Visual history was only recorded mainly by painting before the photograph back in the early 1800's like canvas paintings, frescoes, wall paintings - bas-relief or sculptures for example, but then the first photograph changed everything as far as the way history could be conveyed to future generations. Just like the last supper: Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (April 15, 1452 - May 2, 1519) caught a monumental time in history so now can a photograph and even better, that photo can be turned into a beautiful portrait.
Any style can be painted and requested to be edited in the photo before the artist starts to paint which adds another dynamic. As long as the photo's resolution is high enough they can enhance it so that when it goes to paint the outcome will be nothing short of spectacular due to all the available details the artist can see and also the vibrant colours added to accentuate old photos to fabulous paintings.
I needed to have an old photo restored of my Grandfather when he was in the navy during the second world war, I asked if it was possible due to the condition of the black and white photograph being of quite poor quality because of it's age, and thankfully they said it was of good enough quality to do so, and asked if I would like it to be in colour. I thought on that and excepted as it would bring a more contemporary feel to the painting.
I chose watercolour and they made a start. The edited photo came out great, I only made a few minor changes to the brightness of the colours and then once I approved it was off to be painted.
Then I was advised that watercolour would be a better medium for a landscape painting of a house for example or something similar to that and would not translate well with my Grandfathers' photo in all his navy regalia. So in light of that advice I opted for Oil as it is more robust, more rustic, not so subtle specifically for this type of style from photo to painting.
Eleven days and it was done, they sent me the first draft and I was gobsmacked! All that I requested was to have a message incorporated at the bottom of the canvas to my Grandmother as she is still here, my Grandfather passed over 3 years ago.
After the Oil had dried properly (which takes a day) they shipped via DHL and it was at my door two day's later. It looked even better in the flesh, so to speak. Then when I presented it to my Nan on her anniversary and she cried with joy.