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NEW YORK, Freelance Rates, Day Rates, etc.

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  • NEW YORK, Freelance Rates, Day Rates, etc.

    Hello all.

    I have a few questions for myself, and fellow retoucher friends, that we've had trouble finding answers on. seems like the place to go for discussion.

    - For mid high-very high level retouchers, what should their hourly rates be on a freelance basis when it comes to Portfolio, Catalog, Fashion, Advertisements, and so on?

    - Day rates! This is the big whoopie. I've seen this thrown around a lot randomly. When a photographer asks you to come in house (studio) for a few days and ask for your day rate. How do you estimate your day rates overall? Does it somewhat coincide with your freelance hourly rates? What if you're going in house to another studio, company, or Ad Agency, how does your day rate go there as well? This all keeping in mind that absolutely no expenses or benefits are covered for. You're technically still freelance in a sense but just physically being there.

    - Printed Portfolio. I hear it should be done when in New York. What if you have an incredible website with before & after rollovers.. do you still need the printed port? If so, just final images or before and afters set as a double page spread? Lastly, where should you get your portfolio and prints done in the city or brooklyn?

    Any advice or comments are welcomed. Thanks everyone.

  • #2
    Re: NEW YORK, Freelance Rates, Day Rates, etc.

    Wow, I was expecting quick responses from this forum!! No one is familiar....?


    • #3
      Re: NEW YORK, Freelance Rates, Day Rates, etc.

      A lot of things depend from your skills and from clients which want to hire you.
      On the market you can find rates from $10/hour up to $300/hour for freelance retouchers.
      If you work with ordinary photographers/ portfolio shooters you can not expect nothing special about rates , they work without budget and in many cases it is very expensive for them even to pay you $5/hour, mostly they want free retouching, or TFP work, many of them are beginners and want to make portfolio etc.
      In this job you can make money only and only if you work with serious established commercial photographers and clients which shoot commercial work and Ad campaigns for serious professional fashion companies.
      Rates for serious work are from $75-$120 / hour , if you play premiere league rates are from $120-$180/ hour for TOP freelance high end retouchers.
      Well known retouching agencies from NYC and worlwide charge from $200-$600 per hour and serious fashion companies and Ad agencies work only with established retouching agencies .
      It is very difficult ( I don't want to say impossible , because it is possible) to get serious paid job directly from fashion companies .
      The best what you can do as a freelance retoucher is to try to make connections with established retouching houses not only from NYC, worldwide , they have their own full-time retouchers , but sometimes they hire TOP freelance retouchers where they have problems with deadlines .
      That is premiere league for serious paid jobs , everything else is peanut .
      I don't know your skills and your level of work , so I can not help you about rates , but if you have great TOP work it is very fair to charge for commercial work as a freelancer in NYC from $60-$75/ hour.
      Hope that helped,
      Best Regards!


      • #4
        Re: NEW YORK, Freelance Rates, Day Rates, etc.

        If I do any freelance, I think it's easier to charge on a per image basis. You can give someone an hourly rate, but then the next question will be "how long will this take"? Of course, going in for the day is different since you might not know how many images you'll be required to work on and to what end. Since I don't freelance primarily, I can't give you a solid number as to what the standard rates are.

        I got my printed book images done at Adorama.

        I went with 11x14 prints, with spreads being 22x14 which I had them cut down to two 11x14s. I think they were around $2-3 per print. You can upload your images remotely, which is nice. Just be sure to embed your finals with sRGB.


        • #5
          Re: NEW YORK, Freelance Rates, Day Rates, etc.

          Thanks for the responses. So those ranges of rates are freelance and day rate related??


          • #6
            Re: NEW YORK, Freelance Rates, Day Rates, etc.

            Any information on Day rates specifically?


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