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Old photos are worth restoring!

Have you got old and damaged irreplaceable family photographs hidden away in a drawer somewhere? Have you ever thought of having them restored so that you can frame them or put them in the family album, or get extra print copies that can be distributed among family members?

I get enquiries from people from time to time asking me, do I know anyone who can do it? When I tell them that I have years of experience doing this kind of thing it naturally follows that they want to know more. I'm hoping that this blog post will answer most of your questions about photo restoration. Of course photos don't have to be old to need a bit of tidying up or to have enlargements or additional copies made to share around the family.


First of all, what is possible?

• Remove cracks and creases

• Repair torn corners

• Improve contrast

• Reconstruct missing parts of a photo

• Piece together photos that have been torn into separate parts

• Crop and resize photos

• Repair sun damage

• Repair water damage

• Remove someone from a photo

• Combine images

• Repair faded photos even if it is not evenly faded all over


How much will it cost?

As every restoration is unique so it is not possible to have a price list for such work. My charges are based on how much time each restoration project takes. It could be an hour or two or even a day or two. I will need to see your original photograph in order to give you an accurate quote.


Some before and after restoration examples.

The damage above is common with old family photos where they have been stored in old albums or stored away as single prints in a drawer for many years. This one has lost the top layer of emulsion in many places where it has been handled over the years. It has cracks and folds in it, and the corners have been lost.


This what you can expect after restoration. The original damaged print is scanned and then returned to you just as it was for safe keeping. The scan I have made is digitally restored giving us a new image from which we can produce new prints. In most cases prints can be made larger than the original which can be useful if you have framing in mind. You can of course order as many prints as you like. You may want to distribute them around the family.

This example has damage to the surface where the top layer of emulsion has been scraped and the whole print has darkened over time. The centre of interest for my client is the little girl in the passenger seat. She is in fact, my client's mother. I was asked if I could enhance this area and possibly produce a close up!

Here is the restored image.

And here is the close up of the little girl.

And here another choice, remove the sepia and render as black and white.


There are other kinds of photo restoration too, not only for pictures that are physically damaged.

Take look at the examples below. I am sure that most of us have come across pictures like these and said "what a shame that happened to it, not much you can do to change it now". You couldn't be more wrong, most types of damage or wear and tear is 'fixable'!

The original photo on the left was at some time cut and roughly shaped to fit a small oval frame. The finished restoration on the right required the corners to be reconstructed and the image to be re-toned and printed in black and white as requested by my client.

In this example, as the original print was not damaged and not a lot of work was needed to bring the print back to a more pleasing and useful image.



These are small paper 'positives' which were quite common in the 1940's and 50's.

There are no negatives in existence now but I was able to copy, retouch and then supply new 6x4in prints to the client.


As you can see there is quite a lot that can be done to save your photo treasures.

It is worth remembering too that along with your restored photos I include a digital copy of each photo that you can use as you want. Either store it on your own computer and share it with the family or maybe even make more prints.


If you need a quote or want to make a preliminary enquiry about any kind of photo restoration work get in touch with me using the 'Contact' page on this website. https://www.peterbolton.photography/peterboltonphotographycontact
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