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Getting started...

Since each project is tailor-made specifically for you, much of this process will depend on what you have in mind.  Your first decision will be to choose your level of involvement.  If you're brimming with creativity and have a very specific vision, we'll work closely with you to get your project just the way you want it.  If you favor a more hands-off approach, feel free to tell us the basics and we'll do the rest.  We're happy to accommodate whichever level of involvement that suits you best.

Your next decision will be your picture.  We can work from digital image files or tangible media such as photographs, slides and negatives (we do not develop old film, however).


If you will be submitting a digital file, the file size will need to be a minimum of 1 megabyte (MB) of information.  If that's too technical, don't worry; you can send us the file and we'll tell you whether or not it's suitable.  It may be helpful to point out that most contemporary digital cameras and camera phones capture image files well above the 1MB threshold.  Images captured with older devices tend to be where we run into low-resolution problems.

If you will be submitting tangible media (such as an old photo or slides), it will be copied to a high-resolution digital image file and returned to you.  The scanning process takes only a few minutes; if you're able to drop by our studio, we will scan the media and give it back right away.  If you will be mailing your media to us, it will be shipped back to you on the next business day after it is received.

Your final decision will be which services you would like, and to what extent you would like them.  Below is some general information about the services we offer.

Photo Restoration

What it is:  Photo restoration is a blanket term used for a wide variety of techniques to rejuvenate old photographs.  A few examples would be restoring the true color to yellowed snapshots from your 1982 trip to Colonial Williamsburg, digitally removing scratches and cracks from your great-great grandparents' portrait or reviving the faded photos you've been carrying in your wallet.  We can even digitally piece back together the photo you ripped apart during that spat with your boyfriend.  Photo restoration is bringing back to life what used to be there.

What it is not:  That said, photo restoration can not bring something back that was never there in the first place.  Examples of this include clarifying the 'special moment' that came out too blurry, reversing the silhouette effect produce by photographing towards the Sun, or shaving the extra 10 pounds off your high school prom photo.  While we may be able to remove the ex from your favorite family portrait or insert Scruffles into the portrait he wouldn't sit still for, these kinds of alterations fall under the category of photo editing (see 'Photo Creations') rather than restoration. 


Also, we believe the best restoration is the one that's least intrusive.  Our aim is always to leave as much of the original image intact as we can.  Some photo restorations go a bit too far, which can cause great-uncle Festus to look more like Woody from Toy Story than an actual human.  We try to keep it real.  This means your restored image will not look like a picture you took last week with your iPhone.  While we can remove some of the graininess or sharpen a few soft edges, at the end of the day it will still be an old photograph.

PRICING: Prices for this service vary based on the extent of the work your project will require.  The range is generally $10 to $100 for 'digital file only' restorations.  A hefty discount is applied when purchased with a photo processing or wrapped canvas package.

Photo Colorization

Photo colorization is a process by which an artist artificially adds color to a black and white photo.  This means that the colors - every color, down to the shading of a fingernail - is selected by the artist.  There are no computer programs or special apps that can "find" color in an originally black and white image and restore it.  Every colorized picture you've seen is a unique, sometimes painstaking, creation by a real person.  It is as much a work of art as a painting, drawing or sketch.

As such, there are some important things to keep in mind if you're considering having your black and white photo colorized.  First and most importantly, it will be subject to the same kind of artist's interpretation you would expect from a traditional painting or drawing.  While we certainly welcome any and all input with regard to color selection, the finished product may differ from the colors you have imagined.  Color is a funny thing and every eye processes it differently.  Even our electronic devices process it differently; the exact same image can look very different depending on what it's viewed or printed upon.  Our goal is for you to be 100% satisfied with our services, so we ask that you take this into consideration before starting your project.

It's also important to consider that, as with any form of artwork, not all artists are created equal.  There are a lot of people colorizing photos out there.  Some of them are phenomenal... and some not so much.  So feel free to browse some of our previous colorization projects and compare them to other like images on the internet.  We think you'll find that our work is some of the best available.

PRICING: Prices for this service vary based on the extent of the work your project will require.  For example, colorizing a photo with one or two elements will cost significantly less than a group photo or city-scape.  The range is generally $50 to $200 (photo restoration is automatically included) for 'digital file only' colorizations.  A hefty discount is applied when purchased with a photo processing or wrapped canvas package.

Photo Creations

We offer a variety of fun and creative ways to spice up your photos.  Below are just a few examples:

Mrs. Pufferton photo converted to oil-on-canvas painting.

Leonardo (yes, the Nard Dog) photo converted to sketch drawing with a splash of color on collar. 

We chose animals for our example pics (because they're so adorable!), but any subject can be transformed into an artistic masterpiece.

PRICING: This service is $10 for 'digital file only' creations, and free when purchased with a photo processing or wrapped canvas package.

Display Your Photo - The Finished Product

Below is a current list of our finishing products with a short description:

  • Photo, matte finish - Produces nice quality prints but does not have that vibrant color finish. Matte paper is not vulnerable to being marred by fingerprints and it produces a non-glare photo.

  • Photo, satin finish - A nice middle point between matte and glossy, satin finish produces the vibrancy of a gloss photo without the tendency to glare.  Professional portraits are often produced on satin or "pearl" finish papers.

  • Photo, glossy finish - The most vibrant of our finishes, glossy photos are by far the most popular.  The finish produces a higher definition then matte, but is more economical than satin.

  • Wrapped canvas - Mounted canvas prints have become a popular alternative to framed photographs in recent years.  They mimic a true canvas painting without the costly price tag.  Our canvas prints are stretched and mounted on wooden bars, ready-to-hang.  We also offer a wide range of styles and sizes, such as 3 or 5 panel canvases in virtually any design pattern.

All processed photos are available in any size configuration from 3"x5" wallet to 3 ft. (36 inches) x 4 ft. (48 inch) poster, and in any quantity.  We do not offer professional framing at this time.

PRICING: Processing will vary depending on your specific project, finish, size and quantity selected.  Photo processing starts at $5.00 (a single 4"x6" glossy photo), with discounts given for higher quantities and all-inclusive packages.  Packages start at just $50.00!

The Next Step...

Use the form below to give a brief description of your project and any other questions you might have.  We will be in contact with you very soon.  Thanks so much for your interest in Victoria Heilshorn Studio!

More Information

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Victoria Heilshorn Studio reserves the artistic right to accept or reject any project at our sole discretion.  The invitation to contact us and the subsequent information we provide in no way promises our services or guarantees we will perform a service.  We will accept no commission that involves nudity, pornography or any content we deem disturbing or offensive.

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