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Are my rates too cheap?

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  #11  
Old 11-24-2015, 10:54 AM
Tulack Tulack is offline
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Re: Are my rates too cheap?

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Originally Posted by sm00 View Post
It is my choice. Thanks.
If it's your choice, why are you asking us? Choose whatever you want.
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  #12  
Old 11-24-2015, 12:44 PM
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Re: Are my rates too cheap?

You're in danger of earning less than minimum wage for your efforts sm00. Personally, I wouldn't want to hear back from someone who considers £15 a lot of money - about 2 hours work at a supermarket till. There is far more non fashion/beauty work around that pays better than that so it may pay to develop that side first!
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  #13  
Old 11-24-2015, 12:53 PM
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Re: Are my rates too cheap?

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Originally Posted by Repairman View Post
You're in danger of earning less than minimum wage for your efforts sm00. Personally, I wouldn't want to hear back from someone who considers £15 a lot of money - about 2 hours work at a supermarket till. There is far more non fashion/beauty work around that pays better than that so it may pay to develop that side first!
Pretty much spot on as a supermarket cashier typically earns around £7.50 hour in the UK.

The National Minimum Wage is I believe £6.70 per hour.

So I think that if your work is acceptable standards you are undervaluing yourself regardless of amateur or pro status.
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  #14  
Old 11-24-2015, 04:08 PM
klev klev is offline
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Re: Are my rates too cheap?

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Originally Posted by Tony W View Post
Pretty much spot on as a supermarket cashier typically earns around £7.50 hour in the UK.

The National Minimum Wage is I believe £6.70 per hour.

So I think that if your work is acceptable standards you are undervaluing yourself regardless of amateur or pro status.
It's much worse after you budget for equipment and add in the accounting costs of self employment. I know it's different there, but it can't be identical. Here my insurance costs were significantly higher, and I had an extra (approximately) 7.5% on the first (approximately) $105k gross. This is equivalent to the employer portion of payroll tax in the US, although the limit is higher now. The accounting is also annoying, and a decent cpa runs ≥$100/hr here (assuming you just need them a few times a year).

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Originally Posted by sm00 View Post
The problem is that if I ever quote over £15 for an image, I never hear back. That suggests my work is horrible but it's actually not, I have done covers and editorials and stuff, and usually I'm very self-critical but it's at least as good as many other retouchers with good portfolios who I see getting paid work. Not sure where I'm going wrong.
There are multiple concerns wrapped up here. First if you don't hear back specifically because you priced yourself out of the market for that client, then that isn't really a potential client. As I mentioned £15 isn't a feasible business model after amortizing your costs of doing business, and existing clients are likely to accept an 800% increase. You won't have sufficient cash flow to cover bad months/years if you treat that as a business model. In your situation it would probably be beneficial to work for a bigger shop that handles retouching for a list of clients. This would afford you a stable income and exposure to jobs that are better than those you could bring in on your own.

As for the results of others comparable to yourself, you misinterpreted them. Those guys have some rapport with their clients. If your work is about on par with theirs and a client already knows and works well with them, they are a better fit.

You don't always know what the images looked like before retouching. There may have been some ridiculous removal of background objects or a swap of someone in a group in some of these shots. Those things aren't always obvious later on compared to something like beauty retouching. In my experience (which is a couple years out of date at this point, I do nerd stuff now) it's a lot easier to get clients by referral or bring on a client who started as a client of a photographer you work with if they liked your work on a particular job.

Lastly on the point of being self critical, you need another pair of eyes. You should also focus on where you can improve rather than whether it's good enough. Good enough is usually helpful when it comes to retaining work, but I don't think it helps acquire new work when the amount available is finite. This is kind of the nature of service based work compared to something production based where you may have more elasticity in demand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Repairman View Post
You're in danger of earning less than minimum wage for your efforts sm00. Personally, I wouldn't want to hear back from someone who considers £15 a lot of money - about 2 hours work at a supermarket till. There is far more non fashion/beauty work around that pays better than that so it may pay to develop that side first!
I suspect London has some work in other types of retouching where the pool of competitors is smaller.

Last edited by klev; 11-24-2015 at 04:15 PM.
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  #15  
Old 11-24-2015, 05:00 PM
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Re: Are my rates too cheap?

For every retoucher making bucks on glossy magazine covers there are a hundred more doing model cards and photographer samples for pennies. IMO you make more money out of putting right what someone else got wrong than you do making good stuff look great and there is plenty of the former out there to fix. Often it's a lack of commercial nous rather than ability that holds retouchers back.
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  #16  
Old 11-25-2015, 07:43 PM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Re: Are my rates too cheap?

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Originally Posted by Repairman View Post
For every retoucher making bucks on glossy magazine covers there are a hundred more doing model cards and photographer samples for pennies. IMO you make more money out of putting right what someone else got wrong than you do making good stuff look great and there is plenty of the former out there to fix. Often it's a lack of commercial nous rather than ability that holds retouchers back.
They are just not as good. It's all one thing. One skill set.

Like saying for every great photographer there are a million making pennies. THEY ARE NOT AS GOOD, that's why. It's not just pure photography, it's about human relations, like any business; retouching, too.
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