3 Best Photo Digitization Services Available

3 Best Photo Digitization Services Available

Our expert picks will help turn your physical media into high-quality digital copies for easier sharing and reprinting.

Digitizing photos is a great way to preserve family memories, share funny moments on social media, or generate new prints to send as gifts to friends and loved ones. However, scanning these photos yourself takes time and resources you may not have, especially if you want to ensure you’re getting the best quality digitization possible while preserving your original images.

That’s where photo digitization services come in. Read on to discover some of the best options to transform physical media into digital files.

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Why use a photo digitization service?

Photo digitization services take the guesswork out of scanning photos of any size, format, or age. For a nominal fee, individuals and families can be sure that their photo collections are accurately preserved in high-quality digital files, ready to be shared online or reprinted. Here are just a few reasons why photo digitization services are worth exploring.

  • No scanner? No problem: While digital scanners are an important element of any home office, not everyone owns one. If you need a small batch of photos scanned immediately and don’t currently have access to a personal scanner, a photo digitization service can help.
  • Save time: Scanning, saving, and organizing stacks of photographs can be a time-consuming process, especially if you’re working with older photos that require a delicate touch or need digital touch-ups. Hand off your collection to a photo digitization service to let them do the hard work and receive the final results via physical pickup or download in a few days.
  • Any size, any format: Many services have specialized scanning equipment that can handle larger photo sizes or awkward formats like slides or negatives.
  • Leave it to the experts: Photo digitization services bring years of experience and have worked with a wide variety of photo types. They’ll know exactly how to get the best possible digital copy of your photos while preserving the quality of your originals.

Did You Know?:All ScanSnap products come with ScanSnap Home, which makes organizing and polishing up your digital photo scans a breeze.

Best photo digitization services

Whether you’re comfortable mailing off your photos to a specialized service, prefer to drop them off somewhere locally or want to go full do-it-yourself(DIY), there are a wealth of options available for digitizing your collection. Here are some of the best options available (in our opinion):

Best mail-in service: EverPresent

If you want a no-fuss service that’s virtually invisible to you, EverPresent has you covered. All you do is fill out a form, pack up a box full of the physical media you’d like to preserve, then ship it off to their Massachusetts office.

Once it’s received, they’ll provide an estimate of the total cost for digital conversion. Costs range from $0.59 per standard photo, slide, or negative to $2.99 per photo album or scrapbook page. Costs include dust removal and cleaning services, though you may incur additional fees for extra-delicate photo processing. Add any additional services, like captions, advanced image retouching, or meta-tagging, then pay the required fee. Once everything’s confirmed, simply sit back and wait to receive your photos in the mail, along with a private download link and physical USB drive or DVD backup.

EverPresent also handles VHS tapes, film reels, and audio cassettes, making them a handy one-stop shop for your physical media conversion needs.

Pros Cons
  • No-fuss solution: Simply ship off your box, pay for the service, and wait to receive your digital copies.
  • Digitizes more than just photos: Get video and audio media digitized, all in the same box.
  • Takes extra time: Unless you can drop off your photos at one of their New England offices, mailing in your photos and getting them back will take additional processing time.
  • Cannot control what happens during shipment: Mailing delicate, one-of-a-kind photos does carry an inherent risk of damage or loss that is largely out of your hands during transit.

Best local service: FedEx Office

If you need results fast — preferably within the same day — you’ll need to find a local business to digitize your photos. While every city will have its boutique scanning services and small businesses worth investigating, FedEx Office (previously Kinkos) is a national chain offering solid scanning options, along with printing and shipping services.

FedEx offers both self-service and guided options, depending on your needs. If you only need to scan a few photos, you can use one of their on-site scanners to digitize or print them. If you have larger batches, you can contact one of their service representatives for assistance. Prices vary from store to store, but many locations offer small and large format scanners that can handle any size image, from wallet photos to blueprints.

Pros Cons
  • Available in virtually every city: No matter where you are in the United States, chances are there’s a FedEx Office nearby.
  • Get results within moments: Walk in, scan smaller batches in minutes, and walk out.
  • DIY or get help: Use one of the on-site scanners and transfer digital images to your email or the cloud, or get assistance on larger projects.
  • Limited scanning options: While FedEx Office can handle small or large photos, they won’t have the specialty equipment to process more delicate or specialized media, like slides or film reels.
  • Pricing varies based on location: There isn’t a fixed national price for scans, so consult your nearby location for complete details.

Best DIY option: Invest in a personal photo scanner

While technically not a digitization service, investing in a personal scanner can save you money in the long run — especially if you find yourself scanning more than a few photos at a time.

Scanners like the ScanSnap iX1400 are built to make scanning photos as easy as pushing a button. Load your photos into the automated document feeder, hit scan, and the ScanSnap iX1400 will do the rest. Many scanners also come bundled with easy-to-use software that will automatically aid you in organizing and capturing photos.

With a personal photo scanner, you’ll have complete control over the final product of your digital scans, with zero hidden fees.

Pros Cons
  • No hidden service fees: If you need to scan more than a few images at once, buying a scanner outright can save you more money.
  • Full control over scanned output: You can set image scan quality, file size and type, and more.
  • Bundled software makes organization easy.
  • Requires time to set up and process scans.
  • More costly for smaller, one-time batches.
  • Hardware limitations make scanning larger photos difficult.

Did You Know?:PCMagazine described the ScanSnap iX1400 as “compact, friendly, and easy behind the scenes.” Click here to read the full review and learn why it earned an “excellent” 4 out of 5 rating.

Our recommendation: ScanSnap iX1400

We know you have no shortage of options when it comes to choosing a home document scanner. We pride ourselves on having spent the last 50+ years designing and developing some of the most beloved electronics in the world, including our line of award-winning, easy-to-use, one-touch ScanSnap scanners.

TheScanSnap iX1400 offers simple, one-touch scanning of your treasured family memories. Digitize 4” x 6” photos in under a second and process up to 50 photos at once with the automated document feeder. Plus, get expertly-designed features like auto-facial orientation and red-eye reduction to ensure your digital photos look better than the original. Click here to learn more and shop the full line of ScanSnap scanners.