Even though your old photos and videos were collecting dust in a dark corner, they're an attestation to the life lived by you and your parents. They should not be treated with anything less than reverence, and the photo scanning service you choose should mirror the same sentiments. So while you have finally decided to digitize your media, the same consideration should be given when choosing a service so that you can relish in the results achieved. Some of the questions you should ask your scanning service before engaging them include:
1. How much should I invest?Digitizing your collection is an investment, one that will last for several generations. Your decision about choosing a service may be dependent upon how much you are willing to invest. A fast and easy way to figure this out is to estimate the size of your collection and find out the price per scan. This will give you a rough estimate of the cost.
2. What formats are suitable?What format will the converted files be delivered in? Scanned files can be saved as JPEG and TIFF, which are the standard formats used for commercial conversions. Both formats are long-lasting, great for viewing, sharing, or emailing. TIFF files are larger in size, so you can choose according to the type of storage you have.
3. Scanning resolutionWhat will be the resolution of your scanned files? The photograph scanning service may offer different options for resolution, so think about what you plan to do with the digitized materials. The resolutions can range from 300dpi to 3000dpi, depending on the material been scanned. The resolution really matters for sharing and printing. If you want to save them for the long term, then the highest resolution maybe your best bet.
4. Which storage options are available?Once your collection is digitized, how does the service deliver your data? Do they offer options between CDs or DVDs, flash drives, or copies on the cloud? Do they provide copies of multiple storage media? Many services provide online access for photos, which allows you to download and share them, but keeping the only prints on such sites is not the best idea.
5. What methods are used for handling the originals?
If your originals are handled carelessly, then they could be permanently damaged. How does the service care for and manage your materials? Sending files to a negative scanning service via mail should also be acknowledged by email or other means of communication. Most of the time, talking to Scan South before mailing can prove most beneficial.
Digitizing your personal collection into digital media is a transitional step in managing your digital archive. These files hold the memories of many by-gone times, and storing them to last forever is a decision that should be taken after thorough thought. Your careful choice could provide future generations with a priceless treasure comparable to none other. So enjoy a walk down memory lane along with your loved ones no matter where you are!