Don't worry if you are not used to scanning. Bottom line:, the better the scan the better your restoration will be. You can scan it yourself or you can go to your friendly neighborhood print shop and have them scan it for you. Either way, choose the best resolution possible.
If you opt to do it yourself and you'd like some guidance read below. However, don't let scanning get you down. It's better to scan your photo in some way than not at all.
To do it yourself:
Most likely you will need to install the software that came with your scanner (if you haven't already) to access the full settings. Avoid using the buttons that are actually on the scanner, instead use the software to send the best quality scan possible.
Tip 1: First, ensure your photo and your scanner glass is clean. Dust and mold will show up in your scanned photo and that will take more time to restore, and time, as they say, is money. Take a minute to gently clean both before scanning.
Tip 2: Scan in color. Don't know how to adjust settings? Type the make and model of your scanner into Google along with the term "how to set 16 bit color".
Tip 3: The importance of high resolution: Measure your photo and set the scanner to the Dots per Inch (DPI) below:
What to set your scanner's DPI depending on photo size
8x10 and above 300 Dpi
5x7 500 Dpi
4x6 and below 2400 Dpi
If your printer has an "Optical Resolution" setting, (yippee!) choose that! If not, no worries.
Tip 4: Save your scanned image as a low compression .jpg.
Now email it! Hooray!
Attach, don't embed your photo into an email to: email@example.com
If the photo is over 8MB it might not go through. For larger files I like to use: https://wetransfer.com/
It's free and so much simpler than your scanner settings. (promise!)
If you didn't do all of the above, it's okay, it can be confusing. Just wanted to pass this info along in case you're feeling ambitious and want the best possible scan of your photo. Run down to your local print shop with a thumb drive and they will do it for you. At the end of the day any scan is better than no scan so send the best you have to be restored today!
Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org