Your family story is larger than life — just like the oversized portraits, documents, and photo albums in your collection. That unique legacy deserves more than the one-size-fits-all approach that keeps other photo scanning services fast and cheap.

Here’s our two cents on scanning large items behind the scenes at EverPresent.

Scanning Oversized Photos

Most of your photo memories are smaller than 8.5-by-11 inches. That’s the largest size that a normal flatbed scanner can handle, but some items need more room.

When you send larger photos and documents, it’s time to break out the big guns. Our extra large scanners can handle items up to 12-by-17 inches.

Here’s a quick glance at some of the oversized scanning candidates that might be in your own stash:

  • Framed artwork that’s been in your family for years
  • Enlarged family portraits with multiple generations
  • Full newspapers, including headers, ads, and margins
  • Scrapbooks 12-by-12 inches and bigger
  • Drawings your children made in art class
  • Blueprints of buildings you either designed or occupied
  • Signs, posters, and plaques from your career
  • Maps and vital records from historians and genealogists

Sound familiar? Many clients don’t realize how many oversized items they have until we start scanning them. And sometimes, even an extra large document scanner doesn’t quite cut it.

Stitching Panoramic and Composite Images

oversized scan

Some of the biggest photos, artwork, and documents don’t even fit on a 12-by-17 inch sheet of scanner glass. We use a technique called stitching to scan these items in chunks and fit them together digitally.

For stitching, each scan needs to share at least two inches of overlap with adjacent scans. Our scanning software needs that overlap to find a match between two separate scans and calculate how they fit together.

It’s a fairly simple process if you’re only scanning two pieces. But the image above shows a poster that needed multiple scans with several stitches. It took three technicians to keep the item flat during scanning — while preventing the rest of it from drooping and ripping under its own weight.

Digital Photography for Large, Fragile, and Warped Documents

woman holding a camera shooting a photograph

Once in a while, extra large scanners and stitching are no match for your family memories. We’ll offer to photograph them to give you high-quality digital copies of the originals.

The most common reasons for photographing extra large items are:

  • Highly fragile books and documents that are too vulnerable for normal handling
  • Heavy, abrasive plaques and frames that might damage the scanners
  • Warped items that can’t be flattened enough to get scans with matching overlap
  • Blueprints and artwork with repetitive geometric lines and shapes that stitching software can’t differentiate

Don’t worry: our photographers are trained experts who know exactly how to handle and shoot your large, fragile items. These images have the same high quality as the scanned photos in your collection.

Go Big — and Stay Home

Do you have large portraits, oversized documents, and daunting scrapbooks that are tough to carry around? We’ll come to you, pack everything up, and return it when your project’s done. Just ask about our in-home consultations!

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