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Are my rates too cheap?

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  #1  
Old 11-23-2015, 09:58 AM
sm00 sm00 is offline
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Are my rates too cheap?

Most of my clients live in England and that is the market I'm targeting. I currently do creative retouching for photographers part-time (but recently have had some commercial requests).

A photographer friend advised me to charge around £12 per image for fashion and beauty. So this is approximately what I'm charging, but I spend an absolute minimum of an hour on a fashion image (usually average an hour and a half) and up to 2 and a half hours on a beauty image, but I don't think this is enough for my time or for my level of expertise. Here's a preview of an image in my portfolio from last year - looking at it now I can see areas for improvement, but nevertheless it should give you an idea of the level I'm at.

Can anyone give me an idea of the actual market rate that I should be charging? It would be much appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 11-23-2015, 03:17 PM
Tulack Tulack is offline
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Re: Are my rates too cheap?

Market rate? Depends on your market... Professional retoucher working for big company take $1000-$2000 per image.
Retouching companies charge around $500/hour
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  #3  
Old 11-23-2015, 03:54 PM
sm00 sm00 is offline
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Re: Are my rates too cheap?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulack View Post
Market rate? Depends on your market... Professional retoucher working for big company take $1000-$2000 per image.
Retouching companies charge around $500/hour
Freelance creative retouching for photographers part-time, as I said.
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Old 11-23-2015, 05:16 PM
Tulack Tulack is offline
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Re: Are my rates too cheap?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sm00 View Post
Freelance creative retouching for photographers part-time, as I said.
It's not your choice. "Demand creates its own supply"
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Old 11-23-2015, 06:30 PM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Re: Are my rates too cheap?

It can be really low or really high, depending on how good you actually are, what your market is etc.
It doesn't matter if the photographer is from England or from Mars, if he shoots stock photography he will pay less then someone that's shooting for a major client.

If you are getting fully booked, it's time to charge more.
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  #6  
Old 11-23-2015, 07:35 PM
klev klev is offline
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Re: Are my rates too cheap?

Your location say London. This is not a viable business model in London. If your work is just sufficiently good, you would be much better off working for a shop at a junior level.

It's important to have a good idea of where your speed and quality are at today. These vary exponentially between individuals. For example my judgement is reasonably good, but I'm not that fast. When I was doing this on a daily basis, I was definitely faster. Both are important though.

You also need to consider your clientele. Someone will only pay you a certain amount per image or per hour on a long term basis if you generate sufficient value and you're good at client management aspects of the job.

I also hope you come to realize that statements like this

Quote:
Originally Posted by sm00 View Post
Freelance creative retouching for photographers part-time, as I said.
are completely meaningless. It matters what they will actually budget for the work, assuming you aren't going to track down a set of new clients at an updated rate schedule.

I don't think you have a viable long term business model if you can't acquire jobs that budget a bare minimum of £100 per page and preferably more like 150. You would of course need to be able to get those jobs, but I don't see how you can live in London at lower rates after budgeting for the necessary equipment (displays, colorimeter, Mac, printer, RIP, etc).

In the US you also have to deal with a slightly higher tax burden, because you have to cover both portions of payroll tax (employer and employee portion). Many freelancers also consult a cpa on tax matters, so it does add up. If you're charging something beneath a typical skilled wage and incurring the extra overhead, you don't have a viable business model.

Depending on your state may also have to register with a specific board to collect sales tax on applicable invoice items. I would imagine London has its own set of headaches.
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Old 11-24-2015, 12:54 AM
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Repairman Repairman is offline
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Re: Are my rates too cheap?

You have to be looking at least £25 per hour to make this worthwhile even as part time beer money. For a living you'd want at least £50 and upward. I can't judge your work because you may have been working to your own brief which is a different ball game to receiving a set of instructions that has to fulfil a specific brief. Avoid agreeing to set unit prices: therein lies penury!
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Old 11-24-2015, 02:39 AM
sm00 sm00 is offline
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Re: Are my rates too cheap?

All useful points to consider, thanks.
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Old 11-24-2015, 02:43 AM
sm00 sm00 is offline
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Re: Are my rates too cheap?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skoobey View Post
It can be really low or really high, depending on how good you actually are, what your market is etc.
It doesn't matter if the photographer is from England or from Mars, if he shoots stock photography he will pay less then someone that's shooting for a major client.

If you are getting fully booked, it's time to charge more.
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.
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  #10  
Old 11-24-2015, 02:45 AM
sm00 sm00 is offline
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Re: Are my rates too cheap?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulack View Post
It's not your choice. "Demand creates its own supply"
It is my choice. Thanks.
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