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How to Prep Your Photos for Digitization

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By Katy Sommerfeld

With Legacybox, sending your photographs to our warehouse for digitization is as easy as one, two, three. We make the process simple with at-home delivery, free shipping, and crush-proof packaging so that you don’t have to worry about the safety of your analog materials during transit. Once your photos arrive at our warehouse, our digitization experts begin assessing your media and transferring print photographs to digital images. Our goal throughout the shipping and digitization processes is to transform our customers’ photographs quickly and effectively so that they can continue making memories with their families instead of spending hours beside their scanners at home, awaiting poor-quality digitizations of their photographs. 


However, there are some things that our customers can do before sending their photos to us to ensure the best digitization results possible. You may not know this, but the quality of a digital copy made from a photograph is based on the quality of that original photograph. Whatever imperfections, tears, scrapes, water stains, dirt, dust, or damage may be present in your photographs, those same imperfections will be present in their digital copies. This ultimately means that when you send your photographs to Legacybox for digitization, there are elements of the digitization process that are out of the control of the digitization technicians. The quality of the digital copies made from your photographs is based on the cleanliness and preservation of those print photographs. 


That being said, you may be wondering what you can do to ensure your photographs are clean and in the best shape possible before getting them digitized. Luckily, there are a few quick and easy steps you can take to get your print photographs prepped and ready for high-quality digitization. 

 

Cleaning your dirty, dusty photographs

Just like the shelves and other surfaces in your home, print photographs collect dust and dirt over time. Photographs stored in basements, attics, or are strewn about are more likely to be exposed to debris over the years, and before you send those photos into Legacybox, it’s a good idea to give those a good wipe-down. You can use a microfiber cloth or a can of compressed air to remove dust and debris from prints easily.

 

Restoring water-damaged photographs

Water or mud damaged photographs are actually more salvageable than you may think! To restore your water-damaged photographs, whether they were subjected to flood waters or a splash of mud, you can soak your photographs in a clean pan filled with distilled water and gently brush away dirt and debris with a clean paintbrush. Submerge the cleaned photos in a separate, clean container with distilled water, then lay the photos flat and face-up to dry. This method is used by many historical societies, including the Smithsonian, when dealing with water-damaged materials.

 

Labeling collections of photographs

At Legacybox, we process photo digitization orders in sets of 25 prints. The best way to help out digitization technicians is to pack your photographs in sets of 25. You can package these sets in something like a clean, sandwich baggie, and label the set with a sharpie if you’d like. This labeling and sorting will make the digitization process much faster and easier for our digitization experts.

 

Packing your Legacybox well

The last tip for prepping your photographs for digitization is understanding how to pack your Legacybox well. Our crush-proof packaging is equipped to protect your photos and other analog media while in transit to our facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee. We offer additional packing materials as well, but it is never harmful to double up on bubble wrap or other packing materials if you choose to do so. Your analog media likely contains some very important memories for you and your loved ones. It is best to take the most caution possible while packing your Legacybox to ensure that your materials stay safe as they travel to our headquarters. 


Following these four tips can help you get the best results out of your digitization experience with Legacybox. Making sure that your photographs are clean, organized, labeled, and securely packed are the best ways to make sure that you receive high-quality digital copies of your media safely returned on your doorstep. If you have any more questions about what you can do to better prepare your photographs or other analog media for digitization with Legacybox, contact our customer service department. Our representatives are happy to help you with whatever concerns you may have and will answer any and all questions you present to them. Thank you for choosing Legacybox for your digitization needs!

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