem daunting if you have hundreds or thousands of images, and it is best to use a photo scanning company in this case.
Important Factors to Consider When Choosing a Photo Scanning Company
As well as word of mouth and personal recommendations, doing online research can help you make an informed choice. These are the important considerations to consider:
Reputation and Trust
Look at online consumer reviews from multiple sources such as Google and TrustPilot.
Your chosen photo scanning service must have a proven track record handling the most fragile photos with utmost care.
Does the vendor’s web site or literature provide comments from satisfied customers and/or reviews from independent sources?
A reputable company may post negative comments, along with favourable comments.
Cost of Service
You may have hundreds of boxes of historical photos. But choosing the lowest cost of service may not be the best solution. If the scanning is done incorrectly, you will have to repeat the operation and waste money. Even worse, cheap scanning companies may damage or lose your precious originals.
Some questions to ask:
- Is there an initial photo sampling service and is it included in the final total price?
- What forms of payment are available?
- What percentage of total amount is acceptable as a deposit when order is placed?
- Is balance payable upon job completion but before final delivery to customer?
- Is full payment required in advance at time order is placed?
- How much do additional copies cost?
- What is the price per scan for each type of original image?
- Is a ‘Rush’ turnaround service available and, if so, what is the cost?
Quality of Product
These are some of the questions that you should be asking about the quality of the service that you will receive:
- What type of photo scanning resolution is available and what is a suitable for my requirements?
- What sizes of originals can be submitted for scanning?
- Is dust and scratch removal available as an option?
- What digital formats are offered?
Turnaround Time of Photo Scanning Company
What is the turnaround time to complete the task of scanning all your photos?
It is important to find a company that takes the safety of your images seriously
- How are originals and digital copies returned to the customer?
- If returned by mail or courier, are the originals and copies registered and/or insured with the carrier?
- Is the scanning done in-house or sub-contracted or sent out to an overseas plant or affiliated company?
- How am I assured of confidentiality of my originals while they are in the service’s control?
- Do you retain a copy of my scanned photos for a specific period?
Customer Service of Photo Scanning Company
Quality customer service is a vital factor. If customer service is poor, the chances are that the photo scanning services will also be below what you need.
- What kind of in-house tracking service is used to ensure that no originals get lost, misplaced, or damaged during the production cycle?
- How can a customer contact the vendor by phone, email, postal mail, other?
Test Online Sample Order
- Is it possible to place a scanning sample test order?
How Should Slides and Photos be Submitted?
How should the slides or photographs be sent to you?
What medium is used to deliver the digitized images and originals to the customer?
Are the digital images delivered to the customer along with the originals or are they available only on-line at the scanning service’s web site?
It is important not to make your final decision based only on price per scan.
The quality of the digitized image will determine how you can view the photos and slides, so be sure to consider the largest size print you are ever likely to want to make from any digital image and make sure your slides and negatives are scanned at an appropriate resolution.