Can you imagine how it felt to sit for one of those first-ever photographs? Before 1826, the only way to preserve a memory would be to sketch it painstakingly. Nowadays, we carry every memory on our phones. That time your husband balanced a nickel on his nose or your child's first steps. Vintage photos haven't lost their appeal, though. Let's explore how vintage photo restoration services work and how you can enlarge vintage images.


The Discovery

Let's set the scene. You're rummaging around in the attic, trying to find a bicycle helmet, and it must be up here somewhere. Instead, you come across a dusty, old family album. You're not sure if you know any of these people, but you are pretty sure that those vintage wedding photos are of your great-grandmother and great-grandfather. What a find!


Wouldn't it be wonderful to display these next to your wedding photos? If only there was a way to clean, enlarge and frame vintage photographs. Wait a minute; you can restore many vintage images to their former glory.


What Kind of Vintage Photos can't be Restored?

Photography restoration is a bit of an art form, but a few types of photos can't be restored. These are:


  • heavily water damaged
  • fire damage
  • scratched away visual information


These can't be restored because vintage photo restoration services work with the information that is already there. While it is possible to compose certain information digitally, it may not look like grandma anymore. In those cases, it may be better to hold onto the existing photograph as it is. Perfectly imperfect even with all its damage.


Vintage Photo Damage Assessment

Assessing the damage is the first step to any photo restoration project. Some widespread types of vintage photography damage are:


  • Bleaching or Color Shifts: it's impossible to know if variations in exposure occurred when the photograph was first developed or is the result of years of sun exposure. Either way, it is essential to note whether any color shifts affect the entire image or just parts of the picture.
  • Cracks and Scratches: Did someone keep your favorite vintage family photo in a wallet? It's lovely that they carried it with them on their adventures, but the loss of visual information can be a pain to restore.
  • Torn Apart: Whether accidental or not (We're looking at you post-divorce, Aunt Cynthia!), you can piece a torn image together as long as all pieces are accounted for and the edges are relatively clean cuts. It's unideal if the torn edges are rough and worn away.


Important Note: are the affected areas away vital to the image? For example, a bleached away face is much more difficult to restore than a picture corner. Does grandma have an unsightly scratch right through her coy face?


Cleaning a Vintage Photo

Before starting your vintage photo cleaning process, make sure you have preserved the picture by creating a digital copy. Scan it in or take a good-quality picture on your phone. This way, if something goes very wrong, you still have a copy of the photo.


Trust us. It'll prevent tears later down the line. Consider this your iCloud backup of memories.


Make sure your hands are clean and free of excess oil before handling your delicate photographs. Pretend you're the curator of a museum, holding a precious Picasso. Wipe away dust gently using a micro-fiver cloth.


Enlarging a Vintage Photo


"Zoom in. Now enhance." We're sorry to shatter the elusion. The enhance function found on crime TV shows everywhere is an impossible dream. The blurry CCTV photo would turn into a slightly larger, blurry CCTV photo and keep detectives everywhere guessing.


How much you can enlarge vintage photos is dependent on how sharp the image was, to begin with. Old studio photographs made by a professional can be blown up to 600% larger without losing details. That's the equivalent of taking a small passport image and hanging it on your wall in A4.


Try scanning in your image. Even if your vintage photos are black and white, scan them in color, as that is the best way to preserve as much detail. When your scanner asks you to choose a format, choose either JPEG or TIF for enlargement possibilities. You should always set your image resolution to 600 dpi or larger.


Save your image and send it off to be framed by The Frame Room.


Note: Dpi means dots per inch and measures how many pixels can be found in each inch of your photograph.


Frame Vintage Photos

Your memories deserve to be cherished by having a proud place on your wall. Once your photo has been lovingly restored by you or a qualified professional, make sure to frame it with care. The Frame Room offers custom framing for all your framing needs. Choose from custom mount boards, a wide variety of frames to suit your vintage image, and True Vue Conservation Glass.


Want to go one step further in preserving your vintage photograph for future generations? Ensure you've noted the names of everyone in the image as well as any known dates. Additionally, you can protect the picture by choosing Tru Vue Optium Museum Acrylic. This museum-level glazing provides 99% UV protection. Additionally, it has anti-abrasion effects, maximum shatter resistance, and anti-glare. Making it the perfect match for forever memories.


All About The Frame Room


At The Frame Room, we have harnessed our framing and restoration abilities through 15 years of experience. With a home base in Baltimore and an online base everywhere, we cannot wait to help restore your memories.


If you need a helping hand with vintage photo restoration, get in touch today to talk to one of our experts about our services. We provide restoration services at $50 per hour with a minimum of 1 hour. Once we've lovingly restored your photos to their former glory, we will ensure they get a frame to match.


The Frame Room is your local print and frame store right here in Fels Point Baltimore!