How to get your photos restored... The RIGHT Way.
Old photos tell a story about your family's past. While everyone wants their favorite memories to last forever, many historic pictures will start to fade over time. Other than natural wear and tear, old photos can also be damaged by water or fires.
Once the damage has occurred, your images will no longer look the same. Fortunately, the right photo restoration techniques can help you quickly repair your favorite images. Often, photo restoration services can completely restore the original image within just a few short days.
What Is meant by the term "Photo Restoration"?
Photo restoration is a fairly straightforward process. Normally, a good artist will digitally scan your damaged picture at a very high resolution. Digital photo restoration software is normally used to repair the damage. Good photo restoration artists will have a full array of tools at their disposal when they are fixing old photos. Without the right tools, a restored photo may look "photoshopped" (fake) or just ridiculous, at best.
After the artist completely restores the photograph using his or her tools, newly printed copies can be made.
High quality photo restoration services will give you many choices with regard to how your new image is printed. Services should always have a full selection and should be able to find the right material to match your picture. For example, a restored portrait of your grandfather from 1910 would look very, very silly if it were reprinted on "glossy" paper!
In the past, the best image restoration techniques were used exclusively by high-end photography studios. Average people could not afford to fix their family photos because the technology was too expensive - and so were the artists! Thankfully, this situation has started to change. Now, you can hire photo restoration services for a fairly affordable price. The bad news? You often get exactly what you pay for.
When searching for a photo restoration company, find someone with several years or more of experience in the industry. They should have the latest scanners, equipment and tools. Ask companies you contact about the resolution they use for digitizing photos and negatives. Ask them what type of scanner they use. If the service is unable to answer quickly, they aren't worth your time or money.
You need to find a company that has a proven track record of success. With the right company, you can get the photo restoration results you need. Ask for samples of before and after work. Ask if they have references. Lastly - and for goodness sake - read reviews!
Don't choose the wrong services
While software programs can simplify the photo restoration process, it still takes a great deal of skill to fix damaged images. The entire process begins when you reach out to a photo restoration company. Afterward, an experienced artist will walk you through the entire process. That being said, remember a few things...
Avoid photo restoration services that only allow submission online or ask YOU to digitize your own images.
If you can't walk up to their door and talk about the picture "face to face" then be very, very suspicious.
Digitizing should always be done by a professional with specially calibrated high-end scanners in order to achieve the best result.
Never work with photo restoration services that ask you to drop your items off at a "mailbox" or other location.
Always meet your artists in person and make absolutely sure that your photo is not "sent out" to someone else for restoration.
Many, many services you might find on the internet will offer "one price fits all" plans for photo restoration. Almost always, this is because they hire contractors in other countries who will do the work for a very, very low price. They simply send your photo off (or email a copy of it), pay their contractor about 10%, then present the "new" picture to you as if they did it themselves!
A good service will expertly digitize your photos for you.
Even the best photo restoration techniques will not help if your scanned photos have a low resolution. If you decide to scan your images at home, you should change the scanner settings so that they are set for scanning a photograph instead of scanning a document. Turn OFF all enhancement settings on your scanner such as "color correction." A good photo restoration service will want the image exactly as it looks - without any previous enhancement. Color correction, scratch removal, sharpening and similar features will only lead to problems with your photo restoration.
Even though your photograph may be an old black and white image, you should always scan it as a color photo. Use the highest level of resolution possible (within reason).
If possible, just bypass all the do-it-yourself stuff and have a service do it for you. After all, what are you paying them for?
Your Restoration Specialist
If you want to achieve the best results, you should never try to do a digital photo restoration at home without previous experience. Use a good photo restoration service.
At Heritage Photo Restoration, we take care of your photographs. They never leave our offices. We treat your precious pictures as if they were our own. We can handle torn pictures, faded images and photographs that are stuck to glass. Because we have the best scanners and equipment available, our scanning results are significantly better than the results you can achieve at home.
If you are uncertain about what you can afford, we can easily be reached for an estimate. Once you talk to us about what you need, bring your photos over. If you don't live in the Houston area, you can always ship them to us, but be careful. Call us for detailed instructions about how to safely ship your items. We can explain the whole process and we will make sure you are absolutely comfortable with what we do.
Getting what you Want
Once you reach out, Sandy or Jack will give you a quote within 24 hours. If you want to speed things up, you can take a couple of pictures of the damage. Simply go to our upload page, fill out the form, and attach the pictures there. That way, we get a much better idea of what can be done and what the cost may be.
Once we have your damaged photos, we can begin using the latest image restoration techniques to fix your pictures. Always tell us exactly what you expect. If you want the background changed or objects removed, be sure to tell us!
Want to colorize one of your black and white photos? Just let us know.
Research the Photo Restoration Companies
When you research photo restoration companies, you will see many, many services that promise results within 24 hours. This is a huge red flag. At Heritage, we take longer but we go through several steps to ensure you get exactly what you want.
In general, we can complete most restoration projects within 7-10 days - including printed proofs and revision if you don't care for the restored picture. Mother's day, Christmas, and other busy times may slightly affect schedules, so please keep that in mind.
Of course, if you have a funeral or other event and you need something quickly, we are happy to do everything we can to meet your needs.
As a general rule, you should never work with a photo restoration business that promises 24 hour turnaround on all pictures. Until an artist sees your images, they cannot realistically know how long it might take to provide the best results. Your cherished photos should be treated with care, and rushed efforts will only lead to poor results.
Don’t pay up front for Photo Restoration
We are proud to provide high-end results with every project, so we make sure to take our time and do everything the right way. Unlike other companies, we provide printed proofs, not electronic ones. The only way you can tell if your photos look perfect is by seeing them in person.
You can never tell how a photo will look in the real world by simply viewing it on a smartphone.
Notice how your laptop screen looks a bit different when compared to your phone or tablet? It just isn't a good idea to spend money on photo restoration and then try to pick the best result on an electronic device. There's a huge difference between looking at photos with a million pixels shining in your face -vs- viewing the actual printed image on paper.
We even allow you to take your proofs home. Take up to 10 days to pick what you like - you will probably get 4-5 different versions of your restored photo every time you visit us.This way, you can look at the various options in the light of your own home. Judge the options by going to the room you think you might place the new photo when it's done. You'll always get it right that way!
We never accept money up front. We are confident in our abilities and we trust our customers.
Do you pay your hairstylist before they cut your hair? Do you pay the painter before he repaints the interior of your house? Do you pay the body shop before they fix your car? If your photo restoration service demands full payment before work is done, be very wary.
Why Restore Photos?
In a perfect world, your timeless treasures would look the same forever. Unfortunately, weather changes, accidents and other unforeseen mishaps can end up damaging your pictures. Through photo restoration, you can make your images look new again.
Often, photographs become damaged because of water spots. Sometimes, a glass or cup is inadvertently placed on top of the photo. In Texas, many areas also have high humidity, which can lead to water damage.
There’s really no way around the fact that photos degrade over time.
Look at it this way... As long as there's oxygen, there will be oxidation.
Shopping for services based upon price. Is it a bad idea?
When you're thinking about restoring something as priceless as an heirloom photograph, shopping based upon the cheapest price is a bad idea. The cost of photo restoration services will vary based on your project and where you decide to go.
As a general rule, we charge clients $89 to $300 for our photo restoration services, but we offer very nice package deals. Even if the photos have been extremely damaged, we try to limit the amount we charge. In addition, we give clients a discount when they get multiple images restored at the same time. After you become a customer one time, you'll get a card that entitles you to 20% off all services from that point forward.
Heritage offers 1 free photo restoration to all veterans (regardless of country), current and former peace officers of any kind, first responders, and teachers.
Get REAL Photo Restoration
If you still have questions about photo restoration, Sandy and Jack are always here to help. Heritage Photo Restoration is known as the leading photo restoration company in Texas. While many of our clients are from the surrounding area, we can help customers who are located throughout the country. To learn more about our photo restoration process, contact us today or make an appointment to come in.