As the east coast is in the height of hurricane season (albeit a quiet one thus far) we are reminded of the aftermath of the super-storm Sandy that did a plethora of damage to our area.
Although we would certainly like to forget the destruction, power outages and gas lines it's also a good time to remember our photographs.
Damage to any photograph is heartbreaking and water damage and mold can be especially horrifying. However, there is some good news...many of these images can be restored. I have been restoring photos for over 15 years and I have the ability to scan and retouch many of these photos to almost new and print them on archival paper. Granted if a photo is especially damaged there may not be much hope but I can certainly take a look at it give you an estimate and the decision is yours.
Here are some things to keep in mind when dealing with damaged (or potentially damaged photos):
if a photo is in a frame and gets wet, remove it as quickly as possible and let it air dry
if a photo is in a frame and gets wet(but you dont notice) and it gets stuck to the glass-do not try to remove it. Just bring the photo and frame in and we will scan it through the glass.
if a photo gets ripped-do not tape it back together, just bring in the pieces
if you find an old photo that has been taped-do not try to remove the tape, we will handle it.
if you have photos in an album and the album gets wet try to get some plain newsprint paper (sold at art supply stores) and put the paper between the pages. Doing this will absorb moisture. Do not use a blowdryer because fast drying will warp pages. Get the album to us ASAP otherwise mold will form.
if you find negatives that are stuck together-just bring them to us that way. We have chemicals that can separate them. Do not try and pull them apart as you can make more damage.
if you have a photo that has undergone significant damage, is there another copy of it somewhere-even if it is a much smaller version we can enlarge it.
if there is a person that has been damaged in a photo, do you have another photo of that person that we can get information from?
Always remember to print your photos on archival paper and to store them in acid-free archival albums.
Photos that are in ‘magnetic’ pages albums mostly from the 70’s and 80’s should be removed and put into new albums. Be careful removing them from these albums as sometimes they tend to stick. If they are stuck bring them in and we will take care of it for you.
Cherish your photos...sometimes its all we are left with.