How do you restore my photos?
We digitize your photos or other documents by scanning the image on a high-resolution scanner and saving the resulting digital file on a computer. We then retouch or restore the digital file using photo-editing software. An archival-quality digital print is printed on your choice of glossy or matte paper. The file is archived in three formats. The print, file archive, and your unaltered original photos are mailed back to you.
What kind of restoration can you do?
That depends on two things: What you ask us to do and the condition of your original images.
- We can enhance faded and darkened pictures. We can repair tears and cracks, clean up dirt and specks, sharpen and brighten poor originals. We can recreate (to a limited extent) missing details, remove color casts from fading color prints, colorize black&white originals, and make color photos “antique” by converting them to black & white, sepiatone, or hand-colored pictures.
- Small pictures can’t be enlarged too much without losing sharpness or becoming too grainy. Similarly, very grainy originals can only be improved to a limited extent.
- Pictures that are out of focus can’t be brought into focus.
- Missing elements can be restored only to the extent that we have visual references to build from. If you have a similar second photo that shows details, please include it.
- We can improve poor originals, but not make them perfect. The better the original, the better the final result.
- We can’t scan copyrighted photos unless you send written permission from the copyright holder (usually a photo studio) with your photos.
How should I send my pictures to you? Can I send scans?
You should seal and package your originals carefully so no damage can occur during shipment. Please see our Shipping Instructions for details.
If you are not comfortable mailing your original photos, we can work from your scanned files. See our Scanning Guidelines for detailed instructions on preparing your files. Transmit the files to us with your E-mail Order Form. It might take a while to transmit large files so please send each file individually. If you’re sending a large number of files, you can write the files to a cd or flash drive and mail it to us with our Print Order Form. All source materials will be returned with your completed project. We can usually get better results from our own scans of faded and damaged photos but will use your scans if you prefer. Most home scanners can’t capture enough detail on slides, negatives and glass plate negatives, so we prefer to scan those ourselves.
Are my pictures in danger of any additional damage?
Our scanning procedure poses no risk of damage to your originals; all our restoration work is done on the digital file made by the scanner. Please pack your originals very carefully so there’s no possibility of damage during shipment.
How long before I receive my restored photos?
Once we receive your package, normal turnaround time is one week for basic service, and two weeks for most other services, depending on the services requested. Please allow extra time during the holiday season.
How much will my photo restoration cost? How do I pay you?
It depends on how much you want us to do. See the pricing list for specifics.
We accept payment by credit card through Paypal; no credit card information is handled on our site. If you order our basic service, your cost is based on the number of pictures in groups of 10 plus shipping costs. If you request any other services, we’ll email you the total cost when we confirm the receipt of your package or files.
You will receive an invoice from Paypal on the day your photos are ready. As soon as Paypal processes your payment, your package will be shipped.
What instructions should I send with my pictures?
If you are mailing your photos, please use the Print Order Form, giving us contact information, number of images in the package, payment information, and detailed instructions for services desired. If you are emailing files, please use the E-mail Order Form.
Please provide complete instructions for each photo. The more detailed your instructions, the better we can meet your expectations. Please identify the specific image (e.g., two people on porch swing) with the instructions. Any original (photo, slide, negative, drawing or document) with no written instructions will be treated as a Basic Service image: scanned, sharpened and brightened slightly, cropped for a clean appearance, printed, and saved to an archive in three formats.
Please do not write instructions on the back of the originals. The impression of your writing can damage the photo emulsion or the writing can transfer to the face of another photo. Sticky notes can fall off or get shifted, so they’re not recommended unless fastened to the edge of the photo with a small piece of tape.
RESTORATION: Indicate Light, Heavy, or Extreme for the degree of work needed. If you’re not sure, we can tell you how much restoration is needed for an image. If there are specific areas that you want enhanced — or areas to tone down — please provide descriptions. We can also work to restore an image within your budget.
COLORIZING: Please be specific with any color preferences and provide details about hair and skin tone, clothing and background. Be sure to tell us if you want a color original converted to black&white, or a sepiatone image made from a black&white.
PAINTING: Indicate your preferred style, or let us suggest what style is most suited to your picture.
COMPOSITE: Provide detailed instructions. Make sure to indicate individuals to be cut or added to the picture, the primary source picture, and additional source pictures. For missing details, please send any similar pictures you have to help the reconstruction.
COLLAGE: Note the primary picture and any preference you have for cropping or arrangement. Also provide a color preference for the background. We’ll send a sketch for approval before completing the collage.
POSTER: Specify the desired poster size to be printed.
SPECIAL EVENTS, FAMILY TREE, DIGITAL SCRAPBOOKS: Please provide as complete a description as possible, including captions and photo groupings. We’ll contact you for further clarification. We’ll also send a sketch for approval before completing the project.
What kind of prints will I receive?
Since our work is done on computer rather than in a traditional darkroom, our pictures are printed on seven-color digital photo printers using archival-quality photo papers. Framed and displayed with normal care and out of direct sunlight, our prints should last more than 10 years without fading or discoloring.
How can I use the photos in my archive?
DejaView Photos provides an archive of all photos we process. Each image is saved to the archive in 3 formats: 1 Web-ready file to email or post; 1 desktop-quality file to print from your computer; and 1 high-quality file for publication.
- The low-resolution JPG web file can be attached to your email messages or posted online to share with family and friends.
- Using an inkjet printer and photo-quality paper, you can make copies of your prints from the medium-resolution desktop RGB TIF file, or you can place the images in your word-processing documents.
- The high-resolution TIF file can be submitted for professional publications.
An archive of 20 or more images includes an HTML preview file, allowing the photos to be viewed with any browser software.
What if my photo is copyrighted?
DejaView Photos will not scan copyrighted photographs or documents without the written permission of the copyright holder. If your original image has a copyright mark, please obtain a Release Waiver signed by the copyright holder allowing the photograph to be reproduced. The Release Waiver must accompany any copyrighted original that you submit for reproduction. If the copyright holder is no longer in business or cannot be located, please provide a signed statement that you are unable to locate the copyright holder and that you will be solely responsible for the images to be reproduced. DejaView Photos will not be responsible for copyright infringement.
Please send your photos (prints, slides, or negatives) and other documents or drawings via the U.S. Post Office as Priority Mail. Use their envelopes or packaging. For extra security, consider using a Delivery Confirmation. Other shipping service like Federal Express or UPS are quite reliable and include delivery tracking and confirmation, but are more expensive.
Place your pictures between cardboard sheets and enclose them in a sealed plastic bag to protect them during shipping. Write “PHOTOS—DO NOT BEND” on the outside of the envelope.
Dwonload, print and fill out the Print Order Form. Include all specific instructions and any additional reference pictures. We will email you when we receive your package and provide a price for the work requested. If you want only the Basic Service package (with no other services), please enclose payment for each set of images plus $10 shipping/handling with your order.
If you are not comfortable mailing your originals and have access to a computer scanner, follow our Scanning Guidelines and upload them through our E-mail Order Form. If you’re sending multiple files, you might prefer to write the files to a CD or flash drive and mail it to us with our Print Order Form. All original materials will be returned with your completed project.
If you are not comfortable mailing your original photos, we can work from your scanned files. We can often get better results from our own scans of faded and damaged photos, but will work from your scans if you prefer. Please follow these Do-It-Yourself guidelines to create your files for restoration:
- Choose a good original photo. Damage can usually be repaired, but a fuzzy, out-of-focus original is not a good candidate for restoration. Faded photos should contain some detail, even in the lightest areas. If an area is completely blank, it cannot be restored.
- Scan in RGB mode. Even if your original is black-and-white, scanning in RGB color mode provides more detail than greyscale. Bitmap mode is not useful for restoration.
- Select the proper resolution. A resolution of 300 DPI is fine for an 8×10 original. For smaller originals, increase the resolution proportionally (e.g., use 600 DPI for a 4×5 original). Even if the print you want is small, the size of your file should be at least 1mB in size. A higher resolution and a larger file size can capture more image details for restoration. A scan from an 8×10 original may exceed 5mB in size.
- Crop your images. Most software allows you to crop the images to eliminate unnecessary white space outside the actual photo area. An uncropped small image scanned as an 8.5×11 page creates a much larger file than the same image when cropped.
- Save the file in JPG format at maximum quality. Use the highest setting on your scanning software to capture the best details. Smaller, lower quality, or “faster” files sacrifice image detail for a smaller file size.
Send the files to us with our E-mail Order Form. It takes a while to transmit large files, so send files individually. If you have multiple files to send, you might prefer to write the files to a CD or flash drive and mail it to us with our Print Order Form. All materials will be returned with your completed project.
Note: Most home scanners don’t capture enough detail from slides, negatives and glass plate negatives. We prefer to scan those originals ourselves. If your scanner has the ability to scan transparencies and you want to scan your own, please send in a test file for review.