Types of Photo Damage: How to Fix Them


Types of Photo Damage: How to Fix Them

Often we come across old photographs while searching for something we want. However, after finding out those photos are damaged, people might want to fix them right away. This could lead to irreparable damage if done improperly!

Worry not! Most types of photo damage can be restored. Don’t throw your precious photos just yet.

Do note that each kind of damage requires a unique restoration method.


The 6 Types of Photo Damage

1. Environmental Deterioration

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You have probably heard that exposing photos to heat or sunlight is a bad idea. This piece of advice is true for photographs and negatives. That's why hanging photographs in the kitchen is not recommended.

Not only will it look odd, but it will increase its likelihood of sustaining damage. According to experts, damage done by environmental deterioration can be restored. However, they don't suggest using DIY methods.

Instead, one can simply hand their precious memories to an expert at photo restoration. By doing this, you’ll ensure your photos get back to how they were and avoid the chance of messing them up.

2. Color Loss

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This type of damage is seen when washing a photograph. Some photos become high contrast, which makes the colors fade away. However, this erosion is far easier to fix than environmental damage.

Bleaching and color loss in photographs can be corrected through photoshop. Despite that, in some cases, the deterioration might be too big and thus becomes beyond reparable. In such cases, experts restore the photos by picking the color most suitable for the affected areas.

If something that is not too complex to draw is distorted in the image, it can always be replaced by a better alternative. And thus, such areas on the photograph can be adjusted by an expert.

3. Torn Photos

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Most types of photo damage are pretty similar, but that’s not the case for torn photos. Fixing a photograph that had been cut off has a more interesting restoration process.

Nowadays, professionals first ask for a similar photo and then try to recreate the missing part. The idea is to make the photograph as identical as the original copy.

If no similar images are available, more complex techniques are applied to recreate the torn-apart area. The finer the restoration process, the heftier the cost is.

4. Digital Photo Damage

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Physical copies are not the only photos that can sustain damage: digital photos can also experience deterioration.

While editing and exporting images, the quality of the image might get poorer or a photo is no longer in its original state. These are common damages, especially when changing the file format of images.

Luckily enough, these little accidents are very much fixable, but highly technical. Hence, we recommend you send the corrupted photos to experts in photo restoration.

They’ll use specialized software that excels at repairing digital photographs.

5. Water Damage


Photos have a coating of gelatin over them. When this material becomes wet, the gelatin gets sticky, which makes the image get glued to whatever it touches. If the image is then pulled back, the image gets torn apart.

You can try to repair the photo yourself, but we don’t suggest doing so. If done incorrectly, the image might even get permanent damage. It’s better to call an expert that’s already mastered how to repair water damage.

6. Creases & Folds

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This is one of the most common types of photo damage. Old photos, over time, get creases and folds which seem unfixable at first glance. Nevertheless, they are quite easy to fix

You can either place them between books for some hours or iron them. It’s worth mentioning that photos cannot be directly ironed, so it’s a must to put some layers of clothing on them beforehand.

Moreover, some creases and folds are too big and have already torn apart bits of the photos. In such cases, it’s advisable to let an expert handle their restoration: you could increase the damage!


It’s true that there are many types of photo damage, but each of them has a solution! No matter the issue, there’s always a way to keep your precious memories as beautiful as they were.

When in doubt, let professionals handle the photo restoration process. Bear in mind that not all repair methods can be carried out without in-depth knowledge of photo mending.

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