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Photo Retouching "Improving" photos, post-production, correction, etc.

You guys who post a ton, hep me out with something

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  #11  
Old 03-05-2010, 10:37 AM
Caesium Caesium is offline
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Re: You guys who post a ton, hep me out with somet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kermy View Post
My last job I had 35 lifestyle shots to get done and I had a week and a half including the weekend. So I spent about 3-4hrs per image, some quicker than others.
I can very easily manage the time per image.

I would be curious to know if this was regional or national use. What I see is 35 images at a (low side) average of 3 hours per. Let's say you billed at $50 per hour, that would be:

3 X $50 = $150

$150 X 35 = $5250

If post came in at that rate, we are back in a $30,000 shoot again by the time we get creative fees, usage, talent, and all the accessories in the final invoice. Was this a $30,000 shoot?

If not, we are back to my original question: How in the heck are you guys making sense of the market, your time, and what you charge??? If you cut the above guess of $50 in half to $25, I cannot see how you are not paying to work after you figure in your costs of doing business and taxes. Even then, the new rate of $2610 is no small line item in a local or regional shoot.

So what is it then? Are my guesstimates for rates that far off? Have I been overpaying like a mother at the average of about $75 per hour for my retouching? Are we fudging on time and not reeeeaaaaaly putting in those 6 to 10 hours per image that we say we are?

It's simple math.... Hourly Rate X Time = Final Cost. No one I can find wants to pay the final cost I have been coming up with on 4 hour retouches, nevermind the 6 to 10 hour jobs. So, as I see it, either the Hourly Rate or the Time has to give. Which is it and how are you doing it?

Please, feel free to cite with examples from recent work.



PS: A few of the people I really wanted to see post here haven't. Kinda reaffirms my suspicions that many of those who say to do 6 hours of D&B per image are either not doing this for money or not doing what they preach. (Natala, I am NOT talking about you )
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  #12  
Old 03-05-2010, 11:42 AM
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Cuervo79 Cuervo79 is offline
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Re: You guys who post a ton, hep me out with somet

You also have to consider that not everyone is hiring in the united states. For example Natalia's in Argentina. I was reading something similar on MM and some people employ people in India to keep costs down.
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  #13  
Old 03-05-2010, 01:36 PM
eraanexact eraanexact is offline
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Re: You guys who post a ton, hep me out with somet

6 hours for dodge and burn on anything but maybe a very complex composite is way too excessive. Also "pore level" is stupid. I rarely d&b at anything greater than 100%, and I do a fairly large amount at 16 and 25%.
Zoom out and take care of the big areas, and magically the zoomed in smaller areas don't stand out as much.

I'm saying this as a professional with close to 10 years under my belt, just in case you were wondering.
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  #14  
Old 03-05-2010, 02:28 PM
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Cuervo79 Cuervo79 is offline
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Re: You guys who post a ton, hep me out with somet

It would be interesting to know what is your definition of pore level.... For me if you're D&B pores or wrinkles that would be pore level regardless of the zoom %. I do agree though that you don't have to go past certain zoom number because you're doing overkill and it won't really matter in the end product.
I also found out that the zoom number is a bit subjective depending on the size of the photo, I normally work with my 8mp photos and 100 50 and 25 % zoom numbers worked, then I started retouching a photo from a 12MP camera and it turned out I had to go the extra number 12 or 16 % to get the same view...
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  #15  
Old 03-05-2010, 04:50 PM
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nycretoucher nycretoucher is offline
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Re: You guys who post a ton, hep me out with somet

I am in charge of a studio just outside of NYC, it's a division of a printing empire, but in my recent experience I would have to say that it seems people aren't spending the money on the make-up, location, talent, etc. But they seem to be spending it on the retouching instead. I just retouched one image that billed 10 hours, at $125 and hour, and it was a picture from a wedding that someone took in poor lighting with their consumer point and shoot digital camera. We had to remove two people, retouch them fixing the lighting etc, then place them standing next to each other into supplied background photos taken the same way.

I am now 15 hours into a product image with no healing or D&B, just tons of masking for swatch matching purposes, even though this was professionally photographed image.

So the retouching work is there, it just seems people are cutting corners, big time, in other aspects of their projects. Sometimes it makes me wonder, why someone would spend all this money on something that could be fixed with quality photography, or a little foresight. For instance, I recently had to spend hours removing stray body hair off a model that could have been solved with the purchase of a 50 cent bic disposable razor and some shaving cream before taking the photograph. But it keeps me busy so I bite my tongue and keep the pen moving.
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  #16  
Old 03-05-2010, 04:53 PM
eraanexact eraanexact is offline
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Re: You guys who post a ton, hep me out with somet

By "pore level", I mean that if you were working on a section of skin, and all that was visible on your desktop was skin and pores, and it's not a close up macro shot, then that's pushing it.
Saying it's stupid was probably poor word choice on my part actually.
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  #17  
Old 03-05-2010, 05:29 PM
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crazyfly1 crazyfly1 is offline
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Re: You guys who post a ton, hep me out with somet

Eraanexact, Thank you for your comment, so it sounds as though you are confirming what Cuervo79 said; that as a professional you use db basically to fix shading and not to fix blemishes. Am I understanding correctly?
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  #18  
Old 03-06-2010, 03:11 PM
Kermy Kermy is offline
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Re: You guys who post a ton, hep me out with somet

The rate per image is detirmined what time is a realistic average that industry is willing to pay for. say for an advertising agency in london, they charge retouching to the client at say £150-£200 per hour. but as the actual retoucher that an ad agency hires as a freelancer, they'll pay you between £25-£36 per hour. the range is detirmined by the level of quality and proven track record you develop over time. charging anything lower really puts you out of the professional catagory and automatically prices you out of even being considered. and if you do any creative retouching, ie comping of several photos to make one final image you can charge more and you could spend days or weeks on a certain image. I've just finished a campaign where i've spent well over 30hrs over an image...
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  #19  
Old 03-06-2010, 05:44 PM
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marthav marthav is offline
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Re: You guys who post a ton, hep me out with somet

what is D&b?
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  #20  
Old 03-06-2010, 05:50 PM
Caesium Caesium is offline
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Re: You guys who post a ton, hep me out with somet

Thanks NYC, good info. Just curious, are you retouching for the printer or for a commercial studio? The example you gave of the wedding photo, I can see. There are a lot of really dumb wedding photographers pretending to make a living and I can totally see one of them doing something like that.

Unless your are shooting for Al's Tavern, however, I would think the quality of photography would be much better on the average.

You are correct about the other areas being cut as well, but it has been my experience that retouching is high on the list of expendables as any other normal line item, if not higher.
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