Years of experience has gone into developing techniques for restoring and repairing old photographs. The work is always carried out on a digital copy of the original, so is completely safe and non-destructive. The degree to which restoration work can be done is often down to personal taste and we are happy to discuss this on a case-by-case basis.
The samples above show the four stages of a typical restoration. This handsome young man is a British cavalryman from, I believe, the 16th (The Queen's) Lancers. The photograph dates from sometime between 1900 and the outbreak of WW1 in 1914.
Image 1 is a scan of the original print, which is distorted and damaged. Image 2 has had the distortion (probably caused by damp) corrected and the major rips and creases removed. Image 3 has had further work to remove surface damage and restore missing bits of the image. It would be easy to carry on working on this picture until it looked almost flawless but that would be to rob it of it's story and history, so this is as far as I'd personally choose to go, other than lightening and brightening the image to look more as it would have done when it was new. Image 4 shows the work complete and ready to print.