Show and Tell

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Saundra and I are both humbugs when it comes to the holiday merchandizing hype that goes on these days, especially Black Friday, advertizing, and setting up displays earlier and earlier each year. With that in mind, what we are offering may seem just a bit hypocritical, but let me explain:

While we aren’t normally open on weekends, we will make an exception on Saturday, October 25th. We will open from 10:00 until 6:00 to help our customers get a jump on their Christmas imaging needs. Many of the photo products we offer, especially scanning and Christmas card design, take time to produce.

So you see, it’s not that we’re eager to jump on the pre-holiday bandwagon. We’ve been doing this for over 25 years, folks, so we know how crazy it will get closer to Christmas, and we’re trying to make things easier for workers and customers, alike.

Here are some of the options you might consider when giving the gift of photo memories this year:

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Many of our customers have been begging for a break on our scanning, so on October 25th, we’re offering a one-day special. For that one day, every scanning order (with the exception of our “Think Inside the Box” promotions) will be discounted by 25%. Our “Think Inside the Box” promotions are already heavily discounted, we’re talking about scanning of heirloom photographs and vintage medium and large format film that take extra TLC. That’s right, those old mounted photos and odd-sized negatives that can only be scanned via our flatbed scanner and copy systems. We have never offered this before, and it is unlikely that we will offer it again any time soon.

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In case you’ve missed my previous posts, we’re now partnering with Fuji to offer a line of great photo gifts. From brag books to photo ornaments for the tree to photo magnets and more, there’s something here for everyone in the family. We still print greeting cards, too, from templates or customized to your specifications. And if you have a Jacksonville history enthusiast in your family, we are the official printer for the Jacksonville Historical Society. Scroll down for some examples of these and other offerings.

 

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And of course we always have our traditional photo prints, but consider getting an early start on them, too. Getting your orders in before Thanksgiving is the most sure way to have them finished well before your holiday deadlines.

We hope to see you soon.

John

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Thanks for the Memories

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A recurring theme in my musings is our passion for preserving history, whether for individuals or organizations. For FotoTechnika‘s first twenty years, our next-door neighbor was Dr. Wayne Wood, optometrist and North Florida historian. Wayne’s passion for history, architecture and his connections with the Jacksonville Historical Society and Riverside Avondale Preservation introduced us to some wonderful people who are passionate about Jacksonville and its history, which in turn sparked our desire to help others preserve their own heritage.

 

Every family has at least one person who squirrels away photos dating back to the Dark Ages, and unfortunately many people find out too late, when going through the family estate, that they have no idea who the people in those treasured photographs were. I know because my mom keeps boxes of our family’s photographic relics under her bed. We’ve organized them some over the years, but some are so old that even she doesn’t know who the subjects are.

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We started scanning and printing historic images in 2002, so we’ve gotten pretty good at it over the years – the associated processes have become a very significant part of our business. We’ve slowly been working on our own personal projects – like reprinting my mom’s and my own wedding albums, so that the photos are no longer discolored and are now on archival materials. Last Labor Day, weeks before we finished moving the business from our old Lomax location, I emptied some old slide carousels from an estate my grandfather oversaw as executor. Lo and behold, the slides weren’t from the Slidesestate but were a treasure trove of slides taken when I was in my early teens. Scanning them will be a trip down memory lane. We have so many more of these kinds of projects to tackle, and if you have similar projects looming, we have some good news for you.

On May 26, 2014, Memorial Day, the day the U.S. government has set aside to remember those who died in our nation’s service, we want to thank you for allowing us to help you preserve your memories through photos. And for those of you who haven’t had opportunity to use our services, we have come up with several specials to motivate you to get the ball rolling. We decided that since we usually end up working on Memorial Day anyway, we might as well open up and offer some one-day specials for those of you who might have difficulty getting by during the work week. (Check our Facebook Event here.)

In a previous blog, I introduced our Think Inside the Box program to offer folks a variety of ways to preserve images. The box program is an ongoing promotion, but for this Memorial Day, we decided kick it up a notch by running a “Film Amnesty” special. This special allows those of you who, for whatever reason, have hung on to undeveloped color (C41) or B&W negative film over the years to go ahead and get those rolls processed for half our listed price. We have sweetened the pot even more by getting our partners over at Easy Edit Video to  Video Transferoffer a special on transferring VHS tapes to DVD. Easy Edit normally charges $25.00 per VHS tape to DVD, but on Memorial Day only, we will accept orders for transfers for $10.00 per tape as long as you order a minimum of three. This deal is only good if you bring those tapes to us on May 26th.

If you have followed our blog or used our services in the past, you know there are all sorts of other services we offer that can be used to preserve family photos. Our new gifting service (access it under the Photo Factory tab here) offers personalized cards, photo books, mugs, puzzles, clothing, jewelry and so much more.

Don’t let your family photos remain a mystery under the bed or in the attic or wherever it is you keep them – let FotoTechnika use our digital restoration know-how and fine art services to turn very average or even damaged photos into heirlooms that your great-grandchildren can enjoy generations from now.

John

Think Inside the Box

"Think Inside the Box" Deals

“Think Inside the Box” Deals

Over the next several months, Sarah and I (and maybe Saundra) will write several blogs devoted to services and products we offer that will appeal to those of you who may think that we cater exclusively to professional photographers, artists, and business customers. The truth is we have never turned away consumer business; in fact, we enjoy serving individuals who just want excellent pictures printed by someone whose next task isn’t restocking diapers on Aisle 4.

Our former Five Points lab was a destination location, a bit off the beaten path, and our zoning with the city didn’t allow for retail operations. With our move to 3119 Beach Boulevard last year, that all changed. With Curry Thomas Hardware right across the parking lot and the Mudville Grille just down the sidewalk, everyday folks walk past our windows all the time, and guess what? Unlike Lomax Street, most probably don’t have a problem finding a parking place.

Saundra and I are baby-boomers, and as such we have lived in both the analog and digital world. My mom, who’s 84, never really made the digital transition (except for recording soap operas on her DVR). She’s our only surviving parent, and after several recent extended stays in hospitals and rehab facilities, we have made a conscious effort to spend time with her and try to put our family history in order. Some of you have similar issues, and sadly, some of your parents may have already passed, leaving you with the task of sorting out the family images by yourself. Most of us have relatives who can help with genealogy, but it isn’t practical to send them boxes and boxes of photos… but what if those images were in a digital format?

Since we own a lab, we jumped on the scanning bandwagon, but it wasn’t until we started scanning images for the Jacksonville Historical Society that we developed a passion for preserving history. We started scanning and archiving our important family images years ago, but many of you don’t have that resource. Aha, maybe he’s finally getting to the point.

At FotoTechnika, we have quite an array of scanning devices. We don’t only do the high-resolution scans for those great big art prints and photos; we also have scanners that specialize in handling volumes of prints, slides and film. We know that quite a few of you have rather large family collections. Some may be in excellent condition, but I’m sure anyone as old or older than me has some photos or film that are changing color. It’s time to scan those images before they fade more, but it has always been so darn expensive. Well, we want to help you by offering several deals that can save you money and at the same time let you do a little of the organizing that so often falls to us. We’re thinking outside the box encouraging you to THINK INSIDE THE BOX.

We are offering two deals for scanning volumes of prints and slides:

Deal 1 – Print Scans

Shoebox Kit

Shoebox Kit

We will sell you a Shoebox Kit for $200. You fill the box with up to 1000 prints, from wallets to 8x10s. We will scan those prints and create 300-dpi jpeg files capable of producing prints the same size as the original photographs. We can save the images to a CD or to your USB thumb drive or external drive, and we will create an 8.5×11 booklet with thumbnails of the images. All you do is put the photos in the box.

The prints do need to be flexible enough to bend easily, and if you want them in a certain order you need to stack them accordingly. PLEASE, no badly torn photos or ones that have sticky stuff on them, unless you want us to scan those separately for an additional charge.

Deal 2 – Slide Scans

Slide Box Kit

Slide Box Kit

For $50, we will sell you a box that can hold up to 200 35mm slides. We will scan the slides at a resolution sufficient to make proof-size prints, and we will save jpegs to a CD or to your USB thumb drive and provide 5×5 index prints. (NOTE: This offer is only for 35mm slides. The square Instamatic and small 110 slides must be done on another device that is not designed for volume scanning.)

In both cases, you help us by sorting your images into the boxes we provide. Sure, we can scan from your scrapbooks or pull slides out of carousels, but then we are doing a lot of the sorting. When you put the slides or prints in boxes, you are rewarded with volume pricing. It works out to be $0.25 per slide and $0.20 per print – all scanned with the TLC FotoTechnika is famous for.

(If you have negative film, I’m sure we can work out some volume pricing, too, but finding the right box is harder than you might think.)

AND… for those of you who have already gone totally digital, we have made a box for you, too, just so you won’t feel left out. If you haven’t already figured it out, hard drives and smart phones crash – shoeboxes don’t! So you need to think about printing your more important files.

Bonus Deal – Digital Prints

Everything Goes Box

Everything Goes Box

For $75, we will sell you our “Everything Goes” box. Select your favorite images from your various CDs, DVDs, USB drives, camera cards and computer hard drive, save them on digital media, and bring it to us in the box. Make sure the media only contain files you want printed. We will fill the box with up to 300 proof-size prints on Fuji Crystal Archive photo paper. (NOTE: The quality of the image is dependent on the quality and resolution of the digital files you provide.)

These boxes make perfect Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and graduation gifts, so get them now, and let us help you preserve those family treasures.

Until next blog,

John

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