Old Photo Specialists

Where restoration is considered an art!

Welcome to Old Photo Specialists (since 1971)! We are located at 7713 Summerfield Rd., Summerfield, NC., about 10 miles north of Greensboro and 1 block from Hwy 220.  We are open for business by appointment only, but we do have more flexible hours.  Please call us at 336-271-6960 or 336-273-1097.  

Our Goal – To integrate genealogy and interior design with archival quality visual images on display that do not fade, do not require glass, and are water resistant. All photo restoration work completed by us in done and printed in our studio! We do not outsource anything from start to finish, ensuring to all of our customers the highest quality product possible.  When completed, all prints are lacquer finished for enhanced protection.

Our Story

Old Photo Specialist was founded in Greensboro, N.C. 1971 by William Heroy, a biomedical engineering graduate of Duke University. We had been at our location on Elm St since 1977 in downtown Greensboro (320 S. Elm St.) operating first as a photo restoration studio, second as a commercial and portrait studio, and last as a vendor and restorer of antique frames. Now, we operate from our brand new location in Summerfield, NC. We are well known locally and in the surrounding area for quality, archival products, with a strong emphasis on historical accuracy and pigment printing (referred to as giclee’). Old Photo Specialists spends a great deal of time repairing the smallest of details.

Though the vast majority of our work is concerned with old photos (made between 1840 and 1950), we often work with modern photos as well. Our specialty and favorites are the medium to large size convex oval and flat prints (that often look like pastel drawings), panoramic photos, and photos predating 1950; however, we are experienced in restoring faded color prints and cracked or damaged photos (documents, artwork) as well. Also, you will find that we maintain a stock of original oval frames and are able to repair older oval and ornate flat frames-and we often recreate small photos into large ones to fit into these frames.

All of our print reproductions include a lifetime warranty against fading and water damage (we lacquer finish all of our prints for extra longevity). It must be stated here that our favorite items to restore are the large antique oval photographs (they come in many sizes and shapes)as well as panoramic photos from WW1, WW2, the Spanish American War, and various family reunions and special events. Do not attempt to open a panoramic that has been rolled up as years of being in tubes will have made the emulsions brittle. Unrolling the photo may result in permanent damage to the original. Also, improper removal of a large convex prints from the frame can also result in damage to the print as well as the glass, which is very expensive to replace.


Photo Restoration

If you are considering our services, please read the following:

  1. OPS needs access to the earliest printing of every photograph for us to do our best work. Making a proper scan (or the use of cameras for larger items and convex pictures) is essential to our photo restoration process since originals contain chemical information that is usually lost once a scan is made that “skips” over that detail. Most shops then make “color copies” that can easily result in the long term destruction of the image once they are exposed to prolonged sunlight.  We only make archival giclee’ prints!  Usually we do not need to keep the original once the correct scan has been made. Serious genealogists need to store all photographic originals in a safe, dry place and only make archival giclee prints on the most important ones.
  2. OPS does not have separate pricing for stages of our photo restoration processes – one for the scanning process, one computer restoration (known as Photoshop and may be subject to time spent (other studios may get you on this one)), and finally one for the printing (includes lacquer finishing-very important). Instead, we combine all three processes into one price (additional charges for more serious restorations are quoted in advance and do not exceed the quoted amount). All work is done in our shop- never outsourced. 
  3. In the case of restoring color prints, it is important to understand that UV light which is a natural component of sunlight is responsible for breaking down the chemical compounds that give selected reflected light, or the color you see, resulting in “fading” or loss of color. The software in many of today’s programs is able to recover much of this loss, the rest is done by us. Prints that are severely damaged, out of focus or have been copied already generally do not restore well.
  4. The older the photo is, the better it is made. Technology, in this industry, for the last 60+ years, industry has focused on more profit for manufactures, not better material quality for consumers. The introduction of giclee’ (or pigment printing) in the mid 2000s has been revolutionary for serious genealogists. There is finally a product that allows both maximum image quality and archival resistance to both water and sunlight. Combined with lacquer finishing, prints can be displayed without glass and without fear of environmental destruction or glare.
  5. Always know where your originals are!
  6. There is so much more we can say about the restoration and re-printing process, but suffice to say that without an understanding on how things are made (which is the state most of us are in), how do you know what will last? We have worked with old photos since the late 1960’s and have worked with a great number of photos over many years and can finally say that under the right circumstances, the preservation and enhancement of all photos has never been better.

Video by Tony Wu, OPS intern from April-May 2017

Portrait Photography

Above are examples of our studio work.

Pricing by quotation baesd on expected end result.  Please note any prints delivered will be archival giclee’ prints.

Commercial Photography

Hourly rate only (minimum 1 hour) …………………….. $125/hr or by the job

Visit http://www.williamheroyphotography.com/ for more information!


UNSOLICITED ENDORSEMENTS:                                                                        

Bill and Anna,

My first love has come alive again. Unbelievable what a little bit of modern technology and a huge amount of artistic ability can do with a 60 yr. old Kodak picture. In addition, this beloved ’34 Ford is framed in a gorgeous antique frame adding to my delight.

I would never have believed we would be so lucky to find such abilities locally.

“Thanks for the memories,” per Carol Burnette. It could not be said more appropriately!

Brad and Gail Smith

Bill and Anna,

Thank you for preserving the visual portion of the family tree. Truly love the photos, they’re great! I’ve got another scheduled to do in the near future. Thanks again for your patience and professionalism.

Sincerely, John Atkins


Just wanted to send you a quick email! I took the photos you did for me to my Grandmother’s last weekend and she started to cry. She was so happy to see them look that good. She was totally blown away. It was an amazing experience. I’ve been by to see her again this weekend and she’s been bragging all over the nursing home about them. Having people come see them and took a photo of them to show others as well. Thank you again for being so awesome at what you do! I’ll be back again soon!

Liz Davis

Dear Bill,

I can’t thank you enough for the wonderful job you’ve done in copying and in some instances enhancing my family’s pictures from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Also, the creative work on my Christmas cards has made me something of a celebrity. People tell me they still display the cards from past years.

Sincerely, G.S. Crihfield

Dear Bill,

Thank you for all your help with our family’s photos. They look terrific! You’re a magician – the Aiken County Historical Museum and the veterans of Company C are really going to enjoy the photos you made –

Gratefully, Mrs. Mary R. Welch

After hanging the photo of the Court and looking at it more closely, I see more clearly what a great job you did in bringing it back to life.  The colors are richer and truer, particularly the wood; and everything is sharper, particularly the faces of the justices, which stand out better than ever.  Also, the portraits behind the bench are much truer to how they really look both in clarity and color.  In all, you did a splendid job on a difficult assignment.  Porter and I are very pleased with the photo as it now appears.  Thanks so much for your excellent work.  Hope our paths will cross again.  
-Jim Exum, Former Chief Justice, NC Supreme Supreme Court

Hi Bill and Anna!

I’m happy to announce the Faces of Revolution exhibit will be on display in the Central Gallery of Rev Mill on July23-Oct. 1. The portraits will become a permanent exhibit in th Hall of Fame in the Mill later.

You are invited to the Artist Reception on Friday, July 23 from 6-8 pm. We will present the subjects with the prints of their portraits that night. You did a beautiful job with the mounted giclees and I know they will be so happy with them.

Thank you for being a part of this project!

Suellen McCrary

Fine Art & Portraiture


The Rotary Carousel Team greatly appreciates your help with digitizing our Charter Night picture so that it could be made into a metal, engraved image for permanent display at our entrance!

We would like for Anna and you to be our guest at our celebration party.

See you September 12!

Thanks for your help! The image is beautifully done!

The Rotary Club of Greensboro Carousel