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What is AI Photo Enhancement?

If you’re thinking of the nerdy tech guy in your favorite movies who yells “enhance” at a computer while rapidly tapping keys on his keyboard, it’s kind of like that except, you know, real.

In short, this technique uses technology to train computers with massive amounts of information to help them effectively “recognize” details and colors that may have appeared in old, black and white photos. In many cases, these photos were taken before color photography existed, or before the average camera could capture the details that you see in smartphone photos today.

Don’t people charge hundreds of dollars for this? Why is this so cheap?

Photo restoration is an art that takes lots of patience, practice, and care. AI photo enhancement uses trained algorithms to take some of the work out of the restoration process, though it wouldn’t be fair to put them in the same category.

What This Is:

  • Computer-driven photo enhancement: add detail and colors to photos that may not have retained them over the years

  • Mild hand restoration: light touchups on a case by case basis

  • A super cool gift for your loved ones

What This Isn’t:

  • This isn’t traditional photo restoration: you won’t be getting your ripped and torn photos healed through this process

  • It’s not a perfect process: AI is only as smart as we make it (for now), so some details may not be perfect, or some colors may not be historically accurate


1. What kind of photo do you need?

A high-quality scan of an original photo is most preferable: dust, scratches, yellowing and all. The higher quality the original image, the better the results of the enhancement will be. In some cases, a photo of the photo with your smartphone camera is acceptable.

2. How do I get the photos to you?

Cloud storage is preferable, but I can be flexible. If you have a Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud Drive, etc., place your photos into a folder and include a publicly-accessible link with your order. If you don’t have cloud storage or have special requirements, please let me know in the form during the checkout process.

3. Can you edit a photo from Facebook?

Yes, but it’s not preferable, especially if you want it printed. For you to have a good experience online, Facebook and other social media sites compress photos when they’re uploaded to allow them to load faster. During this compression, details are often lost, making this process more difficult.

4. Can I print these?

Maybe. if the quality of the original photo is good, you should be able to get a pretty decent 8×10” print out of these enhanced photos. If not, certainly a 4×6” or a 5×7”. If you’re happy with the results of your photo enhancements and would like to order prints, please let me know and I’ll gladly facilitate that process through my preferred print lab.

5. What details will be enhanced?

If it’s a portrait, the AI will focus mainly on faces you may notice that the details in the face as much more vivid than elsewhere in the photo.

If there isn’t a discernible face, you may see more enhanced detail throughout the photo, though each image yields different results.

6. Can’t I just use an app to colorize my photos?

Totally. There are some really good ones out there, too! This process is slightly more involved than letting an app do all the work, but if that’s what you’re looking for, then yes, there are lots of them that offer similar results.

7. What if I don’t like what you come up with? Can I get my money?

Due to the nature of this being a service, refunds are not offered if you don’t like the results of the enhancement. However, if you plan to order prints through me, I’ll send proofs before prints are ordered to ensure that you’re happy with what you’re ordering. In the event that an enhancement is not possible (it happens!), your payment will be refunded.

8. Help! I don’t own a scanner.

No worries! If you have a smartphone, look for an app called PhotoScan by Google Photos. It’s available on iPhone (and iPad) and Android, it’s free, and pretty easy to use. This will allow you to capture a high quality “scan” of your photo. A Google account is required.

9. What do I actually get?

Each file will be digitally delivered to you via email. If your photo is high enough quality where a print is feasible, let’s talk after you receive your digital file if you need help ordering prints.

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