A loyal reader has used the Hire the Geek service in order to improve the quality of some irreplaceable photos. Each of the photos was taken in bright light. In all cases, the faces of the people in the photos was in deep shadow.
By looking at the EXIF data of the photos, I was able to see some of the settings selected on the camera when the photos were taken. Photos where the flash fired were easier to fix and the results were better.
It may seem strange to use a flash when there is plenty of light, but it is often a good idea to provide more light on the subject of the photos. In some photos, one of the subject was wearing a cap and that made an extreme shadow on the face. Once again, the flash would have helped tremendously.
Since these shots were taken on a DSLR, it also would have helped if a RAW file was captured instead of a JPEG. I understand that many times a JPEG is more convenient, but a RAW gives the best quality. What I suggest is to set the camera to capture JPEG + RAW. Both formats get captured with a single click of the shutter.
Yes, capturing JPEG and RAW will use up more space on a memory card. With my camera, I can get at least 900 shots in both formats on a 32 GB memory card. For cameras with higher resolutions, maybe only 500 shots would fit on a 32 GB card. That is still a huge number. If you need to capture more, just buy bigger cards or more cards. Either is less expensive than the time you’ll spend trying to fix the JPEG files.