Is it safe to buy online at Vintage Photo Lab?

Absolutely! We take online security extremely seriously. For online transactions we use Sage Pay, one of the UK’s most trusted brands. All transactions are encrypted to the highest global standards and we never store any card information during or after the purchasing process. Your transaction is protected using 128-bit encryption over an SSL connection – the padlock icon displayed in your browser confirms that your transaction is 100% secure. Vintage Photo Lab is also PCI DSS compliant. (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards). Please see our dedicated Payment and Security Policy for full details.

Courier, collection and delivery

Can I use my own courier?

We would really rather you didn’t. The service we offer is specifically designed to be simple and straightforward and as cost-effective as we can make it. The collection and return of your photos is the most challenging thing about our business and we take it very seriously. By managing the courier process we can make sure your photos are safe at all times and we can also minimise costs. Our pricing structure has taken this into account in order for us to offer such competitive prices.

What areas are covered by your service?

We collect from and deliver to all of mainland UK and Northern Ireland. For customers living outside these regions please contact us and we can provide you with a quote and arrange a special collection and return.

How long will my order take?

Times can vary depending on the size of your order but in general you can expect the following: Next business day delivery of the courier bag on orders completed before 4pm. 2 day turnaround of scanning of your photographs. Next day return of courier shipped originals, including the DVD and any extras you might have purchased.

Can you explain the courier service in detail?

This is one of the things we really wanted to get right and as simple as it can be! Following your order on the website, you will be sent a pre-paid, pre-addressed courier envelope in the post. This will have a phone number on which you can call to arrange collection, at your convenience. It can be a work address, home address, or anywhere else you are going to be that day, so you can ensure you have your photo box with you, ready for collection. Alternatively, if you cannot arrange the collection, just drop us a line with preferred date and time and we’ll sort this out for you.


What format will the files be in?

The scanned photos will come as standard JPEG files. These can be opened on any Windows or Mac computer. Depending on the style and quality of the original photos, each file size will typically be between 1MB and 3MB.

Will I need any special software to open the DVD?

No. The DVD is a standard DVD-R and will work on all Windows and Mac computers. You simply insert the disc and launch it from your operating system CD/DVD drive shortcut although most of the time your machine will do this automatically when you insert the disc. If you have any problem, please drop us a line and we will happily assist you.

Can you custom name my files or sort my photos into different folders?

We don’t do this as standard but are happy to discuss any special requirements you might have. We use a highly automated scanning process, which allows us to keep both turnaround and prices down. This means that all photos are named automatically indicating their number in the batch. It’s extremely easy to rename your scans once you have them and we believe that you’re the person who can give your memories the best names! If you need some more advice on how to do this, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Will higher resolution scans take longer to process?

Photographs scanned at 600 DPI take considerably longer to process than photographs scanned at 300 DPI. It’s simply due to the slower running speeds required by our scanners to capture the increased amount of data. However, we do our best to stick to the promised turnaround and in the majority of cases ordering high resolution scans will not delay your order.

Can I download my photos from the Internet instead of getting a disk?

As soon as we have finished scanning your images, you’ll receive a downloadable WeTransfer link. Those files are exactly the same as the ones you’ll get with the return of your originals. We will always continue to provide a free DVD with our service as it’s in our belief that it’s great to have a hard copy of your scans, too.

What if I am not happy?

We take customer service very seriously at Vintage Photo Lab – without you, our customer, where would we be? We’re not happy until you’re happy – that’s our promise to you. If you have a problem with your order, no matter how small, please contact us immediately. The quickest way to do this is by using the ‘Message us’ service on our website. We will do everything we can to fix it and in the unlikely event that we can’t help you, we’ll happily issue a full refund.

Will my scans come cropped and orientated the right way up?

Our scanners auto crop and rotate your images so that they are sized correctly and presented the right way up. Out of a whole shoe box of photos, there might be a small handful that have not been rotated properly due to the nature of the photo, often having poor border definition or being of an abstract nature. In 95% of the cases the images will be the right way up and they can easily be rotated on your computer.

Do you have a service suitable for smaller batches?

Currently our service is very stripped back and designed to cater for bulk scanning requirements. Therefore the smallest order you can place at the moment is for 500 photographs. In case you don’t have this many, it’s always a good idea to team up with a friend or a relative and split the cost!

Will my photos come back in the same order as I sent them?

Our scanning process is highly automated and we always do our best to return them in the same order. On occasions, because of the speed of the scanners and due to occasional tape or Blu Tack, we cannot guarantee this 100%.

What resolution do I need?

Our standard scan quality is 300 DPI and is perfect for most digital use e.g. Facebook, Instagram and for basic photo book printing. If you are looking to print anything larger scale, or are stretching the ration of the original scanned photograph, you may wish to consider 600 DPI high scan quality. e.g. for books larger than A4 with full bleed pages, a photo canvas to hang on the wall or for reprinting the originals at a larger scale than the original. The biggest factor in determining the quality of a scan is actually the quality of the original print itself. E.g. 1920s photos are typically a lot better quality than ones developed in a chemist during the 1980s. They’re all equally precious and amazing though!

Large box? How many photos is that?

A regular shoebox holds around 1000 photos, but don’t worry about counting them. Quantities can vary depending on the size and style of photo but generally we don’t have any problems with excessive packing.

Will my photos be safe?

This is the most frequent question we get asked and for obvious reasons. We understand how precious your photographs are and that is why we take the upmost care and we insist on managing the process of collecting and returning your photos to you. We have a great relationship with our couriers and with real time tracking we’re sure to keep your photographs safe and sound.

Preparing your photographs

Do you scan negatives or slides?

We scan slides but unfortunately do not scan negatives. It’s rare we need to scan a negative as we can capture an excellent scan from the original photograph. Slides are usually 35mm though we can cater for all slides and you can see our pricing here: https://www.vintagephotolab.com/slides/

Would you dispose of my photographs upon completion?

No. For one, we love photos and we could never destroy them. Even though you will now have digital copies of your own, we will return your originals back to you to manage as you see fit.

I’m worried about the content of some of my images?

Most photo collections contain images of an ‘interesting’ nature which may be silly or embarrassing. We’re human and we understand this completely. Our scanning process is highly automated so we won’t even see the content of most of your images, unless there is a technical issue. As part of our Terms and Conditions, however, we are obliged by law to state that any images containing illegal activities will have to be reported to the appropriate authorities. We are sure that you understand this is a legal requirement and will support us with executing it.

How should I prepare my photos?

Your photos are best packed tightly but not overflowing in a shoebox (or similar). Please ensure they are free of sticky tape, Blu Tack, glue and anything else that might prevent them moving swiftly through the scanners.

What size can you scan?

Our scanners are best designed for regular 6 x 3, 7 x 4 and Polaroid sized prints but we can handle anything up to A3 sized images. We can scan smaller images too, but if you have a lot of these it is best to contact us using the Contact Form so we can discuss the best options for you.

Do you scan photo albums?

Yes, we do. You can read more about scanning your photo albums here: https://www.vintagephotolab.com/photo-books/