OK, what to do with the thousands of snapshots sitting in shoe boxes stacked in the top of the closet? It’s a problem that’s bedeviled photographers, amateur shutterbugs and pros alike, since before the dawn of the digital age.
This was such a simple solution to a classic dilemma — picture hoarding. Most of the firm’s business is done via the Internet, with a simple fill-it-up box that you mail in. Toss everything in the prepaid box, drop it off at the post office, and a few days later a DVD appears along with your photos. It’s that easy.
“The average household has 5,000 photographs,” said Mitch Goldstone president of ScanMyPhotos. “We are talking about so many photos, spanning generations, that need to be digitized so you can share them, as well as safely preserve the memories on your computer.”
The mail-in option, the most popular service, provides the prepaid boxes that hold approximately 2,000 photos, for a total cost of $149.95, including shipping, scanning and handing.
For those of you with thousands of photographs, ScanMyPhotos.com also offers an online promotion: If you order two boxes, you get a third one free.
Goldstone started his business in 1990 as a straight-forward photo processing facility, back in the good old days of 35-millimeter film.
Here’s an interesting tidbit: The firm’s largest order was about 24,000 photos from one family, who brought in two bulging suitcases full of photos, dropped them off, went to Disneyland and returned later that afternoon. All 24,000 photographs were waiting for them. According to Goldstone, the whole job cost less than their trip to D-land.
Using Kodak equipment, ScanMyPhotos can scan about 1,000 photos in 10 minutes. Even I, the technogeek, was impressed. In 10 minutes I could scan about 10 photos on my home scanner.
It’s important to remember that you’re probably scanning 4-by-6-inch or smaller faded photographs, so they may not match the quality of your new prosumer DSLR camera with 18 eye-popping megapixels. Still, the quality of my old photographs on the computer was first-rate.
A reminder: Once your photos are scanned, this is a great time to implement a backup strategy for all your photos that are on your computer. It’s never too late, or too soon, to
If you do have your photos scanned, make sure you get multiple copies of the DVD — and put them all over. It’s a simple way to safely store multiple copies of your precious memories. I’ll have a lot more to say on digital storage, another vexing issue, in future columns.
In the meantime, for more information, check out http://www.scanmyphotos.com. Now get your camera and make some memories!
Photos (from top) : Four photos of the process of having your photographs scanned including: a bin of snapshots, scanning on the computer screen, a DVD maker and a box sealed and ready for the post office; a closeup of photos ready to be scanned; Mitch Goldstone, president of ScanMyPhotos; pictures ready to be scanned and the finished DVD. Credit: Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times