where memories matter


How to restore old photos

Photo Restoration – An old photo is a view into the past and a chance to immortalise a memory which may have been forgotten otherwise. A chance to relic and gaze upon past times may be found as you walk along your corridor or glance at the shelf above the fireplace. One day, not long from now, the photos will start to disappear before your very eyes; faces slowly fading into the depths of time. This is an inevitable fate for an aging photo.

But what if you don’t have a digital copy? How will you bring back the precious memory held in the four corners of a frame? Will Grandads harmonic piano playing just be a memory from the past?

It doesn’t have to be…

With the marvels of modern innovation there is nothing to fear. Let us share with you how to restore your photos and immortalise life’s most precious moments forever.

Why have my photos faded?

Even a slightly faded photo can be a scary thing. If you don’t have a backup, it signifies the beginning of the end for that memory. The fading of a photo can be caused by a variety of factors. Let’s take a look at the main causes…

Inadequate storage

Any form of acidic substance can lead to photodegradation and causing permanent and sometimes irreversible damage. These acidic things you may find when storing photographs include tape, cardboard and even some mats.


Arguably being the biggest cause of a photographic loss, ultraviolet light (usually from the sun) will eat away at your photographs until there is nothing left The UV rays breaks downs a photo’s chemical bonds and will leave you with nothing but a piece of blank laminated paper if left long enough.

Environmental Factors

Photos were never intended to be everlasting. They absorb elements from their surroundings, such as dust, air, and smoke. This is why people store their images behind glass or within albums.

Unstable Colour Photography

The early stages of colour photography were unstable. It was only during the 1980s and 1990s that it became stable. This explains why black and white photographs from a century ago are still visible today.

Photo Proofs

Certain images were designed to fade. Years ago, professional photographers would send unprocessed proofs to clients. The idea behind this cunning business practice was to compel people into purchasing the more expensive final prints. Thankfully, this practice has long since ceased.

As demonstrated, several factors could put your older photos at risk of vanishing completely. There are various ways for you to preserve your photos and keep the memories alive.

Here’s how to protect old photos – Photo Preservation

Do you possess old photos stored within numerous albums in your loft or cellar? Act now to preserve them.

Before we discuss how to restore old photos and innovative colour photo restoration techniques, here are some steps you can take now to protect your treasured images.

Identify the individuals

It’s remarkable how swiftly people forget who the individuals are in their photos. Many people pencil in their names, but graphite fades over time. With especially old photographs, you may never know for certain who those people are.

Consult your relatives and record the names on the back with an archival felt-tipped pen. Never use a biro!

Its essential to make digital copies

Invest in a scanner and begin creating digital copies of your images in their current state. While you can’t stop the deterioration of the original photograph, you can prevent the damage from worsening by digitising your collection.

Store the scanned images inside an archival box, just like the experts do. These boxes are not particularly costly and represent a worthy investment.

Distribute your photos

Sharing is not only a great way to become nostalgic and reminisce about the good old days, but it also serves as a protective measure. Suppose you suffer a house fire or a flood; if you’re the only person with a copy, no professional can restore those images.

Sharing multiple copies with family and friends guarantees access should you lose your own.

Photocopy the original writing

The value of an image isn’t merely in the photo itself but also in the accompanying writing. To preserve any quotes, names, or dates use  a simple photocopier.

If you can’t identify the photographer, a piece of handwriting may allow you to trace your photos. This is especially important when dealing with historical photographs.

Frame it appropriately

If you’re planning to frame and display a photo of a cherished family memory, take the time to have it matted. Mount it behind archival glass rather than any old picture frame.

Archival glass is better prepared to protect the image against sunlight and humidity. Bear in mind that even special glass and professional framing won’t safeguard faded images indefinitely. It merely delays the process.

How to practice proper album storage

Albums provide an excellent way to store an abundance of photos. Traditionally, photos were secured to album pages using glue or tape. Whilst these methods were effective in the past, they can potentially cause damage to the photograph.

Instead, opt for an album with sleeves. Ensure you store any albums in a cool, dry location to safeguard them from environmental harm.

How does a professional restore old photos? Photo Restoration

Professional photographers possess the know-how to restore old photos employing cutting-edge photography techniques. Rescuing your cherished photos and restoring images with the assistance of a professional can result in remarkable outcomes.

Although they may not mirror the originals perfectly, you’ll be astounded by the improvements that modern faded photo restoration can yield.

Here are some of the merits of hiring a professional and their capabilities when restoring photos.

Enlarge your photos! Photo Restoration

The remaining copy of a family member might still be of decent quality but lacks size. Older cameras were not designed to produce the large prints we see today.

However, through the strength of contemporary technology, you can restore old photos and elevate them beyond their original brilliance with specialist enlargement services.

Restoration harnesses electronic capture in a way that renders old photos appropriate for larger prints.

Eliminate common photo damage – Photo Restoration

Folds, scratches, tears, and general fading are usual signs of a photograph’s wear and tear. Professional photo restorers employ digital techniques to eradicate all these kinds of damage and more.

There are various ways to rectify photo damage using software:

Adjusting contrast

Old photos fade over time, with darker colours becoming lighter and vice versa, essentially losing colour contrast. Even with careful storage and avoidance of direct light, fading is inevitable as time progresses. Fortunately, this can be rectified in most software programmes by adjusting the contrast. There are several tools and methods, the most prevalent being adjusting layers, tweaking lightness, increasing/decreasing saturation, applying curves, using an opacity brush, among others.

Colour correction – Photo Restoration

Ever discovered an old photo that has a yellowish hue? This is the most frequent type of colour casting. Software provides a quick remedy for mild cases where you can manipulate the whiteness balance tool. You can adjust the entire photo for colour casting, or manually balance the colours by tweaking warmth and coolness in different parts of the photo. Remember, this can be a rather painstaking process, but effective when executed well. For more severe colour casting, it’s advised to seek professional help.

Correcting Localised Damage

Old photos endure scratches and rips from transport, storage, or simple normal wear and tear. Most photo editing software offer cloning, which allows you to replicate parts of the photo and use them to cover blemishes. This is ideal for removing lines or cracks from the physical photo having been folded. Another alternative is “healing”, which replaces texture instead of the image itself. This can conceal minor imperfections and smooth out areas where you may have utilised the cloning tool.

These are the most common types of damage to old photos, but there are numerous other ways to approach the restoration process. While some free programmes are available to assist with restorations, you’ll always achieve superior results when using a professional for restoring faded photos.

Construct your family tree – Photo Restoration

The genealogical benefits are boundless. Assist future generations to trace their histories with your old photographs. Provide them insights into their ancestors and enable them to attach names to faces.

Restorers don’t simply bring history to life. They restore the details that can all too easily be lost with the passage of time.

Protect, store and share forever

Resurrecting faded photos also facilitates their digitisation and electronic storage.

Electronic storage immortalises the restored image in its prime form. Access these files at your convenience, safeguard them with the cloud or an external hard drive, and disseminate them to kin and friends spanning generations.

You can even replicate them to include in numerous photo albums and to conserve them for the distant future.

The venture that continually yields

No gratis program can rival the results derived from a seasoned professional restorer skilled in restoring old photos. Perceive these services as an investment that consistently yields returns for future generations.

It’s not merely about the photo itself but the joy a restored variant can bestow upon generations yet to come.

Conclusion – Photo Restoration

Faded photos may appear as if they cannot be revitalised, but digital photography has advanced significantly, making it feasible for your local photographer to restore, disseminate and digitise photos.

Investing in a professional photography service is the avenue to honour your past and to safeguard your family’s narrative for your progeny.

Obtain nothing but the finest in professional photo restoration with Supaphoto. With a comprehensive array of photography services for digitising, organising, and sharing, reach out to Supaphoto and resuscitate those milestone moments in your family’s chronicle.