Do you work on my original?
No. In order to obtain a good quality copy of your photo, I scan the photo, slide or negative on a professional grade scanner. If the photo is still in a frame and can be removed I do so or ask you to remove it before sending me the item. If it a slide, and if I can remove it from its holder without any undue risk, I will do so. If necessary, slides can be scanned without removing them but there may be some loss of sharpness in the restoration. If a picture can not be removed from a frame I will usually photograph the picture using my copy system. Other then that, I do as little as possible. I won’t even brush off a photo if I think it may hurt it. I don’t do anything to the original unless I’m absolutely certain it won’t harm it.
What do you do to my photo, slide or negative?
I rely on my decades of photography and darkroom work, along with my experience with today’s sophisticated software to build a new digital image that maintains the original quality and integrity of your photo. I recover the information contained in your photo, I do not make up new information. I bring your memories back to life; I do not invent new ones. The only time I create parts of a photo is when some area in the original is so badly damaged that there is nothing left of the image to be recovered. All work is done on the copy of your original image.
What kinds of photos, slides or negatives can you restore?
I can restore color and B&W slides, negatives, and prints. The original needs to be flat so I can scan it or photograph it. Prints can be any reasonable size. Photographic prints should be at least 3 in. by 4 in. for best results. I can work with smaller, but the sharpness may suffer a bit. Negatives can be up to 6 cm. by 17 cm. in width and length. Slides should be the standard 2 in. by 2 in. or there about.
What do I get from Cherished Photos Restored service?
The most important item is the master CD containing the master computer files of your finished image, saved in both TIFF & JPEG formats. These files contain the fully restored master photograph and lower-resolution versions of the photo for more convenient printing, building into slide shows, emailing to friends, or posting on Facebook or other photo sharing sites you may use. You are free to use these files in any manner you wish. I also include a high-quality inkjet print since most folks are anxious to see the finished photo. And obviously, I return your original, unharmed and unaltered.
How long does it take for you to restore my photo?
The average turn around time runs 2 to 3 weeks. This is not a process that can be rushed. In order to do the best work for you, it is sometimes necessary to take a day or two off from working on a photo so that it can be looked at with fresh eyes.
How should I ship a photo, slide or negative to you?
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.
How do you mail back my photo, slide or negative?
I mail back your items the same way I recommended you send them to me. As I said, I use the Priority Mail service from the Post Office for most of my customers and have had very good success with them.
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.
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.
Do you have any rights to my restored photo?
I do not have any rights whatsoever to your restored photo. The photograph is your property, both the original and the restoration. I can’t do anything with it without your express permission, not even place it in the Restoration Gallery on my web site. While I certainly hope that you would give me permission to do so, it is entirely up to you to make that decision. The samples you see in the Restoration Gallery are posted only because the owners of the photographs gave me permission to do so.
While I am proud of what I do and enjoy showing my efforts as much as the next person, the more important reason for placing photos, both before and after in the Gallery, is to show others with damaged photos that there may be hope for their pictures. Often times folks think the damage is too great so they never attempt to restore a photo. By seeing others, they may find that they can save that precious memory after all.