Photos start life fresh out of the lab or printer, from here their journey is unknown. Usually found displayed proudly above the fireplace but can be lost in a damp basement. Perhaps stuffed in a wallet or hidden behind a chimney breast for 100 years! A photo restoration seeks to reverse these ravages of time so how much does photo restoration cost?

With photo restoration, there is no one price fits all. Photos can be damaged just a little, with a small fold or tear or completely faded. All colour removed by the sun, bleached away to a ghost of an image.

Restoring colour faded framed photo before and after

In the prices page you can get a good feel for how much the various type of damage cost. Let us look at what affects the cost of photo restoration.


Photos come in all shapes and sizes and form, including negative. Scanning very large prints or very small negatives have their own challenges. 30 Inch prints require scanning and stitching and can easily take over 10 times longer to scan and prepare than a postcard. Small negatives need to be scanned at very high resolutions and the scans take longer than with a standard-sized photo. With many images of this type to scan the longer the job will take and the more specialist it becomes.

The image must be scanned for the widest range of tones and detail, to capture the best possible image. Basic one-touch scanning is of no use in photo restoration. The scan must be done manually, optimising the settings and tone curves.

Damaged Faces

Facial reconstruction is one of the hardest repairs to make. Creating missing ears, eyes and facial parts to reconstruct a face is an art. One shadow or tone out of place and that nice photo of Autie June can easily look like Frankenstein. A bit severe perhaps but we humans are very good at spotting something wrong with a face. Sculpting the face digitally takes time and skill. Any image with facial reconstruction will cost more than one without. Read on for more on how much does photo restoration cost.

Photo with missing piece

Reconstruction and missing pieces

Restoring photos with missing pieces is almost as time-consuming as recreating faces. Parts of the photo are used to create new pieces to fill in the gaps. A gutter on a house could become the chrome bumper on a car, or a left shoe used to make the right shoe. What adds to the cost of photo restoration is the amount of reconstruction. A badly damaged photo will require way more work than one with slight damage.

Panorama photos

School or Military panoramas of many people are the most time consuming of all. They need both scanning and stitching and contain many faces! These can take several days to restore or more if badly damaged.

An old photo of Grosvenor High School, Shaftesbury, restore.


Colouring photos can take just as long as the restoration or sometimes even longer! Ensuring they are coloured correctly according to your recollection of the colours and what history tells us about the photo.

colouring a black and white photo

So how much does photo restoration cost?

It depends on the project and how much work is involved. If you add colouring into the mix then, even more, time is required to complete the work.

£9 A simple fix such as brightening, straightening, a few marks or scratches

£19 Light damage such as cracks and fading

£29 Medium damage with some light rebuilding of objects

£39 and up! Everything else. Damaged Miltary panoramas in poor shape could cost well over £170 or more!

To see even more on how much does photo restoration cost? see our photo restoration examples and prices page

Please get in touch for a photo restoration quote or find me on the social channels below!