How Much Does It Cost To Digitize Photos?

How Much Does It Cost To Digitize Photos?

In a world that’s becoming increasingly digital, being able to safely store your collection of aging family photos and access it on demand is important. Converting photos to digital can be a time-consuming and tedious process if done yourself, but it doesn’t have to be. 

Many finally decide to convert their photo library into digital because they fear their printed photos could be lost or destroyed in a fire or another disaster. As a result, storing them digitally rather than printed on paper makes sense for many people. 

In this blog post, we will explore everything you need to know about the costs to scan photos and the options available to you so you can make an informed decision about the best way to preserve your collection of pictures. 

Average Cost To Digitize Photos

The cost to scan photos to digital typically ranges anywhere from 13¢ to $15 per image. Still, it depends on several factors including scanning resolution, digital storage options, the sizes of your photos, and the company you choose.

At Nostalgic Media, our transparent pricing is designed to save you time and money. We offer varied photo scanning services to meet your needs and budget. We charge based on the size and condition of your photos and can provide you with an estimate before any scanning services are completed. 

 Service Price
Hi-speed Scans: 3x3 to 4x6 (300 dpi) $0.19 each
Hi-speed Scans: 5x7 to 8x10 (300 dpi) $0.75 each
Custom Scans: up to 5x7 (600 dpi) $0.95 each
Custom Scans: up to 8x10 (600 dpi) $3 each
Custom Scans: up to 11x17 (600 dpi) $7 each
upgrade to 600 dpi (hi-speed) + $0.10 per photo
rotate photos + $0.10 per photo


Hi-Speed vs Custom Scanning Services

Our hi-speed scanning service is designed for photos printed on photo paper from the past 50 years, commonly thought of as "1-Hour Prints." We can scan loose photos free of tape and glue, from a 3x3 up to an 8x10 inch print. For more delicate photos, older photos with deckled edges, documents, or newspaper clippings, our custom scanning service is perfect.

If your photos do not fit the above criteria for hi-speed scanning, we can still preserve them through our Custom Photo Scanning service. With this service, we scan each photo by hand, ensuring that any delicate and fragile photos are handled with the utmost care. For photos we cannot scan as part of our hi-speed bulk scanning service, this is the next option.

How To Estimate Photo Scanning Costs

Step 1. Count Your Photos 

To get an idea of the cost of having your photos scanned to digital, start by counting the number of photos you have. If you have a large collection of photos, you may not want to spend the time required to count out each image. No problem, an estimate is ok.

A good way to estimate how many photos you have is to place them on a scale. A good average is about 110 standard size 3x3 to 4x6 photos per pound.

Step 2. What Sizes Are Your Photos?

Next, get an idea of your different photo sizes by separating them into groups of similar sizes. Standard-sized photos from a 3x3 up to an 8x10 can be scanned as part of our hi-speed scanning process. Sizes outside of this range must be scanned using our custom scanning service.

Step 3. What Condition Are Your Photos In?

Analyze the condition of your photos. If your photos have been printed in the past 50 years, chances are they should still be in decent shape as long as they have been stored in a humidity and light-controlled environment.

Older, fragile photos with crinkled or curled edges or pictures that have come out of photo albums will need extra care and attention when scanning. If you are unsure of the condition of your photos, you can give us a call or visit us today and one of our technicians will be happy to assist.

Step 4. Choose Scanning Resolution

After you have gathered your photos and taken inventory of their condition, the next step is to figure out why you want to have your photos digitized. This will determine which photo scanning resolution is best for your situation.

A 300 dpi scan is just what you need to save, share, and view your collection on modern digital devices. If you want to enlarge and/or print your pictures, you can do so without sacrificing quality by scanning them at 600 dpi.

Step 5. Select Your Storage Option

The last step is to determine how you would like your digitized images stored and delivered to you. By default, we deliver orders of less than 1,000 photos on a single DVD data disc at no charge. For large orders of 1,000 photos or more, your images will be returned on a single USB flash drive.

Extra DVD copies can be added for $5 each, or flash drives can be added starting at $10 each. For questions, you can view our detailed pricing or give us a call.

Once your photos have been returned, you can then upload them to cloud storage services such as Amazon Cloud Drive, Google Photos, or Dropbox for an added layer of storage and security.

Professional Photo Scanning Services

There are many different types of professional photo scanning services out there, and each charge a different amount for their services. In your search, you may have come across companies offering to digitize however many of your photos you can fit into one of their boxes for a flat rate. The truth is, these “box” companies are rarely ever a good deal.

Here are some important factors to consider when choosing a scanning service:

1. Experience

Experience matters, especially when it comes to handling your collection of irreplaceable family pictures. With over 30 years of professional experience, Nostalgic Media has the skills and expertise to safely preserve your most precious images before they fade away.

We guarantee our work. Our team of highly trained technicians knows what it takes to get the job done right the first time. If you aren’t satisfied with your completed order, then neither are we.

2. Proper Equipment 

Not every service will have the proper equipment needed to accurately scan your photos and at sufficient resolutions for your needs. Some services may charge you a lot less per image scanned but at inferior resolutions. 300 dpi is the standard for a clear, high-quality scan. Anything less, and you may begin to notice a drop in quality.

3. Turnaround Time

Orders that take other labs 10-12 weeks (if you’re lucky) are done in an average time of 7 business days with Nostalgic Media, all done without sacrificing quality. That level of service will cost you extra at the larger ‘fill-a-box’ companies. 

4. Where the Work Is Done (in-house vs contract out)

Did you know that some photo scanning services contract their work out to a third party? Unfortunately, it’s true.

As if handing over your priceless photos wasn’t already nerve-wracking enough, some companies will ship them off again to an unknown-to-you location, significantly increasing the chances of your photos becoming lost or damaged in the process.

Safety is a top priority for us at Nostalgic Media. We do all work in-house at our secure facility in Atlanta, GA. Nothing ever leaves our lab, so you can rest easy knowing your memories are safe throughout the entire conversion process. 

Next Steps

Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the various factors that go into converting photos to digital and has given you an idea of what you can expect to pay.

Having your pictures digitized is an important step in keeping them safe and accessible in today’s digital age. By doing so, you can ensure that your memories aren't lost for good.

If you need professional help to digitize and preserve your collection of photos, or you simply want to know more about how we can help you, feel free to contact us, or you can get started preserving your photos today.