I’m an archivist at heart – as is painfully obvious from this blog – so it’s not surprising that for years I’ve wondered how best to digitise our family photos. Both my parents took photos as we grew up. The best ones made their way into big, clunky photo albums where each page is covered in scanner-unfriendly cellophane. But luckily, my mum’s inner archivist nerd also led her to stash away all the original negatives in a big box at the back of a cupboard. On top of that, I have a bunch of photos from my own camera (I was documenting things early – my first camera was in the shape of a clown) which were sitting precariously on a shelf alongside Junior Monopoly and Frustration.
I knew I had neither the time or the expertise to tackle this myself, so went in hunt of something online. I ended up going with Scan Van largely because of Alan’s collect and return service. Sending all our family negatives off in the post left me a little queasy, so having someone turn up to take the lot in person was a big win. The whole process took a couple of months (although I made it clear I wasn’t in a rush) for a total of around 4400 photos, the vast majority from film negatives.
It’s not a cheap undertaking, although the price (less than £1500) was absolutely worth it for the results. I’m so happy! Everything is now digitised, correctly-rotated and colour-restored. Apparently the total cost for the average family is lower anyway, as negatives are much more expensive and time-consuming, as well as being susceptible to dust and scratches. (I have to say, as soon as you start looking through them you stop noticing that… we’re going for family memories here, not Ultra HD.)
So, bottom line: if you’re thinking of doing this and want someone recommended, Scan Van is an excellent choice if you’re within its range 😀
Simon T Abernethy, Rishal Hathlia, Natasha Self liked this post.
I’m working on this as well. especially the old black and whites. Just have to have the funds
BABY JAPANESE DOMMY
Thanks a million Dominic. I am glad you are pleased with the results. It really is a pleasure to bring old memories back to life and to preserve them forever. Most London households pay about £500 to convert their photos (plus a few slides and camcorder tapes thrown into the mix). Yours was unusually pricey due to the high proportion of negatives, as you have kindly pointed out. All the best. Alan Green. Scan Van UK.
what my bro did w my dad’s 15K slides was have a student in Prague scan them helter-skelter over a 6 mo period in a spare room in his flat in Prague… that resulted in lo res untagged totally randomised photos #gigo PS: managed to extract a 150 slide sampler I put on my flickr! page… but that’s so medieval