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FAQ's photo scanning service

Basic Scanning Questions

Q: I'm having problems placing an order.
A: Sometimes it is as simple as using a different web browser. We recommend using the most current version of Internet Explorer for PC users and Safari for Mac users. If you still have problems, please contact us via Live Support so we can instantly help you diagnose the problem.
Q: Can you scan slides or negatives?
A: Yes we can but the high speed scanning is only available for print scanning. We scan slides and negatives as a separate service. The cost varies depending upon quantity and resolution. For more info, please visit our slide or negative scanning sections.
Q: What resolution are my photos scanned at?
A: We offer scanning at 300 or 600 DPI (600 DPI requires an upgrade). The final file size will vary depending upon the size of the original photograph. A standard 4x6 at 300 DPI usually is about 700KB -1MB in size whereas at 600 DPI ranges from 1.5 to 2.5 MB. Many websites refer to resolution as a pixel by pixel notation. To determine what your own picture's pixel-by-pixel resolution will be, multiply the inches by 300 DPI or 600 DPI. For example, a 4"x6" print will have a resolution of 1200x1800 at 300 DPI (4" x 300 DPI = 1200 pixels, 6" x 300 DPI = 1800 pixels) and 2400x3600 at 600 DPI (4" x 600 DPI = 2400 pixels, 6" x 600 DPI = 3600 pixels).
Q: Can you scan my photos at a higher resolution?
A: The highest resolution we offer is 600 DPI photo scanning which is more than adequate for nearly every situation. See http://www.scanmyphotos.com/300v600dpi.html for information regarding 300 and 600 DPI scanning.
Q: Can I see sample scans?
A: For samples, click here.
Q: Are my photos returned to me?
A: Yes, your photos are returned to you along with the digital DVD data disc of your scanned photos. We do not offer a service dispose of or keep your photos. All photographs will be returned with your order whether you want them or not.
Q: Are my bundled photos returned to me in the same bundles?
A: While we try to keep your bundles of photos together, there are times when this is not feasible. We need to fit the photos back in the box for return shipping along with the DVD and any other additional options you may order. This means we may need to break apart bundles. We will not shuffle your photos like a deck of cards but your photos may not be in the same order you sent them to us in.
Q: How long will it take to complete my scanning order?
A: Photo scanning is typically completed and mailed back within 4 to 8 weeks from when it is received. Please note that we do not have any control over the United State Postal Service or any other courier or transport companies and therefore cannot be held responsible for delivery times to or from our location.
We do feature a VIP Priority Rush Service, which moves you to the top of the line; see the Pay-per-Scan order form to choose this feature or order it for your prepaid box.
Q: Where are my photos scanned?
A: All orders photo scan orders are processed our Irvine, CA headquarters, founded in 1990. The only orders sent overseas are to our customers abroad who send us their orders for processing, and those orders are also scanned and mailed back internationally the within 4 to 8 weeks of arriving too.
Q: Can you custom name my files or put my images into separate folders on the DVD?
A: Due to the high number of photos that are scanned in an average order and our daily scan totals, we cannot offer to custom name your scanned images or separate them into folders. We start every order at 00000001.JPG and continue until the last photo scanned in numerical order. You can easily rename your files after you receive the DVD back. We recommend that you use any number of free file renaming software that is available that will automatically rename your files once copied to your hard drive. You can find quite a few at VersionTracker.com by searching for "file rename ".
Q: How much compression do you use when saving the pictures in JPEG format?
A: Due to the high number of photos that are scanned in an average order, we use what would be considered a 10 or 11 on the 1-12 Photoshop compression scale (12 being the least amount of compression, 1 being the most)
Q: Will the order of the scanning be the same as the photos in the box?
A: Scanning your pictures in a specific order requires an additional fee. If you do not wish to pay for this additional option, your entire order must be organized by size.
Q: Can you combine multiple boxes into one order?
A: No, every box that arrives at our scanning facility is assigned to one scanning technician. This is to ensure that no photos are mistakenly mixed up with any other order. If you order the Pay-per-Scan option, each box sent to us must contain its own order form and will be treated as separate orders.
Q: What is the difference between your prepaid box and the Pay-per-Scan option?
A: While the final product is the same, we offer two different pricing structures to ensure it is affordable for any quantity of photos to be scanned. Below you can see the main differences:
Type of service Price Shipping to and from Same day service Size of photos able to scan Return shipping options International Service Front & Back scanning
Prepaid Photo Scanning $159 per box No charge With VIP Priority service Min: 3"x3"
Max: 8"x10"
USPS Priority No No
Pay-per-Scan Photo Scanning $.12 per photo Paid by client With VIP Priority service Min: 3"x3"
Max: 11"x14"
USPS Priority
FedEx 2-Day
FedEx Overnight
Yes Available for additional fee

Q: I have very old photo albums of B&W photos that are glued on the pages. Can they be scanned and if so, what would be the charge?
A: The photos must be removed from the pages and any and all sticky substance must be removed from the back of the photos prior to sending in the order.
Q: What is your policy on scanning professional copyrighted materials that I do not own the rights to?
A: Due to copyright laws, we are unable to scan any professionally taken image that is copyrighted. This includes pages from books, magazines, and postcards. These images will not be scanned. NO EXCEPTIONS without a valid copyright release from the photographer. We do validate all copyright release forms.
Q: Are pictures taken at places like Olen Mills and Sears Portrait Studios copyrighted? Also, our wedding photographer is no longer in business and I would like to get those photos scanned.
A: No, we cannot scan any copyrighted material. For complete details about copyright law, visit the US Copyright website.
Q: Are these scans designed for personal archiving and sharing or can I also make giant museum-quality poster enlargements from the files?
A: These high-speed photo scans are designed to digitally preserve your regular photos. This is not designed to archive professional images with museum-quality clarity. There is no refund for high-speed photo scans and you understand and agree that we cannot guarantee the image quality of the reproductions or individual quality control your files due to the extremely high volume scanning operation.
Q: Can you scan tiny pictures, too?
A: The smallest photo that can be included is 3"x3". Photos must measure at least 3" on all sides to qualify for scanning. Anything smaller will be returned to you unscanned.
Q: Can you scan cropped and cutout photos?
A: No, all photos must be either square or rectangular photos in overall shape. We cannot accept any photos that are odd shaped or does not have four straight sides. Rounded corners and scalloped edges are ok as long as the picture is still overall a rectangle or square. These pictures, although adorable, are not acceptable:
Cutout image 1Cutout image 2
Q: What happens if my pictures are curled or bent?
A: Any photo that is excessively bent or curled will not be scanned. All photos must be able to lay reasonably flat when stacked with other photos. If they are only slightly curled or curved, there may be some distortion in the areas where the images does not lay flat upon the glass as it is scanned.
Q: Why do you only feature flat-rate bulk scanning of photos? Why not offer it for 35mm, APS or slide film?
A: For slides, negatives and Advantix APS film the ScanMyPhotos.com service is based on the individual strip of film or 35mm mounted slide because most consumers are unable to scan these products. But, for photographs, we found that the average order is about 2,000 photos, so we pioneered this new service to broaden the economies-of-scale and simply the scanning process. When you have hundreds, or thousands of snapshots, there smartest solution is ScanMyPhotos and our bulk scanning service; pay just $.12 per scan or choose from our all-inclusive prepaid fill-the-box service to scan about 1,800 4"x6" photos for $245. Click here to view other larger quantity specials and our famous buy two get the third prepaid box free. Click here for more info.

Negatives and slides are significantly more work and more time and must be scanned one at a time, therefore we cannot offer huge bulk-rate discounts on these services.
Q: What are your limits of liability?
A: IMPORTANT: Before ordering any of our products or services, you must first agree to read and agree to our terms, including the limit of liability and copyright agreement. You can read our limit of liability here along with the copyright agreement.

Prepaid Photo Scanning Specific Questions

Q: Do your prepaid boxes ever expire?
A: Due to swift technological changes, your returned prepaid box order for scanning must be received back to ScanMyPhotos.com within 6 months from the date the order was placed. Otherwise, the box expires and no consideration, obligation or monetary reimbursement of any kind will be provided; so, you have six months to gather your pictures and have us scan it.
Q: What is the size of the box for the Prepaid Fill the Box option?
A: Inside dimensions - 11" X 8.5" X 5.5"

IMPORTANT: All photos must fit within the dimensions of the closed box. When sealing a flat-rate box or flat-rate envelope, the container flaps must be able to close within the normal folds. Tape may be applied to the flaps and seams to reinforce the container; provided the design of the container is not enlarged by opening the sides and the container is not reconstructed in any way.
Q: Can you combine multiple boxes into one order?
A: No, every box that arrives at our scanning facility is assigned to one scanning technician. This is to ensure that no photos are mistakenly mixed up with any other order. If you order multiple prepaid boxes, each box is considered one order and is scanned independently from any other box from the same address.
Q: Can you ship boxes from the same order to different addresses?
A: When the order is placed, you can only give one shipping address so all returning boxes (and the initial empty boxes) will be shipped to that address. To ensure that there are no mix-ups and/or mistakes, we cannot offer to have boxes shipped to different addresses than what is listed on the initial order.
Q: What if I have moved since I first placed my order for prepaid scanning? Can you ship to a different address then?
A: Yes, this is the only reason we offer to change the shipping address for prepaid photo scanning. This is a permanent change and can only be changed once.

Pay-per-Scan Photo Scanning Specific Questions

Q: Is there a minimum number of photos to send?
A: You can send as few or as many photos to us as you wish but all orders have a minimum $40 charge for scanning. If you do not meet the minimum, you will be charged a flat rate of $40 for your job. (S&H not included in minimum).

I Have My Disc, Now What?

Q: Will I be able to download the returned disc to color correct the scanned photos?
A: Yes, the images are not copy protected in any way and are yours to do with as you please. You can create a slide show, edit the photos, reorganize or rename the photos.
Q: I've downloaded my files onto my hard drive but it says they are locked. How do I unlock them?
A: Once on your hard drive, on a PC, simply select all, right-click on any highlighted file and select Properties. In the Attributes, simply make sure the Read-Only is unchecked. With a Mac, select all the files and press Command-Option-I. In the Ownership & Permission, change from Read Only, to Read & Write.
Q: Can I use the newly scanned digital DVD to view my photos on the TV with my DVD player?
A: The DVD we provide you with is not a video DVD. It is only a DVD with your JPEG files on it. There are a number of slide show creation software products available that would allow you to create a movie for your DVD player to watch on a TV. Some examples are: iDVD ® or Nero PhotoShow ®. However, some newer model DVD players do have a slide show feature but most limit the number of photos that can be loaded. In our experience, most DVD players will not load more than 200 images.
Q: I've ordered multiple boxes and each disk starts at file #1. When I copy them to my hard drive it tells me there is a file name conflict. What should I do?
A: We recommend that you use any number of free file renaming software that is available that will automatically rename your files once copied to your hard drive. You can find quite a few at VersionTracker.com by searching for "file rename ". We do not fulfill custom numbering requests; every job starts at #1.

Shipping Specific Questions

Q: What happens if my order is delayed during mailing and how about guarantees?
A: Upon completion at ScanMyPhotos.com, all orders are digitally preserved and archived at our facility for 15-days as an added backup. We recommend the U.S. Postal Service for delivery and recommend that you consider adding their various tracking and confirmation products and services - click here.

However, please note, understand and recognize that by mailing us any items, we cannot and do not warrantee or guarantee delivery by third-party couriers. IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT THAT YOUR ORDER IS MISPLACED, DELAYED, LOST OR DAMAGED, YOU AGREE THAT SCANMYPHOTOS.COM IS NOT LIABLE AND THERE WILL BE NO COMPENSATION OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND. We assume no responsibility for any loss and/or damage to client's materials while it is transported by the mail, courier, and transport companies transport it or while in the position of ScanMyPhotos.com. Our company is also not liability, for damage, loss, delay or irregularity to person or property in connection with any service advertised herein or by services provided by third parties over which ScanMyPhotos.com has no control. Click here to read full terms.
Q: How do I track my photo shipment?
A: The easiest way is to simply type your tracking number into a Google search as it recognizes USPS, UPS and FedEx tracking numbers.

Other Questions

Q: How large are the images in the Photo Index book?
A: Approximate measurements are: horizontal pictures are 1.25" x 2" while vertical pictures are 1" x 1.25".
Q: I have a bunch of old VHS and 8mm movies, can you transfer those to DVD?
A: We can transfer standard VHS, VHS-C, Hi8 and 8mm tapes/reels. Please visit our Video Transfer section.
Q: My question is not answered here. Where can I obtain more information?
A: You may use our Live Support (banner above our service menu to the left) to instant message with an online support technician (Begin Chat Session), call us at 949-474-7654 during normal business hours or email us at info@scanmyphotos.com.