Photography Restorations

Photographic Restoration
Picture Perfect: Discovering What Time Has Taken Away

Picture perfect Video: Types of Originals


Here are three examples of price ranges that may give you guidance.

The pricing is subject to change without notice.

Class 1 Restoration
(Small Physical Size, 5 x 7 or smaller) - $30

A class 1 restoration includes one up to 8 x 10″ print.
A class 1 restoration is classified by minor discoloration, fading, or minor rips and tears.


Original was a two x two inch with minor scratches,dust spots, and fading.


The restoration was returned to a black & white. It was straightened, and enlarged.

Class 2 Restoration
(medium physical size 8 x 10
or slightly smaller or larger) - $45

A class 2 restoration includes one up to 8 x 10″ print.
A class 2 restoration is classified by minor damage, discoloration, cracks,
white dust spots, and black spots.

Original was 3 x 5 inches with dust spots, cracks, missing sections, discoloration, and fading
The restoration was returned to black & white. The cracks and missing pieces were eliminated. The overall image was lightened.

Class 3: Restoration
(Large physical size 16 x 20
or slightly smaller or larger) - $85


A class 3 restoration includes one up to 8 x 10″ print. 
A class 3 restoration has multiple damage points, various types of discoloration, required reconstruction, extensive mold/mildew, water damage, white dust spots, and black spots. 
Image reassembly requires a large image format print.

Original was a hand painted photograph from the early part of the 20th century. It had to be scanned in two pieces and reassembled as it was larger than 12 x 17 inches. It was highly faded and discolored. There were many cracks and water damaged sections especially around the edges. 
The restoration returned the photo to its hand painted glory. The cracks and damaged sections were repaired. Myriad minor imperfections in the surface were repaired.

Class 4: Restoration
(Super physical size larger than 16 x 20 - $165

A class 4 restoration includes one up to 8 x 10″ print.
A class 4 restoration has multiple damage points, various types of discoloration, required reconstruction, extensive mold/mildew, water damage, white dust spots, and black spots.
Image reassembly requires a large image format print. The image have any or all of these characteristics.

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A class 5 restoration includes one up to 8 x 10″ print. 
A class 5 restoration is a panoramic image. It has multiple damage points, various types of discoloration, required reconstruction, extensive mold/mildew, water damage, white dust spots, and black spots. Image reassembly requires a large image format print. The image may have any or all of these characteristics.

Restoration Estimate

Contact us today for an estimate on your restoration project.

I do not charge for estimates, and will happily pay for return postage whether you hire Light & Shadows or not.

Once I give you an estimate that is what I am going to charge you unless there is a reason to charge you less than the estimate. Every restoration comes with one – up to 8 x 10 print. Additional print copies cost more per print. Basically 5 x 7 and smaller prints cost $5.00 each, 8 x 10s are $10 each, and 16 x 20s are $20 each.

However, if ordered all at the same time I discount those prices. 

Please do not hesitate to call, text, or email me with questions. 517-896-9139

Upload File – Attach your images here for a FREE estimate

Accepted file types: jpg, gif, pdf, eps, png 

Note: If you do not have access to a scanner you can send your images by US Mail. 

Using a camera to take photos of your images might work, but they generally unacceptalbe for the restoration process itself.

If you are local I can pick your image up at your convenience.

Call or email so we can make a plan. 


Proofing is extremely important to me because I do not have your eyes so you need to tell me if you see any issues that I missed. I’ll make it the best I can, but your eyes have to tell me if the image is ready for you. When I think I have it done, then I will email a copy to you for your review. Until I hear from you I do not make any prints. When I see an email that says you think the restoration is done then I will make what prints you have ordered.


I dislike having originals in my possession for too long. However, how quickly restoration is completed is primarily dependent on how many restorations are in line before yours. Ask, but if it is going to be more than a week or so, I’ll let you know.

I ship via the USPS, but if you want me to use FEDEX or UPS, just let me know. I will send along a copy of the USPS tracking number and their estimated delivery date when I put your originals & restorations in the mail.
If you are local, we’ll arrange a meeting place & time.

restoration rack card

If I complete a restoration for you you’ll receive your very own copy of my Restoration Rack Card, but if you’d like one now I can send one in the mail or email you digital copy. Send me an email.


Provide at no charge a presentation for groups such as libraries, historical societies, genealogical groups, museums, school groups, church groups, Rotary, Lions,, Kiwanis, etc. All I expect is a group of people with questions. Call to schedule. I’ll go most anywhere in the mid-Michigan area and further. Call me if you are further out than mid-Michigan 517-896-9139.

Participants are invited to bring along images they might want to have restored for me to take a look at, and provide a potential restoration cost. I adjust the presentation to how much time you tell me is the limit. Questions generally extend the time slot. Here is a version that I used via Zoom with a group at the Hamburg Michigan Township Library.

Restoration FAQs

See our most common questions answered.

There are three choices:
1. We’ll arrange a meeting place & time, or you may drive you images to East Lansing.
2. You may use the great USPS by packaging your original in a box or between two pieces of box board in an envelope. Please label the envelope ‘PHOTOGRAPHS DO NOT BEND’ on the front & back.
3. You may use some other delivery service, e.g. FEDEX, UPS, etc.
4. If you reside in the Lansing / East Lansing area I’m generally able to pick up & deliver at no charge subject to work load.

Sure, but the images may not restore very well, and you may be very unhappy with the results. The resulting images almost always look flat to me with a lot of life taken out of them unless they are scanned. To make this type of copy really requires a copy stand, filtered lights, and non-reflective glass over the image.

Sure, but please scan them at 800 DPI (dots per inch) or higher, and save them as a TIFF file. Slides and two by three inch photos should be scanned at 2400 DPI or higher DPI. I will work on images that are not scanned to my specifications, but the results may not be nearly as good or they’ll be just fine! We’ll see. There is a lot of ‘it depends’ in this area. You may have a office supply near you or a friend with a scanner. If they can scan at 300 DPI it will probably be just fine for most restorations.

Even low resolution scans may be OK. A lot depends on how physically big a print you require from the resulting restoration. I start with a large DPI so that when I make a print the results generally look better. If I start with a low resolution scan and then try to make a print that is too large the results will almost always be disappointing.

I use Wikipedia as my source to answer many of my own questions. So the answer to the question is: “Yes, kinda”. The images were toned with secretions from the cuttlefish, and in the course of time & chemistry the cuttlefish secretions were replaced with chemical compounds. The purpose of the toning was to slow the fading of the photographic emulsions. Photographers wanted their images to last longer. Without the toning the images would have printed as our familiar modern black & white.

I am frequently asked to restore damaged sepia toned old images. After restoration I generally print them as black & white after removing the sepia toning. Much to my surprise clients often want the sepia toning to be restored. Having asked clients many times the general answer is that they have grown used to the way the image looked when it was sepia toned, and did not want to abandon the familiar. I then re-tone their images.

Over time it will fade it. I do not know how many clients have waxed poetic about their dark hallways where fading was never going to happen to their image. Your call. I’ll be glad to restore it for you.

Window glass, conservation glass, non-glare/conservation glass, and museum glass are the types of glass. Window glass offers the least protection from UV rays – sunlight. Museum glass offers UV protection and hides reflections disturbing views of your images. Museum glass costs the most, and window glass costs the least. By default I use non-glare/conservation glass unless a client choose not to do so.

There are lots of reasons why photographs fade, turn green, or some other delightful colors. Acid in the photo paper & mounting boards are both high on the list of culprits. I use acid free photo papers & canvas. When I mount a photo on board the mounts are acid free boards. When you have me make mat for an image I use acid free boards.

In relative terms color photographs are more difficult to restore than black & white /sepia photos. It always depends on how damaged the image is physically. So if you have an image with blue shiny blotches it probably is going to be just fine and the image details will be there under the blue. There probably is a way, but I have not discovered how or if details can be recovered from under the pink blotches. I have always found solid whites under the pink, and NO detail.