About Mitch Goldstone

Mitch Goldstone is president & CEO of ScanMyPhotos.com, the ecommerce photo digitization service, founded in 1990

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Here are my most recent posts

Why We All Need to Observe Fire Prevention Week

fire prevention2020 has seen more than its fair share of natural disasters—floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and several unprecedented wildfires.  While all of these occurrences could spell disaster for your home and precious memories, we wanted to take this time to get a jump on Fire Prevention Week, which occurs in the second week of October.


[UPDATE: Expert advice on ways to get you back on your feet by alleviating the stress that comes after a house fire. This article provides a list of actionable steps for you and your insurance company to mend the damage together. “Was Your Home Damaged by Fire? Here’s What to Do Next,” reported by Karon Warren for Reviewed.com.


Fire prevention is essential when it comes to keeping your home, valuables, and family safe. And even if you live in an area not affected by wildfires, you’ll still want to prepare. But before we dive into the prevention tips, let’s take a look at the facts first.


Safety.com has created the ultimate list of fire prevention tips, thanks to safety experts from the National Fire Protection Association, the Institue for Childhood Preparedness and more.


Fire prevention statistics

 

According to the U.S. Fire Administration:

 

  • The U.S. suffered a reported 11.6 billion dollar loss from fires and fire damage.  (This doesn’t even cover the emotional loss of irreplaceable or sentimental items)
  • The areas where most fires occurred were outside (41%) and residential (30%), whereas nonresidential, vehicle, and other areas made up less than half when combined.

 

  • The leading cause of residential fires:
    • 51% Cooking
    • 8% Heating
    • 4% Electrical malfunction
    • 4% Unintentional, careless

 

Quick tips on preventing residential fires

 

  • Install smoke detectors throughout your home—especially in the areas in which you sleep. If you already have smoke detectors installed, schedule a test every month to ensure they are working properly.

 

  • Since electrical malfunctions make up 6.8% of residential fires, it’s a good idea to have your electrical system inspected by a qualified expert electrician.

 

  • Keep a fire extinguisher in your home and make sure it is easily accessible.

 

  • Know how to put out a grease fire. This article from Kitchen offers an excellent step-by-step breakdown on what to do.

 

  • Map out an evacuation plan with your family.

 

  • Protect your valuables in a fire-safe container or lockbox. When it comes to photos, we also recommend you scan and digitize the originals. This will ensure the images will never truly be gone.

 

  • Clear away clutter. Should a fire break out, stacks of old paper and boxes of forgotten items only serve to act as kindling. Make sure you are periodically going through your things and clearing away anything you no longer need.

EXCERPT FROM NFPA: National FIRE PREVENTION WEEK:


This year’s FPW campaign, “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!” works to educate everyone about the small but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.


Did you know?
In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Escape planning and practice can help you make the most of the time you have,giving everyone enough time to get out.


Plan ahead for your escape. Make your home escape plan and practice today.


For more fire prevention, preparedness and safety tips, please visit the American Red Cross and FEMA’s Ready.gov.


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Sibling Rivalry Complicates Inheritance: Why Digitizing Family Print Photos Must Be Outsourced

digitizing family print photosThe passing of parents and/or the inheritance of an estate can be a difficult and complicated time for family members. Issues can arise over the remaining unclaimed stuff—antique furniture, old clothes, and, of course, the boxes of family photos. Oftentimes one sibling is burdened or guilted into finding a way to store and keep the lost loved one’s things. And it’s a burden that’s difficult to bear.

This was the issue facing College Confidential user, Montegut, who posted a recent thread asking the community for advice on how to deal with her siblings after her parents’ passing. Apparently, after the death of her mother, Montegut was asked to hold onto her mother’s furniture, belongings, and print photos until her siblings could come and get them. Since she didn’t have room for these items in her home, she was using money out of her own pocket to rent a storage space. However, her siblings haven’t picked up or claimed any of the stuff for years and are now asking Montegut to be responsible for digitizing family print photos.

 

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10 Tips From the Neat Freak on How to Organize and Store Your Print and Digital Photos

“Attics are notoriously bad places to store things.” – Perri Kersh, Neat Freak

 

10 Tips From the Neat Freak on How to Organize and Store Your Print and Digital PhotosWant the inside scoop from a professional organizer on the best way to store your print and digital photos? We caught up with ScanMyPhotos customer Perri Kersh, who has been helping people organize their lives through her company, Neat Freak, since 2005 (you can find Perri on Twitter – she shares lots of great tips every day!).

 

Before you run-up to the attic to haul out your grandmother’s photo albums, read through Perri’s tips so you know the best place to store them:

 

1. Break the photo-organization task into small, manageable chunks

 

I work with a lot of clients who have inherited boxes of old photos from parents and grandparents. I recommend that people break the task of organizing them down into manageable chunks. Unless you are retired, you don’t have 8 hours a day to organize photos!

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ScanMyPhotos.com Relocates to New Corporate Headquarters in Irvine, CA

Dear Friends,


An exciting announcement!




ScanMyPhotos corpoate headquarters in Irvine 300x138 - ScanMyPhotos.com Relocates to New Corporate Headquarters in Irvine, CAAfter 29-years of constantly reinventing the photo imaging industry. Most recently with one cent photo scanning, instant uploading, and same-day scanning, the next adventure is a new corporate headquarters. But, it is not much of a move as we are on the same campus, just another building. We switched from 3 to 7 Corporate Park in Irvine, CA.

You are the reason for our phenomenal success!


Grateful to you from Mitch Goldstone, Carl Berman, and the entire ScanMyPhotos.com family


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Bring Your Vintage Photos to Life with Vivid-Pix Restore

We’re always on the hunt for awesome photo technology—whether it’s the latest iPhone app or Instagram feature. This week, we had the chance to review Vivid-Pix’s RESTORE software and were amazed at how this easy-to-use program can bring your vintage photos to life.


Who is Vivid-Pix?


The idea for Vivid-Pix started five years ago after the founders came back from a vacation and were dissatisfied with the pictures captured during a scuba diving trip. Every photo looked dull in shades of gray and blue—nothing like the vibrant underwater adventure that was witnessed firsthand. To help bring these photos—and eventually others like them—to life, Vivid-Pix was born.


4.5x4.5 Ad RGB 300dpi 300x300 - Bring Your Vintage Photos to Life with Vivid-Pix Restore

There are three products the company offers:



While all three products have their merits, RESTORE is the one that enhances old photos so this review is centered on that particular software.


To test the product, I decided to use my recently scanned family photos as a guinea pig.


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Picturing Major Life Events – Part 6: Managing Memories through Separation or Divorce

divorceLife is hard to plan for. Seasons change, things happen, and time wears on. But when a major life event occurs, you need to make sure you’re able to see the big picture.


This is why we’re creating a series of posts on the tips and tricks to help manage major life events. These events range from something as simple as spring cleaning (and how it can affect your entire life) to as complicated as divorce or separation. And, of course, we’ll help you determine what to do with those old print photos at every step of the way.


Part 1: Spring Cleaning Tips and Tricks
Part 2: Moving and Packing Tips and Tricks
Part 3: Getting Married and Combining Families 
Part 4: Starting and Growing a Family
Part 5: Ancestry Research and Genealogy


Part 6: Managing Memories through Separation or Divorce


In a recent poll, we asked our customers what was the #1 reason for having their photos scanned and digitized. As it turns out, the need to evenly divide memories due to a separation or divorce was the major motivating factor.


For us here at ScanMyPhotos, we often get questions regarding managing memories during a separation or divorce. We do our best to provide professional and helpful customer service for anyone who is going through tough times—and we stick to our policies during the most delicate of situations. However, in order to make the process a much smoother experience for everyone involved, we pulled together the following tips.


Remember that everyone can receive (and replicate) digital copies


It is far easier to split photos down the middle than it is to divide up any other physical assets. The reason being is that you can easily scan, digitize, and even reprint the photos you’ve accumulated together throughout the years. This way, no one has to walk away with only half of the memories—both parties can have digital access to the photos and keep them for years to come.  Continue reading

Give a Mother’s Day Gift that’s Truly Touching

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching. If you’ve been searching for the perfect gift, you can find inspiration from AARP The Magazine’s Gift Guide. ScanMyPhotos.com is on this list (read by 37 million subscribers) and among the latest tech gadgets to “convert old photos to digital files.”  Now, ScanMyPhotos Egift certificates are also easily ordered online to give to all the mom’s in your life.  It’s an easy way to help mom preserve precious memories and a lifetime of love.


Flowers have always been a great accompaniment to Mother’s Day gifts. 

800px-MothersDayFlowers

Mother’s Day Flower Sale, Carrick neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA along Brownsville Rd. ca 1993


Photography Tip


The best way to photograph flat artwork is to use natural light. If possible, bring the piece outside and find an open but slightly shady area. The shade helps protects the artwork from sun damage or curling. Read more…


Artwork Idea


mom2 300x200 - Give a Mother's Day Gift that’s Truly TouchingHave a picture that lights up mom’s life? Your scanned photos can be used to make a glowingly beautiful candle votive that will light up with fond memories.  Learn more…


 

“Very quick service. Easy instructions to follow as far as sending the photos in. Received notification of receiving my photos, then when being processed, then when shipped out with tracking. Great job.”  Read more…

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How do you remove a photo stuck to glass? Here are some ideas.

 

Have you ever had a photograph in a frame for so long that it has become stuck to the glass> How to figure out how to remove the glass?


photostucktoglass1 300x200 - How do you remove a photo stuck to glass? Here are some ideas.I recently ran into this problem after my family had some new family portraits done. My wife decided it was time to update some of the picture frames around the house and found one photo, despite being only in the frame for a year, had become stuck to the glass.



I’ve collected the three most common DIY tips from around the web that I found while I searched for my own solution to this problem. Just like most everything in life, everyone has an opinion and what worked for me, may not work for you and only do what you are comfortable doing with your photos. These may or may not work for you so proceed with caution.


We have loads of other helpful photography tips here


BEFORE YOU START, MAKE A COPY

First and foremost, before you do ANYTHING, make a digital backup of the image. If something goes wrong while you are trying to peel the photo off, the picture could be ruined. You will either need to locate the negative to make a new one or, even worse, if there is no negative, the picture will be lost forever.


There are two methods to create a digital backup. The first is to use a flatbed scanner and scan the image with a high resolution (at minimum 600dpi). While this is the easier of the two options, depending on the scanner, it may not scan as sharp since the photo is not directly on the scanner glass, instead, it has a second piece of glass between the scanner and the photo. This results in the photo not being on the exact focal point for the scanner and can lead to a soft image instead of a nice crisp image.

 


image1 300x143 - “A New Leaf”, TV Series by Ancestry® to debut on NBC this FallBefore reading this report. An update. ScanMyPhotos.com professionally digitizes all your photos this fast.


While we have scanned six hundred million images, it is news stories like these that made us so popular, but no order is more precious or important than yours. We are here to help. For loads of photo tips, news updates, and crazy-discounted deals, sign up to receive free updates.



[Update 2-24-20] From Anne Wilbur at Family Tree Magazine: “3 Tips for Saving Photos Stuck to Glass.” 

Scan the photo
Hire a photographic conservator
Follow best archival practices with the newly-restored photo


IMG 8694 300x201 - How do you remove a photo stuck to glass? Here are some ideas.

The second method is to use an SLR camera to take a picture of the image. This is a bit more difficult since it is nearly impossible to take a photo exactly perpendicular to the picture so the slight angle will create a small bit of distortion. If you have Photoshop, this is an easy fix, however. The second challenge is making sure there is nothing reflecting off the glass while maintaining enough light to get a good picture. I did this outside, in the afternoon with the sun to my left. With me looking straight down, the sun reflected at an angle onto the glass with an exit reflection to the side. This is definitely more work to use this method, but if you have thick glass, the camera can focus on the print instead of the glass, unlike the scanner.





 

IMG 9652 300x187 - How do you remove a photo stuck to glass? Here are some ideas.

 
IMG 8694 300x201 - Extreme Genes Profiles ScanMyPhotos
 
 

 

 

 

 

Avoid light exposure

Of course, there is a third option. Take the photo to your local scanning company and have them scan the photo for you. We have seen this in the past and had success in creating a suitable digital backup of the photo before the customer tries to remove the photo. You may not be local to ScanMyPhotos but we are international and digitize as much as 300,000 photos each day.



waterdamage 300x199 - How do you remove a photo stuck to glass? Here are some ideas.Lastly, before you start trying to remove the photo from the glass, review the digital file and make sure that it is to your liking. Don’t assume that it came out or rely on looking at the thumbnail image. Zoom in 100% and review the entire image to look for flaws or issues such as reflections and clarity of the image.


wikiHow to Remove Glue from Photos


REMOVING THE PRINT FROM THE GLASS

There are a number of suggestions out there but I will first dive into what worked for us.
HEAT – Using the low heat setting, take a hairdryer and blow warm air about 4-5 inches away from the back of the print. This heats up the area between the photo and glass and loosened the hold on the photo. We were able to pull back a small corner and then slowly continue the process until the whole photo was removed unharmed but a little curled (nothing putting it under a heavy book for a while won’t cure).


rain 300x204 - How do you remove a photo stuck to glass? Here are some ideas.These are unconfirmed methods but are the two other main methods I found online for removing that photo stuck to the glass.


WATER – Soak the photo and glass in water, preferably warm water for a color photo. Mike, a Senior Member of the RetouchPro.com forum writes,


“Done a bunch of this! I have found that just plain water is a good place to start with any photograph that says 1930 or newer. Depending on what the customer says and what I see, we usually make a copy of the photo before we start the process, just in case we run into something bad. Soaking in plain water will work pretty well if the print has not been on the glass for a long time. Sometimes we get photos in where they have been on the glass for what appears to be decades or something and those can be a real problem. For those, I add PhotoFlo to the water. Photoflo is a thick liquid you add to the final rinse when developing film. It breaks the water’s surface tension on the film and seems to help the water penetrate into the paper emulsion that is stuck to the glass. One would not want to use a hairdryer on one of these. It seems that getting a print wet, then having it stick to the glass, and then dry is about the worst thing that can happen. These are much easier to do if the prints are still damp when you get them. Very often I let the print soak for hours and sometimes days. However, you really have to watch them so they just don’t dissolve on you (remember the copy made before you started?)”


COLD – Freeze the photo and glass. Take photos and glass out of the frame and wrap in some newspaper to protect it from damage. Place it in the freezer for an hour, wearing rubber gloves to protect hands in event glass breaks, remove photo and glass from the freezer, and open the paper, gently pull up on the corner of the photo, it should come away from the glass. If it still doesn’t, use a credit card and insert card between glass and photo and pry, gently, very gently, to separate the two. Moisture got between glass and photo that’s why they are stuck together so freezing it makes is no longer sticky.


One thing to note is that every situation is different and what works for one person on one photo may not work for another. Personally, I would be comfortable using the hairdryer or the freezer method for amateurs and leave the wet process for the professionals that have experience in a dark room.


PREVENT FUTURE OCCURRENCES


One last tip to prevent future occurrences, make sure valued photographs are placed in frames with an archival quality photo-safe mat. This adds necessary space between the glass and the object, and a buffer for humidity, which caused it to stick to the glass in the first place. This article from the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works is a great reference on how frame documents and other works of art.


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