Photo Scanning | How It Works | ScanCafe

How scanning works

USA Express
8-10 Business Days*

We've worked hard to make scanning both easy and safe. And we're so confident in our quality,
you'll get to review our work and pay for the scans you want to keep, subject to a 80% minimum.

How ScanCafe works

1. You Order
How it works

2. You Ship to Us
How Photo Scanning Works

3. We Scan
How Photo Scanning Works

4. You Review
How Photo Scanning Works

5. You Download
How Photo Scanning Works

6. We Ship to You
How ScanCafe works

7. You Enjoy & Share


You place your order

  • Place your order using our online order form
  • You'll be asked to estimate your order quantity. A rough guess is fine!
  • Printer required. Our system is integrated with UPS, so we'll automatically generate a pre-paid UPS shipping label that you'll need to print out from your home or office.
  • Partial payment. When you place your order, you will make a partial payment roughly equal to half of your order.
  • USA Standard option: Your order will be scanned in our Indianapolis lab with a 4-6 week turnaround time.
  • USA Express option: You can choose to get your photos scanned in our Indianapolis labs for a faster turnaround. learn more »

  • You ship us your items

  • Use a sturdy box. See our packing tips.
  • Fill your box. You don't have to organize the contents, since you'll only be paying for the scans you keep (with a 80% minimum). But if you choose to organize the contents, follow our packing tips.
  • Drop off your box at a UPS location. Your order is tracked from the minute you hand it to UPS.
  • We'll send you an email when we receive your originals.
  • We will handle the rest of the shipping for your order, which will include transporting it via air freight (the most secure form of shipping in the world), to and from our scanning facility in Indianapolis, IN. read more about our safety »

  • We scan your items

  • We scan your images in high resolution: 3000/4000 dpi for 35mm negatives, slides, APS, special media, and 600/1200 dpi for paper photos
  • Equipment used: Epson 4490, Nikon 5000 ED, Nikon 9000 ED
  • Each of your images will be reviewed and corrected as needed, one at a time, by an assigned technician. more about our quality »

  • You review your order

  • When your scans are done, we will send you an email
  • You'll have the chance to review all your scans. If there are scans you don't want, simply delete them and you won't be charged for them. You may delete up to 20% of your order.
  • You will be able to do some re-organizing of your images while you review your scans.
  • When complete, you will check out, and pay the remaining balance on your order.

  • Your Download

  • After you complete the review, we make the scans you selected available for download.
  • You may download the scanned images to your computer or request for a cloud upload .

  • We ship your order to you

  • If you have opted for delivery media like USB or DVD. We save your scanned images on it and return it along with the originals.
  • The return shipment is sent via UPS and is also trackable during the entire trip to your door. You have the option to request signature delivery at time of final checkout.

  • You enjoy & share!

  • Once your order is complete, you can have friends and family view your scans online as well.
  • Your Digital download , USB or DVD will contain high-resolution files suitable for enlargements and hiqh-quality prints. Perfect for photo gifts, too.


  • More questions? read the FAQ »

  • * Turnaround time depends on the type of media sent in the order. Accurate turnaround time is provided when placing an order.