How LinkedIn Saved My Wedding Photos

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of posts that I originally wrote for the official LinkedIn corporate blog, but decided they were more appropriate for my personal blog.  The first was Should You Be Eating Your Own Dogfood?, about incorporating your own experience into user experience design.

This may not sound like a typical LinkedIn success story, but it’s an important one.  LinkedIn saved my wedding photos.

In all fairness, the great folks at ScanCafe actually saved my wedding photos.  I read about ScanCafe in a great piece in Money magazine earlier this year.  ScanCafe provides a service where you send them negatives, slides, or photographs, and they scan them and return them to you in digital form.  They even have very high end services, like photo restoration or professional-caliber TIFF file support for true enthusiasts like myself.

After reading about ScanCafe, I was intrigued.  Our lack of wedding photos is a tragic story, dating back seven years to a extremely poor choice of wedding photographer.  Without going into too much detail, let’s just say that my wife and I ended up thousands of dollars poorer, with no wedding album whatsoever.  However, as a ray of hope, we did eventually get the original negatives.

Scanning single-cut medium-format negatives is not for the faint of heart.  It can take 5-10 minutes per photo, and that’s without touch-up work.  We had 400 negatives.  ScanCafe seemed like our savior, with affordable rates and support for all sorts of negatives.  But could they be trusted with our only hope for wedding photos?  Our original negatives?

Fortunately, trust is exactly where LinkedIn shines.  I typed “ScanCafe” into the search box on linkedin.com, and was delighted to find out that an old colleague of mine actually works for the company.  I sent him a LinkedIn message, and within a week I had his assurances and help in submitting my order.

Last week, for the first time, ScanCafe posted the results on their online website for me to review.  It was truly an emotional moment.  Wonderful photos and memories captured and restored, and now, with digital images, the freedom to finally share and publish wedding albums.  As we speak, 81.4GB of high quality TIFF and JPG images are on their way to my house.

I don’t think I would have had the courage to send our precious negatives to anyone without a personal reference and assurance, and I never would have known I had such a close contact at the company without LinkedIn.

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