Photo Restoration Service

Photo Restoration Service – The hidden truth

Our photo restoration service at Red Rose Photos is something we’re extremely proud of. Over the years we’ve built up a loyal customer base and from the feedback we regularly receive it’s clear that the results we provide are life changing for many. The reality is when we restore old photos for customers we’re not just fixing an old photo, we’re restoring a treasured memory. A photo that may be so damaged the owner doesn’t think it’s repairable. That’s why we receive so much satisfaction in restoring your old photos and that’s why we continue to surpass our customer’s expectations every day.

photo restoration service mission statement

Our Mission Statement

So what’s our mission statement about? Well, like Tom Cruise in the film Jerry Maguire, this mission statement is about letting off some steam about what we suspect is underhand tactics and dishonesty within the photo restoration service

At Red Rose Photos we’ve been providing our photo restoration service for a few years now and recently we’ve noticed practices that we’ve never witnessed before. Initially you hope it’s a flash in the pan, that the those spreading the negativity will tire and move on, leaving those credible businesses – of which there are many I might add – to focus on providing the quality service we pride ourselves on to our customers. Unfortunately that’s not been the case. For months now this negativity has riddled our profession.

Photo Restoration Will Fade Out – Literally

To start off with I can categorically state that a photo restoration business will never make you a decent living. Those who do it do it because they’re passionate about the photos they restore and they are in the main skilled professionals. Over the years you see new photo restoration services popping up, some with genuine skill and some who have a basic knowledge of photo shop and think they can do it for a living. And over the years they drop away because they soon realise the money isn’t there for them to stop doing whatever they were doing before and make a living out of this. The bottom line is that photo restoration is a part time job at best. The customer base just isn’t there to supplement a decent full time wage no matter how good you are and most of the top photograph restorers with credibility will have other sources of income to supplement restoring old photos. Another important factor is technology. With every passing year we move closer to the point where people won’t have old photos to repair. The next generation will have all their old photos stored digitally not physically so there literally won’t be a need for old photo restoration because there won’t be any photos to repair.

Now I’m not against new businesses coming along. No photo restorer has a right to a certain market share just because they’ve been around for a few years. Like any area of business, competition is always evolving and something that worked before won’t necessarily work next month or year. What I do take issue with is underhand tactics and lack of respect. Ours is a professional service and we as photo restorers should treat each other professionally. At the moment that isn’t happening and it’s a shame.

Google Adwords Abuse

I recently wrote an article about Google Adwords and it’s got to the point now where we are using it less and less because it’s lost credibility. In short, Goodle ads are the sites you see at the top of the page when you type in a specific search term, such as photograph restoration. Businesses pay a price to show up in those ad positions and up until about six months ago that price used to be quite reasonable. Again, we can honestly state that you can’t make money from google ads alone because the cost of advertising against the business that you generate isn’t cost effective. For every ten pounds of advertising you’d do well to make fifteen pounds back. So five pounds profit for all the time and effort of restoring a photo isn’t time efficient going forward. However, in the last few months the cost of advertising has gone up more than 100% making it hard to even break even!

The reason for this is naivity at best, with businesses trying to outbid each other to be the number one positioned ad – this is extremely na├»ve because by bidding with each other all you’re doing is reducing your profit and increasing Google’s. Or something more sinister is going on? For example, every time someone clicks on your ad you get charged for that click. On a level playing field this is fine because you expect that everyone clicking on your site is a potential customer. However, it only takes a manipulative competitor to get a few of their friends and family to do a google search for photo restoration and click on a competitors site and the process is underhand and costing the innocent advertiser lots of money. Having advertised on and off on google for the last few years, when it comes to photograph restoration the cost of advertising has gone through the roof recently as has the number of people clicking on your ads. However, the business leads have stayed the same. Therefore something is amiss and it doesn’t take a genius to see that those who use google ads are being targeted by people clicking on their ads to drive up that businesses advertising costs and effectively try and put them out of business.

Fake Customers With Damaged Photos

For me this is the lowest of the low and I can only assume those who are doing it drink Horlicks because I’d questions how they sleep at night? Basically all the better photo repair services will provide a try before you buy option. This involves a customer sending an old photo in for repair and a price being agreed. However, a payment won’t be taken until the customer is happy with the sample of the restored photo, which will be emailed over to the customer. Ninety nine per cent of the time the customer will be over the moon with the quality of the restored photo and payment will be made. However, recently that percentage has dropped down considerably for a number of photo restorers. And again, this doesn’t fit in with the past few years. So what’s going on?

Again, it’s dubious practice from competitors in our opinion. They send through a photo to a competitor posing as a customer, get them to repair it then when the sample comes through to them they either ignore it or say they’ve decided not to bother. Now if this was a one off you’d take it on the chin and move on. But when it’s happening regularly it’s clear this is a new tactic to disrupt and waste the time of the perceived competition. Personally I find it totally disrespectful because a professional photo restorer will know that to restore an old photo can take anywhere between half an hour and a day. So to willingly waste the time of another human being like that is, well, you can make up your own minds

Where we go from here is straight forward. Next week I’ll be writing an article on how people can protect themselves from these questionable tactics. It’s important that businesses like Red Rose Photos maintains it’s standards and doesn’t react in a way that would be detrimental to our customers. So we’ll be focussing on providing the same quality service we always have whilst working on tactics to hinder these so called competitors. Because one thing’s for sure, the so called photo restoration service that is damaging our profession will be reading this article. They visit our facebook pages, they read and copy our blog articles, they click our google ads. In fact, one could argue that they spend so much time focussing on what others are doing that they take their eye of the ball of what’s most important. Their business and customers.

by Brent Di Cesare

  1. Wayne MarnerWayne Marner05-07-2014

    Fake customers with damaged photos is a new underhand tactic on me. I’ll be sure to watch out for that one! Thankfully most the restorations I undertake are brought to the studio in person with the viewing once complete also done in person.

    By far the biggest underhand tactic I see is where a restorer will make the original look much worse than it was to begin with so as to make the restoration look more impressive. Brightened, darkened, faded or scratch layers added. I can usually spot them in a second but doubt many potential customers would.

  2. Wayne MarnerWayne Marner05-07-2014

    p.s I found this post with a “photo restoration fakes” search on Google looking for a reply to several fakes I see being posted on a Google plus group I’m connected with. Didn’t find any post relating exactly to the problem which surprises me as I see them everywhere.

    Yours are great though. Keep up the good work.

  3. An excellent article with some very disconcerting information. I agree entirely: any individual who thinks they can make a living from restoring old photos, has be naive in extremis. I work alone as a one man show, only do it because I happen enjoy it and any money I make, helps only to supplement my bar bill.

    In my view, restoring old photos is an art form; it’s a craft. What it is not is a main-stream commercial creative business like professional photo editing or fashion photography retouching. And only the highest of skilled and experienced photo retouch artists get paid mega-bucks.

    I am inclined to think that every effort should be made to frustrate the practices of those individuals calling themselves photo restorers whose lying, cheating and conning ways cost us honest joes money and our good names. I am looking forward to reading your proposed article on how we can protect ourselves from the questionable tactics these individuals employ.

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