Unless you’re young enough to think that the seemingly never-ending 80s fashion revival is actually cool, then it’s likely that you have a stack of real, printed photos in a box somewhere. And as we all know, printed photos are photos that you can’t post to Instagram, or backup on Dropbox.
What you need is to dig out that shoebox of pictures and send it off to somebody to scan.
Vintage Photo Lab is a UK-based outfit which will pick up your shoebox from your door, scan its contents and then send it back, complete with a DVD of the results. The service is print-only (no negatives) and the default scans are at 300dpi (you can upgrade to 600dpi if you really need to). And the reason I keep mentioning shoeboxes? The service is actually priced that way.
A single box (up to 1,000 photos) will cost £90 ($140), and a half box costs £60. You can also gift a box, which will result in the courier being sent to the door if your giftee to pick up their photos.
The results are pretty great. I got my test set back via Dropbox (currently there is no online option for delivery, but as the prints are sent back to you anyway, a DVD makes sense – just make sure you have a Mac that can read it), as Vintage Photo Lab’s founder Ed is a friend of a friend, and I live in Spain – making deliveries tricky.
The scans, which mostly came from 6×4" prints, are around 2MP each, or ~1760 x 1190 pixels, or around 300KB each. That isn’t enough to print them on big pieces of paper, but it’s easily enough for the iPad or your Facebook page.
Plus, it’s incredibly neat just to have the pictures again. This set was culled from a box that Ed got his hands on via the aforementioned mutual friend, and I hadn’t seen them for years. Now I have them all safe and sound in my various cloud services.
I used to think that there was some romance to the accidental discover of old pictures in boxes at the backs of closets. That may be true, but it also makes those photos a lot easier to lose. Not everyone gets a second chance, so you should think about doing something similar before it’s too late.
- Source Vintage Photo Lab
- Thanks Henrietta!