While I personally have quite a few digital shots of family memories through the years, I also have a decorative box of favorite photos for each one of my sons, and one for me, and those will always travel with us no matter where we go. So when Melinda Lamm of Photo Artistry by Melinda asked me to share an old photo with her, for a quick lesson in retouching, it wasn’t hard to find the perfect one!
When she sent me the finished product – it was definitely a “wow” moment! I was seriously amazed at the transformation, and felt like I was right there in the presence of my toddler-age self, and I couldn’t love it more.
But that’s what every client will tell you about their experience with Photo Artistry by Melinda. She’s a natural, an amazing talent, and so easy to work with! Besides her portfolio that includes everything from business head shots and modeling portfolios to engagements, weddings, and thankfully, frequent photography for Forsyth Magazines, Melinda is a skilled professional at retouching and restoring favorite family photos, helping you recreate moments you’ll treasure for a lifetime.
“I’ve always loved old photos,” shares Melinda. “I would go to antique stores and buy them to restore just for fun. I find it sad those photos are no longer with the family because I’m sure somewhere there are relatives who would love to have them.”
Melinda explains the quality of a retouched photo is going to depend on the original version.
“If it’s blurry or out-of-focus, that can only be adjusted so much. Digital images pick up everything, so all those flaws show up!” she says.
Melinda loves the challenge of restorations, and strives to deliver a finished product that is as close to perfect – and to the original – as possible. Historical photos need to stay true to the original to keep them historically accurate. (She has even restored Civil War photos of soldiers, the oldest photos she’s worked with so far!)
Even damaged photos can be improved to some degree, and we all know old photos fade with time, having typically been stored in damp basements or too-warm attics. Melinda creates a digital copy of the image first and works with that, not the original which is, of course, very delicate.
When it comes to retouching, the possibilities are limitless!
“I’ve been asked to change the sky or even remove a person from a family photo due to divorce,” says Melinda. Again, she emphasizes the end result depends on the original photo, and how well it can be blended to look realistic and natural. “Naturally, the most requested change is thinning of the face or body, and reducing wrinkles,” she says. “I’ve been asked to change the color of clothing, switch jewelry from one photo to another, and even add or change nail polish color. Once, I even put a suit on a man! I can open eyes or move the pupil if someone has a lazy eye, or even switch faces from other photos.”
While times change, our love for memories does not.
“I read an article years ago about digital photography, discussing how people aren’t printing photos these days,” says Melinda. “They keep them on their phone or computer, but technology changes and electronic devices do fail! It’s heartbreaking there could one day be generations of photos missing.”
She loves the chance to remind clients how much those family photos matter.
“They can’t be replaced once they’re gone, and photos are often the one thing people grab if faced with a threat of damage to their home.”
Melinda started her own business a little over four years ago, and as she always has, couldn’t love her passion turned career any more than she does! You’ve seen her beautiful photography throughout all the Forsyth Magazines, and she loves being part of family celebrations, from surprise engagements to wedding days and the welcoming of new babies, helping to build incredible family memories for generations to come!