Best Photo Restoration Company 2023

Photoshop Doctor Regarded As Best Photo Restoration Company Online

Photo Restoration
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“This was my first time getting a photo restored and I could not have asked for a better experience! Nick was professional and very communicative throughout the whole process, which made me feel like my photo was a top priority. He was able to send us the restoration examples in a very timely manner (the next day!) and then once we paid we received the digital versions of the restoration for our own use. He first sent over some ideas for restoration of our photo given our preferences and was very receptive to the changes we suggested.

I would highly recommend using Nick for any of your restoration needs!”

“I reached out to Nick with a task I wasn’t sure if it was possible. I had a family keychain photo, the type you buy as a souvenir at a theme park and you have to look through a small magnifying lens into the light to be able to see it. I was looking to getting this color negative film the size of a penny that is about 30 years old enlarged.

 Nick came through! He was able to not enlarge it, but also make it way more clear than I ever expected! I’ve asked for multiple printouts to give out to my siblings, and I know this picture will be around our family for a long time thanks to Nick.”

best photo restoration company

How does photo restoration work?

STEP 1. scanning the photo

Restoring old photographs begins with the converting the photo to a digital format. This is done by taking the original copy of the picture and capturing a high resolution scan of the photo using a good quality photo scanner. It is recommended to scan the photo at a minimum of 300 DPI in order to capture as much detail as possible in the photo. This is an extremely important step in photo restoration. If done incorrectly the final result will be pixelated and blurry. 

I highly recommend the Epson Perfection V39 as a great budget option around $100, or the Epson Perfection v600, which has the capability of capturing slides and negatives as well. It also provides color grading and many restoration options as part of the scan that give you an incredible starting point in restoring your photos! Scanning your photos sooner the better, as most old photos only had archival spans of under 100 years,  so many will fade away completely if not captured in the near future!

Here are some great scanner options that can be found on Amazon. I personally use the V600 for my business and absolutely love it! Also, check out the Canon CanoScan Lide 300 for a great budget scanner! I would avoid any feed through scanners for digitizing photos. While a feed through scanner may be faster to process many photos at once, you will be losing a lot of quality due to the lower DPI scan these machines have. You end up sacrificing quality for speed, which is not worth it!

Remember, photo restoration begins with a high quality scan, so it is not worth trading speed for quality. A very high resolution scan is 100% necessary in order to restore a photo to it’s maximum potential.

Here are scanners i highly recommend on amazon

scanning a photo to digital format
Converting slides to digital format

STEP 2. RESTORE THE PHOTO IN PHOTOSHOP

Once we have a digital copy of the photo, the next step is to have the photo edited in Photoshop. There are many photo editing and restoration companies around, but we pride ourselves at Photoshop Doctor in providing the highest quality photo restoration results for our customers. We avoid using unnecessary filters and quick fixes like many companies do, instead we take our time and meticulously repair all blemishes and marks on the photo, while preserving the overall feel and look of the original. Photo restoration is something we take very seriously, and we want our customers to feel comfortable that they are getting the best results possible.

We feel that it is very important to respect history and keep the images appearing as close to their original state as possible. We use very detailed brushwork to do spot removal across the entire photo first, then we use clone stamping and other techniques to fill in missing areas of the photo. Finally, we work on increasing the clarity, sharpening, and color grading/balance to the entire image. We ensure that the image is sized accordingly as well, as this is a crucial step in acquiring a high quality print  

Often times, the photos we receive are extremely small (some even thumbnail sizes), and we can produce larger prints for these (Up to 8×10 or larger). Enlarging or resizing the photo is the next important step in the restoration process. It is crucial to set the proper size for your image in Photoshop prior to making prints, otherwise your picture can become stretched

example of a photo restoration in photoshop

As you can see, it is a lot of tedious, meticulous work in order to restore all of the damage a photo has taken over the years. Unfortunately, many photos were not kept in dark storage or in a safe environment, and as a result we must take extra care and time in handling and restoring these images.

Photo restoration requires patience and skills developed over many years of experience to master! While there are some automation being introduced to many software, including the new photo restoration neural filter in Photoshop, we’re still a very long way away from being to “automatically” restore an image.

 

neural filter in photoshop

These AI filters do a pretty decent job, surprisingly. In some cases they provide incredible results out of the box considering the circumstances. However, I would never rely on these filters to complete a photo restoration. The reason being that the results you get from filters often look “fake”, or make it too obvious that it was edited, and we do not want this result for a photo restoration. For most customers, including myself, it is important that the restored picture looks as close to the original prior to the damage and fading. 

My number one goal in restoring images is to bring them back to their original state!

Photo Restoration Before And After

STEP 3. resize the photo and save file

Most photos can be resized and printed in a larger format than the original copy. Some photos can go 2, 3, or even 4x the original size, believe it or not!

The critical thing to remember is that the image keeps the a similar aspect ratio as the original. For example, if you have an original photo of only 2×3 and want to enlarge it – 5×7 or even 8×10 could be a potential candidate. However, you would not want to take the same photo and try to print on a square size or panoramic size, as it would stretch the image horizontally and vertically. A photo restoration can be ruined by simply stretching the image or resizing it improperly, so this is a very important thing to remember.

different size photo frames

As you can see from the visual above, going from a 4×6 to 5×10 would not work, as the image would be stretched vertically. Similarly, going from a 5×10 to a 20×24 would result in stretching horizontally.

Sometimes cropping is required in order to fit an image completely within a desired frame. This is normal, but the key is to keep the subject centered and within the frame as much as possible.

Saving the file is equally as important as resizing properly. The best file format for most use cases is to save the restored image as .JPEG format. JPEG is the standard for most people due to the amount of compression we get with very little tradeoff for photo quality. There are other printing formats but this is the most efficient way to store and print large numbers of photos from.

Avoid using GIF format for printing, it is a web only file format. Also, make sure that you are not using “Save For Web” options when using Adobe Photoshop or any other software used for photo restoration, as your file will be highly compressed and will yield a very low quality print result.

resizing photo

STEP 4. print your photos

Once the photos are restored, the next step is to make prints from your digitally restored copies. I highly recommend outsourcing this to a professional! There are hundreds of photo printers you can purchase out there, and they are nice for the sake of convenience, but the amount of money spent is not worth it in my opinion. If you plan on starting a printing business, go for it….otherwise I would leave it to the experts!

Besides, the quality you get from a company such as MPIX makes it very difficult to even WANT to do printing at home! I especially love their Giclee prints which are a higher quality than your traditional prints. They also have an archival  value of over 100 years on display and 200 years in dark storage. That is incredible to think that a photo can last over 2 centuries!

No picture restoration is complete without a high quality print to compare against, this is why I use MPIX in order to make sure I get the highest quality possible for my clients. If you are spending hours restoring an image, you do not want to waste your money at Walgreens or CVS for a print that you could get with a $100 or $200 printer from Walmart or Best Buy! 

Walgreens and CVS are popular options because of their speed, not quality of printing. Same thing applies to their restoration services, they are not as high quality was you would get 

 

What type of print finish should i get for my photo?

The type of print or finish for your photo restoration is highly dependent on the photo type and your preferences, but I follow a general guideline for the photos I restore.

Unless our clients have a specific request, I use a matte finish for black and white and sepia photos. For color photos, I like to use a fine art photographic or semi-gloss.

I only use metallic or glossy finishes in rare occasions, or when requested by a customer. Usually these type of prints are used in artwork or displays that use these finishes to enhance the overall look and feel of the photo, but in my opinion it does not apply to a traditional photo restoration. In my opinion, photo restorations are intended to bring a photo back to its original state so we can remember the time period and relive that moment in our minds. If the photo looks too different from the original, it loses some of its essence it once had.

 

Photo Scanning Service

need photo restoration help? we'd love to help you restore your photo

Feel free to email us with any questions at info@photoshopdr.com or call us at 469-409-3003. We’d be happy to assist you!

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    faq

    how much does a photo restoration cost?

    The typical price of a photo restoration is between $60 and $150, but it can vary depending on the amount of damage done to the photo and if colorization is required or not. We provide free estimates!

    how long does a photo restoration take?

    It can take anywhere from 1-5 days to complete a photo restoration. The time is highly dependent on the amount of damage on the photo.

    how can i prevent my photo from fading?

    If it is being stored away, the best way to keep a photo preserved for a long time is to keep moisture and temperature controlled in a dark area.

    If on display, make sure it is in a frame with a glass protector

    what dpi should I scan my photo at?

    I recommend 300 DPI minimum for most photos. Anything over 600 DPI is unnecessary.

    can i add color to a photo?

    Yes, to add color to a photo is an additional $40

    How do you know what colors to add to a photo?

    There is no way to know what the original color was of clothing or certain items in a black and white photo. Colors added to photos and videos are arbitrarily added using "memory colors". For example, a sky is normally a shade of blue or grey. Trees are typically a shade of green or red/yellow. Photo restoration experts use hints and clues in the photo to take a "best guess" at deciding which colors to add to the photo.