Frequently Asked Questions

If you cannot find the answer you are looking for please get in touch.

How long will my order take?

Turnaround times can vary depending on how busy we are at the Lab. Typically, your photos will be scanned in 1–3 days of them arriving. If you are working to a tight deadline please get in touch and we will do our best to expedite your order.

How do I send my photos to you?

Hmmm, this sounds like a trick question. You don't need to send your photos to us. We collect them from you. Courier collection and return of your photos is included in the price of all our services. We post you a pre-paid courier shipping envelope which you use to get your photos to us for processing.

Which areas are covered by your service?

1. We collect from anywhere in the UK. We use an overnight UPS courier service and this is included in the price. 2. We're based in Marlow, Bucks, and offer a free in-person collection if you live in a 10 mile radius. 3. Bespoke London collections are available for £60.00 each way. A drop-off location will be operational soon.

Will my photos be safe?

This is the number one question we get asked. And clearly it's a very valid one. The short answer is 'Yes'. We've been operating since 2012 and in that time haven't so much as had a single photo go missing. The reality is, we simply wouldn't have a business if we couldn't safeguard our customers' photos. And it's for that reason that the safety of your photos is the number one priority of what we do at Vintage Photo Lab. We never allow customers to send us photos using their own method or courier. We centralise all collections and returns, so we can manage what's coming in and going out on any given day. We've used the courier UPS since we started and we pay a bit more than we would with their competitors but it's a price we are very happy to continue to pay.

Can you keep my photos in order?

Of course. We understand that photo collections are very unique and personal things. Sometimes photo collections being sent to us are gathered from different members of the family, different peoples' houses, or are simply from different eras and are not stored in one tidy collection. Anything that arrives to us in an obvious batch, or ordered in a particular way, will be kept in that order and in that batch. The digital copies you receive will be decipherable based on how the originals were packed, and the physical copies will be returned in the same order. Some people keep things together using elastic bands, or place batches of photos in envelopes. In fact, if you do use envelopes and write on the front of the envelopes, we can scan the envelope too, so that becomes the first scan of that batch.

300dpi or 600dpi?

There's no right or wrong answer here. There's pros and cons to each. 300dpi produces high quality scans which can be used to reproduce the physical print in its original dimensions. If you scale any photo beyond its original dimensions you will experience degradation, leading to pixellation. 600dpi scans protect against this a little more than 300dpi scans. 600dpi files are much larger – some people don't like having huge image files. Scanning at 600dpi can take up to nine times as long, hence the additional charge. We have some more information here, and if you are not sure, please just pick up the phone and you can speak to one of our experts who will advise you on the best option for your needs.

Do I need to count my photos?

Absolutely not. for one thing, life is too short. But more pertinently, our scanners count the images when they are scanned anyway. But we do appreciate you need to know how many photos you have in order to place an order. Here, please feel free to err on the side of caution (underestimate) and we will get in touch if you end up sending more than you estimated and paid for. We will never scan more than you ordered without checking with you first.

What type of pen should I use to write on the back of my photos?

If you haven't already, PLEASE DO NOT WRITE ON THE BACK OF YOUR PHOTOS. Old writing and annotations from years ago is fine but new ink has a tendency to come off the back of one photo, onto the adjacent one which can leave marks, smudges and streaks. This is difficult to fix and can also damage our scanners.

I'm worried about the content of some of my photos...

Don't worry, this is fairly common. Most photo collections have some form of holiday high jinks, youthful exuberance and a smattering of nudity. We certainly don't mind and have seen it all before. We're also too busy looking for dust streaks to pay much attention. If you're really concerned, please just get in touch.

Can I bring my photos to you, in person?

Of course. UK courier collection and return is included in all our prices. Drop-off in-person is is an option but by appointment only. We are located in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. Get in touch to arrange a time and we will give you the full address details.

What size photos can you digitise?

We can digitise photographs of any size. Our loose photo pricing includes photos up to A4 in size. Anything larger than this will be billed separately, as a flatbed scan (up to A3). For anything larger than A3 please get in touch for a quote.