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Do Most Photographers......

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  #11  
Old 10-25-2005, 10:53 AM
emarts emarts is offline
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That's crazy. Their name is involved and they will trust their reputation to the lowest bidder?

I do a ton of retouching for the major auto manufacturers (Mercedes, Porsche, BMW, Jaguar, and Subaru). I do hundreds of photos per year for each manufacturer. I also do hundreds of images for a major window treatment manufacturer (I'm up to about 1800 images) and an oil company. I won't tell you what I charge, but it's way more than $1.00 per photo.

If I had to do 1800 photos and only make $1800.00, I'd be better off flipping burgers. Anybody who only wants to work for $1.00/photo for retouching deserves what they get.
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  #12  
Old 10-25-2005, 04:10 PM
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RooB RooB is offline
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But that depends on where you live.

$1800 US in some places is good money-- for where I live, that's easily double the amount of the average family income for a month.

The lowest offer I have personally been given is $2/photo (I didn't take it, btw), which to me, isn't that bad if the client only wants very basic color adjustments or quick, one-pass airbrushing or skin smoothing, but for anything more than that..... I wouldn't have anything to do with it.

That's not to say, someone else wouldn't. There are plenty of amateurs in the world who are pretty darn good with Photoshop, have little else to do, and would jump at the chance to make $1800.
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  #13  
Old 10-25-2005, 04:23 PM
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Caitlin Caitlin is offline
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RooB, you are going to have to give some real examples to convince us the costs you are quoting are realistic. We've already established in other threads that you are prepared to work for non-professional rates.
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  #14  
Old 10-25-2005, 09:27 PM
emarts emarts is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RooB
$1800 US in some places is good money-- for where I live, that's easily double the amount of the average family income for a month.
It took me a period of about 3 years to work on those particular 1800 images. I suppose if I did them back-to-back I could possibly have gotten it done in a month (without sleep).

If people are willing to hire amatuers at $1.00/image, well you know what they say... you get what you paid for.
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  #15  
Old 10-25-2005, 09:42 PM
emarts emarts is offline
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Back to the topic at hand. I've only worked for one photographer directly and he only does minor retouching as he wants to spend most of his time behind the camera. I also worked breifly with a highly-paid automobile photographer and he was clueless about retouching. I definitely think there is work available through photographers, but for me I have found most of my success with creative companies who purchase photography but need it edited.

Personally, I would like to become a professional photographer myself and do all my own retouching. It's very fulfilling.
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  #16  
Old 10-25-2005, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caitlin
RooB, you are going to have to give some real examples to convince us the costs you are quoting are realistic.
Consider this for a moment.

Again, during a work day, a high-end glamour photographer will take several thousand pictures-- the photographer will narrow the photos down to a few hundred photos as the best of the lot for his sets. The photographer will sell those sets to content providers for anywhere from $500 - $5,000 depending on the number of photos (and name of the model) he has taken. But before he sells those photo sets to content providers (who buy the photos for a few dollars each), they need to be retouched or they won't sell at all. So, even though the photographer is making a hefty profit on his photography, he still can't afford to pay "professional" rates, because if he does he's going from making a mint to making a pint (or even going broke) just in retouching fees. And even from the start, almost half of his profit will eaten through travel expenses and paying the model(s) for their time.

So, if he's dealing with 100s of photos to sell on every work day (he may do 4-5 shoots every week) which sell for $4-$5 per photo to various content providers-- how, exactly, is he going to afford to pay more than $1 or $2 per photo without losing his profits?

By the way, when I say glamour photographer-- I don't mean fashion photographers who publish maybe a dozen pictures at a time in a magazine or hired for a specific job-- I mean glamour photographers, who are responsible for the content of modelling sets designated for website publication where 100s of photos are published at a time.

Quote:
We've already established in other threads that you are prepared to work for non-professional rates.
That's only because I'm not high end, and I refuse to work with commercial industries-- and I do turn down jobs that I consider have unprofessional rates for my area.
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  #17  
Old 10-25-2005, 11:54 PM
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roger_ele roger_ele is offline
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I have a studio and we do our own retouching and printing. I also belong to the local pro photo group and I would guess from talking to the other photographers that the 50/50 guess is about right I think in most cases it has less to do with the business model and more to do with the personality of the photographer.
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  #18  
Old 10-26-2005, 06:44 AM
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byRo byRo is offline
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How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

Guys, all this makes for a long discussion - but doesn't go anywhere at all!

[see "Rant"]

Retouching can be whole lot of different things, can take from 2 minutes up to 4 hours (or more). That's a factor of 120, and you try and compare the prices as if all retouching was equal?

RooB has already said in other threads that he does not have heavy overheads and lives in an area where the cost of living is lower. The US$1800 figure might be OK for RooB (Canada), for me (Brazil) it would be real good money.

Here's my logic....
Good retouchers can be found all over the world*.
+ Clocks run at the same rate all around the world.
+ Internet has completely done away with distance as a factor.
+ The buying power of a buck is very different around the world.
= Lots of very happy third-world retouchers.


* OK, maybe I'll concede the high-end NYC guys - but only maybe
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  #19  
Old 10-26-2005, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by byRo
Guys, all this makes for a long discussion - but doesn't go anywhere at all!
Too true, byRo, as you say, there's so many conditions, factors, and variables it is impossible to come to any sort of agreement or understanding, not to mention that there are many different types of retouching jobs, and they don't all have the same professional pay scale.
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  #20  
Old 10-26-2005, 11:09 AM
emarts emarts is offline
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Further my education please. Are there many retouchers getting work straight from the Internet? All of my work comes from face-to-face meetings with clients. Sure, after a while, they will send me work via the Internet, but I don't have any clients that are outside of my grazing range.

Can you really make a living having never met the client? Or are these only onesy-twosy type jobs?
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