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Discovering Damaged Portraits: How I Saved a Family Photo

photo restoration

I was recently at my mother’s house in the country, and I found a huge box full of photographs. Luckily, it was a plastic box with a plastic lid, so we can assume that most of the creepy-crawly things out in the country might not have gotten into the box to make a mess and chew on the precious images. But while I was there, I went through all of the photographs and discovered a beautiful portrait of mum’s five kids, my siblings and I. Unfortunately, the family photo had not been framed properly, so it did not have a mat board between the image and the glass. The mat board is essential to keep the glass off of the image and protect it over time.

What I picked up was just the photograph and the glass, and the image was stuck to the glass. The worst part about the discovery, however, is that the portrait had fallen off the wall at some point and smashed into lots of pieces, as you can see. There were numerous, shattered pieces of glass stuck to the emulsion of the photograph. The emulsion is the light-sensitive coating on photographs, and if it is peeled away then the image can be completely lost. In this case, the glass was both shattered and stuck to the photograph, and beginning to peel away the valuable emulsion.

Step One: Determining What to Do

damaged family portrait

This is the condition of the print when I found it.

I was determined to save the image if I could, because it is a beautiful picture and a lovely memory. However, simply pulling at the glass would have ripped off the emulsion and completely ruined the image. Plus, the glass was quite sharp, broken apart, and sticking onto the print and cutting it. Since the emulsion was stuck to the glass, I had to find a way to release the adhesiveness without ruining the faces in the photograph. I filled a small tub with pure, filtered water, because it is softer and has fewer impurities than tap water and would not damage the emulsion.

Step Two: Patiently Waiting for Results


Here’s a close up of the damage.

The process of letting the family photo soak took about a week, as the water slowly worked its way under the glass. With this method, I hoped I could get the glass off of the emulsion without that thin coating actually peeling off the photograph itself. This part of the process was really quite distressing, because the glass was stuck to many of the faces. Three of our faces were not too bad; however, my face down on the left end, and that of my baby brother Daniel, were both completely stuck to the glass.
I continued to soak the image, and every day I would have a look and see if anything was beginning to lift. The secret to doing this is being very patient and not trying to force anything. If you try something similar, do not rip or pull at the glass. Instead, just let it sit and let the water work to get under the glass. Slowly but surely, I noticed that some of the shards of glass were coming up, lifting off the face on the bottom left and my face. Each day, more and more small shards could be removed, and after three days I realized that I could save all of the faces and that they were going to be okay.

Step Three: Removing the Rest of the Glass and Surveying the Damage

damaged pictures

Tentative steps…the first piece of glass removed.

Saving the faces in the family photo was the most important part, but there were a few other spots where I knew the glass was severely stuck.






Big relief, I managed to save my face from the broken glass

You can see this in the images, including the bottom left corner where my arms were around my brother. After several days of being patient and occasionally, very gently moving the photograph around to try and get the water under the glass, I managed to lift it all off. Peeling it off was a slow, painstaking process with plenty of trial and error, but it was successful for the most part.

broken glass on print

It’s a patience game for the last stubborn bits of glass

You can see in another picture here where the photograph is soaking in the tub of water, and there are a few places I could not save. In those places, the emulsion scratched and ripped and is still stuck to the glass, or left some discolouration. In fact, if you look at the bottom right side, you can see where the emulsion has been completely ripped off and is gone. You can also see other patches of removed emulsion and scratches, but they didn’t worry me as much since our faces were safe. Just to save those faces was so important, but I did manage to repair a few other minor spots. You can see where a bit of my forehead, my hands, and my brothers arms are damaged, but I managed to eventually soak the emulsion back off the glass and stick it back on the picture.

Step Four: Drying and Scanning the Print

restored family picture

Success. All the broken glass has been removed

In the final image I have shared, you can see the dried print laying on a tea towel. It is still easy to tell how much damage was done because of the shattered, mat-less glass, but I am pleased to say that, for the most part, the faces have been saved and the image has been saved.

The final part of this process will be to take the photograph to a professional with a flatbed scanner to have it digitally scanned. I am not going to put it through a roller or feeder-style scanner, because in some areas the emulsion is already lifting and is quite damaged. The rolling action of a scanner could actually tear the emulsion off and make it worse.

restored family photo

The final result, one precious family photo saved and preserved.

So, I’ve let the image dry now for a couple of weeks, and following the flatbed scan I will get it retouched and make extra prints for my brothers and sisters. It has been a tedious but extremely rewarding journey from my initial shock and dismay at finding the original, damaged image to now. This image is something that is precious for us. It is a beautiful memory of us kids at Jiggi School in Northern New South Wales can be preserved forever, for all of us.

How to Preserve Your Memories with a New Family Photo

As much as I loved finding and preserving an old memory, I also love creating new portraits for families to help them capture their own memories on film. My sessions include a mix of both formal, posed shots and more casual and fun lifestyle shots. If you have any questions or would like more information about session options, feel free to call or email me for a prompt response.

Talk soon,
Margherita :)

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No Homecoming Is Complete Without Family Reunion Photos

a-big-familyIt is that time of the year when family comes from all over the world to be together and celebrate. As you gather family from near and far, it is important to focus on being with your loved ones and rejoicing in the love and gratitude that homecomings inspire.

During all of the fun it is easy to forget to take family reunion photos. But trust me when I say you will regret it if your don’t take the time to capture quality photographs of everyone together again.

Why Family Reunion Photos Are So Important

Gathering the family and taking a bunch of photos sounds like a hassle, I know, but it is worth it. Here’s why: 

You Are Creating a Keepsake

Years from now your great, great-grandkids will pull these photos out of a dusty box and laugh at the fashions you wore and the way you styled your hair. They will pass the photo around and point out the features they share with each family member and chuckle at the babies who are now adults.

There are certain photographs that get passed down from generation to generation. These are the kind of photographs that are taken at family reunions. 

How Many Chances Do You Really Get?

More often than not we are only able to get one portion of the family together at a time. When the whole family shows up for a family reunion it is practically a miracle. Everyone will say, “Let’s do this again soon,” but chances are it will be years before you manage to coordinate schedules and organise a second family reunion.

Don’t let the opportunity pass you by. While you have everyone together make sure you capture plenty of photographs. That way you don’t have to worry that you missed your chance. And if you are lucky enough to have another family reunion again soon, you and your family will have fun seeing how everyone has changed since the last photograph was taken.

If It’s Done Right, It Can Be A Lot of Fun

Family photo shoots don’t have to mean everyone stands in a line and plasters a fake smile on their face while squinting against the sun. Family reunion photos can be an enjoyable activity to incorporate into the day.

Gather everyone together for a fun and playful photo shoot that highlights the qualities that make your family one-of-a-kind. This way you will enjoy the process and you will end up with gorgeous photographs that are true to your family’s personality.

Get Fantastic Reunion Photos With Kiss Photography

While candid photographs throughout your time together are great, the best way to get high-quality family reunion photos is to trust a professional. I have had plenty of experience with family photo shoots and I love taking fun and gorgeous photos with different families. Drop me a line and we can schedule a photo shoot so that you can get the most out of your family reunion.

Talk soon,
Margherita :)

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The Top 5 Tips and Ideas for Last Minute Christmas Photos


Can you believe it? Christmas is almost here.

While you might not be ready for the season to be here, purchasing gifts, making plans, and getting your Christmas cards out are definitely top priority now. But wait – what’s that? Did you say you haven’t taken your Christmas photos yet?

Don’t worry! You aren’t the only one who forgets about holiday photos until closer to the holiday. We’re all so incredibly busy the rest of the year; it’s easy to forget.

I want to take a look at some excellent ideas for last minute Christmas photos to give you the chance to get gorgeous ones as soon as possible.

5 Ideas for Your Last Minute Christmas Photos

What are these great ideas? Here are a few: 

  1. Make it Relaxing and Fun by Heading to the Beach

Not all holiday photos need to be particularly festive, especially now that the temps are warming up. A great way to have fun taking your last minute Christmas photos is to head to the beach with your family and spend time outdoors. It will be a relaxing shoot, and you’ll adore the photos you get. You can wear festive clothes; though make sure you don’t wear anything that will be too warm. 

  1. Keep Things Cool and Comfortable

As I said above, you don’t want to wear anything that will be too warm for your last minute photos. Make sure you dress in light, comfortable clothing that breathes easy.

You can always wear clothes that are in classic Christmas colours such as reds and greens, and adding a summery twist to your photos can make them gorgeous and unique. 

  1. Shoot Indoors for a More Festive Shoot

If you want a truly festive photo shoot, then it is best to take your last minute Christmas photos indoors. This way, you can wear your favourite holiday sweaters or clothing to make the photos feel cosy.

  1. Decorate Earlier for Your Photos

When it comes to getting last minute photos, decorating a bit earlier is completely acceptable. This way, when you get your photos taken indoors, you can capture your decorations in the photographs. This will help add that beautiful, festive touch that you want in your family portraits, and you’ll be proud to send them out to all of your friends and family for the season. 

  1. You Don’t Have to Have Fun Props, but They Work Well

Adding adorable props can also help when it comes to last minute Christmas photos. You don’t need any, but if you have some favourite Christmas decorations or toys, then add them to your photos. However, if you don’t have time to locate the props, don’t worry. You can always get next year’s Christmas photos taken during the winter months and add your props then. 

Choose Kiss Photography for Your Family Photography Needs!

If you want to get gorgeous Christmas photos, simply contact me. I can see if I have openings for last minute sessions. If not, again, winter is the perfect time to get your Christmas photos taken and I would be more than happy to schedule a session.

Talk soon,
Margherita :)

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How to Prepare for Professional Family Photography: Feeling Beautiful in Your Skin

photography-special-needsLooking your best for your professional family photography is something that is absolutely important to you, isn’t it? It is for so many people!

My aim is to help people feel beautiful in their photographs, and I love providing excellent tips for all of my clients.

Up next in my latest series of tips on preparing for your professional family photography session, I am going to talk about skin care. By following a few simple steps, you will feel beautiful and radiant for your family portraits.

4 Incredible Ways to Have Excellent Skin for Professional Family Photography

Just how can you take care of your skin, having an incredible glow in all of your family photos? Let’s take a look! 

  1. Create a Routine and Wash Your Face Regularly

This is great and isn’t just for family photos. In fact, great skin care and having a routine is great for everyday life.

Setting up a routine to simply wash your face every day will help you feel confident, and it will get rid of all of the dust and grim we come in contact with each day.

Your skin will look gorgeous, and when it comes time for photos, you’ll have excellent self-confidence. Right before you head out for your session; be sure to wash your face to feel fresh and confident. 

  1. Be Sure to Use the Right Moisturiser

Each time you take care of your skin, make sure you use the right kind of moisturiser. This will make your skin look stunning for photos.

In fact, before you head out for your photos, put some moisturiser on to help your skin look absolutely incredible. A great idea is to use one that has sunscreen already in it to help protect yourself when getting outdoor professional family photography. 

  1. If You Have Oily Skin, Bring Blotting Papers

“I have oily skin, and I just don’t know if I’ll ever look good in a photo; what do I do?” This is something so many people wonder when it comes time for photos.

If you have oily skin, or we are going to be taking photos while it is blazing hot outside, blotting papers a great help. This will help you easily soak up the moisture on your face, keeping your skin from being too shiny on the camera.

It will also keep you from wiping your face with your hands, which can give skin a smeared appearance. 

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Use Makeup

Something that many people wonder is whether or not they should wear makeup and how much. If you normally wear makeup, just wear it how you usually do to help you feel comfortable.

If you don’t use it, don’t be afraid to use a tiny bit to help even up your skin. You don’t even need to use much – just a bit of powder to even up your skin tone. But, if makeup isn’t for you, don’t worry! You’ll still look absolutely stunning in all of your images.

And there’s always retouching..

Sometimes we just have bad-skin days, this can happen for teenagers as well, so don’t be discouraged, we can easily fix blemishes if all the other ideas fall short.

Choose Kiss Photography for Your Professional Family Photography Needs!

If you have any more questions about how to feel confident in your family photos, do not hesitate to contact me.

I love to chat to my clients and help them feel at absolute ease with their professional family photography, giving them excellent results. We can figure out some great ways to help boost your confidence and get everyone ready to take some gorgeous pictures you’ll cherish forever.

Talk soon,
Margherita :)
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How You Can Get Great Candid Family Photographs

Sept36Candid photos – these are some of the best pictures aren’t they? They capture everyone in the moment, creating gorgeous photographic memories.

Candids can capture everyone laughing, all the fun they’re having, and you might even like candids of yourself. I love taking candid family photographs for my clients because each and every photo is truly unique and absolutely gorgeous.

Just how can you get amazing candid family photographs? I am going to take a look! 

4 Awesome Tips for Candid Family Photographs

Don’t worry – it isn’t near as hard as you may think to get beautiful, perfect candid photos. 

  1. Let Your Family Dress Comfortably for the Photos

When you prepare for your session, one of the things you’ll need to consider is how to dress. While you’ll want to look great in the photos, you should always make sure the clothing choices are comfortable.

This is what can really help capture gorgeous candid family photographs because the more relaxed everyone is, the more they will laugh. Relaxed, happy people will have a grand time when it comes to capturing candids. 

  1. Go to a Favourite Location – the Beach, a Park, Somewhere Fun

Another perfect way to help everyone be relaxed is to go to a favourite location. This can be a park, the beach, or anywhere else your family loves.

You will all be able to enjoy yourselves, which gives me the perfect opportunity to capture everyone laughing, playing, and having a grand time.

How splendid is it to sit in your favourite park with your children, and simply have an amazing time together? Pure bliss. 

  1. Bring Along Your Family Pets, Especially Dogs

Animals are perfect when it comes to family portraits, and they add a great touch to candid family photographs. When you bring along you family pet, you and your children will have such a fun time and the candids will be gorgeous.

While including pets in your photographs is great for candid family photography, it is also a perfect way to encourage reluctant children and teens to enjoy the session. And don’t worry; you can have any family pet that is dear to you, not just a pup. 

  1. Get to Know Your Photographer

I love to get to know my clients before a photo session to ensure everyone is at ease with the process. This is a perfect way to get candid family photographs because the more you know your photographer, the more relaxed you will be.

All you need to do is simply call and set up your session and we can chat together. This will help us get to know each other while also ensuring I know exactly what you want for your family photos. 

Kiss Photography Can Help You Get Perfect Candid Family Photographs!

Do you want to take some gorgeous candid family photographs? Then simply call me and we can chat about your session!

We can aim to make sure your photos are some of the best and beautiful that you’ve ever had, capturing gorgeous memories that will last a lifetime.

Talk soon,
Margherita :)
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Keep Your Family Photos Perfectly Safe With Conservation Framing

family portraitsKeeping your family photos safe is absolutely important, isn’t it? You try all you can to make sure they stay safe, but what should you do exactly?

You might think it wise to keep them as digital files, but I’ve already looked at how dangerous that can be. So, what do you do when you print them out? Frame them, of course!

There are many ways to frame a photo, but I want to look at one of the best techniques that will help keep your photos safe for years – conservation framing.

What is this and how can you use it for your photos? Let’s take a look! 

What is Conservation Framing?

Conservation framing is the same technique that museums use when it comes to protecting prized portraits and artwork. It helps keep the images in tip-top shape and protects the image integrity for quite a while.

However, it isn’t only for priceless works of art that you’d see in the Louvre – it is also great for family photos. You have sentimental attachment to those photos and for good reason! Meaning you should always make sure you protect them as best as possible. 

How Can This Technique Help Photographs?

When you use conservation framing for your photos, you can protect them from many harsh irritants and elements. Things such as light, humidity, dirt, dust, and even pesky creatures can get to your photos, which will degrade them quickly.

Having great framing will save your photos and help make them last a long time. This is perfect when you want to display your photographs in your home – you want everyone to see them, but sometimes that puts the images in a place that isn’t good for it.

Once you get your photos framed through conservation framing, you won’t need to worry about how long your photos will last. They will be perfectly safe and maintain the gorgeous colours you see when you first get them printed. 

What Makes it Different from Regular Framing?

Conservation framing focuses on making sure nothing whatsoever can get into the frame and degrade the image.

When you do regular framing, you always run the risk of the frame not being done well enough or something going wrong. However, with conservation framing, everything will be snug and perfect.

The elements of this technique include the exact frame your photo needs (not all frames work for all photos), the right type of glass, matting, backing, and something known as “hinging the art.”

All of these elements help to create a great, safe place for your prized family photographs. 

Frame and Protect Your Gorgeous Family Photos!

After your family photo session, getting your images printed is a great way to keep them around forever. We can talk about framing, especially conservation framing, to help you get the best protection for your photos.

Simply call me, and we can have a chat about what you want in your photos and I can give you all the details about framing and how it will be perfect for you.

Call, today!

Talk soon,
Margherita :)
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Your Old and New Photos Can Make Gorgeous Family Photo Memorials

restored family photoPhotographs are a gorgeous part of every family’s history and present. They help capture what our families look like throughout the years, even a hundred years back. This is always incredible to see, and I simply love looking at old photographs.

When you combine your old photos with new ones of your family, you have the great chance of creating incredible family photo memorials. These are great to have in your home and to showcase at family gatherings.

Let’s take a look at how your photos can create amazing photo memorials!

  • Amazing Ways to Make Gorgeous Family Photo Memorials

Just what can you do when it comes to creating photo memorials. I am going to look at a few great ways create stunning pieces you will absolutely love.

  • Do You Have Old Family Photographs? Restore and Preserve Them!

Many of us have old family photographs that are sitting around in boxes or old albums. It is always incredible to look through these photographs, but many times they are fading and starting to look worn.

When you aim to create family photo memorials, you should get your old photos restored and make sure to preserve them well. This will help keep them staying looking amazing for many more years. 

  • Add to Your Old Collection with Professional Family Photography

Those old collections do make for great photo memorials, but if it’s just old photos, you’ll start to notice that there is something missing. What is it? You and your family, of course!

Getting professional family photographs is a great way to get your own photos and add them to memorials. This can help capture how similar your family is now to your family from long ago. Which is always incredibly beautiful to see! 

  • Turn Family Photo Memorials into a Great Family Project

Creating family photo memorials is more than just taking and restoring photos. This is an awesome, wonderful project you can do with your family. Take the time to look through your photos and show your children people from their past family.

You and your family can even vote together to put certain photos in frames to hang in the home or which photos you want to see as a photo memorial. Involving everyone in your family can really make this whole adventure one that will be incredibly memorable for all who take part. 

Start Getting Your Photos Together, Today

Do you have a lot of gorgeous old photographs and want to you add your photos to the collection? Then contact me! Not only can I help you get gorgeous, professional family photographs, but I can also help with restoring your old photos.

In fact, I can also help you when it comes to great image protection by getting your photographs framed. Contact me to learn more about family memorials and what I can help you with, today!

Talk soon,
Margherita :)

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3 Amazing Must-Have Ideas for All of Your Family Photographs

children-photo-shootLife is incredibly busy for all of us, which makes it absolutely difficult to consider getting family photographs. You don’t want to go through the whole ordeal of going to a studio, taking a long time there, and then spending a lot of money on several photographs. In fact, getting tons of photos can be disconcerting when you realize you are only going to showcase a handful. This tends to keep people away from getting family photographs, but I have some amazing ideas that can help you get the right amount of perfect photos.

3 Incredible Must-Have Ideas for Family Photographs

It will be exciting to get your basic family photographs taken each year, giving you something amazing to look back at later in life. Let’s take a look at some great ideas for your yearly or bi-yearly family photographs.

  1. Get a Photograph of the Whole Family 

This is a great shot that showcases what your family looks like and captures everyone’s personalities. I love seeing families together, and getting this shot will help you create long-lasting memories for you to hold on to throughout the years. Your children will also absolutely love these when they look back on them. And, if you love to share your photographs on your walls, a shot of the entire family is a perfect idea. 

  1. Get Great Shots of Your Child or Children Together 

One of the reasons I suggest getting family photographs yearly or bi-yearly is to catch each stage as your child or children grow. A gorgeous way to do this is to get photographs of your children together, and you can even get separate photos of each if you want individual shots. This will be a great way to capture their growth and will be so fun to look back on as they grow up. 

  1. A Shot of You and Your Spouse 

While you want to get shots of your entire family, you should also make sure to get gorgeous photographs of you and your spouse or significant other. My clients always cherish these shots, and I can assure you that these are simply lovely to look back on and share memories with each other. 

Bonus Idea: Get a Photograph of Each Parent With Each Child 

Another excellent idea for family photographs is to get one with each parent and child together. Your children will all love this, and it will be amazing to look back on as you and your child age. Trust me when I say that these images are simply gorgeous and perfect for every single family.

Don’t Hesitate – Get Your Family Portraits, Today! 

You don’t need to keep putting off your family photographs – simply call me and we can capture these excellent ideas. Once each of these are taken, your session will be over and you will get stunning images back that you will cherish for the rest of your life. Give me a call and we can chat about your family’s favourite locations, getting the best photos for everyone!

Talk soon,
Margherita :)
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