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

How Much Should a Retoucher Make?

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  #11  
Old 11-19-2010, 10:29 AM
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Greg Curran Greg Curran is offline
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Re: How Much Should a Retoucher Make?

i work for one of the largest prepress shops in canada, and when tours of new clients come through, they magically miss our department every time, like we don't exist.
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  #12  
Old 11-19-2010, 10:33 AM
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jessicaporter1 jessicaporter1 is offline
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Re: How Much Should a Retoucher Make?

i guess its because people don't like the face that we take something good and make it better. thats the way i look at it. We aren't making society bad... you can't polish a turd to begin with.
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  #13  
Old 11-19-2010, 11:06 AM
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Greg Curran Greg Curran is offline
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Re: How Much Should a Retoucher Make?

"can't make chicken soup out of chicken shit" LOL

just watch, if you feel like you are being taken advantage of then you probably are. I know here some of the retouchers are beyond poor at their job yet make more than i do because they had the balls to walk in when they got hired, talked the talk, and asked for large money.
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  #14  
Old 11-20-2010, 01:28 PM
Ikiri Ikiri is offline
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Re: How Much Should a Retoucher Make?

If you pay peanuts, you'll get monkeys doing the job
(That said – I sometimes do portfolio work for free if it's a good image!)

In the old film days I used to hand-print in b&w for a wedding guy. $1 per print. Exposures were consistent, so the printing wasn't that hard. It was about "being organized" and thinking "conveyor belt". I ended up doing up to 15-20 prints per hour, INCLUDING some basic vignetting/dodging/burning.

If your client doesn't want to pay you more, this is what I would do:
- develop some actions (or use filters such as the Kodak Digital GEM,...). Actions for skin, and actions for stray hair (dupe layer, "dust & scratches" or "median" filter, add noise, despecle, black layer mask, paint over the stray hair in the layer mask with white colour)
- put the more interesting shots away on your hard-drive -> potential material for portfolio retouching

If your client notices a drop in quality, just tell them you've got other (better paying) customers you also need to take care of. And that you could go back to 100% hand-retouching but at a higher rate!
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  #15  
Old 11-20-2010, 09:06 PM
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Aladdin Aladdin is offline
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Re: How Much Should a Retoucher Make?

You did not mention anything about album design -coffee table weeding book- all wedding photographers do. I hope you are not doing it without realizing or including the retouch as part of the book. Those books sell for anywhere from 600 to 2500 a copy and more.

If you are not doing book design, do one for your self as promotion work, you can have it as pdf file, if you have 200 bucks to spare, then print it, which is highly recommended, like 20 page book from various weddings, WATER MARK every single page and show her what could be done. Don't charge her any thing less than $15/page, this is on the low end but good start. Depending on the market, prices start @ $20/page and up, way up. Again, depending on how much retouch per page is required.

Ask yourself "Do I need the $80/month?" if the answer is no -I hope so-, then, just go to her and tell her "as of now, my price is $2.5/picture....take it or leave it", of course, do not put it this way, be polite and explain to her the effort involved, but do not relent. If on the other hand you need the $80 bucks, then show her your book design and ask her polity for an increase and hope for the best.

In addition to what I mentioned above and simultaneously, approach other photographers in the area, next town or wherever, show them your work, I am sure by now you have full porto of before and after, just grab them all and put them on a CD/dvd and just show them your work. See what they offer and add 50% to it, negotiate, go with your feelings BUT don't go low, don't sell your self short, accept one offer only, sleep on it for like two or three jobs, then go to another photog, show your new work, mention other two photographers (that lady and the new photog you landed few weeks back), and this time , double you rrate, keep moving, keep doubling till you hit the max your market can handle.

There are some web hosting sites for dirt cheap, it is highly recomeded that you get one, creat just 1 page site, with your retouch effort, will be great to have a rollover picture where the visitor sees the retouched picture and when moving the mouse over the picture, he/she see the before, it is an immediate feed back, It is a lot easir to hand out your website address than runing around with a cd.

Do all of the above and you will be fine.
If you need help with book design, let me know, if you need to see how it looks like, again, let me know.

I just realized something while visiting your profile, you are either too nice or naive or both, sorry, but you need some backbone girl, come'on, toughen up, I mean, you describe yourself as "Kitchen slave for Massey's Pizza." I mean, the word slave and your current pay scale tells me a lot about you, no, no, you are not going any where being nice, sorry, but this is reality. Time to kick yourself in the you know where and get on the road, firm and determined.

Last edited by Aladdin; 11-20-2010 at 09:12 PM. Reason: Added more rant
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  #16  
Old 11-20-2010, 10:17 PM
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Re: How Much Should a Retoucher Make?

I agree with you one 100% I have been working in pizza shops since I was 15 and I don't go further because I know how to do my job perfectly. But im hesitant to request more money right now. I'm currently receiving college credit for interning with her. So even though im making next to nothing i am getting something out of it. Graduating college is the #1 thing on my mind and she is helping me get there. But as soon as this semester is over i plan on giving her an ultimatum. I am trying extremely hard to snag an internship with Limited Brands preferably Victoria's Secret as a photo retoucher for next semester. Having an established career is one of the most important things to me, and I may end up selling myself short for a while. I hate the fact that it is like that but im not used to anything else. minimum wage for six years and working unpaid internships makes it hard to fathom that there is money in this field. I know there is, but technically being an amateur makes it feel unreachable.

I don't know. I guess the next couple months will play out soon enough. Thanks for the feedback and the advice!

oh p.s. she uses a set template for all of her coffee table books and deals with all of that in the ordering process. They're not bad. lol
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  #17  
Old 11-22-2010, 04:25 PM
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pavkey88 pavkey88 is offline
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Re: How Much Should a Retoucher Make?

yeah, sounds like you're taking a beating. 10 min an image seems WAY too long if you're doing batch retouching (i.e. color correction, minor touch up work). I would do between 90-120 images a day at the studio I used to work at, so roughly 4-5 min an image max.

That'd be for normal photoshoots, maybe 3 or 4 batch sessions. Running a color correction action for an inside shoot would normally be first up. I'd be doing all color correction by the numbers as well, otherwise there would be a noticeable difference between those photos I'd corrected in the am vs the pm.

Of course, bigger retouching work like removing braces or correcting really bad acne, or glares in glasses, etc. would take much longer - 5 min - 30 min depending on difficulty.
I'd make sure you charge accordingly.

I've given up trying to make a living with it, though it is possible for sure. If you want it bad enough, don't give up and make sure you study the retouching on the images in the mags you want to work for.
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  #18  
Old 11-22-2010, 07:48 PM
goolug goolug is offline
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Re: How Much Should a Retoucher Make?

I charge 140$/hour.
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