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  • Retouching day rate

    Hi Everyone!

    I thought I would get on here as I am looking into retouching as a new avenue.

    Recently got into a conversation about working for a London based production house via an industry peer. After contacting them, they asked me to download a file and retouch it as if it was for a professional photographer's portfolio; the shot in question was a male with pretty spiky hair on a gradient background. I cleaned up the stubble and retouched the skin (blemish removal and general smoothing) and then worked on the hairline, followed by some recolouring of the image.

    An email detailing where to download the image also requested a day rate and a what my level of proficiency was in Photoshop. I have no idea what to charge, how long things should take etc.

    I have been using Photoshop for around eight years professionally but mainly for web design, although I have done some digital art and retouching on numerous occasions. I see myself as proficient at what I do rather than exaggerating, although I know that it takes skill to do quality work. I thoroughly believe in producing top notch work.

    Can anyone shed some light on the costs and timescales? I should add that I'm in the UK :-)
    Last edited by munstonian; 04-12-2013, 04:41 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Retouching day rate

    Retouchers in London can earn anywhere between £12 (Fashion) - £45 (Advertising) per hour depending an what kind of Studio you work for or if you Freelance for the many recruitment agencies out there in-house for an Ad Agency... Good luck. Only you can estimate the hours for the Test Job. Retouching for Retouching Studios is at a higher level than you might of experienced - also there are ways to do something and ways not to do it. How are your Colour Correction Skills - do you understand how to Colour Correct in RGB and then Convert Correctly to CMYK and prepare the file for Print and Proofing? DO you have a Creative mind and understand and appreciate Light, Grading and Mood Styling? And there is the Composing side of things - Masking and Perspective relations to various elements... All these things are what make a Decent Retoucher - in my mind anyway. B


    • #3
      Re: Retouching day rate

      Rates really depend on what you can negotiate and what kind of work you're going for. I'm out in the freelance world as a photographer and I do my own post work. I think that really gives me the edge. People who come to me know I'm the full package as opposed to one of the many who do NOT do their own post. I think by having a reputation for being able to do the processing myself at the level my work is at is why I don't loose the work to some other source.


      • #4
        Re: Retouching day rate

        Thanks cardmaverick,

        Yes you are right I did not state what kind of work I was looking to cover with my question regarding rates... if you are interested to see what kind of work I do please visit my site here:

        But not to worry now - as I have decided to stay put where I am - so thanks to all who replied to me.



        • #5
          Re: Retouching day rate

          Thanks for the replies.

          I have much to learn it seems as this really is a totally new avenue to explore.

          For example, it is knowing what techniques and the workflow process just to start with. The image that I was supplied has been a challenge but as I have not been in the industry, or trained by anyone in the industry, I really don't know if I'm using the 'correct' methods...


          • #6
            Re: Retouching day rate

            Hi Munstonian, I'm curious to know what production agency you approach, I may get in touch with them myself as they seem quite open to new retouchers. Any chance you can pm the details?


            • #7
              Re: Retouching day rate

              pricing your self is one of the hardest things to do. The company i used to work for charged $150/hr for my time. Now that im on my own i cant charge big agency prices, but i am still able to bill out at $75/hr. dont sell yourself short. if you have the skills to pay the bills, charge for it.


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