QUESTION: Why restore pictures digitally on a computer, instead of going to a photo lab that does the older, traditional method of restoration?
LORIE'S ANSWER: The old style method involves copying the original picture, and then developing a copy negative. This copy negative is then printed, to produce a "work" print. That work print is then given to the retoucher, who will work on that copy instead of the original. The retoucher may use an airbrush, which will give a "sprayed" look in many cases. Or they may use oil paints for a more painted look. This "work print" is copied again, and a print is made from that copy negative. Each time you copy a picture, every step that is removed from the original, depletes quality because you lose detail. There is no way to avoid it with the old, traditional method. With a digital restoration, the photo is copied directly with a scanner, at a high resolution. Then the photo can be viewed and worked on the computer screen. No more copies need to be done with the scanner when the work is done, and it's ready for printing. You also have the advantage of having your newly restored photo saved on a CD as well as having printed copies. Not only does CD storage save space, it protects the integrity of your images. Because paper deteriorates with the passage of time, even museums are saving their most prized photographs and documents on digital media to preserve them for the enjoyment of future generations. Digital retouching is the future of photo restoration and the most modern method available. I also use the most widely accepted professional program, Adobe Photoshop, for my work.
QUESTION: What if I want a "painted affect" to the picture? Can a digital photo be made to look like a painting?
LORIE'S ANSWER: Yes, it can, if that is what you would like. It can also be taken to a professional lab for printing. Some pro labs offer you the option of having the print mounted on a wooden frame and given a "stretched canvas" look, just like a real painting. I can obtain this service for you at additional cost.
QUESTION: Can I see my finished picture before I pay?
LORIE'S ANSWER: Yes, for large or complex projects, I can make an approval copy available. After I see your original, I'll give you a cost estimate and if you agree to my estimate, I'll begin the work. I can then e-mail a (non-reproducible) sample for your approval before finishing.
QUESTION: Do you offer rush service?
LORIE'S ANSWER: Yes, normal service is one week from the time I receive an image until I'm required to ship it. (Two weeks for large orders.) This doesn't include any time I spend waiting for approval on samples, communication responses, etc. Of course, I'll deliver earlier if the work is finished earlier. However, any work that absolutely needs to be done faster than normal service will be charged for rush service. Please discuss with me early on, when your work is needed. Many things outside my control can move you into rush service, such as holidays, choice of delivery service, outside photo labs, etc.
QUESTION: How do I pay you?
LORIE'S ANSWER: All work must be paid before delivery. You can pay by cash, check, or money order. Contacat me for other methods of payment. Personal checks should be certified, if over $50. You can also request USPS or UPS COD service, however, there is an additional charge for using their services. Most customers mail payment along with their original to assure it's received by the time their order is ready to be shipped. It will not be cashed until the work is done and approved.
Transporting the original
QUESTION: How do I send you my picture?
LORIE'S ANSWER: This can be done electronically, or by traditional mail. If you have your own scanner, for instance, or access to one, you could send the photo file to me that way. And of course, if the picture was taken with a digital camera, you can send it electronically from your computer to mine. For an 8 X 10" print, you should send a file not smaller than 1536 X 1024 pixels. Most pictures will be large enough if scanned at 300 DPI, unless you want to scan a slide. For 5 X 7" prints, you need 1024 X 768 pixels. For 4 X 6" prints, you need 640 X 480 pixels. If you have the equipment to transfer the picture to a CD, then you could also mail a photo CD. For prints that you want printed larger than 8 X 10," I suggest you use a CD to send the bigger file. TRADITIONAL MAILINGS: If you are sending the originals by traditional postal mail, be sure to pack the photos with at least two strong pieces of corrugated cardboard inside. Place one sheet with lines vertical and one horizontal. This will make it much harder for handlers to bend the package. However, I cannot be responsible for any damage to your package before I receive it; regardless of how well you wrap it. I suggest you also insure them. You will receive the originals back the same way I receive them. Your finished work will be securely packaged and insured for a safe delivery. Unfortunately, I cannot be responsible for any unforeseen mishaps that a delivery or postal service might do.
Shipping of retouched images
QUESTION: How do I receive my new retouched picture?
LORIE'S ANSWER: You can choose how you want to receive the picture. If you want to receive it electronically, online, you may do that, and then make your own prints. You may also request the copy on a CD as well. If you want me to provide the prints for you, I can do that for you with additional charges for the prints and shipping costs. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me personally.