There’s more to bringing vintage photos to life than just placing color into them. Yes, it’s great to transform black and white photographs into colorful photographs and give it that pop, but what about the rest of the photograph?
Antique photographs can show age over time. Not all photos are well cared for and end up with water damage, mold spots, dust, scratches, tears, creases, and any other kind of damage you can imagine. I had a room mate try to tell me that she was given a photograph of a woman and the face was torn completely away, but she restored the face and the family couldn’t be happier because they never saw their relative before – you can’t do a puzzle unless you have all the pieces, and the most important piece she didn’t have – the face of the woman. There are times when you just can’t restore a photograph (people’s faces unless you have another photo as reference), and other times you can (fashion and scenery).
As a photographer, when you go to edit your photos at the end of the day, you always find those dust spots in the photo that were on your lens. Removing those spots slows down your editing time, but you do it so you have a flawless photograph. This training has spilled into my restoring/colorizing. Every photograph I do, I go over it and take out every single spot I can until I’m satisfied with it. There are photographs I’ve done that take two days of restoring before I get to the colorizing, but it’s worth it.