This is a photo of my grandma (on the right) and her brother and sister. It may not look like much of a photograph to anyone that isn't in my family. It's a basic snapshot. But to me, this is an important photograph. I don't have many photos of my grandma and even fewer with her siblings or other extended family. Also, I remember this dress. I remember those glasses. For some reason, I also remember my great aunt's dress (it is unique, after all). So seeing this photo brings back a lot of memories. I really don't care that it isn't a professional shot with flawless lighting, that it isn't a gorgeous location, that it isn't a historical moment in time, or anything else someone might find wrong with it. It's my grandma, my great aunt and uncle, I love them, I miss them, and I want to preserve this moment because the original photograph is fading away. Any of these reasons, all of these reasons, or any other reasons are all good enough reasons to restore a photo.
My objective is to bring out some detail that has been lost to time and was probably never very sharp to begin with. The image is a bit blurry in the most important places - their faces - and there are some other details I want to enhance a bit because of what they add to the meaning of the photo. For instance, my uncle was a big man with big hands (now I know from which side of the family my brother and I get our height), and he has quite a squeeze on both of his sisters. It's hard to tell in the blurry photo, but he is pulling them both in to him enough that it wrinkles their sleeves, and I want to see more of that affection than the blurry photo has to offer. Also, my grandma's corsage is beautiful but washed out. It needs a little pop added back in, though not too much because Grandma never would have worn a garish corsage. Overall, the skin tones and other significant colors need some saturation put into them. Of course, dust, scratches, and some small but distracting and unnecessary elements need removed.
This is what I would consider a basic-plus restoration and retouching. The dust, scratches, and repairs are minimal. To bring back lost detail and color is more exacting. Every centimeter of the photo was gone over to fix minor blemishes, but not every detail was given precision attention.