Q. What exactly is a Personal Photo Mosaic? Is it like scrapbooking?|
A. No, it is a brand new photograph that looks something like a collage or montage made up from a collection of your pictures that have been tucked away in an old box or album.
Q. So you take my snapshots and paste them to a sheet of paper?
A. No, we scan your photos into a computer then look them over for blemishes and fading. (For instance, the picture of Great Great Grandpa Johnston on the Home Page.)
A. No, the changes are all done electronically and only to the copies we made by scanning. The only time we touch your originals is to place them into the scanner, which is a little like a photocopier connected to a computer.
Q. Then what happens to these copies?
A. Again using the computer, we arrange them onto a page that will become a new photograph that you will get from us. If there is an overall theme to your Personal Photo Mosaic we look for a layout that will help tell that story.
WHAT IS A MOSAIC THEME ?
Q. What do you mean by a Theme or a story?
A. For instance, one of the samples we have in the slide show on the first page of this web site used childhood pictures of a girl taken in the very early 1920’s along with photos from her marriage to a soldier in World War II. We added snapshots of her as a young mother, some vacation memories and finally pictures of her funeral in 2003. That ‘story’, now in a single 8x10 inch matte finish photograph printed on heavy paper, is a warm reminder of the affectionate life she shared with friends and family.
Q. And how do you know what the theme should be?
A. By asking you. Usually we like to see the collection of your pictures first and, because probably you had something in mind when you loaned them to us, the story is most likely obvious. But before we begin actual work, we’ll confirm our impressions with you.
WHAT YOU GET
Q. Is 8x10 the only size I can get?
A. It is the most common size and our pricing assumes that’s what you will choose. We can go larger or smaller but smaller generally is less satisfying (with no price reduction for size because our effort is about the same). Larger does require an additional price and takes much longer because we send out for the printing.
Q. How many of my pictures are in the finished mosaic photo?
A. 8 to 12 seems to work best. We had one project - a wedding collection of many pages - where we sometimes used only 2 or 3 or 4 to a page but that worked because the collection of 20 mosaic pages bound in a book told the whole story.
By the way, we can also quote you on a similar 'book' project. They come out very well but are a much bigger investment.
ARE THEY FRAMED?
Q. I notice that some of the mosaics in your ad and on this web site seem to be in frames? Is that part of the service?
A. Our goal is to provide you with a new ready-to-frame 8x10 print. We are not framers. The finished Personal Photo Mosaic will come in a nice-looking mat or sometimes in a simple acrylic display or an inexpensive (but tasteful) readymade frame. If you decide you want it professionally framed, we can recommend experts that we use for ourselves.
If you want us to provide complete sealed-back framing, UV glass and beveled matting for your new Personal Photo Mosaic, we would be happy to outsource it for you but would have to add a $29.00 convenience fee to our price. Plus, of course, whatever the framer charged.
HOW LONG IT TAKES
Q. How long does all this take? Without the professional framing, I mean.
A. We usually want to have your photos at our place for about a week (plus shipping time). It can be a little longer depending on the time required for jobs ahead of yours or if some of your original pictures were in really bad condition. Cracks and blemishes take the longest to restore because of the extensive attention to tiny detail. Fading is generally faster to fix but sometimes takes experimentation to obtain a natural look.
WILL I BE SATISFIED?
Q. What if the restoration doesn’t work out very well?
A. That sometimes happens, especially with faded colors that affect skin tones. If we’re not happy with the work, we’ll try to tell you before you tell us. Then you can decide whether to include the photo in the mosaic or skip over it to a second choice that still tells the story.
Q. And if I’m not happy with the end result?
A. When we think we’re done we will send you a Proof copy of the Personal Photo Mosaic that we have created. Once you approve that you owe us for the whole job.
If we finally cannot satisfy you we will return your deposit. (Of course, our policy can not apply to any lack of satisfaction you might have with a third party, such as a framing service.)
HOW DO YOU GET MY PHOTOS?
Q. And how do my pictures get to you in the first place?
A. If you live within about 35 miles of downtown Chicago, we can pick them up*. That also gives us a chance to discover in person the story or theme you might have in mind or to suggest some ideas after looking through the photos with you.
Or, you can bundle your pictures into a heavy cardboard mailer – Scotch Brand has a ‘photo/document mailer’ for a couple of dollars that you can pick up at many large chain drugstores – and send them here via FedEx or UPS or even U.S. Mail. We'd be happy to send you a prepaid label for UPS. Just don’t use a simple manila envelope because they will surely come to us in worse shape than when they left you.
Please do not send us framed pictures. We would have to take them apart for scanning and we cannot put them back together. Plus, they tend to get broken during shipping.
Q. Can’t I just send them to you over the Internet?
A. We’d rather have access to the originals to be sure of getting the best quality for your Personal Photo Mosaic.
Q. And return?
A. Pretty much the same options although if you are in a hurry we are willing to send your Proof over the Internet with the disclaimer that you will be approving it without actually having our print in your hands.
HOW MUCH IT COSTS
Q. And the cost?
A. Our standard price is $99 for an 8x10 Personal Photo Mosaic with a $50 deposit that you send with your pictures. That usually covers all the restoration of the photos we will use.
If, once we see the originals, there will be some extensive restoration work beyond the usual dirt spots, blemishes, slight fading and some cracking, we may have to ask you for an additional fee. If so, we’ll present that option to you before we begin. Your choice of glossy or matte finish or faux oil painting is included.
We’ll also send you one 4x6 print of any restored pictures. Naturally, we send all your originals back in the same condition they were when we got them. The only exceptions might be if we had to disassemble an old collage or remove a mat. Do not send us framed pictures.
EXTRA PRINTS? DIGITAL COPIES?
Q. What if I want additional prints of my new Personal Photo Mosaic? Are they available?
A. Yes, they are only $9 each (assuming they really are exact copies and you aren’t asking for changes from the version we've already completed). The price for copies is good for up to a year once you buy the original from us.***
Q. What about digital copies?
A. Yes. If you want a CD-ROM with all the copies we’ve made – scans of your originals, restored versions of your pictures and the Personal Photo Mosiac itself – we can provide it for $29 with everything in ‘.jpg’ file format. And that price is also good for up to one year after you have purchased the original product from us.
Q. Can I do what I want with the pictures on the CD-ROM?
A. Almost. The images you provided are yours, of course. We also grant you a license to make unlimited use of any restorations we did for you. However, the digital version of your Personal Photo Mosaic is copyrighted by The Visibility Group, Inc. and can be used by you to make unlimited personal prints but you are not licensed to make copies for sale or exhibition nor to distribute digital copies.
WHAT DO I DO NEXT?
Q. OK, what do I do to make this happen?
A. Dig out those old photos or get the album out of the closet or dust off the vintage collage that your Aunt made in 1947. Then drop us an e-mail** or leave a message at (312) 259-4500 and we’ll get started.
And thanks. We think you’re going to like what we do together.
* - Beyond 35 miles out from the Loop, we'll have to negotiate.
** - E-mail tip: Put "PetPix" or "Collage" or "Keepsake" or "Mosaic" in the Subject Line so your message doesn't get dropped into the Spam Bucket.
*** - Reorder prices guaranteed for one year from original mosaic purchase. Prices subject to change without notice.
PetPix At Home and Personal Photo Mosaic are TradeMarks of The Visibility Group, Inc., Chicago, IL
|©2005 PetPix.us website by: The Visibility Group, Inc.|