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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

How to find a photo restoration artist - revisited

Finding the right photo restoration artist online can be a little intimidating, so we decided to revisit the issue today.

Here’s a quick overview of what you need to consider when searching for the best photo restoration artist.

The first thing you want to consider is quality - the final results.

To check for the quality, you want to find an artist or company that offers several examples of restorations of varying degrees.  The more the better.

Here's why . . .

No two images are alike . . . just as no two images have exactly the same type of damage. Photos can be damaged by fading or fire or flooding. They can have scratches or chips or even missing pieces. You want an artist who is cable of restoring many types of damage, and you can only determine that by reviewing many "before and after" images.

With that said . . .

Compare ‘Before’ and ‘After’ photos carefully.

The quality and detail of the "after" image should be apparent to you. 

Do the colors look natural? How about the skin tone? The facial expressions? The hair?

In most cases, the colors should be deep and rich with naturalistic variations. Skin should have varying degrees of tone and texture. Facial expressions should look natural.

If the details and quality are not apparent, move on to the next web site.

Next, find out if the restoration artist or company is the one who will actually be working on your image or if they outsource their work to others. Although cheaper, outsourcing has many disadvantages, like communication problems, missed deadlines, or perhaps sub par work, not to mention the problem of sending our jobs overseas.

Once you are done with quality checks, look for costs, methods of payment, etc., to make sure you have a good fit.

Most service providers charge according to the severity of the damage, however some charge by the hour. Both are okay, but those charging by the hour might be costlier and may not offer a precise quote, nor does it mean the results will be better than those artists charging a flat fee based on severity of the damage.

A few final tips . . .

  • All companies should offer free estimates, with no hidden fees.

      •Work with an artist or company that offers a money-back guarantee.

      • Check to make sure they provide minor adjustments free of charge.

      • Confirm if the cost includes a print and shipping . . . or just the digital image only. Most people can now easily order prints themselves, either online or via a local lab, so why pay a service provider extra for prints and shipping costs if you can do it yourself for less?