My daughter was born in 2001. Since that was when digital cameras just started to get popular, they were expensive and we did not have one. That means most of my daughter’s photos from birth to about two years of age were captured on 35mm film. While I kept all the negatives from that time, I never did anything with them. In this day and age, it is so much easier to put together photo albums or scrapbooks if you can print the pictures straight from the computer or use an online printing company. To do that I would need to get my negatives and photos converted to digital format.
There are not many companies that do this. The ones that do are horribly expensive and usually ship them to India to be processed. As these were the precious negatives of my daughter I was very nervous about sending them anywhere, for fear they would be damaged or lost in the mail. I finally bit the bullet and tried one company – what a disaster! I won’t go into detail but that experience made my hesitation to use such companies was even worse. Still, I had spent hours organizing my negatives and I didn’t want them to just waste away. That’s when I stumbled upon GoPhoto, a California-based scanning company that works with photos, negatives, and slides.
I love GoPhoto. Period. It’s easy, the customer service is phenomenal, and the workmanship is top-notch.
There is a three-step process to get started. That’s right – only three! First you estimate how many photos, negatives, and slides you have. Once the company receives your package they will give you the true number but this allows you to get an instant quote. You’ll notice that the pricing is very reasonable.
After you get that in you can select the shipping. When I sent my order to the first company I tried, it got very expensive. So I opted to use the flat shipping fee of $16 which covered transit both ways. The fee for this would be included with your order when you pay for it.
A pre-paid label was immediately created and ready for me to print out. All that was left was for me to slap it on my package and drop it off at a UPS store.
Every step of the way GoPhoto gave me updates on my order, giving me total peace of mind and dispelling any uncertainties I had regarding photo scanning. Getting caught up in other endeavors, I hadn’t gotten a chance to actually send my package off for a week after I posted my order request. As a nice surprise, I received a polite reminder that they had not yet received my package. Nice follow-through!
After package arrived quickly as their facility is located right here in California. I got an email letting me know that it got there safely. Here is a timeline of the notices I received and their relation to general turnaround time:
- 7/11 – Sent my negatives and photos
- 7/12 – GoPhoto received my package
- 7/17 – My order was being processed
- 7/22 – My order was complete and ready to be viewed
One week! They went through some 140 negatives (which I had cut up and rearranged earlier) and 16 photos in one week! The other company had kept my negatives for 2 months before I heard anything from them and had only finished a small portion. I was extremely pleased to see all my pictures looking lovely on my computer screen. The colors were vivid and as crisp as decade-old pictures from a 35mm point and shoot could be. Now I had the digital copies that could be edited and reproduced with ease.
You’ll notice that I have not discussed payment for the order yet. That’s because you only pay for the pictures you want. There were several negatives I had sent but, now that they were full-size and in color, I didn’t actually want to keep. This one was blurry or that one was almost identical to another, etc. Before, to cut costs, I had meticulously cut several negatives and ever so carefully taped the top portion of each individual frame to a strip of paper. With GoPhoto that is totally unnecessary. Just send in all your negatives, slides, and photos but only pay for the ones you decide to keep. Just look through the online albums and delete the ones you don’t want. Easy-peasy! This is a wonderful feature that really keeps the customer’s time and budget in mind.
All that is wonderful and great, but how would my originals look when I got them back? The other company sent my negatives back in bubble wrap and a Ziploc bag. I paid for my order and anxiously waited for my items to be returned. GoPhoto sent a sturdy box with all my items inside. Everything came back in perfect condition and the DVD with my photos was placed in a nice case. Inside the envelope I included with my 4×6 photos to be scanned, I found a little card from the representative that actually worked on my order. I thought that was a nice personal touch. I was so relieved my priceless, non-replaceable negatives were safely back in my hands.
It is scary and unnerving sending off such sentimental items with no control over how they are handled or the manner in which they are returned. I was so happy with the work GoPhoto did and the integrity they showed in taking care of my order. GoPhoto has only been around for about a year but if they continue as they are I’m sure they will be around for many years to come. I know they have certainly won over my customer loyalty and my trust. My next batch is almost ready to be sent to them.
► Giveaway closed, winners announced here!
One reader will win a $50 GoPhoto gift card.
To enter (mandatory):
Visit GoPhoto and tell me what you need scanned.
For additional entries leave a comment for each you do:
- “Like” Cookies & Clogs on Facebook
- “Like” GoPhoto on Facebook
- Subscribe via email
- Follow Cookies & Clogs on Twitter
- Follow GoPhoto on Twitter
- Tweet the following once a day:
“#Win a $50 Gift Card to GoPhoto.com for slide, negative, and photo scanning @cookiesANDclogs Ends 8/14 #giveaway http://bit.ly/rfVWNB”
Giveaway ends 8/14/11 at 11:59 PST. Open to US residents only. Winner has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.