My profession was originally a buyer/supply chain and I used to deal quite a lot with people in Saudi Arabia. I was mildly surprised when I received this photo as I was later to find that this was taken in Saudi Arabia where the weather can be intolerable to us Brits at times.
The gentleman that sent this in required that the background objects be removed and also the cigarette packet and lighter. Quite an easy job to do but when you clean the background up you need to add a little grunge so it doesn’t look too clinical.  Sometimes the viewer might not even notice such things but their brain will detect something is wrong, so I always make sure that texture is in there.
Removing the ciggies was a little more difficult in that there wasn’t enough detail to clone them out. A bit of time spent on Google found some sample pictures of steps in Saudi Arabia as I like to use authentic replacements when I can. Popped the new marble in with some blending, toning etc’ and the job was almost finished. I then added as much contrast as I dared which gave the picture an overall nice balance of vibrancy.
Now to the sad part.
I would say that one in every three photos sent into me for restoration or manipulation have something to do with a member of the family passing away, long term illness or other painful event. For somebody that doesn’t worry about that type of thing they can do the job unsympathetically. Unfortunately I am of the sort that feels other peoples emotions and it definitely takes it toll on me. I never get used to people saying things like “This is my sister, she died yesterday”, “could you restore this for me?” I know that I am bring them some joy and perhaps resolution to their pain but it still effects me thinking about their sorrow. The story behind this one is no different to a lot that I encounter, very sad and emotional.
If anyone should read this, go get your family photos out and get the important ones checked out and restored before it’s too late. You know what I mean, go do it.