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What would you charge?

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Old 04-25-2002, 03:07 PM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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What would you charge?

Lorraine C. inspired this idea:

Pick a Challenge (or more) you've completed and submitted, and decide what you'd have charged a client for it if it had been a "real" work order.

Format it like:

Restoration Challenge #99 'Impossible Restoration' - $39.95
(because: yadda yadda yadda)


Manipulation Challenge #666 'Assignment from Hell' - $999
(blah blah blah)

Just hit 'Reply' here and take the plunge (when replying to someone else's reply, make sure we know which one you're replying to )

If this catches on maybe we'll make it a regular Challenge (optional) feature.
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Old 04-25-2002, 04:41 PM
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Ed_L Ed_L is offline
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Location: northwest Indiana, about 45 minutes from Chicago, IL
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I think that's a good idea Doug. There's no way I could put a price on one of my entries. I'm simply not good enough or fast enough for that, but I'd be interested in seeing what some of the others come up with.

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Old 04-25-2002, 09:45 PM
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Roger Roberts Roger Roberts is offline
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This is a great idea,I'm looking forward to the reponses
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Old 04-26-2002, 12:35 AM
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Jakaleena Jakaleena is offline
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Talking Restoration Challenge #28 (Cisa)

Restoration Challenge #28 (Cisa)
Oh my GAWD!! - $150.00

I only have 3 prices:

Level 1 - $37.50
Level 2 - $75.00
Level 3 - $150.00

Here's how I decide which level a job is:

level 1 ($37.50)
*Repair of minor cracks or creases in low detail areas
*Correction of brightness, contrast or color
*Sepia toning for antique quality if desired

Level 2 ($75.00)
Includes all level 1 items, plus:

*Major cracks or creases in low detail areas
*Tears or rips in low detail areas
*Minor facial damage not affecting facial features
*Simple removal of small objects

Level 3 ($150.00)
Includes all level 1 & 2 items, plus:

*Missing or grossly damaged facial information
*Extensive damage in detail areas
*Damage covering more than 30% of the image
*Add/remove people or objects
*Colorizing if desired
*Original image larger than 8x10
*Textured or E surface on original
*Combining 2 or more photographs

The price is for the restoration ONLY - prints are extra and the cost depends on the size of the print. My markup on prints is my cost x 2.2 for anything 8x10 or bigger. Smaller prints use a different formula. I do include a CD-ROM of the work in the restoration price. If they don't order a print at the time of the restoration, I also include a 5x7 proof print.

I always figure that a level 1 restoration should take me less than 45 minutes . Level 2 can be anywhere from 60-90 minutes. Level 3 just takes till I get it done - hopefully only between 2-6 hours... (Cisa took about 3-4 hours)

Level prices are for scan, manipulate, and burn to CD.

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Old 04-26-2002, 11:12 AM
Gerry Monaghan Gerry Monaghan is offline
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Montour Falls NY
Posts: 51
This is helpful for me.

OK so I liked what Jakaleena did with this, and since this is very relivant to my current state of formulating a business startup, I decided to go see what Jakaleena had done with Cisa, and of course I got caught up in trying to do the challenge.
Now I am back to the question of what I would charge. In the case of Cisa Challenge # 28, I would say that in the client meeting on this project I would have used the "lets see what we can do in 2 to 3 hours approach. Jakaleena, thank you for the information on your pricing guidelines. I am absorbing this stuff like a sponge.
I also want to say, that after looking at all the photo restoration websites out there, I think Doug has it right. $35./hr is alot friendlier than $50. And how you do the math to get to your price of $150 is up to you. I also think it is helpful to break it down by the service performed. Hi-Res Scan & Basic Cleaning ($25). Hand Coloring ($40), and then give an hourly rate for reconstruction and restoration, and a per unit cost for prints made, CDs burned, and archival storage materials provided. I see my future clients responding to the simile of my service being like sending your treasured photos to the dry cleaners.
Lets face it, this is a relatively low paying way to use Photo Imaging technology. In the comercial art relm, Imaging is billed at $100 to $150/hr plus. But this is so much more fun!
I think I would rather spend my time on easier projects that yeilded better results than Cisa #28. Gerry M
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Old 04-26-2002, 12:15 PM
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Jakaleena Jakaleena is offline
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Thanks for the comments, Gerry.

I'm just starting out with my own business, although I have done this kind of work in labs for a while... Here is some of the reasonings for my price structure, and anything anyone has to say that would be helpful is always appreciated.

My own personal pricing structure is based on the prices we've charged at labs I've worked at. Plus, I live in a really rural area. I know someone's furst thought might be that one should charge less if in a rural area, but here are a couple of considerations for me:

1) I always offer to come pick-up and deliver. That's because I've had a few people call and want the work done, and say they'd be out to drop it off - but they never quite get around to it.

2) I don't use email or mail order labs. The lab is a 1-2 hour drive for me (depending on which one I use). I have to make 2 trips, one to drop off and one to pick up.

3) If someone does happen to order from information I have online, I have a more itemized price structure - like separate charges for the work, the scans, the CDs, etc. I haven't had anyone order via internet though...

I do have one question related to this discussion... I know that photographers are loathe to publicly discuss methods of arriving at prices for fear of being accused of price fixing. Is discussing how we arrive at our prices OK? I just thought I'd ask...

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Old 04-26-2002, 03:12 PM
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Ed_L Ed_L is offline
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I don't think there is anything at all wrong with discussing how people arrive at price structures. I'm sure there are quite a few old posts concerning pricing (on this forum). Tom (Thomasgeorge) has made some good posts concerning how he handles the client's photos, and how he deals with the client. If you haven't seen the posts, do yourself a favor and check them out. Knowing what you're talking about, and educating the customer can go a long way in getting and keeping customers.

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