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An ad that was never used

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  #11  
Old 06-29-2003, 03:11 PM
Ho72 Ho72 is offline
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Location: The great Hoosier state
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Thanks

Thank you all for the positive comments. Ed, the restored image in the ad is the original orientation. I flipped the unrestored version for placement in the ad because I liked better. BTW, that restoration was almost automatic... when I looked at the red channel, almost all the spots had healed themselves!

As to whether I'll take another stab at creating a business out of retouching, well, I just don't know. Given the tedious nature of the work, the hours that can be involved, and a populace that seems to think $75 (what I would consider a minimum for most jobs) is a *lot* to pay someone for this sort of work... I'm not sure my heart is in it.

Howard
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  #12  
Old 07-05-2003, 08:45 AM
Ho72 Ho72 is offline
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Well, my last post seems to have brought discussion here to a screeching halt. Since no one has replied, let me ask a question or two.

Was my price structure and expectation unrealistic? When I said I considered $75 to be a minimum for most jobs, I had in mind the family heirloom photo (not a faded picture of the family dog), in poor to moderately poor condition (no large missing pieces), requiring 4 + hours of reconstruction. Add to this the cost of a LightJet print on Fuji Crystal Archive paper ($5-$18 on average depending on the size of the print) and I think I was giving people a relative bargain. Unfortunately, not many saw it that way. Thus was my idea to associate myself with a studio born.

I think I could do this kind of work sparingly (certainly not several hours a day, every day) if I was being compensated fairly. So, I guess that's my question: What is fair compensation for the work as I've described it?

Thanks
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  #13  
Old 07-05-2003, 11:19 AM
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Bob Walden Bob Walden is offline
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Ho72,

I see nothing wrong with your pricing. The problem I think is more a case of anyone with a computer thinks they can do retouching. And they can. But at what level? I have owned and worked in photo labs most of my life and know from experience that photo retouching is an excellent profit center. Now owners use one or more of their existing employees and teach them the basics. It can be done in house cheaply. Maybe not done well but not a lot of people care about quality or just don't recognise it.

For me doing retouching is personally rewarding and not a way to make a living. For some like Jim Conway, he has the best of both worlds.

Bob
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  #14  
Old 07-05-2003, 08:43 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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HO72,

I think you're the only one who can say what fair compensation is. There is a place for high paying restoration jobs (location might have a big impact on this). But in order to get the higher rates, you will have to be above the rest when it comes to quality work, what you know about older photographic processes, and the way you handle the client's image. Most people are looking for a cheap job, but there are those who will pay for top quality work. In my opinion, if you sell your work cheaply, you can stay very busy, but never make any money.

Let's assume that you have the only known picture (needing restoration) of someone who was very close to you, and they died. You know approximately how much most people charge for restoration work, but suddenly you find one who charges five times what everyone else does. Do you automatically exclude him, or do you find out more about him. My guess is the latter.

Check out some of thomasgeorge's older posts to see how he handles his clients images. He has excellent work ethics, and he won't put your prized photo in a brown lunch bag for packaging.

Ed
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