Welcome to Facsimile- website number two and blog number one! Goodness gracious, if someone would have told me a few short years ago that I'd be writing a blog, I'd have called them a liar. But here we are, digitizing, restoring, colorizing, printing, archiving, and writing about all things photographic.
It has been quite an unexpected journey to get to this point today. This small business idea came to me near the beginning of the pandemic. Having been sick for over a month with what I believed was COVID-19, I had an existential crisis, realizing that if I died that day, I'd regret some things in life. So I took action, left my job, and became self-employed. It was a way to walk down the path of integrity.
This route has allowed me to be of greater service in the world—sharing my passion, sentimental nature, and acquired skills in photography to bring joy to others. So, how did it all come together?
Photography was my first visual love. I recall being given disposable cameras as a child, on trips with family. I just loved taking time looking through that little viewfinder, capturing something special, focusing on a single moment. That little pause would allow me to see the world in a new way.
I was so thrilled with these disposables that eventually, my parents got me a point and shoot. And then I got to load my own film! When a roll or two was done, my mom would take me to drop them off at the local photo lab. She let me get prints each time. What an exciting time, that anticipation. And then the day would come when I’d see the fruits of the film. This became a cherished process that I’ll repeat till the end of days.
I moved to Los Angeles for the university to follow creative visual and writing pursuits. For those four years, I was studying the fundamentals in art, learning to see in a new way. Drawing and painting led me to exercise a sense of hand-eye-mind coordination I’d not experienced before. I was learning to understand light and weight and anatomy. At night, I practically lived in the darkroom and grew even more deeply in love with the photographic process.
Outside of school, I interned for the renowned photographer, Chris Cuffaro. I learned a lot, had some adventures around Los Angeles with celebrities, and made a lifelong friend in Chris. Although I loved it all, my favorite parts were when nerding out on the actual photography- cameras, lights, grip work, post-production work. This internship taught me the core digital skills and tools that I use today with photo restoration.
Even though I stayed the course with my own artwork and photography, in time, I realized the entertainment industry was not for me—I felt more at home in the Fine Arts. Near the end of university, I applied and got into the MFA Program at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA.
A relatively short jaunt across Los Angeles, everything changed drastically as I was immersed in a rigorous Fine Art and Theory program with other creative nerds like me. At Art Center, my interests and artistic focus expanded into other media—but all along the way—photography was my constant. I graduated in 2008, then moved on to live life outside academia.
I stopped making my work for sometime after, just worked for others, had random gigs, and dabbled in other professions. I waxed and waned for some years about how to live as an artist, and even wondered whether I was an artist at all. One thing became clear with time—I wanted a new experience in a new place.
I moved to Washington State in 2016. Not long after that, I found employment at an old school photo lab in Bellingham called Quicksilver. I re-entered the world of photography and fell in love with it in a whole new way. I was doing some things I thought I’d never do again, like scanning film, dust spotting that film, printing fine art photographs, and eventually began dabbling in photo restoration.
All my Fine Art training from undergrad came back. The days of dust spotting and learning how to retouch celebrities faces somehow felt genuinely useful, and perhaps most importantly I had acquired a new sense of patience with finicky technology. An outstanding fact became apparent: I really enjoyed doing this work in my local community. Doing this work for families or historical societies was gratifying in a way the entertainment industry never was. It felt real, grounded, and good to be of service.
What is Facsimile All About?
Caring and superb quality. From creating and handling my own work, and doing so professionally for the past 22 years, I am uniquely qualified to care for your special projects. My professional experiences in art and photography have given me a deep understanding of the importance of delicate and sometimes irreplaceable items. As the sole handler of any order you submit, I guarantee to treat each photograph or transparency or piece of artwork with the utmost care and respect.
My business stands out from the majority of what you come across these days because I’m a one-woman operation. The quality that comes from my work ethic and background is- if I might say- superb.
At Facsimile, you email or talk on the phone with me. If in Western Washington, your pickups and deliveries are handled by me. Everyone gets a bespoke, personalized experience, and a polished, high-quality outcome.
I am proud of the thorough and careful way I communicate with customers and how I work with your items. It takes meticulous skill to restore a photo, especially a severely damaged one, and it takes patience to realistically colorize any photo.
Whatever condition your photos are in or your desired outcome, I will lovingly work on them layer by layer, by hand, eye, mind, and Photoshop- no apps, filters, or outsourcing. The methods I’ve honed result in seamless restorations, and photos of great depth and tone. Facsimile is all about beautiful quality, sentiment, and making this service accessible from anywhere in the world.
As every photo is unique, so too are its needs. Feel free to reach out with questions, submit photos of photos for estimates, or place an order through the forms on this new, fancy website.
Check out my FAQs for answers to many common questions I get. Or read about all Facsimile services here.