(Transcript for the above video)
WHAT IS PHOTO RESTORATION?
GARY: Photo restoration is the digital process where we take an original photo that fits on a scanner bed and you simply scan it and you get a digital copy, you send that image into us and we will restore it digitally, and send you back a digital copy. This is almost a perfection way of restoring a photo.
AUSTIN: We love to fix old photos. Repairing these photos that have been damaged, either through the effects of time, or other elements, like water, light, etc. And that’s what photo restoration is, is fixing these old photos that have a plethora of problems. We go in there and digitally restore them.
WHY SHOULD I START OFFERING PHOTO RESTORATION?
AUSTIN: Serving people is always going to be profitable – taking care of clients – because those clients have a lifetime of needs. They are a referral source and the more that we take care of a given client, the more we’re going to grow and have a profitable business. Photo restoration is one aspect of photo where we can serve our client, another way where we can be of service to that family, be atop of mind when they have other photo needs. When they think of a gift, why not a photo gift? We’re more than just, “Ok, it’s that time of year, let’s get a family session together.” Our photographer is a photo expert, our family’s photo expert, and photo restoration is a very cool part of serving a family.
GARY: Photo restoration is actually like a hidden gold mine because every household has old photos that are in drawers, or in albums, and many of them are damaged, or scarred, scratched, faded with time. Many people don’t realize that you can actually have these restored. Simply scan it or photograph it if it’s too large, with a good copy set up, and bring these in to your photographic / restoration dealer, that being you, and you simply send them to us. The good thing is, you can do this regardless of the weather, regardless of the season. I think it’s the perfect add-on business as it requires very little investment, most people already have a scanner. I think it’s a great way to add on a service without having to add on additional staff.
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO OFFER PHOTO RESTORATION?
AUSTIN: Just by opening our mouth, and a lot of times that just means social media, but it can be in person. Once a person is aware that we are a source for photo restoration, you will be so surprised at how the photo restorations make their way to us. Somebody will be talking to a friend and say, “Oh, my friend is a photographer and he or she can help you.” So just opening our mouth. It doesn’t have to be a big campaign. It can be as simple as letting somebody know through our social media that, “Hey, this is a photo that I did this week for a family.” And so you’re bragging on yourself and showing something cool that you did like, “We put together a photo album,” or “Look at this shoot that I did and how cute this couple is.” Well you’ll brag on, “This is my great grandfather and his photo, and I wanted to share it for Veterans Day and I can do the same for you. I can restore photos.” So it’s just opening up our mouths and letting people know that we’re available to help them.
HOW SHOULD I PRICE PHOTO RESTORATION?
AUSTIN: When it comes to pricing, our clients need expert help and they’re willing to pay for expert help. And the correct pricing is generally 3-4 times what our wholesale charge is. You are selling, not just the service, but you’re selling all of your experience and reviewing and providing an excellent experience for your client. This will generally range between $60 and $150. Having a local photo restoration provider is important for our communities and for that to happen, we need to be profitable. So we cannot just charge wholesale plus a small markup. If we do that, we won’t be around and these photos will not be saved. For the photos to be saved we need to charge a healthy margin.
GARY: Well, obviously, as with any product or service you’re going to have to mark it up for your time. Simply take the price we charge and multiply it by 3 to 5 times just to make sure that you’re covered for your time and expertise and so forth. Or many people have offered a discount on the actual restoration part if they buy multiple prints. So for instance, if you sell at least 10 prints to relatives, the restoration is free. There could be a lot of creative ways to offer it.
IS IT STILL ADVISABLE TO OFFER PHOTO RESTORATION DURING THE PANDEMIC?
AUSTIN: Photo restoration lends itself very well to doing business with people during the pandemic. Our clients have the ability to digitize photos in their own homes often with a home computer scanner, even with a high quality image taken by their camera can often do the job. But, a client can often drop off an old photo to you, you can set it aside for 48 hours, and then you can scan it – being very careful to keep it in a cool, dry place, and I know that you’ll guard it with your life – and you’ll scan it and return it to your client. But in general it’s a fantastic option to provide a service during the pandemic because you don’t have to be in close contact. This is something that you’re doing apart.
DO YOU HAVE ANY EXAMPLES OF PHOTO RESTORATION THAT I CAN USE AND SHARE?
GARY: Certainly. Just contact customer service – firstname.lastname@example.org – and ask them for a few examples and we have a few that we have permission to share, and we’d be glad to share those with you.