How To Get A Price Quote For Severely Damaged Images

If your photos are not severely damaged, please see my pricing page, otherwise see below.

To begin the process, please contact me. Drop me an email with your telephone number and I will give you a call. I ask this for two reasons, first so you know whether or not I can take on additional restorations or if I currently have a waiting list. Second, I like to have a feel for what you expect from a restoration. I want to be sure we are on the same page so to speak.

My name is Chuck and you can be contacted at: E-Mail

In your email, please tell me what you want restored and if you need it by a specific date. I can’t give you a price quote, though, until I see the original.

After we speak, I’ll need you to ship me the image for evaluation. I must see the original to determine if I can do a satisfactory restoration for you, and how much time I estimate it will require.

I charge a fixed amount based on my current rate of $35/hour. If the restoration takes longer then I estimated, that’s my problem. I won’t ever come back to you and ask for an additional fee. You have my word on that.

There is no charge for an examination of your image and quote. You only pay me after I give you a price for the restoration and you’ve decided to proceed. If you decide you don’t want the restoration work done, I’ll simply return your original to you.

If you decide you want me to restore your photo, you will need to send me the agreed upon payment. Once I receive payment, I will begin the restoration work.

Upon completion of the restoration, I’ll send you a proof copy of the image for your examination and approval. If you are happy with the restoration, I’ll send you back your original, along with a CD containing the finished master files and an inkjet print.

I will retain a copy of the restored image, for as long as possible, in case something happens to your original CD. If it gets lost or damaged, I will provide you with a replacement copy at no charge.

If you’re not satisfied, I will do everything in my power to fix what you don’t like or return your money and original. I guarantee all of my work 100%. It’s very simple, if I can’t perform a restoration that you are happy with, I’ll refund your money. I don’t ever want anyone to feel dissatisfied with my services. Your approval of the proof copy constitutes your acceptance of the restoration. There are no refunds after that.

If you have any questions, please check the Frequently Asked Questions page to see if the information you need is there. If not, then please contact me.

 

 Shipping Images For Evaluation

Pack it like you would fragile china. I would place it between sheets of oversize foam core or stiff corrugated cardboard, please do not use the thin sheet cardboard. Then tape all around the edges. Do not put any tape on the photo, slide or negative. I would then put that in a firm box with some type of padding or filler surrounding it so that it doesn’t shift and that will cushion it when it gets tossed around. And believe me, it will get tossed around by any service you choose to use to mail it.

You can also use a padded envelope assuming the envelope is large enough to place additional padding in it so the item doesn’t shift while in transit. You want to avoid any chance of it getting bent in shipping.

I use the US Postal Service’s Priority Mail for most of my shipping, both in this area and in my other business, and have had very good luck with them.

If the photograph has an established value, then ship it via registered mail, insured. I believe the US Postal Service will insure one-of-a-kinds and artwork, unlike most other carriers. You may want to require a signature upon delivery.

Please include the Request For Digital Restoration form for convenience. Once you contact me, I’ll email you the Request For Quote/Restoration form in PDF format.

 

What can I do if my original is too fragile or valuable to mail?

If your original photo, slide or negative is too fragile or valuable to mail, you do have a few of options.

First, you can take your original to someplace which scans in images and then send me the scanned file. There are certain specifications I would suggest you follow if you take this approach. While I would prefer to scan the original myself with my own techniques, I understand that may not be possible.

For instance, if you don’t have a scanner or know of anyone who has this ability, or you would just prefer not to do it yourself, you can always take your image to a Kinko’s Copy Center or any good local copy center and have them scan the photos for you. Make sure they scan them as a color image (whether it is B&W or Color and with no automatic corrections) at a minimum of 600dpi and at a 16 bit per channel depth (also known as 48 bits total) and save them on CD in the TIFF file format with no compression applied.

Second, you could try to take the original to a camera store that does what’s called copy work. They will take your original and actually photograph it. Again, there are certain specifications I would suggest you follow if you take this approach.

Third, and the least attractive, you can try to take a photograph of your original yourself. This will most likely result in a less then ideal restoration, but it has been done. You will need to understand that there will be less information in this type of file for me to work with.

If you need to utilize any of these alternative methods, we will need to speak first so that I can give you instructions as to how best to proceed. See below for some tips on scanning your image.

 

Scanning Tips

1. Check your photos for dirt, lint, or smudges. Gently remove surface dust and dirt with a very soft brush. Under no circumstances use any type of cloth or liquid on your print, slide or negative. Doing so will, in most cases, cause scratches which will make it harder to restore, and this is the best case. The worst case using a cloth or liquid may actually remove some of the photographic emulsion which makes up your image. Let me repeat, never put any type of liquid on your originals.

2. Check the scanner glass for lint, hair, fingerprints, or smudges. Use a lint-free pad or wipe to thoroughly clean the glass (basically anything which is sold as safe for cleaning camera lenses will also work for your scanner). I use micro fiber clothes for cleaning my scanners.

3. Specify the type of scan. If you’re scanning photos, you have a basic choice of color photo vs. black and white. Always scan in RGB color, even if the source photo is black & white. This is so I will have more information available to work with. It is very easy to convert a color photo to B&W, but time consuming to go the other way.

4. I prefer scans be at least 300 dpi, and would like at least 600 dpi. Also, scans should be done at 48 bits or shown another way 16 bits per channel (3 channels, RGB, equals 48 bits total).

5. Carefully position your photo face down on the scanner glass and be sure it is as straight as possible. If your photo has a border, black, white or colored, I recommend you crop the image when scanning to encompass only the image not the boarder. Scanners read the whites and darks to produce an accurate scan of the image. Any color contained in the boarder regions will be read by the scanner and will be compensated for providing an untrue representation of the image.

6. Scanning for restoration purposes requires a TIFF or JPEG format. The TIFF is best because it is a loss less format where no compression of information takes place.

7. Now that you’ve got your photo scanned in, it’s time to save it to your hard drive or CD. Name the file. It is important that you name the file in a way that lets you, and me, know which image you have sent to me.