Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Photo Restoration Joy

It will come as no surprise to those who know me and know my work that I have a definitive weakness for vintage and antique photography. In fact, I have several hundred in my personal collection that I have amassed over the years.

Some of these light captures of the past I have purchased, but most have either ben given to me or the photos have simply ended up in my collection by a chance find here or there.

What some of you may not know is that I have spent many years working as a specialist in photo restoration and colorization.

With the holiday season upon us, I thought now would be a good time to publicize the awareness of this skill and offer it as a service for those looking for a unique gift and/or the opportunity to restore, enhance and preserve the esthetic beauty and importance of treasured photographs of family and friends from days gone by.

Here are some examples of recent projects. The “Before” image is placed first followed by the “After” (or restored) version.

Portrait of Young Man circa 1899. Before.

I purchased this photo in a Curio Shop in the Shenandoah Valley several years ago. As you can see, the photo has faded and has several small tears as well as discoloration from a red fluid that had been spilled on the image at some point in the past.

Portrait of Young Man circa 1899. After.

This is the same image after I digitally repaired the tears and the stains. I have also added color and eliminated the fading.

Portrait of Young Man circa 1890 - 1899. Before

This is another image from my collection. Clearly, close to 125 years of time have taken quite a toll on the studio portrait.

Portrait of Young Man circa 1890. After.

This is the same image after the digital restoration job.

Two Sisters and a Dog circa 1890. Before.

Also from my collection, this is an early Kodak Brownie Camera photograph taken somewhere in Philadelphia between 1890 and 1900. This photo is just over the size of a postage stamp.  It has faded greatly and there is quite a bit of fading and discoloration.

Two Sisters and a Dog circa 1890. After.

Here is the image after the restoration. It’s has been enlarged, enhanced and colorized.


Two Sisters circa 1950 - 1960.  Before.

This is an image that I came across online. The condition of the original photograph is quite bad as it is faded, creased and torn in several places.

danceb4Two Sisters circa 1950 - 1960.  After.

Here, I have removed the creases and the tears, enhanced the contrast and levels, cropped and straightened the photo, removed components that threw off the balance and added color.

Q: Can you do this magic for me and save my old torn, faded forgotten photos that I would simply love to have for myself and to use as gifts and future heirlooms to ever-thankful family and friends?

A: Why yes I can.

Q: Is it expensive?

A: Goodness no. I charge $35 an hour and most jobs take about one to two hours – sometimes 3 for very damaged photos. I have a one hour minimum. It’s a small price to pay really to become the toast of your next holiday gift giving celebration and the honor of your family for having the insight and vision to rescue the imagery of your ancestors.

Q: How does it work?

A: You send me the original photo and I’ll make a scan of it. I’ll work from the scan so your original photograph will be mailed back to you after the job is completed unharmed. Once the job is complete, I will email you a link where you can access the digital file as well as one complimentary professionally printed 5” x 7” paper photograph of the restored image ready for you to frame.

For nominal additional costs, I can easily have other prints at a variety of sizes created. Matting and framing is also available or printing on canvas and much more – including books of photographs, or prints on tile and other interesting materials.

For more information – contact me at or via cell at 202-643-2278.

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