How to Prepare Your Photos, Slides, and Negatives for Scanning

ScanMyPhotos productsReady to send us your photos, slides, or negatives for scanning? It feels great to get that to-do item off your list, doesn’t it? Before you pack everything up, either in a pre-paid box or a box of your own, it is important to organize your photos, slides, or negatives before placing them in the box. Though our team of professionals will carefully handle your box full of memories, they do not know what order you’d like things scanned – among other things! Here are our top tips on how to prepare your photos, slides, and negatives so they are ready for scanning:

    • Only send us one type of media in a box. If you send us photos to be scanned, do not pack in slides or negatives as well (and vice versa).

  • If you are using a prepaid photo scanning box, photos must be at least 3″x3″ but no larger than 8″x10″ (any size in between is just fine).
  • Photos must be square or rectangular in shape.
  • We cannot scan newspaper clippings, odd shaped photographs, laminated images, or copyrighted photos (unless you send us a copyright release from the photographer).
  • Photos must be able to bend/curl easily, and they cannot be thicker than a modern Polaroid photo.
  • Photos must be removed from albums and envelopes and be free of staples, paper clips, Post-It notes, and glue.
  • As you organize your photos, bundle them together by size and make sure they are right side up and facing in the same direction.
  • If you are sending us slides, you may ship them in carousels, slide boxes, or sleeves; if slides are in metal frames, please remove them.
  • Group loose slides in batches of around 50 slides and secure with rubber bands.
  • If you are sending us negatives, negative strips must be at least 2 negatives long.
  • You may send us negatives in sleeves, but if they are not in sleeves, place them in a standard envelope to prevent damage during shipping. Do not fold them, or they will be unscannable.
  • If you have APS film for scanning, send the film in its self-contained canister. You may also send the canisters in APS-specific film holders; the holders will be returned to you.