Q: May I get a free estimate?
A: If you make an appointment and bring a photograph into one of our studios we will examine it briefly and discuss various options with you. Because each photograph presents a unique project, treatment costs range widely and are dependent upon the nature and extent of conservation intervention required. If no testing or written work is required and you leave with the photograph, there is no fee for that service.
Q: How do I get a written estimate?
A: To be considered for treatment a photograph must be examined closely. We cannot work responsibly from e-mailed images or from verbal descriptions alone. In a controlled studio environment we have the time and equipment necessary to thoroughly examine a photograph, often under high magnification and using a variety of lighting techniques to assess its condition. Occasionally spot testing is performed to determine solubility and to develop responsible treatment options.
As part of our preliminary work we produce a written report in accordance with the American Institute for Conservation's (AIC) Code of Ethics and Guidelines. (The A.I.C. is our governing professional body) The report describes the photograph's condition and proposes various treatment options. These are described and listed step-by-step along with a cost estimate. We do charge a modest, non-refundable fee for this initial examination and written work.
Should one decide that treatment is not desired, the initial report is billed separately. This detailed report gives a baseline reading on the condition of the photograph and is a written document that can be taken for a second opinion and/or used to make an informed decision on how to proceed in the future. We recommend that all reports generated be kept as an historical record of the photograph.