PhotoSynthesis | Personal Photo Organizing

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Personal Photo Organizing

If you are like most of us you probably have hundreds (thousands?) of pictures that are sitting in boxes (shoe boxes usually) and drawers collecting dust, possibly fading away. You know you want to do something with them but the job seems overwhelming and you just don’t know where to start. We can help with shoebox scanning! (Also see our Personal Photo Organizing page on how we can help you organize your family memories.)


Shoebox scanning is a term coined by Kodak. We use a professional grade Kodak scanner to turn your hundreds... even thousands..... of photos and pictures (wallet-size up to 8x10) into a digital format. Your photos will be preserved, archived and stored for generations to come! You can carry these photos on your smart phone, you can make archival prints for your family in our store or online (we ship!) to share with your friends and family. With the right setup, you can even watch them in HD on your big flat-screen TV!

We understand how valuable your photos are to you.

We scan your photos in our store. They stay with us until they are returned to you! We will never outsource your memories to other countries.

Why should you digitize your old photos?

1) To archive and preserve your photos and memories for generations to come

2) Emergency preparedness. One disc can hold a lifetime of your family photos. Give a copy to every family member! You can also create a disc for insurance purposes, archiving your belongings.

3) Your child is getting married and would like to have a copy of their memories with you

4) You want to give a meangiful gift to your family members

5) You'd enjoy setting up your TV to show old photos so you can actually enjoy them

6) You'd like to show a slideshow at a wedding or family reunion or other function

7) You'd like to share your photos by email or online (Facebook!)

Shoebox scanning is perfect for you if you need your photos digitized for any purpose as outlined above. We'll scan each file at 300dpi so you can print a same-size print of your original photo in the future. 300dpi is perfectly sufficient for this purpose. And if you're unsure, do a test! We'll scan one file for $1.29 and give you an identical size print for comparison so you can see the quality of our scanning. Once you're ready to go ahead, shoebox scanning (500 photos or more) is just $0.30 each!

We do offer 600 dpi resolution for double cost, and a 1200 dpi for 3x cost. These files will produce digital files large enough to print 11"x14" - 24"x36" prints!

We can also scan for you in a combination of resolutions. Say you'd like most at 300dpi for future same-size prints, but you'd like a handful at 1200 dpi so you can make posters for an upcoming family reunion. Just keep everything labeled for us and we'll scan them as you'd like!

We can scan any photo at our low shoebox-scanning price if it:

has square corners (photo isn't trimmed or cut to an oval/circle)there is no tape or staples or anything sticky on the photothe photos are not damaged (they are in decent shape)your photos are 8x12 or smallerisn't too thick, like a Polaroid or old thick B&W photo paperyour photo is smaller than 2 x 3 or doesn't have square corners (it's oval or trimmed)

In these instances, we'll do our normal flatbed scanning. Photos 8x12 and smaller are $1 each, and larger photos are $15+ depending on the size. Is there a photo we *cannot* scan? PhotoSynthesis respects copyrights. If you have any copyrighted photos, you must have permission from the photographer or be the owner of the photos. Please ask us about copyrighted material.

The PhotoSynthesis shoebox scanning program is designed to save you time, money and effort while providing you with high quality digital scans of all those neglected pictures. It’s as easy as 1,2,3! And remember, because your pictures never leave our store you can feel confident that your irreplaceable pictures are safe. And of course you get your originals back when your order is complete.

Sort your pictures by size and separate verticals and horizontals. Each group of pictures should be bundled together with a rubber band or placed into an envelope so that each group is same size and same direction (vertical or horizontal). Make sure the prints have no glue, staples, or tape on them and that they are not damaged (torn, cut to odd sizes, cracked, etc.) Bring them in and we do the rest!

Remember: prints must be no smaller then wallet size (2”x3”) and no larger than 8x12. All photos must be removed from albums. Shoebox scans cannot be done from photos that are mounted, old Polaroids (they don’t bend), photos that are sticky, torn, cracked or damaged in any way. These types of photos can be added to your order at an additional $1/photo & will be scanned on our flatbed scanner.

Your photos will be scanned randomly. If you'd like your photos in a specific order you can number each photo on the back in the upper corner and we will put them on the CD/DVD this way. There is an additional $0.08/photo cost for this service. If you'd like index prints, they are $1/ea (index prints show about 35 thumbnail-sized images on a 4x6 print).

Note: Unless scanned at 600 DPI or higher, originals smaller than 3.5x5 inches will not produce true photo quality 4x6 inch prints.

Notice: By submitting your photos to PhotoSynthesis, you understand we will be careful to get your photos back to you in the exact condition they were received. However, you agree that the value of the photos is no more than the cost of scanning the same quantity of photographs, and that except for such agreed value, PhotoSynthesis will not be liable for any other loss or damage, direct, consequential or incidental to your use of our scanning services.

317 Main Sreet

Ames, Iowa 50010

Tel: (515) 232-8050

Fax: 515-232-8054

Mon-Fri: 9:30am to 5:30pm

Saturday: 10:00am to 4:00pm

Sunday: Closed

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