Best & most cost efficient way to scan pics for eventual shutterfly book
October 2, 2013 6:48 PM   Subscribe

I want to have photo books of old printed photos. My current plan is to scan in old photos onto my computer. I have a fantastic crisp and fast scanner, though I may need to crop or turn some of the photos. I then want to upload these photos to shutterfly or snapfish or similar to make a photo book. Is this the best and most cost efficient way to do this? As for the "best" part of my question, I would think my scanner would take care of this; with the exception of one of the books I want to make, I'm not picky about the photo quality. But as for the efficiency part, I would think sending out the photos to be scanned would be quite efficient (little work for me!), but do not meet the "cost efficient" part of my question...but perhaps I'm wrong about this and it's not too expensive to send photos out to be scanned?
posted by juliagulia to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
well, it depends on how many photos you have and what is "cost efficient" to you. if you look for deals on groupon and the like you can find some pretty good photo scanning deals at various places (a while back i got a photobin deal....200 for 10$ or something). that was worth it to me in the time/cost analysis. if i was paying full price, it wouldn't have been, and i probably would have just left photos in a box.

so, search around for "photo scanning" and be sure to look at reviews. basically they'll all do an equally good job at scanning things, but turnaround time and pricing will vary, and some might be fly by night scammers.

if you're really cheap and do have a good scanner (with a feeder?) just put on some tv and do a few dozen a night. you'll have to rotate/crop even if you send them out to get scanned, so that shouldn't factor in to your decision.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 7:52 PM on October 2, 2013

If you're not picky about the photo quality for the most part, one of the quickest and easiest ways to get old photos on the computer is to use a digital camera to take pictures OF THE PHOTOS and then just dump those into your computer. Use a portrait setting and don't flash if you can at all avoid it (although watch how your room is lit because you can get reflections off the photos, especially if they're glossy finish). I've done this many times for scrapbooking or Facebook and it's worked just fine for me.
posted by dlugoczaj at 8:18 AM on October 3, 2013

A few years ago I had to scan a couple hundred photos.

I would place several on the scanner and do a big scan of all of them. Then I would select each photo from the big scan and copy+paste it into a new image. Then rotate, etc., and save each photograph as a new file. I repeated this until I hated doing it.

I took the rest to a local photo service that offered this as a service. I have all of the images on CD's and backed up. Getting rid of the headache was worth the cost of having someone else scan them.

Since then, I have returned to using the scanner on a one or two photo basis. I have taken digital photos of printed photos with mixed results. dlugoczaj was correct, be careful of lighting and the color of the light coming from lightbulbs, windows, etc. You may have to adjust the white balance of your camera or compensate later on your computer. I had them sitting flat on the floor with the camera mounted on a tripod.

Have fun!
posted by Leenie at 11:11 AM on October 3, 2013

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