How much prep work should I do to organise my photos before you take them away to copy?

We don’t set hard and fast pre-conditions but there are ways that you can help the process which will give a better outcome for you.

  • Write in soft pencil on the reverse of prints any detail you may want in the book. e.g. who is it of – where taken – what is the occasion?
  • Any packets of photos should have a date range or at least a year marked on them. This will help to organise them into a correct sequence.
  • Discard photos that have no value due to poor image or lack of information. There is no need to worry too much about the composition of the photo as we can select the area to be printed.
  • Having a list of events or themes you want included would be very helpful. List the holidays and events that are represented with approximate years or dates. But not everything needs to be chronological. If there is a special interest or friendship represented over a number of years, that could be worthy of its own section.

In some circumstances, we could refuse to take on a project – for example if it was a large collection with no order to it.

Do you copy all my photos or just the ones for the photobook(s)?

This will be your decision. It is a question of finding the right balance for you regarding cost (of scanning) against benefit (size of digitised collection).

So, for example, digitising everything needs minimal preparation but is the most costly as you may be including photos that have no real value for various reasons.

But too much pre-selection will leave us with few options regarding the photobook. Ideally we would like the opportunity to tell your stories by selecting from all of the acceptable photos.

I only have digital photos – is this the right service for me?

Although we promote the digitisation part of the service, it is not a pre-requisite for photo book design. We can use digital photos only or we can integrate digital photos with digitised images of prints in the same photo book.

Can I include prints that are already in photo albums?

If the photos are easily removed from and replaced in the photo album, then we will include that in the scanning exercise. Information included in the photo album can also be reproduced in the photo books, which is a benefit.

If the photos are stuck in and cannot be removed without risking damage, we will leave them in situ. We can still scan the prints while still in the album in most cases.

Can I share my photo book online?

Yes, most photo book printers will allow this but there are differences in how this is achieved and it is not true of all. Let us know if you have a requirement to share the result online – and is this just to be able to view or to be able to order your own prints – so we can choose the appropriate supplier.

Can I order reprints of my photo book?

Yes. If we use a print supplier account created for you then we will hand that over and you will have full control over the reordering process. If you do not have your own account, we can still order reprints for you at the full published cost payable in advance. At our first meeting you will need to decide whether to have a print supplier account set up for you or not.

Who has the copyright on the end product?

You retain the copyright on all the photos and content in the photo book. Hence we cannot reprint or sell photo books or any part thereof without your permission. It follows that the photos supplied as content must be ones for which you own the copyright or have the right to reproduce for personal use.

How much text can I include in a photo book?

There’s no limit as such, but if you want a lot of explanatory or descriptive text, we will expect you to write it and provide it in an electronic format (or we could transcribe written text, but that would be chargeable).

Can I include documentation such as birth certificates or press cuttings?

Absolutely – as long as they can be scanned in a standard scanner. Anything requiring special processing – such as multiple scans and image splicing is possible but may be an additional charge.

I live on a remote Scottish island, but this strikes me as a local service. Where are you based?

We are based in the London Borough of Sutton, close to Surrey. We’ll be able to cover the South-east without incurring extra cost. Beyond that we’d need to have a telephone conversation about your requirements first. For those with digital only requirements and access, it should be possible to use a combination of post, email and remote access for sign-off. If visits to further afield are required we may still offer the service but with additional cost for the time and travel.

Can I include prints that are embedded in a picture frame?

Yes, but if you’d like it removed from the frame for scanning, we’ll ask you to do that yourself, as we wouldn’t want to do anything that may cause damage. We can scan a photo that is still in its frame.

What resolution do you scan at?

We will always scan printed material at 600 dpi as this will allow the images to be blown up to anything up to full page size in a photo book.

Do you send photographs away to be scanned? How can I be sure they will be safe?

We will send photo collections away to one of our trusted suppliers, if they are of sufficient volume to justify it, in order to make use of their bulk scanning facilities. We will always use recorded delivery so that the packages are tracked to and from their door.

Can I have a CD of the scanned images?

Yes, that will be included in the cost of any scanning that we do for you.

How will I know what the total cost will be?

We’ve tried to be as clear as we can about charges on our Services page, but it’s not possible to cover every circumstance. If you have a clear idea of the number of scans required and the number of pages in the photo book, then we can give an accurate estimate up front. But most projects will change as they progress, so the best we can commit to beyond that is that we won’t proceed with any work that incurs an additional charge without explaining the reason for the cost and getting your explicit consent up front for that to be included.

What if I change my mind?

You have the statutory 14 day cooling-off period in which to cancel the contract with a full refund. After that we will invoice for any work carried out up to the point of cancellation. If the deposit exceeds the invoice at that point we will return the balance.

What is metadata and what is the benefit of using it?

A digital image can have additional data associated with the file which can capture extra information about the subject, location and date. This data, along with the name of the file, can be used by search engines to identify matches. If planning to use the image files for sharing or uploading, it is a sensible way of preserving information about the photo.