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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Review ScanMyPhotos.com: Jen Pleasants ShowTheLOVE.com


And we LOVE you too, Jen. Thanks to Jen Pleasants. CEO of SHOWtheLOVE MEDIA, LLC for her wonderful ShowtheLOVE blog and mention of her experience with ScanMyPhotos.com.
Excerpt:
So my special gift I ordered for my husband for Christmas arrived and it is SO COOL! I had all of our old photos scanned (ones that were taken pre-digital camera). And ScanMyPhotos.com did the best job (seriously amazing customer service)! I shipped them thousands of photos and within days they had them all scanned and sent back to me with a book chronicling each picture. The best part is you can put the disk in your DVD player and watch it on TV as a slide show. That is fun when all the family gets together for the holidays so it was really a gift for us all!. Definitely worth checking out. And you still have time! [sample].

Friday, November 28, 2008

SmartMoney.com: Stand Out Profile - ScanMyPhotos.com



profiles Stand Out: Power of Reinvention Keeps This Biz Owner Afloat -
November 28, 2008

By
Diana Ransom - SMALL-BUSINESS OWNERS, what are you doing to stand out from the crowd? Each week, we focus on an entrepreneur who has lessons to share that we think will resonate with other small-business owners. Mitch Goldstone, co-founder of ScanMyPhotos.com, answers our questions:


What are you doing to stand out from the crowd?


We started out as a traditional retail photo center almost two decades ago. Then came the advent of digital photography and the Internet and traditional photography as we knew it was dead. While most photo labs shut down, we did what we could to survive. We embraced new technology and reinvented ourselves. We now scan and digitize up to one million analog photographs a day for consumers around the globe.


Name: Mitch Goldstone
Business: ScanMyPhotos.com, a digital photo-scanning service.
Industry: Photography
Location: Irvine, Calif.
Year founded: 1990
Number of employees: 11

What's the best part about owning your own business?

We make people cry — literally. When customers see their snapshots redone in a digital format, they get emotional. It's rewarding to know that the work we do allows people to revisit memories that were previously shoved away in shoeboxes.

What's the biggest challenge of owning your own business?

Keeping up with lightning-fast technological shifts remains a challenge. We read everything, including articles on topics way beyond our scope of expertise. We also attend nearly 20 tradeshows and conferences each year just to keep on top of things.

What's the biggest hurdle you've overcome?

After the traditional photo industry died, having to completely reinvent the business for life after film was singularly our biggest hurdle. It was either reinvent ourselves or shut down. We chose the former.

What's the biggest mistake you've made?

Several years ago, we strayed away from our prime vendor, Kodak. I had redirected our focus and broadened our selection of vendors. That was a big mistake. It led us into a realm of using inferior technology, which slowed our processes and diminished our product’s quality. Today, we only use Kodak products. Their technology is largely the reason for our success.

What's the best business advice you can offer?

Read everything. Attend trade shows and conferences in many diverse fields.
[source: SmartMoney.com]

Thursday, November 27, 2008

ScanMyPhotos.com: What is a Photo Index Book?


Photo Index Books Exclusively Designed by ScanMyPhotos.com
What is a photo index book?


The photo index book is ordered along with your photo scanning order designed to help you organize and show off your newly scanned images in a more elegant manner. They are 8½" x 11" hard cover books with 25 images per page, approximately measuring 1.5"H x 1.75"V for a horizontal image and 1.5"H x 1" V for a vertical image. Each book is printed on thick, durable paper and printed double sided to look like a real book custom made for you. Image rotation is included with every Photo Index Book when ordered with photo scanning from ScanMyPhotos.com.

NOTE: This is not the Photo Book. For information about the Photo Book, please
click here.
How is it different than the photo book?


The photo book is designed by you through ScanMyPhotos.com using our templates to create a memory book of an event or special occasion. They are great for gifts or as a way to tell a story with your photos. The photo index book is designed to help you organize your photos by creating a thumbnail image of your photo along with the file name to create an easy way to catalog your photo memories.
Learn more about the photo book.


How to order


Order it when you order your photo scanning service from ScanMyPhotos.com and we will include photo rotation at no charge. (Image rotation only included when ordered at the time of scanning)
Pay-per-1,000: $95.50 per 1,000 photos


Pre-paid Fill the Box: $134.50 per box.
Learn more

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Glenn Fleishman Discusses ScanMyPhotos.com on KUOW.org


Glenn Fleishman is a freelance technology reporter spoke about ScanMyPhotos.com in the two-o'clock hour on Nov 26th on KUOW radio. According to KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio, he explored how to transform thousands of analog photos to digital with a simple service. Glenn Fleishman spoke with on air radio personality, Jeremy Richards. Click here for more and to listen to the segment. Thanks Glenn for the mention. Read Glenn's amazingly rich bio and history as a expert on everything hi-tech.

ScanMyPhotos.com

geo-imaging using GPS data to find, organize, and share photos


Listen to this Nov 26th podcast where Future Image Report Editor Paul Worthington speaks with Geotate Marketing Vice President Mark Terry. Geotate's patented approach, using a technology first developed by Philips Research in 2000, gathers raw location data from geosynchronous satellites. It's an approach that saves on camera power, manufacturing costs, and user time.

[source: The Imaging Executive Podcast from the Association of Imaging Executives, offers leadership insights and a glimpse at the future of imaging. AIE is a PMA member association].

What We're Reading and Using as Gifts - "Outlines: The Story of Success"



What we're reading and sharing with others. If you want to also learn what it takes to be an entrepreneur and success in business, click here. Outliners: The Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell, is the book that ScanMyPhotos.com is buying as gifts for our relatives and friends to inspire and dream big.

Amazon.com reader reviews (Preston Barrett):

In this wide-ranging third installment of Malcolm Gladwell's exploration of how people and social phenomena work, the New Yorker journalist takes a close look at what constitutes high levels of success. That is, what makes people at the top of their respective fields get there? As we've come to expect from Gladwell's previous books, the answer to the question is a bit complicated. He says that upbringing, culture and even random luck have something to with success, but there is another important quality that anyone can control. Two chapters are dedicated to the "revelation" that IQ is only a baseline quality and success has little to nothing to do with having a high IQ or a low IQ. Rather, success is substantially a product of cultivating a high degree of what Robert Sternberg calls "practical intelligence" or what most refer to as "emotional intelligence." Gladwell uses the example of Nobel laureates coming from unknown schools as often as ivy league schools. At this level of mastery IQ is no longer a factor. Success has little to do with where you were educated and everything to do with your level of practical/emotional intelligence and willingness to put in the 10,000 hours of practice required to reach mastery of your field. All in all, it's an interesting read that isn't too heady and goes by pretty quickly, as the interesting anecdotes are what you would expect from Gladwell.

(Susan Barenes) review:

I loved this book. I couldn't put it down and found myself reading it well into the night. The author gives fascinating details about what it really takes to be a success. It isn't doing "the secret" and wishing for success, its about being born in the right time and place and under the right circumstance along with
being a hard worker. I loved the anecdotes Gladwell uses and found some of the stories heart catching. Gladwell is an excellent writer and I have become a new fan.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Web Trends Report: Scanning Photos by NBC WBAL-TV News' John Sanders

Click here for more info on John Sanders. Technology reporter John Sanders offers helpful technology tips and tricks in WBAL-TV 11's Web Trends Report on 11 News Today and in his Web Trends Blog on WBALTV.com.

"Strategy: Turn your pix into visuals you can find and use" (via New Storytelling.com)

Thanks to journalist and co-founder of National Geographic´s intranet, Cathy Healy's for her New Storytelling blog mention of ScanMyPhotos.com on Nov 20th. As you prepare for the holiday season, orders from around the world arrive all day long from several courier services and we mandate that every photo scan order be processed and prepare for return delivery the same day it arrives. Whatever the date, please make sure to choose expedited and rush service which means that your digitized photo files and all the extra menu of speciality services that you select will be completed and sent back the same day. FedEx overnight, means that your order will be received back at your residence or office the next business day.

Here's an excerpt from Cathy Healy's New Storytelling blog posting:
Digitize the visuals. Try scanmyphotos.com. My Kansas rebel friend, Gene Carter, says he’s used them twice and they’re “very supportive and flexible.” Also affordable. I have a book of prints, plus a scattering of digital pix, of an ancestor-tracking trip that I did in Ukraine about 10 years ago. That might be an easy way to start try the system.

Buy 2 get 3rd PrePaid Fill the Box Free from ScanMyPhotos.com


Click here for more info.




Follow the conversation at YackTrack!

Slide.com: Another Way to Share your Photos from ScanMyPhotos.com

Slide.com, an online photo-sharing company has been offering tools that allow users to create custom photo slide shows with images and animations for their blogs or social-networking pages. Once you have your images digitally preserved by ScanMyPhotos.com, click here for ideas on how to share those photos.

Slide has developed customizable and easily assembled slide shows of photos that can be embedded in a blog or a MySpace page, sent out in an RSS feed, and streamed to a desktop as a screensaver.


According to its website, Slide is the world's largest publisher of social entertainment applications. It provides you the ability to engage and have fun with one another using the relationships you already developed on social networks like Facebook and MySpace. The social networks benefit from increased activity, advertisers benefit from an exuberant audience, and our users can share favorite videos, send virtual lattes or even throw sheep at each other. Slide, has several applications, including SuperPoke!, Top Friends and FunSpace — these are the most popular applications on their platforms, including the #1 and #2 most popular applications on Facebook (FunSpace and Top Friends).




Friday, November 21, 2008

Photo Gift Cards and DIY 5x7" Folded Photo Cards



Click here to order custom photo cards and 5x7" folded photo cards. Mailed back same business day from ScanMyPhotos.com


If you live or are traveling to the southern California area, visit our retail photo center and design your own custom photo cards and all types of photo gifts, including giant 24x36" collage photo posters, Kodak Picture Movie DVDs and more in minutes with our do-it-yourself Kodak Photo Kiosks.

Photo Books


Click here to order photo books instantly. Mailed back same business day from ScanMyPhotos.com
If you live or are traveling to the southern California area, visit our retail photo center and design your own custom photo memory books in minutes with our do-it-yourself Kodak Photo Kiosks.

Newsweek: "Budget Travel"- photo scanning

Click here to read Sean O'Neill's Newsweek publication, Budget Travel article on "Is it a lame idea to digitize your trip pictures?"

How to Make Photo Books

ScanMyPhotos.com is your source for the most memorable holiday photo gifts, especially custom photo books that you design yourself with our online or at our southern California photo speciality retail center. Watch the video.

What is a photo book?

A photo book is the next evolution of the photo album using your digital photos. Using very simple software, anyone can create a beautiful coffee-table style book of personal memories. There are many sizes and styles of photo books from which to choose. From hardcover, to softcover, to leather-bound or miniature, there is a photo book that’s just perfect for any event.

Steps to making a great photo book:

  • 1. Select the photos you would like to use.
  • 2. Select the size and style of photo book that is best for your project.
  • 3. Be as creative as you want. You can have full creative control over exactly where pictures are placed, the design of each page, and when and where to use text. This is ideal for using your recently scanned photos, slides and negatives from ScanMyPhotos.com. Or you may choose to have the software automatically load your photos into a predetermined template, making the entire process effortless.
  • 4. Order your book and decide whether to pick it up at the store or have it delivered to your door. Click here to order online.
  • 5. Order extra copies for family and friends!

Composing Better Photos

"Composition” means taking better photos One way to improve your photography is through better “composition,” which only means thoughtfully “composing” the image in the viewfinder for the greatest impact. After learning a few basic rules, it is easy to do because they will focus your attention on the subject and its surroundings in the viewfinder. Digital photographers have a distinct advantage of seeing the picture they have just taken on the camera’s LCD monitor. You can immediately reshoot an improved version of your previous image. This is not complicated, but it means paying attention to what you are doing. If you read a book on composition, one of the first things you would learn is the Rule of Thirds. This rule suggests that the viewfinder image should be divided equally into three imaginary horizontal sections and three vertical sections. In scenic photos, never have the horizon or the subject directly in the middle of the photo. Rather, two-thirds of the picture should show the sky (hopefully with some interesting looking clouds) or two-thirds landscape, seascape or cityscape with one-third (or less) as sky. Why? Because most scenic pictures with the horizon in the middle are boring. The same rule applies to a subject placement in the photo. For example, if you are taking a seascape and place the lighthouse in the middle of the picture, the image is very static and uninteresting. However, if the lighthouse is moved to one of one-third or two-thirds location on the imaginary grid, the overall image becomes more dynamic with greater appeal. The viewer’s eyes will travel back and forth between the open expanse of sea and the lighthouse on one side of the photo. If you want to prove this to yourself, take a look at a book illustrating the works of realistic fine-art painters or a photo annual displaying the work of professional photographers, both of whom regularly employ the Rule of Thirds. Another composition “rule” is the use of the “S” curve, such as a serpentine road, river, railroad tracks, etc., winding out of the photo into the distance. If available, this visual device will give the photo “depth.” There are other visual devices that create depth. Some visual element (even out of focus) near the camera, along with a sharply focused middle ground and background image also provides the illusion of depth. For example, when you include tree branches in the corner of your photo of the Grand Canyon or a silhouette of a hiker standing near the rim, the photo will be more interesting than the Grand Canyon alone. The branches provide a reference point for the distant scene, and the hiker helps relate the viewer to the size and expanse of the panorama. Remember to keep the Rule of Thirds in mind, when it comes to the horizon and placement of the secondary subjects. Perspective is another composition tool. For example, a line of trees, telephone poles or a narrowing roadway that recede into the distance also indicates depth. If your main subject is in the foreground, be sure that there is something in the distance to which the viewer can relate, such as a smaller or less important secondary subject. If your foreground subject is a person try to include a meaningful object, building, monument, mountain, etc. in the scene to provide additional interest and depth to the image through perspective. Rules are made to be broken, so don’t worry if you don’t slavishly follow them all the time. But it is important to remember the rules and be very aware of what you are composing in the viewfinder. Too many snapshot shooters pay little attention to what they see or don’t see in their camera’s viewfinder. For example, if you are photographing one or more people, make sure that tree limbs or traffic signs aren’t growing out of the top of their heads. Usually you can move the camera to avoid disturbing background elements behind them. It just takes a moment to notice what you are doing and move your camera position for a better shot. Outdoors, the same thing can be said about lighting. If you have a group of people squinting because of bright overhead sunlight, move them into the shade for a more pleasant portrait. Or, ask them to turn around and place the sun behind them. Then select your camera’s “fill flash” or “force flash” setting for a close-up flash portrait of the group. The flash with sunlight will fill in any shadows in their faces and produce a very nice portrait. (When it comes to composition, I can’t figure out why so many snapshot shooters tend to take full-length pictures of their friends and family. Are their subjects’ shoes that interesting? It’s much better to fill the viewfinder up with just faces. I really think that many people are just too shy to get up close to their subjects – and that’s a mistake.) Speaking of portraits, that is probably one place, the Rule of Thirds doesn’t necessarily apply all the time. Here the portrait subject is the center of interest. There are really two kinds of portraits – formal and environmental. Formal portraits are mainly in a controlled situation, frequently with muted or out-of-focus backgrounds, so that the subject is the only point of interest. Usually a head-and-shoulders view, the formal portrait is designed to provide an attractive depiction of the subject, which can be enjoyed for years to come. Therefore, the portrait subject is usually centered in the photograph. An environmental portrait is one that is made in an “environment,” which usually has some connection to the portrait subject. For example, a carpenter working in his woodshop, a homemaker in the kitchen, a sailing buff with his boat, a cyber whiz at a computer, or a hunter in the field posing with his dog. Here the challenge is to capture the subject in an environment that depicts work, hobby or avocation through the backdrop of his or her surroundings. The rules of composition can still apply, since the photo combines several elements in addition to the portrait subject.


Taking Top-notch People Shots

Just what is it that brings out the voyeur in us? Several thousand U~S. professional portrait photographers say it's look at Ö well, us! Or, rather, at people who look a lot like us. People are insatiably curious about other members of the human race. What do they look like, where do they work, how do they think, act, and feel about a wide range of subjects? Our fascination with others is precisely what makes portrait photography such an enduring-and endearing-art. Picture for a moment two young men in worn T-shirts and jeans. They're leaning back in chairs propped against the wall of a ramshackle wooden cottage deep in the Louisiana bayou. Take in their expressions, then look around at the rest of the scene. The weathered, battered, aged wood of the building. the empty Coke bottles at their feet. the scrawny tom cat napping on the porch. It's a visually exciting portrait-sometimes called an environmental or documentary portrait because it tells more about the subjects than expression, alone, could reveal. It includes a piece of the subjects' lives; it documents the way in which they live. Environmental portrait opportunities are all around us. But they're rarely easy to capture on film. For a photo to tell its viewers something new and intriguing about subject-what he does, where he does it, how he feels about doing it-it must be composed in such a way as to arouse the questioning mind of the viewer. For the photographer willing to invest the time and effort, the potential photographic rewards are enormous. But environmental photos are only the tip of the portraiture iceberg. Other people shots-like the more common personal portrait-are equally fascinating and far less difficult to capture on film. But doing it with the kind of style that sets your portraits apart from the millions of others taken each year demands a little thought and an extra bit of effort. TIP: Look through your recently scanned photos from ScanMyPhotos.com for amazing photo samples. Like all types of photography, creative portraiture begins with an understanding of photography itself. And that begins with film. Advancements in color-film technology have produced a new generation of sharper, clearer, more brilliant color films than ever before. Yet an amazing number of picture-takers ignore the qualities color film by shooting the same old colors over and over again. Kids in blue jeans and white T-shirts set against a background of blue sky and white clouds offer little variation to stimulate the eye and tease the mind. Picture the difference a pair of red sneakers, a green plastic ball, a purple hat, and a yellow background would make. Professional photographer Lisl Dennis has made a living out of shooting just such colorful portraits. If it works for her, it can work for you. Keep you eyes peeled for color. If the colors in a scene are ho-hum, add some props. Drape a colorful sweater around your subject's shoulders. Pose him next to a Kelly green golf bag. Seat him beneath a multi-hued patio umbrella. If props aren't available, shift your own point of view to include a background of forest-green trees and vermilion skies. The results are colors vivid enough to excite even the most jaded voyeur. Lenses, too, play an important part in creative portraiture. The most face-flattering of all is an 80 mm telephoto mounted on a 35 mm camera. It has the ability to shorten the nose and round out oblong faces. While buying an 80 mm lens for your single-lens reflex camera may be a luxury you're not quite ready to indulge in, a zoom lens of from 80-200 mm will provide both the perfect portrait setting plus a wide range of other settings suitable for various photographic chores-shooting distant wildlife, sporting events, etc. If you're not yet ready to invest in a 35 mm SLR and a suitable zoom lens, consider a 35 mm compact camera. Many models today are equipped with built-in zooms or telephoto lenses that offer near as much flexibility as their larger, more costly cousins. Keep the sun over your shoulder--if you want a boring, harshly lit photo. Otherwise, the best place to position your subject is at a right angle to the sun. That will also prevent him from squinting in the bright light just as you take the shot. (Take your photos on a lightly overcast day. The illumination from open hazy skies lends a natural, attractive look to portraits. If the day is too dark, though, you'll lose contrast in the model's face. To correct that, use electronic flash with a daylight fill setting to add highlights. Take indoor portraits by the light of a nearby window. If the light is too bright and tends to wash out the subject's facial features, simply pull the curtains or cover the window with a white sheet to soften it. And remember that toddlers and sunny windows just seem to go together. Be on your toes for some good candid photo opportunities when the two get together. Watch the background. It's important to use a background that contrasts with the subject to prevent the subject from getting 'lost." Also, avoid overly busy backgrounds and telephone poles, trees, and other appendages that may appear to be growing from your subject's head. So the next time someone asks you to take a family portrait to send to the relatives, think twice about lining the subjects up firing-squad style. You may be able to take an environmental portrait or, perhaps, a more conventional shot utilizing soft light, colorful props, and just the right lens. The results? Fantastic.


Photographing Pets

They are, according to writer George Eliot, "Agreeable friends. They ask no questions, they pass no criticisms." More than that, they're quiet, unassuming, and obedient. They're often members of the family. And they make excellent photographic subjects-both entertaining and cooperative. What more could one ask for in a subject than pet! One of the nicest things about photographing pets is that you don't need a lot of costly equipment to do the job. Even an inexpensive cam ill work. In fact, some of the least expensive cameras have taken some of the best pet pictures around. And with today's easy-to-use, point-and-shoot, auto-everything models, you can take top-notch photos of your pets and have them hanging on the wall within days. The key to photographing pets is patience. It you have a rnanually focusing camera, pre-focus on a particular area. Then coax your pet into that area with a toy or a treat. For cats, try pre-focusing your camera on a spool of thread or a ball of yarn. When your cat comes over for a closer look, just snap the shutter. A loud noise is one of the best ways to attract a dog's attention. Just make sure you've pre-focused on him. Then, when he snaps to attention, take the shot. And don't forget to include the kids in some of your photos. For the most natural looking results, sneak up on a child playing with his pet and snap away. Sound simple? Most definitely. But there are a few more things you can do to get consistently good results. · Get down! A pet's-eye view is much more interesting than the same shot taken from adult's-eye level. Don't be afraid to kneel down to get just the shot you're after. ·Get close! That's the best way to fill the frame with the subject. Just like people, pets have distinct facial expressions that only a close-up shot can capture. When photographing really small pets such as birds or fish, use a macro lens to get within inches of the subject. · Get plenty! Really great pet shots don't come along every day. For best results, use plenty of film. Most professional photographers agree that there's a direct relationship between the number of pictures you take and the number of good shots you get. So don't be stingy!


Getting in on the Action

If you're getting tired of taking photographs of the same old boring subjects, why not head on out to where the action is? The real action. You need not spend thousands of dollars traveling to Maui for the International Surfing Championships or to Spain for the Running of the Bulls. There's plenty of exciting action going on just moments from your front door. If you doubt that, check with your local Chamber of Commerce or State Tourism Department. Scan the entertainment section of daily and neighborhood newspapers. Tune in to regional radio and television broadcasts. There you'll find news of upcoming fairs, races, rodeos, sports activities, rallies, and other events-everything from barrel racing and high school diving competitions to baseball, football, and hockey games ... from offshore sailing regattas to a neighborhood game of stick hockey. Not surprisingly, many people are hesitant to try photographing moving subjects. Decades of slow film and slower lenses once restricted photographers to shooting stone-faced subjects standing beneath the mid-day sun on a hot summer's day in August. Ahh, how times have changed! Today's newer equipment and more sensitive films allow you to use faster shutter speeds to get proper exposures. And fast shutter speeds "freeze" fast action, providing you the opportunity to capture on film some things your parents could only dream about. Here are a few other tips for getting in on the action. If your camera features an adjustable shutter speed, set it for 1/250 second for shooting subjects such as joggers, bicyclers, and cars traveling slower than 25 miles an hour. For subjects such as runners, sports activities, and cars traveling up to 50 miles an hour, use a shutter speed of 1/500 second. For really fast-moving subjects such as airplanes, motorcycles, and auto racers, use 1/1,000 second or faster. If your camera features an automatically adjustable shutter speed, use a fast film of ISO 400 to 1000 to ensure the camera's ability to select a fast shutter speed for the proper exposure. If you find yourself shooting a slow film or if your camera has a limited shutter-speed range, try shooting moving subjects as they come toward you rather than going from one side to the other. Autofocusing cameras are especially useful in conditions like this. For a more creative approach to capturing fast action, especially when shooting something like a car race, try using a slower shutter speed of around 1/60 second and panning with the action. Simply move the camera from one side to the other, keeping the subject "frozen" in one spot in the viewfinder at all times. In the middle of your pan, snap the picture. The results: a sharp subject standing out against a dramatically motion-blurred background. When freezing fast action indoors (like at a hockey game or a party), use electronic flash. The short duration of the electronic flash will accomplish the same thing as a fast shutter speed, resulting in perfectly motionless subjects. Just be sure to check the flash manual or the unit, itself, to see that the subject is within the maximum flash range for your film speed and flash combination. The faster the film (or the higher its ISO rating), the greater the flash range. When forced to shoot a slow film indoors without electronic flash, try to anticipate the "peak of action.î That's the precise moment when a moving object stops moving in one direction and begins moving in another. It's the pinnacle of a basketball player's jump shot or the moment a race car veers to make a turn through a tight chicane. To capture the shot at just the right moment, pre-focus your camera where you anticipate the peak of action will occur and be ready fire. It takes split-second timing and plenty of practice to do it right, but peak-of-action shots are some of the most exciting and spectacular of all action photos.


More ways to use Photo Books

Many people are creating impressive and treasured family history photo books. They gather photographic material and prints from across the country and the world. The format, quality and condition of these vary enormously in the amount of care and effort in putting these together. If you plan to use a lot of old prints, slides or negatives, you will need the right scanner for your needs. Or you can use a scanning service, which will save you a lot of time. If you are about to renovate, remodel or decorate your home, use photobooks to tell the story. Do a before-and-after series on facing pages. Learn how to place a tripod for identical positioning. For interior shots, lower the viewing height, and point the camera level to avoid those converging doorways and walls. Include pictures of yourself and others working on the renovation, as part of the story. Need a last minute gift? How about a simple photobook? Just make sure the book is one the recipient will enjoy receiving and will value, not just politely keep in a drawer and bring out when you visit them. If you take a lot of good photographs for a family wedding, then this can make for a wonderful photo book. And you can add in other pictures of the happy couple as they first met, and on early dates, as part of the story. You can determine the style and quality that will allow you to make copies for the closest family members and friends. If funds are tight, maybe each person who wants one could offer to pay for their own, much as people do when they order from the photographer. Sharing the news and pictures of a new baby can be done with a little photo book. It does not have to be a huge production or expensive – there are many simple and budget-priced books that can be chosen from. A wonderful and caring approach is to create a tribute or memory book for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Here are a few tips... Caption and group the pictures to make sense for them. For example, someone with dementia is likely to be prompted by the inscription they once wrote on the back of a photo, even if it is cryptic to others. Be careful adding your own interpretations. But do add in names of others in the pictures and their relationships to your loved one. Maybe some added explanation and facts. This can help you and the caregivers go through the book over and over again with your loved one, and for it to be a fresh experience every time.. It’s important for children need to see photos of themselves and their parents, and images of their grandparents at younger ages. They get a much better sense of their own identity through seeing their place in the larger family. What better way to do this than give them their own family history book loaded with characters and stories. Pictures with captions, and more detailed stories they will grow into as they learn to read. They will be able to share this with their friends and classmates. Keep the separate set of digital originals on file, so that if a book is lost or damaged, you can easily have another made up from the same images. So, with the range of books, styles, quality, formats and services available to you, whether online or at your local camera store, you can take advantage of this and create wonderful bound books, for whatever purpose you need.

For more info, see ScanMyPhotos.com

[content from PMA]

Holiday shoppers continue to shift purchases online


Read more.

Nielsen Online, a service of the Nielsen Co., found consumers will continue to shift their gift buying online this holiday season, citing convenience, time saving and price among the primary reasons for shopping on the web. With the current economic downturn, there is an increased focus on price this year, with 53 percent of consumers citing price as a reason to buy online, compared with 46 percent last year. Interestingly, though, consumers continue to trump convenience more than price as the primary value of the channel, with 76 percent of consumers citing the ability to shop 24 hours a day, and 74 percent citing time saving for why they shop online.

These results are from a Nielsen Online pre-holiday survey intended to gauge online consumers' holiday shopping plans for 2008. The online survey was fielded from Nov. 6-11 among approximately 1,300 online shoppers in the United States who did holiday shopping online last year and/or planned to do so this year.


The top 10 reasons to shop online included:
1. Able to shop 24 hours a day (76 percent)
2. Saves time (74 percent)
3. Avoiding crowds (65 percent)
4. Saves gas (59 percent)
5. Sales/Discounts/Promotions (55 percent)
6. Low prices (53 percent)
7. Comparison shopping (48 percent)
8. Selection (40 percent)
9. Available product information (37 percent)
10. Items are in stock (37 percent)

Survey results indicate holiday gift budgets are shifting online. Respondents said that they would spend an increased percent of their holiday shopping budget online, an average of 41 percent compared to 39 percent last year. And more respondents indicated that they would spend the majority of their holiday gift budgets online, up to 36 percent from 32 percent a year ago.

[source: PMA Newsline]


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"When 9 Cents Makes a Memorable Gift" (via NY Times)


(repost from, November 19, 2008, 4:18 pm, "When 9 Cents Makes a Memorable Gift" By Rik Fairlie, New York Times, GadgetWise, Getting Smart About Personal Technology). Click here to read article.

What with the downward-facing economy, most consumers will probably try to spend less on holiday gifts this year. One camera maker I spoke with last week predicted that gift-givers will go DIY with homemade items like photo calendars, photo books, coffee mugs, key chains, and more. All you need is a JPEG to create your own at sites like Shutterfly.com, Picasa.com, Kodak Gallery, Snapfish, and others.

But why not apply today’s technology to yesterday’s photos? I used a service called
ScanMyPhotos.com to scan film prints of photos from my diaper days through my early 40s, when I switched to digital cameras (David Pogue’s a fan–read more about his take on the service here). These predigital photos are great material for holiday gifts because, well, no one is expecting to get a fridge magnet made from a 40-year-old personal photo.

ScanMyPhotos.com will scan up to 1,000 prints for $49.95. An alternative is the prepaid fill-the-box option: The company sends you a prepaid box, you stuff it with as many photos as you can, and send it back (the postage is paid). This service costs $124.95 per box but ScanMyPhotos.com is
now running a special in which you buy two boxes and get a third free. The photos are scanned as 300 dots-per-inch JPEG files and burned to a DVD-R data disc.

I went for the box-stuffer option. When filling the box, you must ensure that all your photos are face up, but other than that, I just packed them in and mailed the box back. A week later my box returned (with the photos more neatly stacked than I had sent them), along with a DVD with 1,386 scanned photos. That’s a cost of 9 cents per scan.


I copied the disc to my computer’s hard drive and took a look at the results. The photos were a bit of a mess—some were upside down or sideways, and the quality of the scans is dependent upon on the original photo. But if you’re looking for an easy way to preserve and organize old prints, it’s a pretty great deal.


And gifts made from these prints are sure to be surprising. Your Aunt Tasie just won’t see it coming when she unwraps that photo key ring emblazoned with your darling little five-year-old mug.
[source: NY Times]

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Customer Feedback: ScanMyPhotos.com

Dear ScanMyPhotos.com - After the local firestorms I have sent your info to all of my online friends and acquaintances with a story of how you did a great job for me. I brought in my photos (4001 of them) in probably two years ago, and then made DVDs of all my deceased photo albums for her 5 children for Xmas. Thanx

Charles L. Jarusek

Sunday, November 16, 2008

ScanMyPhotos.com CEO Op-ed Commentary in Orange County Register


Letters: Adapt to new economic climate

Orange County Register, Letters to the editor for Nov. 16, 2008 by, Mitch Goldstone President & CEO ScanMyPhotos.com

As the CEO of a business based in Irvine I've taken a keen interest in what has been going on in our state and local governments. This difficult economic climate has had a dramatic effect on our business, but it also has affected government revenues and our company has a vested interest in how our state and local governments handle their fiscal situations.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced this week that the state now faces an $11.2 billion deficit because of the state's revenue dependence on Wall Street. As the governor explained, our state's revenue system is too dependent on capital gains taxes and the income taxes of higher earners.
What struck me was when he pointed to a chart that showed how much revenues fluctuate even though our state's economy has remained relatively steady, showing the problem with being linked too much to the always unpredictable Wall Street.

To address the large deficit, the governor proposed a combination of spending cuts and tax increases. The most significant tax increase that he proposed is a 1.5 percent statewide sales tax increase that expires after three years. Combined with Los Angeles's already high sales tax, my company will have to make some significant adjustments and adapt to the new burdens of what could be more than 10 percent.

Although I'm no fan of higher taxes, I understand the precarious position the governor is in, and I'm in full support of what I see as a pragmatic approach to solving our state's budget problems. The state made around $10.9 billion in cuts when the governor signed this year's budget in September and his new proposal calls for $4.5 billion more. I think it's reasonable for the state to find additional revenue to make sure that the cuts don't do any more damage. When faced with big challenges and a new environment, as a CEO, I understand all too well how important it is to adapt.

My company, ScanMyPhotos.com, started in 1990 and began as a boutique retail film-based photo center. We faced extinction as the photo industry transitioned from film to digital, and I was forced to make some leaps of faith to try to change our business model. Years ago, we pioneered and commercialized a new type of super-fast Kodak photo scanning technology that can process 1000 photos in about 15 minutes and expanded our online presence to appeal to consumers across the nation. That decision has paid off and our company is doing very well.

The state needs to make similar adjustments and adapt the way it operates. The governor created a bipartisan commission to look at the state's outdated revenue system and offer a recommendation on how to modernize and stabilize it. That is exactly the type of adaptation the state needs to make. But this commission isn't going to report its findings until next year so we still have to face the current fiscal problems.

With a balanced approach that involves more cuts than tax increases, the governor is laying out a path for the state to reasonably fix our problems for this year. One of the reasons why so many people respect this governor is that no matter what the issue or crisis is, he has the courage to put forth a realistic solution and tries to get both parties to find a compromise.

My greatest hope is that the state is able to address this situation quickly and responsibly, because if they don't, we would face even worse conditions. If they don't make cuts immediately and find a way to bring in more reliable revenues, the state's deficit will likely grow and they will have less time to make up the difference. Furthermore, if they choose to borrow or use accounting tricks to try to solve the problem, businesses like mine will recognize those shams and realize that they just indicate that the state is going to need to make up that money with even higher tax increases in the future. It's important for the state to get through this emergency for all of our sakes and I know the governor's approach is the most responsible way to go.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Cnet.com: "Q&A: What is the fastest and best method to scan photos into a computer?"

We appreciate most of the competition that has germinated ever since ScanMyPhotos.com pioneered this new super-fast service for affordable photo scanning and menu of additional photo imaging services for you.

There is a new business book called Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell, which we are buying for employees and especially younger members of our families to teach and inspire. Outliners, reminds us that every "overnight success" takes years of hard work and uncompromising dedication.

We noticed this in a CNet.com forum about photo scanning. The forum has more than a hundred postings, it starts off with a reader recommending ScanMyPhotos.com. Then, there are many who are regularly trying to ambush and replicate our 18-years of toil in the photo imaging industry (as owners of a retail and ecommerce photo imaging business). They are chiming in and trying to pitch their services.

ScanMyPhotos.com so enjoys these comparisons. It is among our biggest source for winning over new customers around the world. Next to the New York Times review on ScanMyPhotos.com, and others in USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and scores of others, those start-ups which try to copy our formula and instant 24/7 live customer support are our among our best marketing tools.

Here's a link to the CNet photo scanning forum.

Excerpt from Amazon.com's Outliners review:
Amazon Best of the Month, November 2008: Now that he's gotten us talking about the viral life of ideas and the power of gut reactions, Malcolm Gladwell poses a more provocative question in Outliers: why do some people succeed, living remarkably productive and impactful lives, while so many more never reach their potential? Challenging our cherished belief of the "self-made man," he makes the democratic assertion that superstars don't arise out of nowhere, propelled by genius and talent: "they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot." Examining the lives of outliers from Mozart to Bill Gates, he builds a convincing case for how successful people rise on a tide of advantages, "some deserved, some not, some earned, some just plain lucky."Outliers can be enjoyed for its bits of trivia, like why most pro hockey players were born in January, how many hours of practice it takes to master a skill, why the descendents of Jewish immigrant garment workers became the most powerful lawyers in New York, how a pilots' culture impacts their crash record, how a centuries-old culture of rice farming helps Asian kids master math. But there's more to it than that. Throughout all of these examples--and in more that delve into the social benefits of lighter skin color, and the reasons for school achievement gaps--Gladwell invites conversations about the complex ways privilege manifests in our culture. He leaves us pondering the gifts of our own history, and how the world could benefit if more of our kids were granted the opportunities to fulfill their remarkable potential. --Mari Malcolm

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pure Digital introduces Flip MinoHD camcorder


Pure Digital Technologies Inc., San Francisco, Calif., introduces the Flip MinoHD, which the company bills as the world's smallest high-definition camcorder weighing a little more than 3 ounces. The Flip MinoHD is priced at $229.99, has 4GB of internal memory to record up to 60 minutes of HD video, and features Flip Video's new FlipShare software, also announced today. This advanced on-board software platform allows consumers to plug the camcorder's signature flip-out USB arm into any computer for easy drag-and-drop video organizing, editing, and sharing on YouTube, MySpace, AOL Video, or via email.

This latest innovation from Pure Digital Technologies builds on the success of its popular Flip Video camcorder line, which launched last year.

"Consumers have embraced Flip Video because it delivers on the promise of making video simple, affordable, and fun," said Jonathan Kaplan, Pure Digital's chairperson and CEO. "Flip MinoHD, along with our new FlipShare software, now make it easy for anyone to capture and share their stories in stunning HD quality." With its introduction, MinoHD also becomes the first and only "designable" HD camcorder. Using Flip Video's next-generation personalization platform on
TheFlip.com, consumers can choose from thousands of professional designs or custom-design their own Flip Mino or MinoHD at no extra cost. Additionally, consumers have the option to share their designs on TheFlip.com to earn commissions for themselves or non-profit causes.
[source: PMA Newsline]

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Big Canvas releases iPhone application with Photoshop functionality

Big Canvas Inc., Bellevue, Wash., announces PhotoArtist, a visual life-logging application, now available on the Apple App Store. Big Canvas is a start-up software and web service company offering a series of web-based creativity tools.

Big Canvas says its PhotoArtist application enables the Apple iPhone to function like Adobe Photoshop without needing a desktop or laptop computer. Users create artwork by first selecting an image from their iPhone's library or taking their own photo. After selecting the photo, users select one of six different filter effects including illustrations, watercolors, cartoon, and halftone filters. PhotoArtist is available for download from the Apple App store for $1.99.




[source: PMA Newsline]

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Congratulations President-elect Obama!







"DemystifyingDigital.com relaunches with product reviews, video tutorials, answers to digital questions" (via PMA)


DemystifyingDigital.com, Woodbury, N.Y., a site known for helping consumers make sense of technology, relaunched its website with expanded features. The new site is designed to help people who are confused by the myriad of digital decisions they have to make every day. It presents product reviews, DIY tutorials on commonly asked questions, a new section of video tutorials, and two advice areas, "Before You Shop" and "The Basics."

"Most people are generally confused by everything digital," said Jerry Grossman, editorial director and founder of DemystifyingDigital.com. "Given the overwhelming options of something as simple as buying a digital camera or an HDTV purchase can send even the most intelligent person into a tailspin. With so many choices out there, and with so many digital devices interconnecting, we thought it was important to give simple advice to the digitally confused." The site continues with its band of writers and bloggers providing content aimed at different audiences. The writers include a "RunAround Mom," "Tech-Confused Dad," "Digital Grandparent," "Biz Fast-Tracker," and "Born Digital," each of whom writes articles and blogs relevant to those consumer groups.


[source: PMA Newsline]

Monday, November 3, 2008

Data Watch: Greeting Cards at the Top of Consumer Demand (via PMA)

In recent times, the photo market has shifted much attention from encouraging consumers to make basic prints to piquing their interest in the other, more profitable products that are available, such as greeting cards. According to PMA Marketing Research, more U.S. households made personalized greeting cards in 2007 than any other custom product, even more than those making photo books. With the holiday season rapidly approaching, sales of greeting cards are now particularly important to retailers and online firms.

Almost 9 percent of U.S. households made Christmas cards in 2007 and another 2.7 percent made other holiday/greeting cards, according to the 2008 PMA Camera/Camcorder Digital Imaging Survey. Of households that made personalized greeting cards in 2007, a whopping 86 percent of them made Christmas cards. Almost two-thirds of all greeting cards made in 2007 were Christmas cards. It is easy to see why so many retailers and online firms start emphasizing cards early and have a wide variety of products to offer. Other popular greeting card themes are birthdays, new babies, other holidays, and personalized thank-you cards. Birthday cards and new baby cards each made up another 7 percent of total card volume, and graduation cards accounted for 6 percent.


Christmas is a time where people tend to reach out to those they may not otherwise have much contact with during the rest of the year. Likewise, consumers interested in personalized greeting cards for Christmas are likely to send them out to multiple people versus other types of personalized greetings cards, which are most likely made in smaller batches or even one at a time.

[source: Photo Marketing Association, Newsline, 11-3-08]

To instantly order custom photo cards, click here to visit ScanMyPhotos.com

Sunday, November 2, 2008


"New Technologies Can Save Memories" (via Cape Cod Times)

New technologies can preserve photos and images from the past

Excerpt from Cape Cod Times, November 02, 2008, By HEATHER WYSOCKI

Anyone in possession of photographs of Baby's first birthday in 1981, the family eeunion of 1968 or a favorite day at the beach circa 1925 knows that family snapshots are worth much more than a thousand words. Chances are, though, that despite how beloved they are, the shots are stored in musty cardboard boxes waiting to be archived " sometime. The problem with old-fashioned methods of organization, says John Adams, owner of Cape-based Orleans Camera, is that traditional printed photos — along with home-movie footage and Polaroid shots — often don't stick around as long as the memories.

"A lot of those things lose quality over the years," he says. While some types of photo paper can last hundreds of years, others, including Polaroids, have a decidedly shorter shelf life — and all are simply paper, so can easily be damaged if not stored properly.
The best way to prevent the loss of those photos, and memories, is to digitally archive photos, says Adams. When a tragedy, such as a death in the family, hits, "old pictures suddenly become very important," he says. Backing memories up digitally "gives them a good chance to survive (for) future generations."

These higher-tech ways of storing and sharing photos and video can ensure that future generations can experience the family memories as easily as their great-grandparents did.

Go digital: Digital cameras have come a long way from the bulky models of 10 years ago. For future photos, pick up a point-and-shoot that works much like a 35mm camera, as well as a memory card, then download your shots to a computer's hard drive.

Lose or damage the camera? The snaps are safe and sound on the computer. Amy Rader, a portrait photographer in Falmouth, goes one step further and backs her clients' photographs up on a separate external hard drive as well as on her computer. Experts recommend that you do, too — and Adams suggests storing the extra hard drive in a different location so, in case of a fire or other disaster, photos are preserved.
Digitizing can also work for photos from the past. Orleans Camera is one company that will take old paper photos and reproduce them onto a CD or DVD — for preservation or so that photos can be copied or e-mailed to friends and family. Cost for what Adams refers to as the "shoebox" service is changing as the technology does, but he gives a range of $29 to $39 for 100 to 200 images.

If you're willing to put your photos in the mail, online company ScanMyPhotos (www.scanmyphotos.com) charges $49.95 for scanning up to 1,000 photos or $124.95 for three 1,800+-capacity boxes, with shipping already paid. The site also features photo restoration and VHS-to-DVD transfer, making it a one-stop shop for preserving memories.

Online photo sharing: Web sites like Kodak Gallery (www.kodakgallery.com), Shutterfly (www.shutterfly.com) and Photobucket (www.photobucket.com) allow users to store an unlimited number of digital photos, plus share them by e-mail with friends and family. For an additional charge, Shutterfly also grants access to a simple photo-editing program (so you can finally fix that cowlick that ruined Junior's 1982 kindergarten photo).

Don't want to pay to edit photos? Photobucket has a very basic — but free — program that allows for resizing, cropping and sharpening; www.picnik.com is a free editing site with even more features, including adding text and fixing brightness and contrast. Picnik even lets users upload photos directly from sites such as MySpace, Facebook and Photobucket, so there's no need to download the images twice.

Read more.

[source: Cape Cod Times]

Scan Photos, 35mm Slide and Negative Scanning, Photo Restoration, Digital Printing - ScanMyPhotos.com