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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

How much would you charge?

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  #11  
Old 12-13-2002, 01:06 AM
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pstewart pstewart is offline
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My Opinion

Pavel, nice job on patching it and cleaning the flaws etc. Just a few things I noticed. There is a black shadow on the girl's head on the left...it's much too dark compared to the rest of the pic. Which brings me to the second point--the whole picture needs curves adjustment along with some manual dodge and burn to bring out more contrast as it's a bit flat overall (because it started off that way, being faded from age). There should be more variety in darkness of shadows. Just one example...shadows should be darker on the underrail of the bench and on their feet. Some faces and areas were faded more than others so need individual treatment with hand tools.

As for time, the heart of the picture (people/faces) is in pretty good shape, so I don't think this job would be exceptionally difficult (except for adding the top of a head, which isn't so bad because head tops are easy to find...facial features would be another story). I'd guess about 4 - 5 hours, but can't say without seeing the actual picture. The scanning in pieces is not hard though it may take an extra 15 minutes or so, depending of course on the speed of your scanner. I can see adding ten bucks to the job cost, maybe, though I probably wouldn't bother...I always include scans in the cost.

As for pricing, well... Roger, I think the price you quoted is, frankly, exorbitant! This picture is one I would do for $150. But I work out of my home and also have another source of income, so I don't need to charge that much to make it worth my time. Actually, I love it, so I'd probably do this just for the fun of it, as a hobby, but don't let that get out...shhhh!

I'm probably on the low end, pricewise, while Roger is on the high end. In my opinion, a charge of $200 - $250 would be still "reasonable" for this picture, which comes to about $40 - $50 per hour. That is, if the results were top notch...that is, nearly perfect. Nowadays it seems that just about anyone with a copy of Photoshop thinks they can go into the restoration/retouching business, and from what I've seen on the web, not everyone is good enough to be charging much for what they turn out. So I thinks folks who want to try this as a business should wait till they are sure their work is top notch before getting too pricey.

Phyllis

Last edited by pstewart; 12-13-2002 at 02:45 AM.
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  #12  
Old 12-13-2002, 01:19 AM
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roger_ele roger_ele is offline
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Phyllis: You are right, our prices are on the high end, we have a studio overhead ($3000 a month for just rent and phone book ads) - the customers that come to us know that our prices are higher than someone working from their home, but they feel more secure, so it is worth it to them. It is also a reflection of what we have to charge to work on their job, because if we could be work on something else that made better money, why would we be doing their job ... yes, we do love doing this for people, but thier is only so much time in a day and we do have to make a living and pay the bills ...

Roger
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  #13  
Old 12-13-2002, 02:55 AM
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pstewart pstewart is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by roger_ele
Phyllis: You are right, our prices are on the high end, we have a studio overhead ($3000 a month for just rent and phone book ads) - the customers that come to us know that our prices are higher than someone working from their home, but they feel more secure, so it is worth it to them.
And it's also more convenient for them to drop by your studio, not to mention that they know it exists from seeing it as they pass by, or finding it in their local yellow pages. It's much harder to find someone working at home who is ALSO LOCAL who can do the kind of work they want, so of course they would prefer to go to a "studio." I do get mail order requests from my web site, and folks actually do send their precious photos through the mail to a perfect stranger with only a home address...I for one would never do that! So I can certainly see why they would feel better walking into a local business operation.

And I can understand why you must charge so much, since you do have that high overhead. But then this is (probably) your full time job and how you make your living. Bottom line is if folks are happy with the results and don't mind paying it, you can charge it and you both end up happy.

Phyllis
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  #14  
Old 12-13-2002, 10:18 PM
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roger_ele roger_ele is offline
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I would like to add that there has been times that we have actually charged the customer less than we quoted them, if we feel that we miss-quoted from quoting it on the safe side. We allways quote on the high end, we have been burned to many times by jobs that took much longer than we estimated. As you know, the devil is in the details.
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  #15  
Old 12-14-2002, 08:09 PM
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pstewart pstewart is offline
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The steps involved

Balky, in reply to your mail, here's what I would do to the picture, which is really good otherwise, in my opinion. I am attaching a sample to show you what I mean.

1. The whole picture appeared to slant to the right...the mother looked like she was leaning and would fall off the bench, and the windows were really crooked...too much to be explained away by the angle of the photographer I think. It looks a little less crooked when rotated ccw 3 degrees.

2. The two arrows at top and bottom point to a vertical line where the rectangular selection was as I did a levels adjustment to the right side. The line goes right down through the second girl's face...very faint and hard to see at top of picture, but the difference in darknes is obvious at the bottom of the picture. This means the bottom is too light, thus my comment on the feet and shadows under the bench being too light. Since the two halves match at the top of the pic but not at the bottom, that means a levels adjustment will fix the bottom without damaging the top, which came out good for the most part. In doing the levels adjustment, I moved the middle and left sliders to the right a bit, till the bottom looked darker but not enough to darken the top. Testing it in a selection like this (half and half down the middle) lets you see right away when you have it right, then you can use those same numbers on the entire picture safely.

Down in the corner is a small pic of the hair, before and after. On the left I lightened and re-colored with brown just the part of the dark area above the ear to what it should be, then on the right did a levels adjustment on the whole rectangle since her head was too light/flat compared to the other heads. Of course that adjustment would have to be done with a selection on a new layer then brushed away at the edges with soft eraser to blend it into whole picture.

Hope you found some of this helpful. Have fun!

Phyllis
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File Type: jpg family.jpg (52.0 KB, 145 views)
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  #16  
Old 12-16-2002, 06:12 PM
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Balky Balky is offline
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I kindly thank you, Phyllis for your input.

I just got the picture back from printing... It looks really nice.
:-) I am thinking that maybe your monitor is not calibrated well

Thanks again for your tips;-)
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