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Photo Retoucher Rates!?

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Old 06-18-2010, 10:14 AM
digitalgrb8 digitalgrb8 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 21
Re: Photo Retoucher Rates!?

from your site, you seem to have done quite a lot of paid work.
Are you unsure if you are charging the right amount?
I think some retouchers will be fairly secretive about how much they charge. Just like most photographers don't advertise their prices openly. Thats why
on forums like this you may not get a obvious answer.
Why not ask around in Miami as to what your competitors are charging? Or get a friend to do it for you...

My experience in London, is that retouching is pretty expensive over here compared to USA.


Last edited by digitalgrb8; 06-18-2010 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 06-18-2010, 07:45 PM
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JSFphoto JSFphoto is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: NYC
Posts: 26
Re: Photo Retoucher Rates!?

Originally Posted by AFrazier View Post
If you freelance while employed, it will be a conflict of interests, and you won't be employed for long if you're caught.

Unless you have it put into your contract that you can freelance on the side :-) Contracts can be wonderful things if you can understand what they say and negotiate for what you want.
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Old 06-21-2010, 04:33 AM
solus solus is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Singapore
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Re: Photo Retoucher Rates!?

I've been in commercial advertising in asia, Singapore.
I earn about 50K USD as permanent digital imaging artist.
Considering Singapore is one of the top 10 highest cost of living. Nothing is cheap here except cheap hawker food.

The rates for freelancer here usually charge by job basis and charges clients up to $200USD/hr.

I observe that the job nature and client's preferences are rather different in asia, eu & us. I have worked with agencies from NY, Bangkok, Dubai, AUS, BeiJing, South Africa, Middle East, Mumbai, Malaysia, HongKong, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam. Some of them needs heavy retouch, some are demanding, some believe more in photography less retouch, & many more.

Most of the time hr rates don't work well here, considering extensive revision, poor photography. Usually you just have to see the raw shots from the photographer in the brief 1st before quoting the job. Photography is a luxury here, the ever changing brief and the tight timeline do not allow time for props, casting and shoot. Thus stock images always come into play as it is cheap and fast. Therefore if you charge very high and you get a whole lot of stock photos with different perspective,lighting & resolution for the brief, you get into deep shyt meeting client expectations.

Cheap, fast and good doesn't exist. In the present market, every client wants you to be fast and good, .. and cheap. But believe in yourself, if you are fast and real good, charge expensive.
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:15 AM
Scott_J Scott_J is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1
Re: Photo Retoucher Rates!?

Originally Posted by ftp-Jeff View Post
OK, I won't bother!
Ha! Nice one

I used to work as a photographer and I saw prices dropping all the time and realised that the industry was dying when photographers (and I mean pro photographers) were shooting for prestigious magazine for free, just so they could "put it in their portfolio".

Big deal.

This won't pay the bills for the running of the studio and it gives a bad message to art directors/agencies/agents etc. whom then expect everyone to work for free and the prices begin to drop for everyone blah, blah etc.

Also, these same photographers are now in trouble because everyone is struggling and they have helped by driving the price down for everyone else.

Take note

I now see Artworker and Graphic Design jobs advertised with add ons like, "some retouching skills needed" or "retouching required" like it's a second hand skill thrown in.

I was shooting on 'blad with Leaf backs and when I gave out some of my work to the agencies in London to be retouched, the returned quality was gutter raking pee poor, so I decided to do it myself and soon I was getting clients.

Why? Because I cared about the finished output and had knowledge of being behind a camera and I spoke with the photographer or AD who knew what they wanted to achieve (hopefully! ).

I get so fed up when I see these ads for £1 per photo retouching. I call it "cornflake box" retouching ie. badly cut out images, normally placed on a white background with the edges of the model softened badly due to being cut out in Photoshop. Normally seen on the back of cornflake boxes.


I once did a shoot of a watch and had to remove some of the numbers on the dial for the client. When I saw the finished piece which was placed into the advert, the AD had decided to change the colour of the watch from orange to green, but did it so badly that you could still see the orange bleeding around the edges, so in effect they spent £2k on photography and £500 on retouching, and then gave it to the mac monkey in the office to ruin the advert.

The mind boggles...
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