Colorize your Genealogy B&W Photographs for Free

When MyHeritage went online with its “MyHeritage in Color” capability to colorize black and white genealogy photos, it went viral and more than 1 million photographs were colorized in a short period of time.  The overwhelming response exposed a serious demand for bringing color to historical photographs.

I tried the MyHeritage tool myself, but found it lacking for serious use.  First, each colorized photo gets a MyHeritage logo inserted into the resulting color image.  Also, the colors selected by the tool were sickly muted earth tones which had little relation to the actual colors of the subject photo.

So, I went in search for another free colorizing tool that would do a better job.  It did not take long to find a much better alternative and that is the subject of today’s article.

The website is a much better choice.  ColorizePhoto takes the guesswork out of selecting realistic skin tones and clothing material colors that make the MyHeritage photo colorizations look flat and unnatural.

What You Will Need

All you need is to find digital copies of a black and white photograph you want to colorize and other color photograph(s) you can use to take color samples from.  The color photos allow you to obtain samples of skin color, clothing colors, background colors, etc. you will use to colorize by painting over the black and white photo.

My Colorize Experience

I was interested in colorizing an old B&W photograph of my Dad and was able to get professional looking results with about 10 minutes of effort.  I now have a colorized photograph that I would not hesitate to share with others.

The ColorizePhoto website, once launched, loaded a black and white photograph of Paul Neuman and a color photo of an older Clint Eastwood.  After playing with it for a couple of minutes, I was struck with how easy it was to use.

I pulled up my photographs by hitting the Open buttons on the left and right and started sampling colors from the color photo and using them to paint on the black and white photo.  See a screen capture below:

In a short amount of time I had something of quality that I would not hesitate to share with other family members and saved the newly energized photo to disk.  Easy as you please.  Since you probably don’t know exactly what colors were there when the picture was taken, you just do your best to get the colors right. I think the final product looks quite natural.

Terms of Service

The website's terms of service seem to be quite reasonable.  From their website: is for personal use only and may not be used for commercial or business purposes may change, suspend or discontinue any part of the Services at any time. may also impose limits on certain features and services or restrict your access to parts or all of the service without notice or liability.

You may only access manually with your web browser (or via other offical apps). Do not reverse engineer, copy source code, screen scrape, or use any automated system to access ColorizePhoto. If you find a security issue with the site, please let us know.


ColorizePhoto seems to be a great solution to colorizing black and white photographs because it allows you to control your own color choices.  Give it a try and see if you agree with my analysis.

Read related articles: Tricks of the Trade


Genealogy Quick Start Guide for Beginners

Applying the Genealogy Proof Standard to your Research

5 Genealogy Mistakes to Avoid

Google Genealogy Research Toolbox

Find Records

Requesting Vital Records

Researching Ancestors through Military Records

Using the National Archives (NARA) for Genealogy Research

Using U.S. Census Records

Finding Homestead Records

Canadian Genealogy Research using the Internet

Researching British Genealogy


Genealogy Source Citations Made Easy

Finding Family History Books

Listening to Genealogy Podcasts Made Easy

Using Cyndi’s List for Genealogy Research

Researching Ancestors Using Obituaries