Carol Hawkins Studio photo restoration
Professional restoration performed with
respect, love, & the talent of a true artist
 
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Slide left arrow on each picture to see transformation from original to restored image.
Click on red text, below image, to see larger version, before and after comparison, and read about the image and restoration work done on it.

Clients bring the most interesting and valuable photos to Hawkins Studio for repair. This 1911 photo of Pancho Villa and His Gang was badly faded, cracked, and severely water damaged. It had been mistreated - including a stint served on the wall of a Baylor University dorm room in the 1960s. Back then a tongue-in-cheek plastic label had been affixed bearing the nickname of the gang of roommates in the dorm. Not surprisingly major portions of the picture were no longer decipherable. At high resolution Carol searched out and repainted many of these lost areas. Going area by area she corrected inappropriate color and contrast and added definition to faded facial features to increase recognizability of Pancho's gang.
Villa had an extremely high tech army for his era and historical accuracy is of extreme importance to Carol. A firearms expert was able to identify the rifle of the man on the left of this detail so that Hawkins could be sure the gun could be put back in the photo with the greatest of accuracy.  Working value-by-value this restoration required over 40 hrs. to accomplish. The print is almost 2 feet wide wide requiring a wide-format printer for the finished archival print. In the process Hawkins learned that many a Texan had a grandmother or great-grandfather whose paths crossed with Villa's. The stories she heard are fascinating. If you look carefully at the finished image it's possible to still see parts which could be improved but most clients are working within a budget - which Carol accommodates.
 

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Carol Hawkins Studio. Professional photo restoration by a true artist. 512/327-2700. Before photo of WWI troop ship Leviathan.
Carol Hawkins Studio. Professional photo restoration by a true artist. 512/327-2700. After photo of Leviathan
 

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leviathan-troops-before
leviathan-troops-after
 

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This restoration entailed removal of spots, fade reduction, and recovery of fine details of the portrait including the lovely sister's lace collars, vibrant eyes, and stylish hairdos.
You probably don't recognize these young women but you sing the song they wrote every year. These are the Hill sisters who are credited, by many, with writing Happy Birthday To You.
 

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This young woman was a relative of a foreman of the famous King Ranch in south Texas. Her portrait was in 3 pieces with major areas missing. 

Carol restored the photo by piecing the sections together & repairing all traces of the tears. The client was so delighted with the restoration result that he asked her to paint in the lost areas
Carol used the one other photograph that the family had of this lovely woman to complete the bottom portion of her face. The photo Carol used for comparison was taken many years after this photograph. 

Completing this photo restoration required Carol's use of artistic skill, extensive human drawing experience, and knowledge of anatomy to age regress the woman's face and complete this miraculous restoration. There are very few restorers who could do such amazing work. This restored image is truly the work of a fine artist.
 

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This family heirloom colorized photograph had been damaged by time, insects, and water. There were holes and missing areas in the original hand tinted image.
Carol filled in the holes, repainted damaged areas ,brightened the photo, and restored detail.

The restored image is a lovely work of art. The photograph's original wood and plaster frame had also been severely damaged. Carol Hawkins Studio restored the frame. along with the precious photograph.
 

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An example of minor restoration. The photo, above left, was a 1970s Polaroid picture. The quality and detail of the Polaroid photo wasn't very good. The image additionally suffered damage due to the passage of time.
The image, on the right, is the photograph after 4.5 hours of restoration work. The client was delighted to have the reminder of her 1970s vacation restored to better than new quality.
 

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Many people would have thrown this old photo in the trash believing it could never been restored. Fortunately, the client brought it to Hawkins Studio for the heroic restoration which can only be accomplished by a true artist. Carol's careful and loving restoration work speaks for itself!
She rebuilt this jigsaw of a photo which arrived at the studio in many pieces. She then repaired and painted in the missing sections, repaired fading, and sharpened the image. The family is delighted with the beautiful restoration of their grandparent's portrait.
 

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Not all photo restorations have to be heroic efforts. The restoration of this dapper gentleman's 1945 portrait (note the spats he's wearing) only required stain removal and color correction. Total restoration time was about 2 hours.
Not all photo restorations have to be heroic efforts. The restoration of this dapper gentleman's 1945 portrait note the spats he's wearing only required stain removal and color correction. Total restoration time was about 2 hours.
 

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This photo has a fair amount of damage. Some sections are severely scratched. The man's mouth is two-thirds gone and the couple's eyes are faded and faint.

Thankfully, the client had another photograph of this man so that Carol was able to see what his mouth looked like and paint it into the photo. Restoration was completed by removing scratches and repainting worn spots, folds, and other missing portions of the portrait.
Extensive restoration was preformed on this photograph. The edges of the photo have been left irregular and worn looking intentionally. After all, it IS a very old photo. Why make it look like a new one?
 

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A client brought this more than 300 year old painting of her ancestor, Margaret Stuyvesant of the New York Stuyvesants, to Carol Hawkins Studio. The client hoped Carol could clean it without a hefty expenditure. Hawkins instead explained that she is not an art conservator. The layers of darkened varnish would be difficult for even a person with a masters degree in conservation to remove without damaging the underlying painting.
Carol can do very gentle cleaning and amazing reconstructions but she recommends that a valuable painting be taken to a conservator. Such work is quite expensive, however, and this client didn't have several hundred dollars to spend. She simply wanted to get an idea of what her ancestor looked like. So Carol scanned the image and produced this amazing image by forensic manipulation of the scan. Seeing a lot more amazing details therein she would have liked to have been able to clean it up a lot more but everyone has a budget and Hawkins works with each client to stay within their budget.
 

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Carol enhanced this photo of native Austinite astronaut Tim Kopra for his mom. Tim is waving to his family on his first space walk from the International Space Station. Carol reduced the extensive glare on Tim's face and added contrast to make his blissful expression clearer. Tim returned to space with the Russians in fall 2010.
Sometimes photo restoration is less about the dramatic results and more about getting to work with an amazing image! This photo is truly an amazing image.
 

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Many people would have thrown this old photo in the trash believing it could never been restored. Fortunately, the client brought it to Hawkins Studio for the heroic restoration which can only be accomplished by a true artist. 

Carol's careful and loving restoration work speaks for itself!
She rebuilt this jigsaw of a photo which arrived at the studio in many pieces. She then repaired and painted in the missing sections, repaired fading, and sharpened the image. The family is delighted with the beautiful restoration of their grandparent's portrait.
 

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This original photo was faded, splotched, scratched, and the young man's eyes are almost invisible. Thanks to her artistic background Carol was able to restore the image. The client was delighted finally to see what their great grandfather looked like.
This original photo was faded, splotched, scratched, and the young man's eyes are almost invisible. Thanks to her artistic background Carol was able to restore the image. The client was delighted finally to see what their great grandfather looked like.
 

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This Florida client had a treasured family picture that needed restoration. The proud family were dressed finely and showing off their good looking matching mule team.
Carol restored the family's faces, healing scratches, and even restoring the mule's ear. It's the restoration of images like this that demonstrate why the personal touch of an artist results in the best restoration possible.
 

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Convex photos such as those which were framed historically in Bubble Glass pose many unique problems. The board on which they were printed becomes dry and brittle. They crack and break when handled. Pieces get lost and people assume that there's no hope for repair. The varnish with which many photos were protected darkens over the years making photos appear much darker and more amber in color.
Apparently someone thought this little girl's hair wasn't light enough in the photo so they tried to improve it with white paint. PERMANENT paint Carol archivally repaired the damage to the photo and repainted the hair so that it seems the damage never happened. Note recovered detail in dress, bird's eye lace, etc. It took many hours of loving attention to detail.
 

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The original photograph was a small file, shot in a poorly lit room with a cell phone so it didn't have a lot of detail. 

Carol enlarged the original image. The enlarged image was not only faded-looking and lacking detail but also very grainy. Carol had to do a lot of painting to clean up the background (including uneven shadows across the back wall - which a novice wouldn't have fixed). The color had to be worked with... contrast adjusted and readjusted - emphasizing the graininess even more.
The baby is fair skinned while the man has a quite ruddy complexion. These issues also presented quite a challenge. All the this work caused dark reds, purples and greens to show up in a way that would not have been there had we begun with a good photo originally. These colors appeared as splotches, particularly in the man's ruddy complexion. 

Carol did extensive painting back in to sharpen the image as well as smooth the graininess while retaining natural colors. The result is a thoroughly charming picture.
 

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This is considered a minor restoration. Repair was fairly straightforward. Carol reduced the splotchiness, caused by the passage of time and fading, caused by light exposure in this cute young boy's portrait. The resulting image is as fresh as the day the photograph was taken.
This is considered a minor restoration. Repair was fairly straightforward. Carol reduced the splotchiness, caused by the passage of time and fading, caused by light exposure in this cute young boy's portrait. The resulting image is as fresh as the day the photograph was taken.
 

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This portrait was the favorite photograph the client had of his beloved deceased wife. He wanted the photo colorized in the style of the era in which it was taken. The photo on the right is the finished product. Carol colorized the image in authentic 1940s style. Note the pride with which this lovely WWII veteran displays her wings.
This portrait was the favorite photograph the client had of his beloved deceased wife. He wanted the photo colorized in the style of the era in which it was taken. The photo on the right is the finished product. Carol colorized the image in authentic 1940s style. Note the pride with which this lovely WWII veteran displays her wings.
 

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This is a snapshot of a young girl and her father walking in downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas sometime in the 1930s. Carol removed splotches, scratches, and stains, improved the contrast and sharpened the image. She also painted in the missing portion of the child's face.
This is a snapshot of a young girl and her father walking in downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas sometime in the 1930s. Carol removed splotches, scratches, and stains, improved the contrast and sharpened the image. She also painted in the missing portion of the child's face.
 

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Many photos in this condition have been thrown away. Thankfully the family brought it to Carol Hawkins Studio for extensive restoration. Carol repaired the stains and scratches and created a replacement for the missing section of this portrait which included half of the mother's face and head. While restoring the photo, she found treasure buried in it. Extensive photo restoration revealed the young woman's beautiful dress as an entirely crocheted work of art. The black & white checkerboard style shoulders resemble a miniature shawl edged with fringe. At the waist and along the skirt are crocheted rosettes. A ruffled dress & crocheted headband revealed that the small child was a precious little girl.
This heroic rescue restoration took many hours of detailed painstaking work. It's just the kind of restoration that sets Carol apart from the rest. She truly cares about each and every family, their unique history, and the restoration of their precious images. Thanks to Carol's keen eye and dedication to her profession a prominent south Texas family was able to see the portrait of their great-grandmother for the first time. What a wonderful gift this restored photo is for the whole family!
 

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The photograph on the left is another example of the fading that can occur with the passage of time. Faces of ancestors become indistinguishable due to fading. Carol restored image, on the right, carefully recovering facial details and improving the clarity and contrast of the 19th century family photo.
The photograph on the left is another example of the fading that can occur with the passage of time. Faces of ancestors become indistinguishable due to fading. Carol restored image, on the right, carefully recovering facial details and improving the clarity and contrast of the 19th century family photo.
 

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This 1950s era photograph (above, left) was damaged by time and storage. The damage is particularly severe on the left side where one child's lower face, her body, and the second child's body are obliterated. A professional artist's eye, talent, anatomical knowledge, and dedication are necessary in order to accomplish successful restoration of an image this damaged.
The final product took a total of 37 hours to complete. This sort of restoration, which requires artistic recreation clothing, facial features, and body parts, is painstakingly detailed quite time-consuming.
 

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Restoration of this lovely young woman's colorized portrait required repair of holes, cracks, and scratches and replacement of missing portions of the photograph including visualizing and painting in the missing portion of her hairdo. Carol left the overall image colorized in the style of the time in which the picture was taken. The result is a charming and romantic image.
Restoration of this lovely young woman's colorized portrait required repair of holes, cracks, and scratches and replacement of missing portions of the photograph including visualizing and painting in the missing portion of her hairdo. Carol left the overall image colorized in the style of the time in which the picture was taken. The result is a charming and romantic image.
 

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