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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Smart idea on what to do with your scanned photos

Once your pictures, slides and film are digitally scanned, you can now order personalize M&M candy from your jpeg files.

Mars Inc., McLean, Va., maker of M&M chocolate candy, has long offered a personalization service for the treat, which lets customers pick colors and have texts and logos printed on M&M's. The new offering, M&M's Faces, allows customers to upload one or two photos, pick their colors and add up to two different texts to be printed on separate M&Ms.Using a simple interface, users can zoom in or out to select which part of a photo they want to use. A graphic specialist then tweaks the photo file, creating a sketch-like rendition that looks good on small pieces of candy. M&M's Faces are available in 7-ounce bags at $14.95 per bag, with a minimum order of 3 bags; a 5-or 10-pound bulk box for $162.50 or $312.50; or a variety of 1.6- to 1.75-ounce party favors for $4.99 to $6.19 per bag, with a minimum order of 20 bags, says the company.

Here are some helpful hints to make your photo come out right.

File Format: Please submit your photo as either a .jpeg, .raw, .bmp or .tiff file.

Use High Resolution: "Resolution" refers to a measure of detail that can be seen in an image; the higher the resolution, the finer the detail that can be seen.


Place your digital camera on the highest resolution setting possible.
Most photos taken with a 2.0 megapixel camera (or greater) are acceptable.
Lighting: Adjust your lighting to avoid shadows on the face or background
For Individual or Couple Photos: We recommend that the photo be captured from slightly above the top of the head to the middle of the chest. For a photo of two people, faces must be cheek to cheek or very close together to fit on your M&M'S®.

Composition: Please ensure that all of the face(s) are in the picture and not cropped
Background: For best results, the background should be plain white or off-white. The priority is that hair should be a contrast to the background. It is preferable that photos do not include glasses or hats. Not all photos will print correctly. Remember, we are only printing food coloring on a centimeter of space (about half the width of a dime). Photos that are complex may print illegibly. All photos are printed in BLACK food-grade ink. We can convert your photos from color to BLACK if necessary.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Customer Profile: "Digitized Your Memory"

Thanks to Grace Lin's blog "Syncing up with Reality" and her customer profile on the recent experience. After 18-years in business, there is nothing sweeter than comments like this from the "Syncing up with Reality" blog posting with same scanned pictures:

  • "Check out this cool online service You send in your pictures and they scan it and save on a DVD for you. A very simple process! The service is really as described on the website. It is easy, straightforward, and most importantly, very fast. Within a week, I receive my box of pictures back with a DVD. However, expect quality of a scanned image, that is if you have ever scanned a picture yourself. You know the quality is NOT the same as a digital-camera picture.

  • I have been wanted to do this for many years. The need to "scale down" my belongings while packing for the move to Hawaii really pushed me to do this. The deal gets better. If you have a facebook, a blog, flickr or myspace account, you can write about the service (as I am doing now) at those places and receive this special offer of scanning up too 1,000 4x6 pictures for the price of $19.99. That is a great deal. That is what I did. However, I paid extra $19.99 to have my pictures scanned in certain order. Those who know me know that I have all my pictures organized chronically since 1992, the year I first arrived in Houston. I want my digitized pictures in chronological order as well. In addition, ScanMyPhotos will send back your pictures and the DVD via UPSP priority mail but you do need to send in the pictures yourself. I spent about $19.00 for a box of 1,000 4x6 pictures. The total at the end addes up to about $60.00. I think that is the money worth spending!

  • I am very happy with this service and would highly recommend this to you. Of course if you are younger than me, all you know about pictures are all digital. So you don't need this service. This service is for people who still keep old-fashioned photos.(pictures shared are my first and only road trip to Yellow Stone & Grand Canyon in summer 1993)."

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Photo Scanning Service - Review

Read what customers across the country and overseas are saying. Click here to view the complete testimonial page and public blogs. Click here to visit offical homepage.

We referred a customer to you last week and I just received a call thanking me for sending them to such a great place. You could tell with the excitement in his conversation that he was more than pleased with the job you did for him. I don't know all the details, but I just wanted you to know that he actually called me and told me the great job you did.
Take care, Glen H. Jr - Santa Barbara, CA

Here is a fantastic opportunity to digitally preserve your photo memories before they fade away. is currently providing a free DVD scan of 1000 4X6 photo prints to members of several social networking sites. You only pay for shipping. I just got my DVD and can say without reservation that I'm thrilled with the outcome. The photos are very sharp even when enlarged full screen. The average size of each JPEG is 1.47 MB. I carefully packed 999 prints (yea I know, I don't know how to count up to 1000) on a Friday and they were returned along with a DVD one week later. Total cost: $16 for shipping the box of prints with USPS Ground from NJ to CA and $19.95 credit card payment to for return S&H by USPS priority mail. The quality of the scans greatly exceeded my expectations and the super-fast speed of processing is remarkable. The DVD is rated Archival Preservation Quality. Adding a date to the photos and organizing them afterwards is a breeze with a software such as Adobe Photoshop Elements and very rewarding. Apparently the company is no longer including a NestlĂ©’s Crunch bar in the package, it sure would have added to my enjoyment. I saw this promotion by in
Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter. The company has recently extended the offer until June 30, 2008. I highly recommend this fantastic service. This review is also posted on my Facebook page.
Free Myspace / Blogger / Facebook / Flickr scanning form – pay just $19.95 S&H]
Thank you, Kormákur H.,East Orange, NJ

Got my
APS film scan order shortly after I emailed you. Thanks so much! Love the scans and can now get them uploaded onto Flickr to share with my friends. Will definitely use your service again once I find my other APS film canisters. Thank you!
Regina S., Steeles Tavern, VA

Just a note to tell you I’m ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTED with your service. The results were exactly as advertised and the service was quick and efficient. I recommend you to anyone.
Best wishes, Paul M.,Brookline, MA

Great job. Will tell many, many people about the service.
Thanks, much, Scott F., Austin, TX.

Thank you so much for this great service. The pictures came out great. I am telling everybody that they should do this as soon as they can. You never know what can happen, fire ,flood, natural disaster, etc . To know that your life's memories can be stored safely in such a little space is wonderful . Also could not believe how quick the turnaround was. Literally round trip across the country in 5 days.
Thank you again! Mary H., Wakefield, RI

I was looking for bulk scanner to purchase, found this [] service to be cheaper and faster.
Samer A., Valparaiso IN

Thank you, [The] service was efficient and professional. Everything was done to my satisfaction.I shall return with my next order.
Ros B., Orange County, CA

Thank you for the follow-up email and for the excellent service. It's very refreshing to find a company that still puts an emphasis on their customers and the experience that they have.
I was extremely pleased with my order, both in the quality of the job done and in the (what has to be a record) time that it took for the entire process. Because of your service, I have been able to share the more than 800 photos that were scanned with my friends and family via the internet. Photos that haven't seen the light of day in years are now being enjoyed by people that I haven't seen in a long time and being used as a contact point for us to reconnect. While this was not my initial goal, I merely wanted the photos preserved, it is an extremely welcome side effect!
In the week since my order has been completed, I have recommended your service to no less than five of my friends and family. If their experience is anything like mine, I know that they will be elated.
Again, thank you for a job well done!
Sincerely, Jon L., Hollywood, FL

You guys did a great job. Fast service and excellent quality. I have already recommend you to several friends.
Michael W., Oak Brook, IL

Thank you for your fine, fast efficient service. You saved me hours of work by scanning a batch of memories I would have surely lost if not scanned. The service was great and the scans are beautiful.
Thanks again. L. Fagen, Temecula, CA

We just got our first box back today (my mom’s)…. And we LOVE It! Thanks so much. The quality is impeccable! I’m motivated to go pull the photos for my box now…
Thanks! M. Nguyen, San Diego, CA

Much to my surprise and delight, I received my disk and scanned photos back today! They are all fabulous and wonderful. Also an unbroken large Nestle's Crunch bar. Is that some sore of edible damage sensor? If so, VERY clever!! The scans are excellent and exceeded my expectations. I have posted my assessment on my
Facebook page
Many thanks, M. Ross, Silicone Valley, CA

Got my first order back from you the other day and am enormously satisfied with the results. Have and will spread the word regarding your excellent service to friends, neighbors and relatives. Again, appreciate your service. A new and satisfied customer.
B. Ronan, Austin, TX

Last Saturday we sent a full box of photos to you. This afternoon [Thursday] we were sorting those photos from DVD to folders on our hard drive. What excellent service. We just ordered our
second [prepaid] box. We are very happy and will recommend you to our friends. If anyone wants a recommendation for your service you may certainly use our name!
Eric and Sally Benson, Coats, NC

Below is my review, which I also gave orally at my geneallgy class today: Family Tree magazine had recently sent out an e-mail about a promotion by by which one could send in up to 1,000 4x6 prints for scanning just for the $20 cost of return shipping. I got this note only a few days before the Feb 29 deadline, however, and my wife and I didn't have time to plunge into our huge stash of prints to put together a box of photos we'd like scanned. But I did have four rolls of prints from my family-history trip through Alabama a few years ago that I did want to use on a genealogy website. And since it would be at least 6 months (i.e. post-remodling) before we're likely to get a home scanner, I decided to package them up and try it. I still had the negatives, so there was little to lose even if it was a diaster and the high-speed scanner chewed up my photos. I mailed the photos Thursday afternoon, got an e-mail Saturday night from the Irvine, Calif., company that my order had been processed, and on my porch this afternoon (Monday) were my prints. I couldn't be happier with the results. All the 93 prints were in fine shape, and the scans on the disk were as sharp as the photos and about 1.5-2 MBytes each, not a 30kb thumbnail that I feared they might be. Absolutely fabulous. They even posted them on they're own Flickr-like site ... to make it easy to buy prints, cards and other projects, to be sure, but also easier for others to see, too. On top of that, there was a large Nestle's Crunch bar (unbroken) in the package, too. (Perhaps that is a cheap, but delightful, damage detector?) In short, I could not be happier with the ScanMyPhotos service. Normally, the 1,000-print scan costs something like $100 dollars -- and for that they do handle a variety of photo sizes. (But they do have very specific packaging and photo-ordering instructions on their website that must be followed for you to get the exepcted scans.) Two thumbs up ... WAY up for and that Family Tree Magazine promotion.
Many thanks, M. Ross
I was one of the women who

attended the Moms Group fundraiser event [at 30 Minute Photos Etc and which raised nearly $1000.00, see link for info on how we can host an event for your non-profit group].
Just wanted to let you know that I was very impressed with the service that I was able to utilize (I had nearly 900 photos scanned onto dvd). You guys saved me hours & hours of scanning them myself at home. The other services & products that I read about on your website, or saw at your center, are also very impressive and I look forward to coming back and trying more of them.
As for the fundraiser itself -- it was awesome!!! What a practical and enjoyable way for our group to raise money. Thank you for the wonderful wine, food, and other refreshments. Your entire staff was incredibly patient, helpful, friendly, and quite cheerful considering we probably kept some of them there past closing time. That kind of atmosphere and service is really what sets you apart from other places. I'm pretty sure our group will be coming back for another fundraiser. [Click here for more info on our
fundraising program]
Thank you again! A new loyal customer, Ruby Delfin

I just received my DVD and photos back. I was amazed at how quickly they arrived, especially during the holiday time period and shipping to Sydney. Thank you for your excellent service! It all looks great. What a fabulous time saver. (via our International FedEx Priority service)
Joe T. Surry Hills, NSW, Australia

I wanted to say thank you for preserving all of our old pictures and putting them on a dvd. I am loading them all onto an Ipod for my wife for Christmas. This process was going to cost into the thousand dollar range with other providers and you did a better job for much much less! I can't wait to see her face when she sees 20 years of pictures all captured digitally!! The turnaround time was amazing - I can't beleive you got the pictures shipped out the same day.
Thanks again, E. Raucci, Crystal Lake, IL

Received the three (3) new CD's, with our 500 slide digital images today..... They turned out GREAT and they work in our computer fine..... We want to thank you for the great service and the extra effort that you have given to our order....... We will have another order for you to process as soon as we have time to go through our remaining slides......THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU........
G. Hensel, Strasburg, Ohio

I received today my photos, the books and the dvds. I think you and your people do amazing work. I am so pleased...and relieved to have these photos put into more usable formats I mailed off box 3 today. And I have started work on box 4. (counting the first one which wasn't one of the prepaids.) Thanks for personally keeping up with things.
Janet Yee, Minneapolis, MN

I just wanted you to know how very pleased I am with my
photo scans. The quality is wonderful! I am so pleased with the customer service I received from 30 Minute Photos Etc. The communication was wonderful and my order was completed in record time! Thank you so much for providing a wonderful service!
D. Clancy, Whitman, MA

A Big Thank You to You and all at 30 Minute Photos. We had such a wonderful experience doing business with you. We began this project sometime ago. We covered a span of 30 years plus of photos, remembering the events, organizing them, recalling the dates and people. That process turned these pictures into a valuable family treasure. Our 22,000 photos would have taken me years to
scan. In just a few short hours, you made the time consuming part go away and have allowed the creative story telling to begin. I just finished going thru the scans and they turned out great. Our experience with you and your crew was so professional and personal, you treated us just like family. We again thank you for taking excellent care of our photos and of us. We were able to combine a day at Disneyland with our trip to see you. You helped make our trip a lot of fun and very memorable. We will be highly recommending you to family and friends. P.S. In The Wall Street Journal, that you enclosed, I believe we increased your biggest order now to 22,000. GREAT JOB !!!
Sincerely, Cindy Jenkins and Diane Vayer

Thanks for your prompt service on our
scan order. The results were fantastic!
Regards, Jim Hayes, Fallbrook CA

Pardon my bad manners for not acknowledging receipt of the wonderful photo album and enhanced disk. I really appreciate it. I am gathering more photos to send to you and I've told everyone about your great service. You have no idea how happy I am to have found your company.
Scanning my photos has been on my to-do list for years. Now I can rest easy knowing that if the house burned down and I lost all my photo albums, I have a disk of all the photos in the safe deposit box.
Thanks again! Joyce H., Redwood City, CA

Thank you so much! I will be ordering with you again - very shortly - this service is terrific!
Pam K., Basking Ridge, NJ

I do think that you did a great job on our pictures and everything came back in the order that I sent them. I will share the DVD's with our children and grandchildren.
Sandy Jordan

This will be my fifth and last box of pictures. I am so very pleased with the way you have treated my pictures and I love the CDs. I come from a big family and have passed on your services so they can use them too. Iowa, Illinois and Wash D.C. ... They too will use your company. Thanks again and I’m looking at many
slides, so I’ll see you again I know.
Catherine Martinez, Tucson, AZ

I have received the package and in record time! I am really pleased with all the photos… the quality is excellent and … I think it was well worth it…. I was a bit apprehensive about sending off all my old photos (perhaps never to be seen again) but you guys got them back to me before I really even had a chance to worry about them. I just wish I had not been in such a hurry and that I had more time to pull together more photos to send off. Thanks very much and I especially appreciated that there was a real person on the other end who replied to my e-mails and made me comfortable doing business with your company. I have already told my friends and it wouldn’t surprise me if you got a few more orders from Arctic Canada.
Take care, Debbi, NT, Canada

I am sooooo glad I sent all those pictures away to ( I got by pictures back yesterday and I am really, really impressed. And the pictures turned out great.
The Phillips Family

I'm so excited to have more than 1300 "new" photos to digi scrap with! I would wholeheartedly recommend this service! And a note to my Mom... You NEED to do this because then I will have thousands more photos to play with!
Katie the Scrapbook Lady

That was so fast. It is unbelievable to me that my pictures were in Texas yesterday afternoon and you have them done already. I will certainly spread the word to all I know…you all are AWESOME! Thank you also for taking the special time to send me this email update. Your promptness means a lot.
L. McElduff, Katy, TX

I received the pictures back and they look fantastic. I especially appreciate the photo book and will get online to check out the pictures. I was very impressed with your service and how you sent it back - and a Starbucks card - now that was a nice surprise. I'll definitely use
ScanMyPhotos again and will tell friends. Thanks so much and congrats on expanding internationally - that's fantastic!
Kathy R., Atlanta, GA

I had the pleasant experience of using recently. About 2,500 of my photos quickly came back digitized – a wonderful service! Thank you again for your fine services.
G. Jenkin, Carrollton, TX

Thanks for scanning my pictures, and I also wanted to say congratulations for the pioneering of your product... The process could not have been any easier.
P. Castro, Orange County, CA

I have used your scanning services twice since reading about it in The Wall Street Journal. I must say that the first time was a bit unnerving. I mean shipping off decades of photos is like sending a kid to camp. But to my delight the process was turned around in a couple of days and I now face the arduous task of organizing all these digitized photos. I have recommended your service to many friends and I am in the process of going for one more box. Great work and a great idea.
V. Arcaro, Toluca Lake, CA

Greetings from West Michigan. Thank you for getting back to me so fast. Can't believe how efficient your company is. I'm organizing the pictures and will send back today or tomorrow. Had tons of pictures but some of them were junk so I got rid of part of it. But I'll still fill up a box. I also have a bunch of slides, maybe 500 to 800. I want to do the same thing with those. What is the procedure for that?
Sincerely, M. Heyns

Reply: Mike – Great to hear from you and we always enjoy all feedback. To have us scan 35mm mounted slides, please click on this link for complete pricing and ordering instructions. This link includes the
Slide Scanning Order Form which should be printed and included with your order. Please note that slide scanning is separate from photo scanning and request placing a separate order.
[] What a great job you guys do! I filled my box with over 2000 (!) photos, and many of the electronic versions of the photos look as good as the ones that I take on my digital camera! I've still got at least 1500 more old photos, and I'm putting in my next order today. What a great service!
A. Jacobs, New York, NY

Photos and CD arrived in great shape. You did a wonderful job.
Many thanks, E. Johnson, Midland, TX

Letter written to
As a subscriber to the WSJ your recent article on companies that provide mail order photo scanning prompted a visit to our attic where many old family pictures have been hibernating for years. After tossing out more than 2000 images I sent a manageable 1800 photos off to in their prepaid box. It took only one week to turn around the process and have a disc in my hand for viewing. The scanned images look great on our TV -- except they reminded us when our hair was darker and our suit size was a perfect 40 ... the price of age and retirement! Thanks for the article that provided the incentive to do something about our old photos. Keep up the good journalism!
Kind regards, Jonathan Stolz

The DVDs and thumbnail album are fabulous. Thanks for your good work, and for the incredible speed with which you turned it around. We are thrilled to have been able to pick things up before heading home to VA.
Rory & Linda Walck, Virginia

I just received my photos and I am absolutely delighted with them. It is truly a joy to be able to look back over these memories without having to sort through boxes of old photos. Thank you for the prompt and excellent service. I will definitely be referring all my friends and family!
Warmly, J. Caffray, Charlotte, NC

Thank you so much! You have saved me hours of time. I have told everyone I know about your service and will absolutely refer them to you! I have more photos that will need to be completed but needed these quickly. Thank you so much and I cannot wait to see the finished product.
M. Bigane, Chicago, IL

I just wanted to tell you what a wonderful customer experience I had in your store this weekend. The pictures turned out great and I have told a bunch of my friends and colleagues who had no idea that it was possible to digitize so many pictures so fast. I suspect you are going to get quite a few people to come through your door from my referral. Thanks again... it's so nice to finally patronize a business where service really matters.
Cheers, Eric Olander, Orange County, CA

I am so glad I came across your information in
Popular Photography Magazine. I was going to undertake doing this myself but once I realized how many photos I had I would have never been able to do it. I was so pleased with the prior order that I just sent another 4 shoeboxes (in one large box).
S. Nison, East Brunswick, NJ

Thanks for converting those family photos from my grandmother yesterday. The pictures turned out great. Mitch and his company did a great job in converting my old family photos that I inherited from my grandmother into digital images! My parents and family loved them. Now, we'll be able to share these photos amongst all of the grandchildren. L. Huffman, Orange County, CA

I first learned about [] from Popular Photography & Imaging Magazine, August, 2006 issue. My dilemma was that I had 7000 photos prints scattered in multiple albums. This collection spanned some 20 years. The thought of scanning all these to my computer was not at all palatable.
After reading this article, I said to my wife this is too good to be true for the price quoted. I called and spoke to Mr. Mitch Goldstone at 30 Minute Photo. I liked what he had to say. I then purchased seven photo boxes, and chronologically sorted these in quantities of 1000 per box. I ultimately sent three orders to 30 Minute Photo e.g.; 3000, 2000, 2000. For each order I enclosed written instructions e.g. Box #1,scan front of box to rear of box, etc. As soon as 30 Minute Photo received my order, I received an e mail stating that my order had been received. About two hours later, I received another e mail stating that my order of 3000 photos had been scanned and they were on there way back to me. What I received was my photos that were sent back in the same box, and same chronological order that I sent. In addition to this, I received CD’s with 500 Jpeg files per disc. I have subsequently uploaded these to my computer, and have renamed files, and make backup copies. I have viewed these on my computer, and television as a slide show. The quality of the scan is excellent. Mitch states that they are scanned at least 300dpi. I am impressed with the quality of the scan, as well as the service provided by 30 Minute Photo. I would highly recommend this service that was provided. My wife has a plethora of photos that at some point in time will be scanned.
Charlie, Tucson, AZ

I got home today, after one of those days that seem to happen more frequently these days, and went to check the mailbox. What did I find but the photos that I ordered for printing on Saturday! Today is Monday! I couldn't believe it. I was sure that you had sent me someone else's photos by mistake. But alas, they are mine. I can't get over the speedy delivery. Thank you. I will definitely be using your services again and putting in a plug with all my friends.
Thanks again, Derrick & Sarah Houston, Denton County, TX

I not only was surprised that the photos arrived there so quickly, but was even more surprised by how quickly you got them into your processing queue and proceeded with the order. I also appreciate the communication about progress. Your service for prints of multiple sizes seemed like an incredible bargain and I'm looking forward to seeing the results and being able to manipulate those electronic files.
Many thanks, Michael, Long Beach, CA

I think that this type of photo scanning you offer [] should be a home run - since there are billions if not trillions of 35mm prints out there that should be digitized
D. Pelletier , Chicago, IL

There are a lot of companies who will not deliver to APO's [military addresses overseas]. So when we find someone who is willing to it means a lot. We look forward to seeing our wedding pictures. Thank you so much!
Angela and Seth Swartz, (APO) American Post Office, Allied Forces Europe.
I am remiss in not thanking you sooner. The photos, especially for my sister, Cathy, were enormously satisfying and upbeat. They made our family occasion very special and her reward was a wonderful one. You always go above and beyond, and I will certainly continue to recommend everyone come your way. This is an excellent and important service for all of us with photos in our shoeboxes that need to see the light of day.
Many thanks again, Bob Witeck, Washington D.C.

Just wanted to thank you for the great package of photos you gave to me and my fiancee. She just showed them to me, and we love them!! It's going for a beautiful video montage of photos for our wedding . You guys did such a great job. Joelle told me she really enjoyed talking to you the other day; thank you for the nice words you had to say about me. Thank you the $5 Starbuck's gift card; now I see what you were saying in our interview about those nice little perks to stick in customers' orders -- they really do make a customer feel good. Most of all, this photo scanning order we did with you truly brings home , on a personal level, what you were saying about providing memories: It's really true about how priceless photos are for a family. For example, my soon-to-be mother-in-law just had those photos sitting around for 40 years and no one was ever going to see them; now that we have had them scanned, it will be the greatest gift of joy for both of our families.
Regards, Paul Sterman

I recently placed an online order and had the photos in my hot little hand the very next day! Excellent!! The quality was as great as Tara Whitney promised me they would be. You can expect more orders from me soon! I will spread the word about your services! Thank you!!!!!
Karen C., Anaheim Hills, CA

Thanks so much for doing this! I have yet to find any other business (with the exception of In-N-Out Burger) that equals your great customer service. This is a huge help to me and I'm sure the prints will result in a couple of great Christmas gifts! Thanks again!
Happy Holidays, Nick

Thank you for the excellent quality and speedy delivery of my printed photos. I also received thirty “Season Greetings” photo cards of the group photo of my military co-workers at no charge. I will defiantly refer my family and friends to you for all of their digital photo printing needs.
SrA Kelly Karl, 188th Fighter Wing, Fort Smith, AR

Hi! even though it's 90 degrees here in NY, I'm thinking about our Christmas cards! We've had your company do our cards for the last two years, and we have been very pleased with your service and with the quality of the cards.
Thank you! - Susan Taylor, NY, NY

Free / Open Source DVD Creation Workflow (via The Johnny Gizmo Blog)

We came across this useful recommendation and advice from The Johnny Gizmo Blog on how to put together a slide show DVD with no commercial software.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The National Wildlife Federation features new photo contest

The National Wildlife Federation, Reston, Va., announces a new 2008 photography competition, the National Wildlife Photo Contest. Cash prizes totaling $18,000 plus camera equipment and other gifts will be awarded to the winners in three separate divisions: professional, amateur, and youth. The grand prize winner will receive $5,000. A portfolio of award-winning entries will be published in the 2008 December/January issue of National Wildlife magazine.

Entrants must pay a $15 entry fee, but will receive a 1-year membership in the National Wildlife Federation, including a subscription to National Wildlife magazine. Entrants can submit as many as 20 images in any combination of the following categories:

  • Mammals: Portraits and Behavior; Birds: Portraits and Behavior

  • Other Wildlife: Portraits and Behavior (includes underwater life, reptiles, amphibians, insects and more)

  • Backyard Habitats: Wild Creatures, Native Plants, and Natural Settings in Your Yard

  • Connecting People and Nature: People Enjoying the Outdoors

  • Landscapes and Plant Life: Scenic Views and Native Plants in Wild Settings

  • The deadline for all submissions is July 1. More information about the contest is available online - Click here.

More info, visit the website today

Click here to access our custom Google Search to instantly get answers to any photo imaging questions

For daily updates and tips, read our blog - Tales from the World of Photo Scanning Blog

Reach us anytime with your questions, click here to access our free 24/7 Live Support help desk

Click here to sign up for free and extra promotional services from

Click on this link for helpful tips to prepare your photos for scanning

Monday, June 16, 2008

Read What's Making Today's News in the Photo Industry (via PhotoReporter)

NBC Nightly News: Profile

On Tuesday, June 17th, Mitch Goldstone and Carl Berman, co-founders of (30 Minute Photos Etc.) will be profiled on the NBC Evening News with Brian Williams tonight. Click here to view schedule in your area.

Watch us on The Today Show - Click here

Watch us on The Nightly News with Brian Williams - Click here

Click here to access our custom Google Search to instantly get answers to any photo imaging questions

For daily updates and tips, read our blog - Tales from the World of Photo Scanning Blog

Reach us anytime with your questions, click here to access our free 24/7 Live Support help desk

Click here to sign up for free and extra promotional services from

Click on this link for helpful tips to prepare your photos for scanning

Sunday, June 15, 2008

As Seen on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams: Photo Scanning Service Targets Specialty Markets


Although is international, we are seeing a significant increase in rush orders from the Southern California market and nationwide due to the recent state ruling to permit same-sex marriage.

Our company’s strength and 18-year reputation for embracing an inclusive and diverse customer base has always been engaging and supportive. The most recent transformation has yielded an immediate boon to our business and thousands of other smart companies thought the state and country.

Alana Samuels reported in the Los Angeles Times ["Same-sex weddings could be a gift to California’s economy" June 2, Business section page one] that this months nuptials can be a financial boon to the economy. was interviewed and we explained that the results of renewed excitement and economic spending can play a key role in helping to end our state’s recession. Click here to view the article.

By embracing diversity and supporting all our customers, we are honored to be playing such an important role in providing a variety of photo imaging resources. Some of the more popular services are:

As the Los Angeles Times reported: "Macy’s published a full-page ad for its wedding and gift registry in the Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle on Wednesday, captioned ‘First comes love. Then comes marriage. And now it’s a milestone every couple in California can celebrate." is proud to be in such formidable company and share in the message of support.

To help assist all couples with preparing specialized photo imaging gifts, presentations, and to preserve their own special "Kodak" moments, is available 24/7 with its free Live Support help desk - click here to access.

Congratulations to all the newest newlyweds and their expanding family.

Mitch Goldstone and Carl Berman
Cofounders, and 30 Minute Photos Etc.

Click here to access our custom Google Search to instantly get answers to any photo imaging questions

For daily updates and tips, read our blog - Tales from the World of Photo Scanning Blog

Reach us anytime with your questions, click here to access our free 24/7 Live Support help desk

Click here to sign up for free and extra promotional services from

Click on this link for helpful tips to prepare your photos for scanning

Saturday, June 14, 2008

In memoriam - dedicated to the remembrance of NBC's Tim Russert (1950-2008)

Watch this Today Show interview with Luke Russert and Matt Lauer to understand why America has it's new American Idol. Tim Russert touched millions and to watch this interview explains how well a father taught his son all of life's lessons. Luke Russert: the new American Idol. May all people of every age learn from Tim's son everything you need to know about respect, dignity and uncompromising love. All of America salutes you, Luke!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 Photo-Sharing Site Review and Recommendation

Thanks to Katherine Boehret and Walt Mossberg for the June 11th Wall Street Journal "The Mossberg Solution" review on a smart and easy-to-operate photo-sharing site called

In addition to, which also operates a full-service online photo experience for ordering hundreds of photo products, including sharing your analog and digital photos, is another smart choice. digitally preserves 1,000 analog photos in under 15-minutes for just $49.95, or you can buy the prepaid fill-the-box service, also completed the same day and holds more than 1800 4x6" photos for a flat price of just $124.95. Having scanned nearly seven million pictures, we are always on the look out for helpful tips and a variety of other ways to share and have fun with your generations of special photo memories. lets you email all your guests as an event so anyone can easily add their photos to a universal album to be viewed by all the people at the party, etc.

In addition to, check out this site for sharing your photos and videos using Muvee Technology. The service is free, just like with's free online sharing tool. Their web-based application is seamless, powerful and super-easy to use. It lets everyone on your list add content so friends can upload their additions to your photos to build a giant, common album.

At you can:

  • Create as many private group albums as you want - one for each event, and you control the guest list
  • Invite family and friends to view your albums and contribute their own photos and videos
  • Mix up everyone's content into cool muvees (which are fun music videos)
  • Your family and friends don't need to sign up to contribute - they can just reply to your email invitations with their photos and videos attached.

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.

here to visit and its customized online photo sharing and ordering service.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Digital Archiving Facts and Helpful Tips (via I3A)

In addition to hardware and software issues, there are a number of other factors that can impact the longevity of your stored photo collection. Here you can learn more about maximizing the life of your photos — whether printed or stored digitally.

Aging of Storage Materials
All materials may be vulnerable to the effects of aging, and the term “degradation” refers to the reduction in quality of the materials used to preserve a photo. It’s a natural consequence of the chemical changes that happen to plastics, dyes, adhesives and even metals over time — the same materials that are used for
prints, hard drives, and for CDs and DVDs which we use to store digital photo files.

The rate of degradation of magnetic and CDs and DVDs will also depend on:

  • Proper disc handling (i.e., no scratches, shock)

  • Proper storage (i.e., temperature, light, humidity)

  • Initial recording quality (i.e., defect free disc, recorder quality)

  • Disc construction which varies by manufacturer

  • While magnetic media are vulnerable to chemical degradation, physical damage and demagnetization, mechanical failure may also reduce the expected lifetime of your photos. Lifetimes range from about five years for the typical hard disk to 10-30 years for magnetic tape.

  • In general, high quality CDs and DVDs will last longer than magnetic media, however these discs are also vulnerable to chemical degradation and corrosion. Life expectancy predictions from manufacturers and others for CD and DVD discs range from five to 300 years, depending on the disc type and the person making the prediction. While a standard International Organization for Standardization, or ISO, test method for making CD-R lifetime predictions does exist, manufacturers do not yet consistently use this method to test their products.
In the future, the industry will develop test methods to provide better information for consumers to answer such as:

  • Which disc should I buy?

  • Will the brand make a difference?

  • What should I look for in a disc?

  • What is the minimum number of years the disc will last?

  • Will price make a difference? Technology Obsolescence

  • Computer and digital photo technologies have continued to evolve rapidly, and as a result, we have seen constant improvements in camera, scanner, computer and software capabilities. The downside of this tremendous development is, of course, technical obsolescence: Computers, storage devices, media, cameras, camera phones and software purchased as recently as three years ago may no longer work as well with newer products. This means that you'll need to watch what's happening with computers, or get some sound advice on how to maintain your photo collection over time so that you may continue to enjoy it, always.

Internet Services
Online services such as Kodak EasyShare Gallery, Shutterfly, Snapfish and others provide convenient ways to backup, print and share your photos with family and friends. Some wireless carriers such as Sprint also offer Internet photo sharing and storage services that allow subscribers to upload, print and share pictures taken from your camera phone or computer.

In addition, some services provide fee-based online backup services. In looking into these, be aware of their terms and conditions, and be sure to ask some basic questions such as, “Does the service allow me to store my photos at their original resolution or does it always compress them to save space? Does the service guarantee the safety of my photos? If so, does this require payment of fees? What happens if the service is discontinued?

These services may or may not be suitable for long-term storage of your photos. In addition, some of the sites expect you to purchase prints or other products on a regular basis in order to continue storing the photos.

Be aware of the terms and conditions under which the website will keep your photos, and make sure that you meet any purchase requirements or fee payments.

Keep high-resolution copies of your photos at home or other secure location, using one or more of the recommended alternatives.

During the long history of photography, materials, just like cameras, equipment and techniques, have also evolved. This has presented additional challenges to scientists who work to develop methods that predict how a photograph will look 10, 50, or even 100 years from now. A new set of print technologies known as digital inkjet, dye diffusion thermal transfer (often called “dye sublimation”), and digital versions of traditional “silver halide” photos has emerged out of the range of digital photographic techniques in practice.

While there's no accelerated method that simultaneously combines all the relevant factors that degrade photographs, there's general agreement regarding which individual factors are primary sources of degradation. This allows scientists to estimate the effects of each primary factor, and also enables recommendations on how best to display and store photographs in a way that minimizes the degradation resulting from each of these factors.

It’s a natural consequence of the chemical changes that happen to plastics, dyes, adhesives, and even metals over time - the same materials that are used for prints, hard drives and for CDs and DVDs which we use to store digital photo files.

A few things to avoid:
Avoid photo albums with storage sleeves made with polyvinyl chloride as chemical out-gassing can damage the prints. Using high quality albums will help you avoid this plastic (which smells like a new shower curtain). Albums designated as “archival quality” may be a good choice.

  • Avoid using ink and paper combinations that manufacturers of inkjet printers do not support.

  • Avoid storage in hot, humid, or excessively dry areas.

  • Avoid placing prints near un-vented kerosene furnaces and natural gas heaters, or near copiers, laser printers or air cleaners that may generate ozone. Pollutants generally do not affect prints in albums or prints framed behind glass.

  • When displaying prints, avoid brightly lit areas—especially areas with direct sunlight—and use UV-protective glass or Plexi-Glass TM types of materials to protect the print. Again, to maximize the life of the print, store the print in the dark.

  • Manufacturers' claims regarding the display and storage longevity of their products often come from testing at an independent test lab, from measurements performed by the manufacturer, or in some cases, a combination of both.

To best interpret these claims, follow the guidelines below:

Be sure to differentiate between “display” and “storage longevity” claims. For example, a claim that read “lasts 100 years when stored in a photo album” suggests that if stored in a quality photo album at moderate temperature and humidity, it should last approximately 100 years—and not that the print can be displayed in the presence of light for 100 years.

When determining storage longevity, look for key words such as “album”, “stored in dark”, “thermal degradation,” “temperature-induced fade testing” or “based on dark fade testing.” By contrast, claims relating to “display longevity” are typically associated with words such as “lightfastness,” “light fade,” “air pollutant fade,” or “ozone fade.” While “thermal degradation testing” applies to both storage and display longevity, it's generally more important in storage longevity estimates. In addition, the reason glass or other protection is strongly recommended for display is because it essentially removes the effect of airborne pollutants, but of course, light fade will still be a relevant factor.

How is the longevity claim supported? On packages where there's little room for detailed footnotes, visit the company's website to view their test assumptions. In other cases, the test details may be listed in the footnote near the claim.

Be clear on the system for which the claim is valid. For example, if an inkjet ink or printer package claims “50 years of display fade resistance,” make sure the manufacturer specifies what type of papers will validate the claim.

Take the time to go manufacturers' website and access the section that explains their photo longevity claims in more detail.

Be cautious about generic terms such as “archival quality,” especially if specific testing doesn't justify the use of such a term.

While the rapid changes in the newer digital printing technologies, such as inkjet, have created challenges for measuring and predicting print life, it's clear that fade resistance of name-brand digital media for making prints has improved significantly over the last several years. These include:

Traditional photographic prints (“silver halide”) made by traditional photographic companies and usually obtained from retail stores or through online or mail order services. This includes on-site one-hour processing and overnight or two-day processing, but not prints made from kiosks.
Photographic quality thermal prints made by traditional photographic companies for printing at home (often in camera docks), and from many retail kiosks.

Photographic quality inkjet prints made by name-brand printer and imaging companies when used with specific brands of ink and paper for printing at home and on kiosks at retail locations. For best longevity, it's important to follow manufacturer recommendations about paper and ink types since certain ink and paper types are designed to work best with each other.

Remember that good control of the storage environment is important to maximizing long-term preservation of the print together with the quality of materials used to make the print. From category to category— traditional, thermal, inkjet—as well as within the category, you'll notice a wide range of quality and performance. For additional information on the stability characteristics of the various media used for digital printing, please see the section called
“Printing”. And remember the basic, common-sense usage guidelines: avoid brightly-lit display (or better yet, store away from light), and avoid conditions such as high humidity or temperature—if they make you uncomfortable, they'll probably make your treasured photos uncomfortable as well.

Natural Disasters
The destruction caused by hurricane Katrina in August 2005 and the Pacific tsunami in December 2004 demonstrated how suddenly disaster could hit. The magnitude of these events dominated the media and our lives for months, but disasters on a smaller scale from fires to floods, continue to destroy homes and property on a daily basis. Of course, human safety and basic needs — food, water, and shelter — remain immediate concerns, but the emotional healing from the sense of grief, loss and displacement can take much longer.

At I3A, we believe that photographs help with the healing process. Sadly, when your photos are also casualties of the disaster, the sense of loss only becomes magnified.

Keep a copy of your important photos in locations outside of your home, such as at an Internet photo service, in a bank safety deposit box or at the house of a friend or relative.
If you live in an area prone to natural disasters, make sure that you keep a backup in a location far away from your home.

Theft or Loss
Physical photo storage in the form of negatives, prints and albums are unlikely candidates for theft. However, thieves target many of today's electronic photo storage options and laptops, portable multimedia players and digital cameras, both at home and on the go.
Nowadays, you can store your entire photo collection on a single compact desktop computer, laptop or portable hard drive while in the past, negatives, prints and albums made for a very bulky collection. Unfortunately, if one of these devices is stolen, your photo collection is missing also.

The increasingly small size of portable electronic storage devices also makes them easy to lose. Consider that a 1GB camera flash card can hold about 500 of your photos in a package the size of a postage stamp.

Keep a copy of your important photos in locations outside of your home, such as at an Internet photo service, in a bank safe deposit box or at the house of a friend or relative.

Copy your photos from your digital camera to your computer as soon as possible after you took them in case your camera gets lost or stolen.

Keep the original film negatives, slides or prints if you created your digital photo files with a scanner - they are less susceptible to theft.

[Source: I3A - Intl Imaging Industry Assn].


Visit the website today

Click here to access our custom Google Search to instantly get answers to any photo imaging questions

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Reach us anytime with your questions, click here to access our free 24/7 Live Support help desk

Click here to sign up for free and extra promotional services from

Click on this link for helpful tips to prepare your photos for scanning

Monday, June 9, 2008

Digital Diva: Looking for Bargains

More hot tips for how to save money and preserve your photo memories.

Do you remember Kodak's Advantix APS film canisters from the 1990s? Know what it has in common with Polaroid pictures: All are analog and must be digitized and fast!

  • Today's Digital Diva Tip: APS Film Scanning - Pay just $9.95 to scan each 25exp ($14.95 to scan each 40exp roll) of APS film. If you have closets full of APS film, this is the ideal time to get it all digitally archived to save and share on your computer. Click here.

Click here to go directly to the Website

Kodak: Pictures Are More than Computer Files

The recent Wall Street Journal D All Things Digital conference included the Eastman Kodak Company as a lead sponsor. Along with photo specialty retailers and digital imaging entrepreneurs worldwide, and 30 Minute Photos Etc. salutes Kodak's leadership in recognizing that pictures are more than just jpeg files. As Kodak explains, pictures are emotional and tells and shares stories. Kodak's mandate is to provide the tools to create hundreds of inspiring, smart and fun, new ways to share your pictures once they are digitized.

In case you missed Kodak's full-page Wall Street Journal ad on June 9th, we are reposting it below. As leaders in the photo imaging industry, we have been following many favorable comments from other retailers about Kodak's message and direction which is exciting for consumers and retailers too.

MAKE SOMETHING KODAK: The State of the Picture

If anyone has been around long enough to have a perspective on pictures, it's Kodak. And frankly, we don't like what we're seeing.

The emotional truth of pictures is under attack. And it's under attack by corporations that don't even understand what pictures are really about. They treat people's most precious images as if they were nothing more than file formats. They create technology for technology's sake - not for people's sake.

We're here to take a stand against that.

We want to remind the world what pictures are really about: the humanity. The emotional connections. The ability to touch the hearts of others like nothing else can.

For over a century, Kodak has helped people unleash the emotional power of the picture and unlock its magic in all its glorious incarnations.

And that's what we continue to do now - in more ways than ever.

Kodak believes in creativity with a purpose: to make someone smile, cry, laugh, remember or simply, never forget. And doing wonderful things with pictures is something we should all be able to enjoy - you shouldn't have to be a technology whiz.

After all, the world is a better place when we get our pictures out of our devices and into our hands, into our living rooms, onto our friend's walls and our parent's mantels - where they belong.

We're going to make it simple: you bring the stories you want to tell.

And we'll bring everything else.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Customer Profile: "Scan Your photos!"

Thanks for the detailed posting on the Phillips' experience with The below commentary is reprinted from our customer's blog with her detailed experience trusting with preserving her family's photo memories.


I am sooooo glad I sent all those pictures away to THIS PLACE. I got by pictures back yesterday and I am really, really impressed. I chose the second option -- the prepaid box where you can scan as many photos as you can fit in. They send you a prepaid box, you send your photos, they scan them and then send them back. They say the box fits "over 1600" pictures. I fit in 2082 to be exact (almost all 4x6's with 50-75 3x5's thrown in). So it was the better deal for me because I got over 2000 pictures done AND I didn't have to pay postage on that HEAVY box. It took a bit longer, since I had to wait for the box to arrive, but once I sent it it was one week from leaving my house to returning.

And the pictures turned out great. Well, as great as they were in the first place! The nice thing about them was that there were no dust/scratch marks like when I scan stuff. This, in addition to the obvious advantage, I now have 2082 pictures on my hard drive that I didn't have to scan. And I probably never would have.
. LOVE it.

I am soooo happy I did this. I got so many older photos scanned. So many stories to be told. I can't wait. The only problem is that they do not scan in order so I have to go through them all and organize them. AND I need to get up the guts to get rid of the prints now. That WAS part of the purpose of this little project. Don't be scared -- I do have all the negatives of the newer pictures and I will NOT be throwing away the old picture. I will return those to my mother :)

So, go...gather up all those pictures in random albums, in shoeboxes, in drawers and get them all ready to be scanned. Best money I have spent in a long time.


Friday, June 6, 2008

Before Emailing Your Newly Scanned Photos, Read What Seth Godin Says:

Now that your generations of photo, slide, negative and recent APS film is digitized by and ready for sharing, read these helpful tips from Seth's Blog.

Email checklist

Before you hit send on that next email, perhaps you should run down this list, just to be sure:
  1. Is it going to just one person? (If yes, jump to #10)

  2. Since it's going to a group, have I thought about who is on my list?

  3. Are they blind copied?

  4. Did every person on the list really and truly opt in? Not like sort of, but really ask for it?

  5. So that means that if I didn't send it to them, they'd complain about not getting it?

  6. See #5. If they wouldn't complain, take them off!

  7. That means, for example, that sending bulk email to a list of bloggers just cause they have blogs is not okay.

  8. Aside: the definition of permission marketing: Anticipated, personal and relevant messages delivered to people who actually want to get them. Nowhere does it say anything about you and your needs as a sender. Probably none of my business, but I'm just letting you know how I feel. (And how your prospects feel).

  9. Is the email from a real person? If it is, will hitting reply get a note back to that person? (if not, change it please).

  10. Have I corresponded with this person before?

  11. Really? They've written back? (if no, reconsider email).

  12. If it is a cold-call email, and I'm sure it's welcome, and I'm sure it's not spam, then don't apologize. If I need to apologize, then yes, it's spam, and I'll get the brand-hurt I deserve.

  13. Am I angry? (If so, save as draft and come back to the note in one hour).

  14. Could I do this note better with a phone call?

  15. Am I blind-ccing my boss? If so, what will happen if the recipient finds out?

  16. Is there anything in this email I don't want the attorney general, the media or my boss seeing? (If so, hit delete).

  17. Is any portion of the email in all caps? (If so, consider changing it.)

  18. Is it in black type at a normal size?

  19. Do I have my contact info at the bottom? (If not, consider adding it).

  20. Have I included the line, "Please save the planet. Don't print this email"? (If so, please delete the line and consider a job as a forest ranger or flight attendant).

  21. Could this email be shorter?

  22. Is there anyone copied on this email who could be left off the list?

  23. Have I attached any files that are very big? (If so, google something like 'send big files' and consider your options.)

  24. Have I attached any files that would work better in PDF format?

  25. Are there any :-) or other emoticons involved? (If so, reconsider).

  26. Am I forwarding someone else's mail? (If so, will they be happy when they find out?)

  27. Am I forwarding something about religion (mine or someone else's)? (If so, delete).

  28. Am I forwarding something about a virus or worldwide charity effort or other potential hoax? (If so, visit
snopes and check to see if it's 'actually true).
  • Did I hit 'reply all'? If so, am I glad I did? Does every person on the list need to see it?
  • Am I quoting back the original text in a helpful way? (Sending an email that says, in its entirety, "yes," is not helpful).
  • If this email is to someone like Seth, did I check to make sure I know the difference between its and it's? Just wondering.
  • If this is a press release, am I really sure that the recipient is going to be delighted to get it?
  • Or am I taking advantage of the asymmetrical nature of email--free to send, expensive investment of time to read or delete?
  • Are there any little animated creatures in the footer of this email? Adorable kittens? Endangered species of any kind?
  • Bonus: Is there a long legal disclaimer at the bottom of my email? Why?
  • Bonus: Does the subject line make it easy to understand what's to come and likely it will get filed properly?
  • If I had to pay 42 cents to send this email, would I?

  • Click here to read Seth Godin's blog

    "Protect Family Photos" (Southern Living Magazine)

    From Southern L:iving Magazine...

    Save your family's visual history with proper storage and framing techniques.

    It pains a writer to admit this, but a picture is worth a thousand words. Sadly, though, a photograph isn't worth much if it fades and decays over time.

    Framing Facts
    Low prices may tempt you to buy decorative frames for your photos, but be careful. Most of them don't come with archival mats or spacers to keep photos from touching the glass. Use UV-blocking glass to protect photos, and do not hang them in direct sunlight. Wood can give off harmful chemicals, so use aluminum or archival plastic frames. If you have heirloom photos, make a good copy of the original, frame it, and hang on the wall. Store the original in a safe place.

    Healthy Attachments
    • Opt for archival-quality photo corners. Never use glues or tapes unless they are designated to be photo-safe.
    • Don't rush when removing old photos from self-stick albums. You may do more harm than good. If the adhesive has dried up and the plastic cover sheet has come loose, you can probably remove the photos easily. If necessary, use a thin knife inserted under the edge of the photo to remove it. Be careful not to curl the photo as you pull it off.
    • If the pages are tacky and removing the photo will cause damage, consider taking the album to a photo conservation expert. Ask for references at your local photo shop.

    Digital Preservation
    There are services that will scan your prints and convert them into JPEG files. For $49.95, will scan up to 1,000 photos. Your original prints are returned to you along with a CD-ROM/DVD.

    Smart Storage
    • Store images in separate polyethylene bags. Be sure the product is archival quality with no polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVC releases poisonous chemicals throughout its life cycle. For more about archival products, visit
    • Choose boxes and photo albums that are acid-free and made from archival board. Do not use magnetic or self-adhesive albums. Kolo offers a variety of archival storage products. Visit

    "Protect Family Photos" is from the August 2007 issue of Southern Living.
    Scan Photos, 35mm Slide and Negative Scanning, Photo Restoration, Digital Printing -