1. You contact me...

  2. You tell me what you need done...

  3. You ship me the original...

  4. I evaluate the original...

  5. You approve the price and pay for the work...

  6. I restore the photograph...

  7. You approve the restoration...

  8. I send you the restoration...

  9. My guarantee!

»» You can contact me any of three ways:

  • (email) ctein@pobox.com
  • (phone) 650-756-5557
  • (mail) 42 Skyline Drive, Daly City CA 94015

Email is the most reliable way to start; I check it twice a day, unless I'm traveling and can't get access to a node. I typically reply to email within 24 hours.

If you phone, my name is pronounced "kuh-TINE" (well, it's pronounced that way whether or not you phone). By the way, I do not have an answering machine.

»» Tell me what you want restored and if you need it by a specific date.

This is when we talk about the general requirements you have, and I get a sense of what the job entails and whether or not I can take it on. I can't give you a price quote, though, until I see the original, as I explain on the "Questions and Answers" page.

»» Ship me the photograph for evaluation. I must see the original to determine if I can do a satisfactory restoration and how much work it will require.

You don't pay anything for a quote. You only pay me after I give you a price for the restoration and you decide to proceed with the restoration. If you decide you don't want the restoration work done, I simply return your original to you.

Pack it well! Tape it between several sheets of oversize foamcore or stiff corrugated cardboard (not thin sheet cardboard), and put that inside a bigger box or rigid-wall envelope with ample padding. It should be able to pass the "I can throw the package across the room without harming the contents" test. If you think it needs to be marked 'Fragile,' then it isn't packed well enough.

If the photograph has an established value, then ship it via registered mail, insured. USPO will insure one-of-a-kinds and artwork, unlike most other carriers. If it's not insurable, use any of the standard carriers. Always require a recipient signature.

»» I evaluate the original and determine the cost of restoring it.

You can pay by cash (not recommended), check, money order, through PayPal or with a credit card (via PayPal). Personal checks are just fine. I don't wait for them to clear — I trust people, and that trust has always been rewarded.

»» You pay when you order the work. I don't do billing. In return, you get a 100% satisfied, money-back guarantee, as I describe below.

»» I restore your photograph (i.e., magic happens).

»» When I've finished restoring your photograph, I email you a proof image for your inspection.

You decide if you're pleased with the results. This is where my money-back guarantee comes in. If you're not satisfied, I will do whatever additional work I can to make you happy. If I can't make you happy, then I return your original and your money.

Your approval of the proof constitutes official acceptance of my work. There are no refusal privileges after that.

»» Once I have your final approval, I create final files for the finished photograph in both 16-bit TIFF and JPEG format at various resolutions (suitable for printing out, posting on a web site, or mailing to friends). Most people prefer to download the finished files from my website (my default delivery method), but I can burn them to a CD if you prefer. I print out the high-quality, archival-ink digital print on an Epson P800 printer.

I ship the print and your original photo (unharmed and unaltered) back to you. I retain a copy of the restored image file in case something happens to yours. If it gets lost or damaged, I will provide a replacement copy without charge.


If for any reason my restoration doesn't live up to your expectations, I'll give you back all your money. No arguments, no hassles, no hidden clauses. I don't want anyone to feel dissatisfied with my services.

If you have any questions, please check the "Questions and Answers" page to see if the information you need is there. If it's not, then contact me.

copyright © 2017 by Ctein. All rights reserved