Gunnedah knows Heather Fogarty as the friendly face helping you at Fogarty Fotos but beyond the region she is known as a person who works wonders to restore cherished photos back to new.

She was recently entrusted with a restoration for St Aloysius College Rozelle Campus in Sydney of photos from 1934, depicting a completely different time in secondary schooling.

The school, Christian Bros. Technical School Rozelle, no longer exists and the photos depict the workshop classrooms of 90 years ago along with the year’s scholarship winners.

Heather worked to fill every little crack and rip or damage on a scanned copy in Photoshop. It took her 10 plus hours to fix the five photos with some needing more work than others. They had damage from water, insects and time, with some parts sticking to the glass.

It is more than using a computer program for Heather. It is about understanding the artistry of shadows, colour, hue, light, perspective, angle, arrangement and an abundance of other skills she picked up on through the years.

The original framed work Fogarty Fotos received from St Aloysius College Rozelle Campus.

The staff have had parcels arrive from Western Australia, Brisbane and Sydney, with plenty more who have entrusted Fogarty Fotos with their history.

Some of the bigger projects have her travelling to pick up original pieces (so she knows they are in safe hands) and it has the added benefit of seeing the look on the customer’s face when it is returned.

“Your photos are your memories – your history. Your family, your ancestors, people that you love and when we can put them back together again … it is just wonderful,” she said.

“Tears are a regular thing here, that is why we have tissues everywhere.

“I just love what we do. It is not like doing work, when you get to do something you love. It does not feel like work at all.

“I get such a buzz out of making magic happen.”

Heather’s advice to anyone wanting to bring in old, framed photographs for restoration is to “just bring the whole thing in – don’t try to take it apart. Just bring it all in and we will go from there.”

Fogarty Fotos also has requests beyond restorations.

“We can help with putting people into or taking people out of images along with colour correcting and removing ‘unfortunate’ backgrounds etc,” Heather said.

“We also are kept very busy with our printing and framing service too.”

Another restoration project Heather Fogarty embarked on for customer Rachael Brumiera. Pictured above is what the original photo looks like in 2024.

The restored version of the photo.

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