Packaging, Sorting, Grouping and Labeling Instructions
You can just put everything in a box, including the order invoice and mail it to us, but to help keep your printed photographs, negatives, slides and other items safe and free from damage during shipping and/or you want to group and label your items, we recommend the following:
Use a sturdy NEW shipping box! Even for the negatives. Your photographic materials are precious and deserve the best protection for shipment. Please DO NOT use a flimsy box, a box not intended for shipping (no shoe boxes) or any type of envelope.
- DO NOT write on the back of your photos with ink, magic marker, or crayon. It could transfer to the front of the photo it's stacked with.
- Please remove all tape, glue, staples and etc. from the photos. We will not scan any photographs or other items that are sticky.
- For best results, clean your photos. Most photos are probably fine the way they are, but if you have photos that appear unusually dusty or dirty, please very carefully clean them the best you can. This will result in a better scanned digital photo image. For cleaning recommendations, search online. Be very careful not to damage your photo while trying to clean them.
- Do not fold any negatives. Folding negatives can permanently damage them.
- Please estimate the total number of printed photos, negative film frames, slides and other items you are sending us for your reference. This way you will have a good idea what our services will cost. For printed photos (prints) you can either count or measure them. A good approximation is a stack of 100 normal photo prints will measure about 1 inch. You can enter quantities into your shopping cart to get an estimate of cost (except return S&H).
- If you chose to apply Digital ICE to your slides and you have Kodachrome and unlabeled Kodachrome slides mixed together with others, the Kodachrome slides need to be sorted and grouped together. Learn how to identify unlabeled Kodachrome slides HERE.
- Do you want to skip the rest of sorting, grouping and labeling? If not, go to #9. If yes, follow these instructions then skip #9. Select one resolution (PPI) for each type of item (photo prints, 35mm negatives, regular slides, Kodachrome slides, etc.) and either all with or all without the TIF files included. What is PPI? What are TIF files? We can do the same for each type of item you send us if you do the following:
- We will name the digital file folders (groups) for you. The folders can easily be renamed later on your computer.
- If you add "Include TIF File Format" to your order, you will receive a TIF file for each item scanned. If you don't add it, you won't receive any.
- For ALL printed photos (prints), select only one resolution (PPI) and add it to your order.
For ALL 35mm negatives, select only one resolution (PPI) and add it to your order.
For ALL regular slides, select only one resolution (PPI) and add it to your order.
For ALL Kodachrome and unlabeled Kodachrome slides, select only one resolution (PPI) and add it to your order. Learn how to identify unlabeled Kodachrome slides HERE.
For ALL 120/220 negatives, select only one resolution (PPI) and add it to your order.
For ALL 4x5 negatives, select only one resolution (PPI) and add it to your order.
- Sort and group. Different types of items (prints, negatives, slides) cannot be grouped together. Different scanning resolutions (PPI) cannot be grouped together. What is PPI? Items that you want with or without TIF files included cannot be grouped together. What is TIF? If you want Digital ICE, Kodachrome slides, unlabeled Kodachrome slides and other slides cannot be grouped together. Learn how to identify unlabeled Kodachrome slides HERE.
- Please put at least 80 photos in each group.
- All printed photos (prints), all 35mm negatives, all regular slides, all Kodachrome slides, all 120/220 negatives and all 4x5 negatives need to be in their own groups.
- If you do not add "Include TIF File Format" to your order, then you will not receive any TIF files. If you add "Include TIF File Format" to your order, please let us know if you want TIF files for everything or only for certain groups.
- Each combination of item type, scanning resolution (PPI) and with or without TIF digital files needs to be in its own group.
- If the type item is the same, the PPI is the same and whether you want TIF files is the same, then they can be grouped together and labeled with the name you want the digital file folder to have. Please the keep the group (folder) name below 20 characters. Below are some examples of grouping:
- Group together and label all prints that you want scanned at 300ppi without TIF files included.
- Group together and label all prints that you want scanned at 600ppi with TIF files included.
- Group together and label all 35mm negatives that you want scanned at 1200ppi without TIF files included.
- Group together and label all 35mm negatives that you want scanned at 4800ppi with TIF files included.
Group together and label all slides that you want scanned at 2400ppi without TIF files included.
Group together and label all slides that you want scanned at 4800ppi with TIF files included.
- You can arrange the photos into a specific order. We will try to scan them in order, but there will probably be some out of order (they will be in the same group though). Please keep in mind, that once the photo files are on your computer, they can easily be rearranged into any order you prefer.
Sample photo scans. If you chose to have 150ppi resolution sample scanned photos emailed to you, please group and label 20 printed photos (no larger than 5x7), negatives or slides. Please put them in a zipper plastic bag and place the bag in the box on top of the rest of the photos. Please label it well and make it easily noticeable when we open the box. After you see the photos and give us your approval, we will continue scanning the rest of your order.
- Each photo album and slide carousel will be its own group. Please clearly label the items in the album that you want scanned in addition to the labeling in the next paragraph.
- Label all groups (if everything is the same for each type of item and you don't want to name the folders, you can skip this step). Using a pencil (or something that will not transfer to your photos) and some paper, please clearly label all groups with the resolution (PPI), "Include TIF" or "No TIF" and the name you want the digital file folder to have. Please the keep the group (folder) name below 20 characters.
- Label the starting point of the group (if you have groups). Please label the first photo, negative or slide of a group that you want us to scan. We will start with that one and continue through the group.
- Number the mini-groups in the groups (if the scanning order doesn't matter to you, you can skip this step). If you have bundles, bags or boxes of items in a group, using a label, number them in the order you want them scanned.
Package the groups (if you have groups). You can put the groups individually, with its label, in zipper plastic bags (recommended), in envelopes or use rubber bands (as long as they don't damage the photos). Do not use rubber bands for negatives. If using rubber bands, using 2 may work best; one north-south and the other east-west. If everything is the same for each type of item and you
- If the photos are not already in sealed zipper plastic bags, use an airtight plastic bag (not a plastic grocery bag, they usually leak) to line the inside of the new sturdy box. The right size trash bag should work well. This helps protect your photographic materials from moisture and condensation during shipping.
- Using newspaper, bubble wrap or any materials that do not give off debris, add cushioning all around the inside of the shipping box (inside the plastic bag).
IMPORTANT: Please DO NOT use packing materials that generate dust or debris that can get on your prints, negatives and slides. Most packing peanuts give off debris. Some padded envelopes use crushed newspaper and when they tear, the dust gets on everything. Also please avoid anything with static.
- If you are including a photo album, it's a good idea to wrap it in newspaper, tissue paper or something to protect the cover.
- Place the photos on the cushioning, which are in the bag, which is in the box. Secure the photos with packing material. It's important to keep them from bouncing, shifting and sliding around it the box; which can cause damage to the photos.
IMPORTANT: Treat your photos gently. DO NOT overcrowd or overstuff the box which could cause bending of photos or photos and negatives sticking together. When we receive the box, if there appears to be any damage, we will contact you immediately before scanning anything.
- Please don't "hide" your photos in the shipping box with packing materials that look similar. If something isn't obvious, please make it obvious. Example: If you sandwich a photo in cardboard, please label it well so it's not easily overlooked.
- Close the bag and twist tie it shut.
- Before you close the box, place on top of the photos, either a printed copy of your order invoice or a piece of paper with all of your contact information and the order number on it.
- Using proper packing tape, securely tape the box. Do not use masking tape or invisible tape (Scotch tape). Please do your best to ensure the box will not open during shipping.
- We recommend adding a signature confirmation service. This way the carrier should pay closer attention to the package and you will have proof that we received it.