We offer photo restorations. Please send us an email message at firstname.lastname@example.org and see my tips below before sending.
How it works and some tips:
• Try to send us a high-quality scan at a 300-600 dpi resolution to work with (best if not including the outer white edge of the scanner). If it's really large, don't scan and see next step.
• If it's really old, large and stuck to the glass in a frame - DO NOT TRY TO REMOVE IT! You could end up hurting or ruining the art or photograph. This is a common occurrence from moisture over years of all sorts of weather, humity and temperature conditions (this is why most museums try to keep the same even conditions). Instead, take a photo with a regular digital camera (not a cell phone) at the highest resolution setting you have on the camera, this could mean RAW format or L for Large format at Fine quality jpg in your menu settings. Natural window light is best but without any reflections of yourself or other objects. Do not ever use flash, turn off flash in your menu settings. If possible, outside in outside light is best, on a nice day, and you may have to go slightly at an angle from above, below, or the side to not get reflection—but not so much of an angle that it distorts the image too much. Some distortion we can fix after but not all.
• Email the images: if they are too large, send one at a time. If RAW or larger, upload to a DropBox account or OneDrive. There are a few online storage places that are available. Then send me the link to those folders to access.
• Once I can review the images I can give quotes for each image. There are no promises that anything can be done at all. If nothing can be fixed from my professional point-of-view, there is no charge for me to review them (unless you have hundreds or thousands for me to review).
• Sometimes if the rips or creases are in the eyes, mouth or teeth, it can't be fixed. Or if there are missing areas completely, such as areas around the face, neck, and shoulders, this probably can't be fixed.
• If there are multiple people in the photos, I may be able to salvage some of the faces but not all depending on how bad or good of shape it is in. Sometimes I can crop out less important areas and only save the more important areas. Sometimes I can only crop out one person from the group as your final image. If this is the case, let me know before I get started with what your expectations of the final restoration are.
• If you have other "comparable" images - send those too. If there was a series or sequence of similar photos taken in a row that could help me pull pieces of bodies, heads, ears, mouths, eyes, of the same person/clothing, around the same age range... send them over as well. Every little piece of the puzzle helps in the final image. Just let me know which image you want as a final restoration so I don't work on the wrong one.
• Size of the final image - Most of the time, the final print size is determined by the size you supplied to me. If you only supply me with a tiny low-resolution quality file, that is all I can pull from it as well. The only other reason that I need to make it smaller than the original is to make it look better in print but that's rare. There is no magic button or program to enlarge a low-quality image and it not be pixelated with jpeg artifact squares and distortion in this current time. You get what you give. And another note on this - if you scanned a print that was printed from a low-resolution pixelated image, that also doesn't count, if it's bad, it's bad, no trickery can be done but nice try, ha!
• Some restorations can take days, weeks or months, much like a painting. My cost ranges on difficulty and time into it. An estimate might run about $25-50 an hour. If it's simple it can run less. If it's more difficult, it can run more. An average restoration takes about 10-20 hours total. If it's really intense, I'll take breaks in between and work on it every other day and only count the hours I work on it for the total amount.
• If I can't find the time between my wedding schedule or if I feel it's not something I can do, I have two other graphic artists who may be able to take it on and I will run it passed them for a second or third opinion. They may even take on the entire project and you can work through me to streamline one avenue.
• I try to keep true to the original as much as possible, only fixed. If it's sepia, I can make black and white. If it's black and white I can make sepia. If you want it original shade, I can keep it that way.
• I have done colorizing black and white images into color, but a warning to this—it may not look "real" at the end and more like a painting—this can also run a very high in cost ($1000 or more) and/or may not be possible at all.
• I have fixed double-exposure images. This can be extremely difficult and not always impossible. So it's worth a shot to send to me and see if it's possible anyway!
• Once completed, I only supply the corrected digital original file size of the restoration ready-for-print (usually on the same platforms as discussed above or downloading from my website with a link I provide). If you need me to print on behalf of you or drop-ship to Domestic USA locations only, you pay for the cost of the print, size and paper/canvas and/or framing you want. I am not responsible for printing cost, framing or shipping.