Painted rendering of my friend and his granddaughter, sharing one of those moments. This painting exemplifies an important point. The reference photo was 2x3 inch in size and was old and had many creases and stains. As a photo it was a lost cause. By scanning it into a digital form I was able to restore it. It was a one of a kind moment between a granddaughter and her grandpa and too much of a treasure to be lost. She was 21 and married when she first saw this restored image at her grandfathers memorial service. I bet you can guess her reaction.
My point is this. Many times photos taken may have irrecoverable flaws that may prevent them from being acceptable, and thusly discarded. Yet as the foundation of a painting reference they may provide the basis of a beautifully rendered image.