Why and How to Save Old Photos

Some Tips for Saving Your Old Photos

Did you know?  Instead of putting those old family photos on display on the wall.  You really need to make copies and store the originals?

Those old originals need to be stored in acid free holders and put in a safe place.

Take your oldest ones first. Start by deciding which ones you want to display.  After that, you have some options.

I take all of them and enhance them on a photo application. This way you can make them darker and sharper if they are fading. I have seen many that are almost gone. Many of the old Cabinet Cards fade and get scratched up easily.

Unknown antique cabinet card
Unknown Cabinet Card

Display Photos on the Wall

Sometimes the photo is scratched, cracked or broke. Some have even had water damage. I would mend the photos the best I can.

You will end up with a better looking, protected photo that you can display before it can receive more damage.

Finding A Photographer

If the damage is really bad, there are several photographers that can fix your photo to look new.

Some are even adding color to the old sepia or black and whites. And they have looked amazing. The best practice would be to take that precious photo, like the one above and have it restored.

Most restoration photographers can even produce a cabinet card.

Google Photo Restoration Services

There are many photography services that do this type of restoration so the best thing to do is to Google one and look at all the rates.

Review the restorations in their portfolio and make a decision on how much you want to spend on this project.

Many of the websites I have seen for this work can be very expensive. I understand why. It can be time consuming, tedious work.  It pays to shop around as you can usually find one within your budget.  The range in detail, workmanship and price can vary greatly.

Some people may just want a basic restoration and minor improvements. For other photos, a detailed, extensive restoration may be worth the extra expense.


antique cabinet card photo restoration

This can also make a great gift for someone in the family that loves genealogy. Perhaps someone that is getting up there in years and is not able to do this type of thing anymore.

The grandfather that is in the nursing home that loves to talk about his father or grandfather all the time. Have the photo fixed and enlarged, add it to a beautiful shadow box.


You now have an awesome gift that will last forever and the type that can be passed down. I  take mine and add notes to the back.  Then there is a backstory or history that goes with it as the photo gets past down to the next generation.

Next – Listen to All the Great Stories!

Be ready to take notes and listen to all the fantastic stories from the past. I took a little digital recorder with me.

That person will love telling stories and you will gain so much heartfelt loving history.  Anytime you share a restored photo with someone, you will learn things that were never documented.

Do You Want to Beef it Up!

Invite a few more friends and relatives that may have known the individual in the photo. Then watch their eyes light up as they tell stories to each other.

It will be like you are not even in the room. Just be prepared to write fast notes (again, a digital recorder helps). They will be sharing their lives and you will have the opportunity to share all the love.

When I did this, the other guys in the room sharing were just there for the excitement factor and the love of sharing. I didn’t even listen to much of what they said. But, I made sure to catch everything my family member said right down to the detail. When your loved one lights up like a bright light in the dark, it is absolutely amazing. and the stories will flow like crazy.

They just seem to want to talk to their friends that are their age sometimes a little more than for a recording. Even though they still know you are recording! It is the excitement factor of sharing with someone their own age! Having things in common.

All Because of A Little Photo

All of that history and love pouring out! All because you took the time to share and be a part of that person’s history and life for a moment! It will be so rewarding in long run and you will gain information you have never heard before. Share the love! And write their stories. That is the best gift of all!

Then hang that new looking photo on the wall with the history behind it and put your original up for safe keeping.