Keep your old photos safe with the Photolab’s Photo Scanning Box
Much like my estranged Uncle Larry, printed photographs do not age well. Unlike Uncle Larry, the cause is not poor life choices; it’s mostly due to environmental factors like light, heat and humidity. Photos printed between 1936-1990 are especially at risk of fading due to the processing technology used during those years. If you have photos from this era, you probably have a great many of them stored in old shoeboxes and musty photo albums—which, although it is very common practice, is pretty darn risky if you think about it. After all, in and amongst all those regrettable shots of you with a perm and bell bottoms or sporting a mullet while decked out in the finest Miami Vice pastel linen suit, there are probably some of the most cherished—and un-replaceable—memories of your life and your family history.
Even worse than gradual degradation over time, if you leave them in a box or a stack of photo albums, they are also vulnerable to fire, floods and other disasters we tend not to think about until they happen to us. People who have lived through such catastrophes almost always count their photos as the item of property they most wish they could have back.
As I proclaim repeatedly on this blog, no one loves photos and photography more than the good people at the London Drugs Photolab. So leave it to these stewards of the craft to offer the most foolproof solution to photo degradation: the Photo Scanning Box. It’s been the subject of a previous and more detailed blog post, but here is a quick and easy recap of the process:
- Pick up a free photo scanning box from your local Photolab. Take it home and fill it with up to 800 photos.
- Bring the full box back to the Photolab, where your photos will be scanned using professional grade high-resolution digital scanners by professional grade Photolab technicians who know how to optimize the process for the best quality possible.
- When all your scans are finished, your images will be saved on a USB drive for you to take home along with your box of photo originals.
You can then save your digital images to a hard drive and/or the cloud, i.e. your online photo album(s). Actually, it makes the most sense to do both—the more places you save your files, the more likely it is they will remain safe for all eternity.
Also, once they’ve been saved digitally, you can then do really cool things like create a beautiful photobook of your childhood photos or family history. Or make use them to make unique gift items. Imagine the look on your granddad’s face when you give him a beer stein with a photo of him in his Naval uniform.
Scanning your photos digitally both protects them forever and gives them a brand-new life. And at just $179.99 for the entire service, it’s a reasonable investment considering that a lifetime’s worth of memories are priceless (but if you want to leave those perm and mullet photos out of the box, that may be for the best ;-)).
For more details, visit your local Photolab.