Before color film became widely available in the 1950’s, hand coloring photographs with various pigments was a popular way to artistically enhance or add realism to monochrome photographs. In the case of portraits, over painting could almost completely obscure the underlying photographic image to give the impression of being a painting rather than a photograph.
Whether due to the instability of the base, the fragility of the pigments, or the poor adhesion between the two, heavily painted photographs on a white plastic base may deteriorate over time, causing the pigments and photographic emulsion to peel away from the support and dramatically degrade the image.
When the image is of a beloved family member, the loss can be felt greatly. Restoring these unique objects digitally and producing high quality prints allows the image to not only be preserved, but also to be shared by more than one family member.