Photo Restoration

Restoring precious old photographs is a special reward for us. We know how important these pictures are. We can't tell you how many times people have been amazed and how good we feel when their (and our) eyes get a bit watery when seeing what we've done.

It is important to know that color photos are printed with dyes which fade over a few decades. (Our prints are pigment based and do not fade as quickly). Photos earlier than the eighties are already in jeopardy.

There are many reasons to have your old photos preserved and restored.
  • A special event or family photo that is extremely important.
  • There's only one copy and if it were lost, it would be gone forever.
  • If old age isn't getting to them, an unforeseen disaster may take them away.

When we receive your photos they are scanned and the originals are kept safe in our archives. All the retouching is done on the computer so your original is never in danger of being adversely affected by the restoration process.

Our restoration service includes:
  • scanning
  • retouching
  • electronic proof via email
  • prints are additional

Most photos can be reasonably restored in our 10 to 20 minutes. Minimum order for the first scan is $40. Naturally, some photos can take longer. It depends on the amount of damage and how far we need to take it. We currently charge $80/hour.

How To Order/Ship

If local to the Bristol, NH area, we suggest you bring the photos to us. We will provide a receipt for you and can sum up what we can do, and what it will cost.

Otherwise, WE RECOMMEND TO USE FEDEX TO DELIVER THEM TO US. FedEx is the one we trust the most. Over 35 years of using them, they have by far, shown to be the most reliable carrier. We have had success with USPS and UPS. In all cases, please send us the tracking number.

Package them well, but make sure we can open it without damaging the photo!

We recommend putting the photos in a Ziploc bag with sturdy cardboard, and your shipping and contact information. Foodsaver bags work well too. The point being to make sure they are not affected by moisture or bending.

Good idea to add extra insurance, and opt for email delivery messages for delivery. Again, make sure that you include inside the package your name, shipping address, email, and phone number. It's good in case something happens in transit, and we need to get in touch with you.

Also, let us know:

  • if you require that someone signs for the package,
  • require extra insurance,
  • we send it back FedEx (more expensive) or is USPS Priority OK (default)

Ship them to:

Sullivan+Wolf Design
163A Pleasant Street
Lock Box 0482#
Bristol, NH 03222

tel: 603-536-5505

Please try to get us the tracking number if possible.

Upon receipt, we will immediately evaluate the photo(s) and reply to you via email on what we can do, and what it may cost. When we understand what your order will be, a PayPal invoice will be sent to you. You need to pay this before any further work is done.

In all cases, please remove the photos from any frame, mat, or scrap book page. Otherwise, extra charges will occur, and, we may opt not to even touch it due to liability.

Restoration Examples

Old Color Photos

This photo is so typical of what we see from photos of the sixties and the seventies. Color fading has occurred and the dreaded "Blotch" which is dye damage caused by the acid or other contaminates on peoples fingers.

Click to enlarge
click to enlarge

Classic Example of Image Breakdown

Loss of color and the Yellow Blotch, caused from acids on your fingers eating away at the photo.
(Note: This photo was originally printed on a textured paper about 3" x 3")


Approximate retouching time, 1 hour.
final image size 11"x 14" at 250 dpi

Color Restoration Example

This treasured old photo lost most of its cyan and a lot of its yellow dye leaving a magenta/red cast. A common occurrence of photos 40 something years old. Removing the "cast" shows an image that is fairly monotone. We went in and "hand colored" skin tones, grass, tree, outfits painstakingly. At times using natural colors from other photos. In a way, similar to colorizing a BW photo with transparent paints as was done in the old days. This can be very time consuming. We also removed the textured pattern as it was printed on a heavy texture paper. (Why we do not like printing on canvas by the way.) A further complication was that this was a fairly small photo, the original was only 400 x 600 pixels.

Cast Removed

Approximate retouching time, 1.5 hours.
final image size 7"x 10" at 105 dpi

Old Black and White Photos

This is typical of older black and white photos. Cracks and other damage, yellowing of paper (not shown here as we scanned in grayscale), and even fading, in this case, extreme fading.

As with all photos we restore, this one was especially precious. The photo is of a good friend who has passed along when he was a child. This was probably taken 60 years ago.