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  • Photo Retoucher Rates!?

    So I've seen this question been thrown around. Retouchers offer basic rates when it comes to images used for portfolio only..but once it gets into Advertisement/Publishing it's a different story with their rates and much higher. So for Advertisement, Editorial, and etc. what should the Retouchers rates be?



    Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: Photo Retoucher Rates!?

    Hi Bianca
    1)Your right this question has been asked many times.Doubt you will get a direct answer

    2)Maybe part of the problem is location,as was mentioned in an earlier post an ad from craigslist offering 80000 a year (I think) in New York was not considered that good.
    So what I am basically saying depending on your location lets say New York versus Montreal where Montreal being a lot cheaper to live but rates and salaries are probably a lot lower.
    zganie

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    • #3
      Re: Photo Retoucher Rates!?

      Right of course. But we're speaking of salaries where I was directing the question more to "self employed/ Freelance" Retouchers.

      But of course when it comes to full time jobs location plays a bit part. I'm located in Miami where the cost of living is very high so salaries should be high. Although that's not the case here (economy very bad).



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      • #4
        Re: Photo Retoucher Rates!?

        The question falls to clientele and material. If you're freelancing, fixing old family photographs, good luck trying to get 80k or more a year doing it, unless you're going to also incorporate a full photo studio and take on full time photography to boot (the route I'm headed down).
        If, on the other hand, you're retouching for a major magazine, you have to consider royalties and other things of that nature. The photographer took the picture, but you made it look the way it did, and the owner of the magazine has to pay you a royalty for each copy of the photograph for which you own a small portion of the intellectual property.
        So fix granny's picture for $15.00, print it at 16 × 20 enlarged on luster for an extra $19.50, hit her for $25.00 to dry mount the photograph, and you might make $40.00-$50.00 after product cost.
        OR, you can retouch a photograph for a major magazine, they can pay you $0.10 for each issue since you own a small portion of the copyright (if your contract is written correctly) - multiply that by who knows how many issues times twelve months ... and if you're good enough you might even find yourself with contracts in more than one magazine. That's how you get 80K+ as a freelance. "Free" being the operative word here.
        If you want a salary, you won't be freelance. You'll be employed. If you freelance while employed, it will be a conflict of interests, and you won't be employed for long if you're caught.

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        • #5
          Re: Photo Retoucher Rates!?

          Well that is the case here in Miami for many people...where they are emplo'yed by a company but does freelance..and the company sometimes knows and doesn't really care, they only care if the employee is doing their job and doesnt steal any of the companies direct clients. (I just know off of experience with multiple people). Like I said the economy is very bad here in Miami and employers know that artists will go multiple routes for more money and they can't really stop them.

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          • #6
            Re: Photo Retoucher Rates!?

            Originally posted by AFrazier View Post
            OR, you can retouch a photograph for a major magazine, they can pay you $0.10 for each issue since you own a small portion of the copyright (if your contract is written correctly)
            Never heard of a contract like that. The photographer doesn't get any royalty from a magazine. It's a flat fee, that includes the publishing rights. The retoucher doesn't have any copyright for his/her work.

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            • #7
              Re: Photo Retoucher Rates!?

              I guess it works differently in this industry than in others. I know that a photographer owns the rights to his or her photographs until/unless they are sold, as does a writer, actor, film maker, musician, or any other sort of artist, and they are all entitled to royalties upon the reproduction of the material. Since they are earned in so many of these other industries, I assumed it would hold true in this one as well. I wasn't actually speaking from knowledge or experience. I was offering speculation based upon the common place in other artistic arenas.
              My apologies if I don't know what I'm talking about.

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              • #8
                Re: Photo Retoucher Rates!?

                Originally posted by rovis View Post
                Never heard of a contract like that. The photographer doesn't get any royalty from a magazine. It's a flat fee, that includes the publishing rights. The retoucher doesn't have any copyright for his/her work.
                I really doubt a magazine will ever want to bother having to pay a retoucher 10 cents every issue...rather then just pay one royalty and not deal with it again.

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                • #9
                  Re: Photo Retoucher Rates!?

                  Originally posted by AFrazier View Post
                  I guess it works differently in this industry than in others. I know that a photographer owns the rights to his or her photographs until/unless they are sold, as does a writer, actor, film maker, musician, or any other sort of artist, and they are all entitled to royalties upon the reproduction of the material. Since they are earned in so many of these other industries, I assumed it would hold true in this one as well. I wasn't actually speaking from knowledge or experience. I was offering speculation based upon the common place in other artistic arenas.
                  My apologies if I don't know what I'm talking about.
                  I'm sorry, didn't mean to say what I did as if I was disagreeing with you...just off of what you previously stated I then replied with my own experience of how it has been here.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Photo Retoucher Rates!?

                    It's no thing. I'm not bothered or offended in any way. I was trying to make sense out of how someone could make that sort of money in the "retouching" industry and applying to that some common sense and what I know of other artistic fields. Authors, for example, get about $0.11 per paperback sold, and $0.30 per hardback sold (it might be more than that nowadays). The money earned goes towards the advance given at the time the contract is negotiated by the agent until said amount is paid back. Thereafter, all royalties go to the author on a quarterly basis.
                    I know that photographers have copyright rights. The contract the lawyer drew up for me for doing wedding shoots has a clause discussing who retains the rights to the photographs. They are my intellectual property, and they can't be reproduced without my permission (not that that will stop anyone in the digital age). Major magazines aren't above the same laws. They have to purchase those rights from the photographer, or pay him or her for each use of the photograph. I would be willing to guarantee that there is a contract involved for each photographer working with each and every magazine, guaranteeing the magazines' protection against copyright infringement, else there'd be lawsuits galore. Putting the photographer's name under the picture isn't enough to satisfy the law.
                    Even in retouching, for example, if you wanted to retouch an Olan Mills photograph, you would have to get a release from them at a cost of $15.00 per photograph, and if the photograph is less than three years old, the release is only good for a limited duration. Copyright is king.

                    So I assumed that there would be something similar with retouching after some form or fashion. After all, it is an art form, and the end product wouldn't be what it is without the artistry of the retoucher.
                    BUT ... I've never actually tried to work for another company before. I do retouching privately through my own business (If Only Photos), and I've never researched the law concerning copyright issues on the subject. Perhaps I should.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Photo Retoucher Rates!?

                      Originally posted by AFrazier View Post
                      I would be willing to guarantee that there is a contract involved for each photographer working with each and every magazine, guaranteeing the magazines' protection against copyright infringement, else there'd be lawsuits galore. Putting the photographer's name under the picture isn't enough to satisfy the law.
                      Nope, that's not how things work in the real world. Especially today. No way a retoucher is in on some sort of percentage. Hell, 95% of the time the retoucher gets no credit at all. You know, here's a photo by Annie Lebowitz. Yeah, it does look heavily retouched, doesn't it? Who did the retouching? Beats me. Annie's a great photograher, though, isn't she?
                      Just expect a nice little flat or hourly rate and a pat on the butt.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Photo Retoucher Rates!?

                        AFrazier,

                        You need to stop replying to threads and spreading your misinformation and general bullshit. Worse is when you post an example. stop.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Photo Retoucher Rates!?

                          Generally no credit. The world hasn't woken up yet to exactly how much is now done. There would be some damn rich retouchers out there with a percentage

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                          • #14
                            Re: Photo Retoucher Rates!?

                            Originally posted by Benny Profane View Post
                            Nope, that's not how things work in the real world. Especially today. No way a retoucher is in on some sort of percentage. Hell, 95% of the time the retoucher gets no credit at all. You know, here's a photo by Annie Lebowitz. Yeah, it does look heavily retouched, doesn't it? Who did the retouching? Beats me. Annie's a great photograher, though, isn't she?
                            Just expect a nice little flat or hourly rate and a pat on the butt.
                            "there is a contract involved for each photographer ..."

                            I wasn't talking about retouching anymore. Someone said I was mistaken. I said okay.

                            There are copyrights on photographs for photographers.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Photo Retoucher Rates!?

                              Originally posted by Ant View Post
                              AFrazier,

                              You need to stop replying to threads and spreading your misinformation and general bullshit. Worse is when you post an example. stop.
                              Completely unnecessary. I haven't argued the point. I was mistaken. I said so. I merely explained why I thought it might be that way and reiterated that I was mistaken. There was no call for you to speak to me that way.

                              Comment

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