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907 Montgomery Road Montgomery, IL 60538


Email – Ken@Photo –


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Antique Studio/ Professional PhotograghsREPAIRS AND RESTORATIONS

Photo repair, photograph restoration, photo editing, one of our specialty photo services!

Photos stuck together from water damage?

We can save those memories!

Insurance loss Photo Repair our specialty
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"A problem is just a solution in work clothes"

Disasters keep no calendar and unfortunately they occur with out warning. A lifetime of work and precious memories can be reduced to garbage in moments.

Do we anticipate this, of course not. Tangible items can be replaced but what about those precious memories collected thru our lifetime preserved on film and paper, our photographs? Photos stuck together into a brick of what seems to be hopeless and never to be seen again moments frozen in time and now all together.

After the water has subsided and the dry out begins is when the most damage occurs to those photographs kept in albums or, if you rent textbooks, tucked away in storage
boxes from college. If not properly cared for immediately they dry and become photos and paper stuck together into a solid brick. with seemingly no hope of ever salvaging those memories. Photographs and items now hidden in one single mass of paper.

If the images are still wet we recommend immediately following the procedures outlined in our "Photo First Aid Care" instruction download. Then contacting Photo-ER for further instructions. Those photos suck together may not be as hopeless as you think or are led to believe.

However in way too many cases these photographs are not found until they have totally dried into a hopeless mass. Personal attempts to separate the photos without proper knowledge, equipment and chemicals in most instances destroys the image with no chance of restoration or recovery. We highly recommend that this be left up to the professionals of "Photo-ER'.

If you have ever handled a photograph with damp fingers you would have noticed that the image side, emulsion, of the photo retains your finger print. The image is recorded on a soft gelatin layer, particularly older photographs.

When the photos stuck together dry the emulsion which was soft now adheres the the contact photograph as if they were glued together as drying takes place. The tendency is to try and separate them with only disastrous results and the next step is the trash. Photo-ER can separate these, salvaging and restoring your memories


Having hands on film and print experience since our commercial darkroom days of the early 60's has provided Photo-ER with a wealth of knowledge in almost every scenario imaginable. Photo-ER has applied this experience to separating and salvaging photo stuck together as well.

Having worked with almost every era of the photographic process from glass negative, tin type, rag papers, RC papers and now the digital age Photo-ER has done it all. This is invaluable in identifying the print material and selecting the best method of separation without major damage to the image. Satin finished photographs are the most succesfully seperated. Glossy finished photographs are the least succefuly seperated and result in the most damge to their enulsion durring seperation.

Once the images have been separated we apply the most sophisticated hardware and software along with the talents of a fine artist to restore the image to picture perfect condition.

The Process...........


As mentioned earlier the types of photo print paper varies from era to era and the separation process differs as well. As this is a Photo-ER process I am only highlighting bits to explain the detail involved.

Once the damaged prints have been received we evaluate the type of print material, and look for mold presence. The process is then determined and prepared. The photos stuck together are submerged in cleaning tanks equipped with ultrasonic agitation and a mixture of very heated water and chemicals for a selected period and timed.

After a controlled soaking and agitation process the water is drained and refilled with professional wetting agents added to the water. At this point agitation is continued and by hand under water the photographs are meticulously separated one by one avoiding the slightest amount of resistance thus preventing as little damage to the emulsion as possible.

If resistance is noted when separating the photographs are immediately brought to the surface and a chemical application is applied to the resistance area. This to further soften the image and the same process continues one by one until the stack is totally separated. The time factor of this operation depends on the damaged condition.

Once separated the prints are again washed individually and inspected individually for emulsion and mold damage. Washing the prints individually prevents further damage to the delicate emulsion particularly if the emulsion has defects from the separation process. Once cleaned the image is subjected to a photo hardener chemistry to stabilize the emulsion.

The photographs are then broken down in a triage determining further attention. All prints are then dried in a photograph dryer. All photos are then evaluated for emulsion damage from minor to major. If the images have damage from mold they are separated and then individually cleaned with film and print cleaner specifically used to clean and remediate mold then washed and dried again.

Each image is then scanned at a high resolution and cataloged for further restoration according to the level of damage found. We increase each image size to 5x original size for detailed inspection.

Where as we take extreme care and caution when separating the photos stuck together this can not be achieved without some damage to the image. This particularly occurs depending upon the age of the photographs, type of photographic paper and the amount of time they have been stuck together. Photo-ER can remedy this situation as part of our full service restoration.


All the previously photos stuck together are individually scanned at a very high resolution and cataloged. Those photographs with emulsion damage from separation or mold infestation are dealt with on an individual basis.

We categorized these from minor to sever damage and provide a pricing quotation before undertaking the restoration process. Once this has been approved we use all the latest software plus the expertise and artistic talent of our 48 years in the photographic restoration field to bring your memories back to life.

A private viewing link is supplied for our customers to physically see the restored images and approve before any of the supplied material is sent to the professional photo lab we have used for over a decade for final printing of all your images. We personally inspect each print when completed and once we have approved they are Priority Mailed to you along with a disk of all your images.


Contact us directly for an estimate. Pricing depends upon many variables and each situation is handled individually.











Separation Damage
Water Damaged Photograph
Restored Photograph