Frequently Asked Questions
Photo Restoration and Repair, Photograph refinishing... What is it all about? +

Here in Houston, it involves several steps. A great deal of the photo refinishing process depends on whether you send us the original or you choose to scan them yourself and upload to our website. If you send the damaged images, rest assured they will be treated with the UTMOST care. First, we scan the damaged photos you send. Normally, we scan at a resolution of 800dpi or higher. From there, we use various digital tools to eliminate the scratches, color bleed, colorcast, fading, rips, tears, mold, heat damage, and other deterioration. That pretty much explains most of photo restoration, refinishing, and retouching processes. The entire process is executed VERY carefully, which is why we do not offer one of those "24 hour guarantee" options for photo refinishing (especially if we will be scanning photos that happen to be YOUR treasured memories). We take our time, and much of our photo restoration is done by hand. It's not just a matter of using spot removers in Adobe Photoshop. Sometimes, damaged pictures require hand-painting in order for the full photo restoration process to provide the best results. That's exactly what we do at Heritage.

If I ship my original photographs to you, will they be altered in any way? +

Absolutely not. Several copies of the damaged photo will be made and it will be scanned at the maximum possible resolution on our commercial-grade digital photo scanner. After the restoration process, the original will be untouched and returned to you free of charge.

Can you scan or transform negatives or repair slides? Can you restore the negative or the slide? +

Yes, we have a commercial grade scanner that will transform MANY types of slides and negatives. You can expect the same quality printed, restored photo as you would from a regular scanned print. PLEASE DO REMEMBER to ship negatives very carefully. If you are in doubt, give Heritage Photo Restoration and Genealogy a call in Houston, Texas and we will walk you through the safest method to pack negatives and ship them.

I am going to ship my photos to you. Are there any special requirements? +

We have no special requirements, but we suggest the following when shipping damaged photos: First, ensure they are packed well. Do not trust the post office and their "do not bend" envelopes. It is better to go with UPS or FedEx. Get a tracking number. Cut two pieces of cardboard out of a box. The pieces should be a little bit smaller than your envelope. Place the photographs between the pieces of cardboard before you place them in the envelope. If you are shipping a large number of photographs, just ensure they are packed well and are protected with bubble-wrap or foam "peanuts." We don't want to end up doing photo restoration on pictures that left your house in much better condition! Call us when you get your tracking number so we may watch for the package of damaged photographs.

Ok I sent you my pictures. How long am I going to be waiting? +

Normally, the photo refinishing process takes only a few hours for each picture. Most of the time, we are able to electronically send you a restored digital image within 3 days. Sometimes, extra picture repair has to be done. Sometimes, there may be a backlog of other photos. Or, if you also want prints, you will need to plan for an extra 4 days or so. Don't cringe at that time! :) The prints we send out are the BOMB. They are printed on some of the highest-quality archival photograph paper available. On special request, we can order a MUSEUM quality paper for your restored photo prints. It's up to you! We promise to get you a restored photo as quickly as we possibly can.

What is the most difficult thing to fix or repair? +

Tears or rips across a human face in a photo! It's extremely difficult in photo restoration to reconstruct a face when you don't really know what the person looked like in the original picture.

I don't like the photo you sent me. What's up? +

Immediately before your photo repair or enhancement job is sent back to you, we post a FULL RESOLUTION copy of the image on your private page within the website. This image will be the EXACT one mailed to you or sent to you electronically. We NEVER ship photos without your approval of the proofs.

What methods of payment do you accept? +

All major credit cards accepted through our store or via paypal if you had a custom photo restoration or other work (you do not need a paypal account). Checks and cash are also welcome

Where are you located? +

You may find our Houston, TX photo restoration studio about 14 miles west of town, just off the Westpark Tollway.  There is a map HERE.

I have a large box of photographs for digital photo scanning and restoration. What's the best way to get it all to you? +

If you are within 100 miles of zip code 77082 (part of Houston), Heritage will come pick up your items at no charge. If you are outside that range, we will provide instructions for you to print a UPS shipping label and use that to ship the old photos to us.

Tell me more about the prints you offer. +

All normal sizes between 4x6 and 16x20 are available on high quality photo paper. Poster sizes are also available on standard photo paper. We can also create a canvas, metal print,leather-bound photo book for you. We have many finishes such as glossy, metallic, basic matte, silk, super silk, and FujiFilm Ultra-Deep Matte (an EXTREMELY nice paper for your photo repair). In fact, we have a total of 18 different classes of paper available for your refinished photos.

How do I get everything back once you are done restoring the pictures or scanning? +

As always, we offer free return shipping. Electronic photo restorations are delivered via Dropbox or Google Drive. If you do not want to download your photos from one of those sources, we can place your fixed photos on DVD and ship it to you.

How do I place an order with you or discuss a possible project with you? +

Most folks just show up at the door.  There are some other good ways. First, if you need customized work, check the CONTACT page of our website. At the bottom there exists a detailed contact form where you can not only explain your issue but also upload as many as 6 damaged photographs. In fact, you can use this method alone to initiate your order, if you wish. If you want to discuss the work first, don't hesitate at all to give Heritage Photo Restoration and Genealogy a call. From 7AM-10PM Monday-Saturday you can reach us at 281-940-5870. If you need photo restoration without a customized quote, you can purchase your package right from the Heritage Store Page. We would be more than happy to answer any questions you might have and give you any help you need to get started.

How much does photo restoration and/or scanning cost? +

Digital photo scanning begins at .40 cents per image and goes DOWN for there. The more images you send, the lower the rate. 8 x 10 or larger photos cost a small amount more. Photo Restorations start at $17.50 and can be as high as $50. This is COMPLETELY dependent on the level / type of damage. The vast majorty of the pictures we restore are $25. As with the scanning rate, the rate for restorations goes DOWN with volume. If you have 10 damaged photos, your rate will be less than someone with just 1 damaged photo.

Do you work with tin-type or "Tin Type" pictures? +

We certainly do! These are treated the same way normal photographs are. You send the photo to us, we work some magic, and we send you the photograph restoration.

Does Heritage accept RUSH ORDERS? +

We do. The surcharge for a rush order on photo restoration is $20 per picture repaired. This gives you a guaranteed 36 hour delivery.

Do you perform photo manipulation? +

Yes and No. The only type of photo manipulation we do NOT perform is the removal of a person who was INTENTIONALLY in an original photo. Now, if someone accidentally walked past a camera or something similar or you need a background changed or table removed, we are more than happy to do that for you. Basically, don't ask us to remove your sister from a childhood portrait you took with her.

I'm interested in using one of your genealogists to find out what my last name really means and where it came from... Can you do that? +

Usually that is something we do as part of our Photoancestry package, but we can certainly do it on an ad-hoc basis.  Your family name can mean a great deal.  You might see another genealogy website that says your family name will give you very little insight into your origins.  This is simply not true.  

I don't need your silly genealogist. I've got a monthly subscription to a giant family tree website and I traced my whole heritage by myself. +

Just make sure you have records for everything you put in the tree.  Not information copied from another person's tree, but solid evidence such as census data, birth certificates, death certificates, old family bibles, DNA, etc.  

Genealogy without evidence is mythology.

 

How do I know how to pick a professional genealogist? +

Well, each region of the USA is very different.  We would love to serve everyone, but we advise that you contact a genealogist in your state or in the state you need research done in.  Alternatively, as your genealogist about areas he or she usally works in.  You will almost always get better results if you do this first.  At Heritage, our Houston Professional Genealogist team specializes in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Arkansas.  If you are looking for something in those states, we would love to visit with you about your genealogical needs.

How do I know whether a professional genealogist is an honest person or not? +

ALWAYS ask for references.  Do not ever hire a genealogist without doing so.  There are a lot of folks out there playing genealogist with their monthly subscription to a well-knonwn family tree website, but they are doing little more than playing.  Don't get caught up in a mess like that.  Second, ask your genealogist to be up front about costs.  No professional genealogist is going to make "promises" about finding ancestors, etc.  Ask the company you call to tell you the likelihood of success before you get started.  At Heritage, that is why we offer a complimentary two-hour consultation.  We can gather initial facts and then provide you with an honest estimate and probability of success.