Thanks to Adrian for sharing her ScanMyPhotos.com experience on her “Adrian’s Crazy Life Blog.
How many old pictures do you have hanging around? I have thousands, and that is not an exaggeration. Here’s a newsflash. When your parents die, YOU get all their pictures. All of them. And when you have two sets of parents die, you get TWO sets of pictures. My in-laws had a full sized filing cabinet FULL of pictures covering their entire lives and my own parents had almost that many.
It’s even worse if you have siblings because everyone else wants copies of all these old pictures. Have you ever tried to scan old photos? I have and I’ll tell you, it’s a PAIN. You can take them to Wal-Mart and do it, but it’s still a pain and expensive! It cost us like ten bucks to scan and print maybe a dozen or so photographs for my sister-in-law.
I’ve found a better way. There is a company in Irvine, California, who will take all your old pictures and scan them for you – cheap, fast, and relatively hassle-free. This was a gift sent from heaven for someone like me.
I did it last week. I sent a box of my favorite 1,000 photographs to ScanMyPhotos.com in Irvine and in just about 5 days (including the weekend), I had them safely back in my hands with a single disk that contained scans of every one of them. And it cost about .8 cents per scan. That is a huge bargain.
I’ve checked with several other services and they want at least twice as much, take weeks longer (that’s because they send them to China or the Phillipines to be scanned), and the end product is exactly the same thing. I’d rather go cheaper, faster, safer, wouldn’t you?
Just the peace of mind is worth every penny to me. Your old paper pictures are irreplaceable and for me, at least, they meant a lot to me. I had my very few baby pictures, pictures of my parents wedding, pics of my children when they were first born, and lots of pictures of relatives that are long gone now. I wanted to be sure those pictures were going to be safe.
The first thing I did was load that disk onto my computer and back it up to my portable hard drive. Now I have the paper pictures and three digital copies of my pictures (the disk, my computer, and my hard drive) for safekeeping. I’ve learned the hard way through one too many basement floods and computer crashes that I don’t want to take a chance with my pictures.
Best of all, now I can use them for my digital scrapbooking. I had very few pictures in digital form of my parents and none whatsoever of my childhood. We’ve only had digital cameras for the last decade or so, and I was very pleased to see all the great pictures I’m going to be able to use in my scrapbooks.
And it was fairly simple to do. You do have to do some sorting and organizing of the photos. They must be sorted by size and you have to take them out of the envelopes, frames, and albums and get them all in a stack. But that’s not too hard. They will take sizes from 3 X 3 to 8 X 10, so that gives you a lot of choices. I think they even take Polaroids if they aren’t the really thick kind. Most of mine were either 4 X 6 or 3 X 5, but I also had a few 5 X 7’s and some smaller ones. It wasn’t a problem as long as I had them sorted out into the correct sizes.
There are a couple of options – you can do a prepaid box which holds about 2,000 photos. They have a special now – if you buy two boxes, you get a third one for FREE. That’s 6,000 photos, which ought to satisfy the biggest photo packrats. And you have a year to get your photos to them. Or you can do like me and just send them your own box of just 1,000 and see if you like it. I will probably go back later and do another box or two. I really was quite pleased with them and especially pleased that my pictures were safe and sound in Irvine, CA and not floating around the world somewhere. I found that a bit disturbing. And they ship by FedEx, so you have tracking every step of the way.
The scan quality is quite good. Considering that most of these pics were taken with the cheapest Kodak cameras available – remember the old Instamatics with the flash cubes? I was quite pleased with the results. And there are some optional services you can purchase for photo restoration, or scanning them in a particular order, or making sure the pictures are all facing a certain way (took me 5 minutes, to electronically flip the horizontal ones to vertical and to right a few that scanned upside down), or you can purchase on-line storage – not a bad idea if you don’t have a backup drive like mine.
I think you should check it out. Go to ScanMyPhotos.com and tell them I sent you. If you enter the code Twitter at checkout, you will get 10% off and extra white glove service added to your order.
Disclaimer: I received discounted services for my pictures, but I had been planning to have mine scanned for at least a year before I discovered their special and I was so pleased with them, I would have posted for them anyway.
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