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  • Getting high resolution photos from customers

    Hi, wondering if anyone has some advice for me. I have a website where I offer photo restoration services. I have an upload box for people to send their scans to me for a price quote. More often than I like, the scan I receive is low resolution. I have in my FAQs info about how to scan their photos, but I still get the low resolution. I then follow up with the customer with something like the following:

    We have reviewed your upload of your parent’s wedding. Unfortunately your scan is not of a high enough resolution to work with and get a good quality result. It looks fine on a monitor, but to print it properly it needs a higher pixel count.

    Many people don’t realize when they use their scanner that the default scanning resolution is very low and has to be changed to a higher resolution when scanning photographs. Your scanner is sure to scan at a higher resolution, you just may need to find the documentation.

    We recommend a minimum of 300 dpi resolution when scanning. If you can rescan at the higher resolution, please upload to us and we will be happy to provide you with a quote.

    More often than not, I do not get the new scan, or get anything back. Any advice so that I can snag these projects? Thank you.

  • #2
    Re: Getting high resolution photos from customers

    I understand entirely the need/desire to obtain the best original possible but your customers don't give two hoots about pixel counts, jpeg artefacts or referring to user manuals. The issue is that people are coming to you with a problem and at first base you're giving them another problem! Not good business practice. Unless the pix are truly dreadful, work with what you are given or better still do the scans yourself - offer that as a 'free' service. Also, you can always call people back after taking on the work, praise their wonderful picture of Fido the dog and bemoan the fact there isn't a better quality image available as that would really improve the final result. (Fido was worth it). They'll come on board if you (like them) treat the picture as a personal cherished memory rather than a money making exercise. 'Don't sell the steak, sell the sizzle' as the old advertising saying goes.

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    • #3
      Re: Getting high resolution photos from customers

      Originally posted by Repairman View Post
      The issue is that people are coming to you with a problem and at first base you're giving them another problem! Not good business practice. Unless the pix are truly dreadful, work with what you are given or better still do the scans yourself - offer that as a 'free' service.
      The only downside to this is that they need to trust you with the originals, and you need a good way to ensure against additional damage. I also suggest taking a picture of the condition with your phone as soon as you take something like that in just in case someone suggests later that it was damaged further.

      Professional labs don't really deal with all of that. They just have a liability policy attached to their terms of service indicating that they will not be held responsible for loss of work or damages related to mishandling of film or printed media. I suggested taking a snapshot of anything that comes in that way as a way to placate angry people later in case they suspect something was mishandled.

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      • #4
        Re: Getting high resolution photos from customers

        Interesting thoughts. Problem with working with what the 72 dpi photo is I can't print it. They usual want not only a print, but an 8 x 10 size from a 2 x 3 original. I only want to give them quality results. Maybe I can work on my wording a bit more.

        I scan all local customers photos for free for sure, but do a lot nationwide who are rightly afraid to mail. We are currently waiting to receive a photo mailed a week ago and we are all nervous! It is supposed to be fragile, so the take a photo on receipt idea is good. Customer was afraid to unroll it themselves so I don't know what I am getting into. But I am confident I can piece it together digitally for them if need be. I just hope it arrives.

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        • #5
          Re: Getting high resolution photos from customers

          I am also interested in any thoughts on this....We print customers own photographs onto canvases but have real problems when a customer comes in and gets their phone out and wants a canvas 30"x20" from a file that is taken from facebook etc that is only 100kb, or less, in size....we have found that the only way they seem to understand what it would look like is to actually post one of my pictures onto facebook, copy it again, show them that at the size they want on screen and let them compare it with the original image at the size they want. This seems to focus their minds as to how it will look when printed.
          Chairman Mao on the wall of the Forbidden City, cropped in quite a way, seems to work quite well.

          Regards....John
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            Re: Getting high resolution photos from customers

            It might help to have an Image Guidelines page before the upload page that they need to acknowledge. It should be brief, but explain the benefits of correct resolution, and you could also have a warning that low resolution will be rejected.

            FYI: the correct term for digital image resolution is PPI (Pixels Per Inch), not DPI (Dots Per Inch).

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            • #7
              Re: Getting high resolution photos from customers

              I do not know if this will help, but:

              Back in BS (Before Scanners) and BD (Before Digital) days when we copied with a camera, we had customers who would mail us originals or bring the originals to us. Mailing was usually registered and heavily insured.

              Once in awhile we would have a customer that really did not trust us and they would bring the original in then wait while we copied it and developed the film to make sure it was good. That was only done by appointment and of course cost extra. While waiting they had the privilege of reading slightly old magazines in our waiting room.

              My point is, if the customer really wants a first rate job (like you of course produce), and also wants the feeling of safety in regards to their originals, then perhaps the convenience of them doing their own scanning is out of the question.

              If you decide to use this kind of business model, then the quality of your work and the price you charge for it have to match the effort your customers have to make to engage your services.

              Just some thoughts.....

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