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Replicating old photographs on a colour photocopier

If you are lucky enough to have some old photographs, including family portraits, you might want to make some copies to ensure that everyone in your family can enjoy them. A colour photographer is a great option for replicating old photos. Here are some tips. 

Get the maximum resolution

Some old photos are less clear and can have a slightly 'fuzzy' quality, especially if they have been previously copied. It is important to check with the photocopier quality and seem what resolution you can get with the copies. The exact resolution that you want to aim for depends on both the size of the original print and the size of a target print (for example if you want to blow up a slide into a more standard photograph size for display). Generally, there is little downside to asking for a higher resolution, beyond the extra size of any digital prints. 

Ask for archival quality paper

If you want to hold onto your copies for a long time it is worth investing in archival paper. Archival papers have a lower level of acid in the paper (and are often known as 'acid-free' papers) which limits the amount of blurring and loss of vibrancy in the ink over time. These papers also maintain a cleaner white over time, stopping the common yellowing that paper over time gets, and leads to less colour contrast, especially with the cooler tones in any photos. This allows you to preserve older photographs for future generations. 

Ask for some digital copies

New colour photocopiers will scan the photo before replicating the photo. In addition to being printed this also can give you digital copies. This gives you a way to store a backup of the photos but is also a good way to share the photos with distant relatives. You can also use the images in other formats such as adding images to your digital family tree or printing the images onto canvases or mugs so that they don't end up gathering dust in a drawer but become something you can regularly see and enjoy. 

If you have some old photographs that you are looking to copy or share you should take them to a colour photocopier at a specialist photocopying store. The staff in these stores are experienced at dealing with delicate and unusual documents and can make sure you get a high-quality set of prints to enjoy.