How to Order
There are many ways to order, that's why you may want to call before you do anything. We can discuss what works best for you.
Local clients may call 619-397-7600 for an appointment to drop off the photos and pick them up when they are ready.
Upon your approval of the quote, a payment can be made using personal check or money order. There will be a $25. fee for returned checks. If for any reason you are not satisfied we will attempt to resolve your concerns. If we are unable to and you return the work to us within 30 days of receipt for a full refund of your down payment.
PAYMENT Full payment upfront is always appreciated however, we require a 50% down payment before we begin restoration, and the balance when you receive the finished work. Unless you have had us do work for you before and we have developed a working relationship with us. We accept checks and cash only, to be able to give you such low prices.
TURN AROUND TIME We can complete your restoration in 8-10 business days... most people are not in any RUSH but if you need it now we can have it done in two days with a RUSH FEE of $50. Upon completion, with time permitting, we will return your originals and finished archival quality photo via US mail or FedEx, unless other arrangements are made to pickup as soon as they are ready.
VACATION LOCATION If you live in southern California and rather not put your photos in the mail and do not have a scanner, this is for you. We are well known among genealogist and they will travel far, to have us restore their photos. They make plans to do some sightseeing in the area and include having their photos scanned as part of the trip. Good idea! Call for an appointment.
So E-mailing is your preference....start by scanning your photo at a minimum of 300dpi, and e-mail it to us at: Restorations@PhotosMadePerfect.com. If the file is to large you may have to send one photo per message or contact us for further instructions on uploading your files to our website. If you want to enlarge the photo, you must scan it at a higher dpi depending on how small the photo is and how large you want to make it. Read "Scanning Topics" or contact us for instruction on uploading to our site.
This is possible if you live in Southern California, we scan them while you wait.
You may have gone to visit a relative far away and they proudly showed you pictures of your ancestors and they won't let you have them! If they had a scanner there would not be a problem, but if they do not, what then? We have heard of people going to the nearest Kinko's and copying them all. When they got home they called us. We were able to turn photos on paper (that will fade) into quality photos. Check out your local Kinko's they may scan them for you and put them on CD which is the better of the two. Some people took photos of the pictures on the wall. That can work too! Below are samples and tips.
These are samples (taken by amateur photographers) of photos taken sitting on a dresser. You don't have to be a professional, as long as you do the following:
Find a way to stabilize the camera while shooting, put the camera down on something. Professionals use tripods.
Have good lighting so you don't have to use flash, avoiding the reflection of the flash or shoot at a very slight angle, until you don't see the reflection. Notice even the reflection of the flash can be removed if this is all you have. If you can't avoid glare, just take to good shots with the glare on different locations on the photo and we can use both image to get one without the glare.
Take many pictures, at different angles, different lighting conditions, different camera settings, this way some are bound to be good.
The photo on the left below, was on Paper. Depending on the kind of paper used, these types photos may have lines, dots and fibers throughout. The same with Photos from Newspapers, books and magazines. They all can be improved.
This newspaper photo was completely recreated to get back the photograph appearance.
Many clients nationwide send us original photos (by mail or e-mail) with a check and directions of what they have in mind. They estimate how much 50% down payment would be, after looking at the "Estimate" page. We do the restorations, invoice for the balance and mail them the restored copy when full payment is made. That simple.
Be sure to package your photos properly to avoid damaged (PMP is not responsible for lost or damage photos), then mail them using a traceable carrier such as UPS, Emery, Airborne, or Fed-Ex (we have yet to lose any photographs by these methods). You can include a self addressed pre-paid envelope from the same company to accommodate your original and the size of the photo you ordered. If you don't want to include return shipping materials, we can add the shipping cost to the invoice, you can pay the balance and after we receiving the balance we ship you the finished work.
Scanning Topics/ Services
1. For photo quality copies, color photos need to be scanned at "True Color, color depth 24 bit" as a minimum. This is usually in the scanning process as either an option or a user preference setting. If you don't know, you may want to review your specific scanners documentation or on-line help index to determine how to do this with your specific scanner.
2. When saving the files after scanning, save them as either .bmp, .tif or .jpg. file format. The .jpg's are much smaller files and they print out fine, but of the three, .bmp and tif are the best. When we work on the original images, they are in either .tif or .psp (Paint Shop Pro) since these file formats are classified "lossless" compression, you loose nothing as you re-open and save. However the .jpg file formats, are classified as "lossy" compression. You do loose some image quality every time you save and re-open a file. You will notice a sharpness difference only when you magnify the image and only after many times of re-opening and saving it and only then does it become visible. The difference between file sizes are enormous. An 8 x 10 photo scanned at 600 dpi as a .jpg is 3.7 mb. Scanned as a .tif or .psp the file is a whopping 60+mb... no way around it. You really need a performance machine when working on these monsters.
UPDATE (as of 3/9/13) on item #2, just above. While the facts on lossy and lossless, file formats are still true, we no longer save images as lossless files. We use only jpeg formats now unless a client specifically request the use of a lossless format. Since starting this business in 1999 we have come to the conclusion that working with lossless files was splitting hairs. Detecting signs of quality lost in a photograph is not possible by the human eye, when using a jpeg format just as long as you minimize the amount of times you make changes and save it. You would have to do that many times to ruin the photograph.
We also experience that the standard minimum we require of 300 dpi for a good photo results is not always possible and when a client requested that we work on and print an 8x10 photograph at only 150 dpi. It wasn't fantastic but it really wasn't bad at all, when this is all you have to work with. All things are relative.
3. For the finished restoration copy to be photo quality when printed, the scan resolution must be fairly high. Rule of thumb to determine scan resolution is, that if no enlargement of the original will be made, can at a minimum of 300 ppi (pixels per inch). If enlargements are needed, you should scan higher. Use the method below to determine the proper scan resolution:
Example: if your photo measures 4 x 6 inches and you want to enlarge it to a 5x7, you need to think...how many times larger is that? 2X's larger?... so you would scan at 600 and it can be resized later to work on.
Digital Frenzy: Have all your photos scanned onto any digital device, then you can transfer them to any medium that comes along in the future. Store your originals away in a fire proof box and view them on any digital device as often as you want without damaging your photos further. Once on digitalized you can print copies for everybody, e-mail them to your friend, share them on internet, and make PowerPoint presentations for all kinds of events. If you do not have a scanner or you are already scanning more than you care to, save time and let Photos Made Perfect scan for you. Photos to Video is the scrapbook of the future, we have a list of Video people in our custom gifts pages.
The downside of technology: While being able to use digital devices and enjoy them today, there is a downside to the latest and greatest technology. Storing photographs to the latest technology means that your decent will have to have the device to access the photographs and if they don't. If your descendant lack the means to purchase devices to access the photograph not only will they not see them but the generation after that will have to hunt down the old technology device to access them. Last word on this is, printing photographs is always the best preservation.
Storage: Store your originals in an dark, dry, acid free and a temperature controlled environment. More reading on this topic, visit Library of Congress.
To scan photos for the purpose of emailing them to Photos Made Perfect: see our Scanning Instructions
Future Packaging & Preservation LLC (archival supplies division) has acid free papers and plastics to store often used as well as "Scanned once and put away safely" photos, clippings, and important documents, PH pen for detecting alkaline and much more. For more information call 800-786-6627 in 1580C W. San Bernardino Rd, Covina CA 91722
Scanning Success. You get the best final images when you start with the best scans.
Text and Photography by Graeme Fordyce
Working on your own images is one of the most gratifying things to come from the rise of computers in the home. There's tremendous satisfaction in taking a photo, seeing it through the scanning and processing workflow then printing out this beautiful product of your efforts. All scanning is more than a matter of plugging a print or slide into a chunk of hardware, though. There's more under the surface, and these tips should help smooth and improve your approach, as well as prevent some of the gremlins that can creep into the scanning process.
Know what you are buying, and look for the best you can afford. Everything looks impressive in the ad and sounds amazing when the salesperson is trying to move a product. Know the fundamental film and flatbed scanner characteristics to seek. The are: high optical resolution, large bit depth (at least 36-bit) and wide dynamic range (at least 3.6, on the scale from 0 to 4.0). The type of connectivity is no small matter either--it will affect the data transfer rate a great deal (SCSI is the fastest, then USB, then parallel port). Flatbed scanners with CIS are very compact, but CCD sensors still offer better scan quality.
It's a huge mistake to choose a restoration service based on price or distance from your home alone.
Compare apples to apples.
(read pros and cons of each)
Image Editing Consultant