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how to find balance between quality of a retouch. and spent time?

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  • how to find balance between quality of a retouch. and spent time?

    what would you do in case of retouching 100-150 images in a very limited time, like 1 week or 2 weeks for all images to spend?

    the people who gave me this job rely on me giving good quality, which takes some time, especially for skin. at this amount of pictures they said its not much skin to do. but the dilemma is in my opinion, if i leave out to retouch most of the skin, in order to make it in this time, the images dont look retouched in the end.

    they are 300dpi at round 11,6 x 8,2 inches, have subjects like Fashion, people, Holiday, partying together, talking, lot of close-ups of skin and 50% bad CMYK scans which look ugly, 50% RGB shots direct from the 16 Mio pixel camera.

    i cant share it with someone, as its paid to less for sharing.

    thanks


  • #2
    If you've got 2 weeks for 100-150 images, then you've got half an hour each, if its only 1 week then you spend 15-20 minutes on each picture and when the times up, thats it, move on.
    If there are some that you think need more time, write down the filenames and come back to them at the end IF you have time spare. If your client wants such a large quantity of images done in such a small space of time and isnt paying enough for you to share the workload then he's not paying you enough to work more than a 40 hour week either.

    Basically it comes down to: fast, good, cheap <- pick 2.

    good and cheap isnt fast
    fast and good isnt cheap
    cheap and fast isnt good

    Clients have to learn they get what they pay for.

    That said you have mentioned this time issue before, spending hours on an image that may take someone else less than half an hour. You have to gauge how unreasonable their demand is. If they really are only minor tweaks but are taking you a long time then perhaps you shouldnt have accepted the job in the first place.

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    • #3
      You should quote the job base on your actual ability to do the job well. If you do the job within the time period but do a bad job, you've wasted your time and their money. Calculate how much time you need, and tell them that's what you need or take it someplace else. I would never take a job and do inferior work on it just to make deadline. I always tell a client I will need more time. Believe it or not, they usually find the additional time needed. And they will appreciate your honesty.

      Remember, you're not just selling retouching services. You're building a relationship.

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      • #4
        Time on a beauty or fashion retouch

        emarts:

        How long do you spend on a high end retouch?

        I am talking large RAW files taken with a Canon 1Ds. Huge files, lots of detail. High-End beauty standards.

        I tend to spend an hour on the skin. Hair can add on another hour to that. If there is any reshaping of eyes, nose and so on this can add on another 30mins to an hour. So 1 - 4 hrs give or take.

        Anyone have any comments on this. How long do you spend?

        (not light touch ups)

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        • #5
          high end fasion work...120 film scans, 80mb files.....no more than an hour...this includes, hair clothes, skin, backgrounds, color correction.

          4 hours of work on an image would cost my clients $300 per image..not that I haven't done it, but the lients pay for that amount, so i can put the time in. so for one job, i would be taking 1800-2500 dollars...they are barely making that much off the photgraphy. If you are making less than $50 an hour on retouching, you are getting ripped off.

          That and the upsurge of all the little kids with photoshop that think they are retouchers, and selling themselves for way too cheap, cause prices to come down a bit. Nobody is going to make a ton of money off of a few images, the idea is bulk....more work you do, more money you make.....isnt that the way a job should be?

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          • #6
            I don't do much fashion/beauty work (wish I did). Most of my retouching is commercial product photos and prototype images. On a truly high-end photo (100 mb or higher) I really could spend 3+ hours on it. Still, I base my estimates on the amount of time I can realistically do it. I will tell a client that one image may cost upwards of $150.00 or more. I'd rather they decline now, before I start, than have to fight for it later.

            When it comes to bulk images, I will give them a per image price. I once did a CD of 150 high-res images for $18.00/image. But the retouching was the same for every image. They were car images, and I had to remove license plates and minor reflections. I think I was able to average 5-6 images an hour.

            BTW, sometimes I build in enough to hire freelancers for some of my easier work.

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            • #7
              thanks for your advices. your right, communicatin well with the client is the point. and experience.

              i talked with him. his clients are awaiting the summer shoots so i hurry now and found a good balance during the work. some images take 2 hours, if much skin and much boosting colors and lights. some take 4 minutes. so in the end, maybe i am on average 30min per image.

              by the way. they scanned the first bunch of images wrong. they scanned from film to cmyk, the colors look washed out now. i made a batch convert to ECI-RGB and boosted colors with an action in PS CS.

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              • #8
                That and the upsurge of all the little kids with photoshop that think they are retouchers, and selling themselves for way too cheap, cause prices to come down a bit. Nobody is going to make a ton of money off of a few images, the idea is bulk....more work you do, more money you make.....isnt that the way a job should be?
                My prices are cheap especially by the industry standards, but you also have to take into consideration TARGET CONSUMERS. My target consumers do not make much money (you're rich if you make $15-20/hr in this area) or have money just laying around the house to spend, but their pictures mean everything to them. I also understand that many people have many pictures they would like to see restored, therefore if I do a good job they will come back to me with more pictures, and their friends probably will too, and their friends and their friends and their friends. Poor people have families and heirlooms too, why shouldn't someone out there offer a service for them instead of salivating over how much they can get away with charging.

                Don't understand what I'm saying - think about gasoline prices. They're almost $3.00/gallon here, and now there's gas stations selling E-85 ethanol gas for less than $1.50. Who do you thinks going to make the money in the long run? The price gougers, or the stations who offer something just as good, just cheaper?

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                • #9
                  its like following up other jobs now from this client...and we talked about my prices. in the end he cant affort to spend the original price for every single image i need 1h to work on, as they have so much, so if i get a job about 500 or 1000 images, i suggested to half the price for images who are easy and fast like 5 or 10min, and to get the full price for images which take 1 or 1,5 h.

                  i hope this was a good idea.

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