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  • NYC Retouch Industry

    Hi everyone,


    I figured to sign up on this website after I made another post (on a different web source) that didn't receive much feedback on and hoping to get great advice here. I'm pasting my post below.
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    Researching the Retouch industry here in New York as not much information is provided online. Below I have some specific questions. Any feedback, or tips, are welcomed and appreciated. **Please don't reply with unnecessary responses. This is not related to Graphic design, Web, or off topic conversation** THANKS!


    - Average salaries (full time) for Junior to Senior level Retouchers in Ad Agencies, Retouch houses, E-Commerce company, Magazine, Photographer's Studio, and so on.

    - Average hourly rates (freelance) for Junior to Senior level Retouchers.

    - Contracted hourly rates vary on the project uses? A model's portfolio image versus something commercial?

    - Day rates? I've heard this term being used around. What is the difference between providing a day rate versus hourly rates? Do companies that contract independent retouchers prefer getting flat day rates over hourly rates?

    - Companies hiring retouchers on a part time basis, does the retoucher provide their average hourly rate as an independent contractor or a reduced rate for working in-house?

    - Great companies to work for in Brooklyn and NYC?

    - Additional tips and info?

  • #2
    Re: NYC Retouch Industry

    I'm afraid you aren't getting it here, either.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: NYC Retouch Industry

      Isn't this THE Retoucher forum though? There must be a ton of NYC retouchers on here.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: NYC Retouch Industry

        Ha... I'm with Benny.

        The range of rates are so broad that it's hard to pin it down to an average rate for any of these. I'm guessing you're just starting out or you'd already know how to bs your way to the wage you want. It is quite the racket and you will need a lot of confidence and talent/skills to back up asking for a high rate. I would stay away from day rates or salaried positions if you can... or you will work 12-15 hour days for the price of 8 hours. But you gotta start somewhere... so look at some of these less desirable gigs as stepping stones. Leave a place when you hit a wall or are being taken advantage for too long. I've had more luck freelancing and charging hourly rates. But got my chops starting out working e-commerce for $25 per hour for retail companies and then worked my way into some of the bigger retouch houses to really get my skills polished. They work you really hard and don't give much love... but you'll learn a lot and if you can put some of their names on your resume, you will get calls for freelance gigs. Box and Gloss are 2 of the more notorious retouch houses I can think of, but there are a lot of smaller and medium sized retouching studios that are popping up here and there. I've had some good experiences with the smaller studios, mostly because they still are excited about what they are doing and treat you like a freelance contractor instead of like a slave. They are inconsistent since they can only employ when they have work in. But hopping about keeps it interesting and I've also met some great people that have further connections I otherwise wouldn't have known about. I've been looking at this site recently.. they have a few studios listed, but there are a lot more out there... http://www.productionparadise.com/ph...etouching.html

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: NYC Retouch Industry

          What are the common pay scales for Box and Gloss, studios like that? And then ones not as high end?

          What are common freelance hourly rates?


          Thanks so far.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: NYC Retouch Industry

            If we tell you, then we have to kill you.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: NYC Retouch Industry

              lol...just seeing what the average is and not one's personal rates.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: NYC Retouch Industry

                Here's a dirty little secret. None of us know, either.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: NYC Retouch Industry

                  Originally posted by PaulC7725 View Post
                  lol...just seeing what the average is and not one's personal rates.
                  You can try this trick that many others have used:

                  1. Create a dummy job, so you have all the specifics in front of you.

                  2. Select a few business in your area that offer your services.

                  3. Call them for quotes.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: NYC Retouch Industry

                    Right.....but that's comparing one's freelance rates or employment salaries to a business's costs. Sort of different...know what I mean?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: NYC Retouch Industry

                      Originally posted by PaulC7725 View Post
                      Right.....but that's comparing one's freelance rates or employment salaries to a business's costs. Sort of different...know what I mean?
                      If you are in business you have the same costs as everyone else, although your overhead may be less. (You pay taxes, have equipment costs, advertising costs, etc). And since that is the case, knowing their prices should help you adjust yours to a more realistic rate - a rate that may be able to undercut theirs, since your costs are lower, which can be a positive for you.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: NYC Retouch Industry

                        Originally posted by Shoku View Post
                        If you are in business you have the same costs as everyone else, although your overhead may be less. (You pay taxes, have equipment costs, advertising costs, etc). And since that is the case, knowing their prices should help you adjust yours to a more realistic rate - a rate that may be able to undercut theirs, since your costs are lower, which can be a positive for you.
                        Not really. A lot of well healed shops will do a job for a new client (like the smart guy who's doing fakery over the phone) for a loss, or maybe practically free, just to establish a relationship. Talk to the salesmen/women at some shops. All jobs are not priced the same at all. Even established clients are priced differently - some hourly, some on contract.

                        Besides, a freelancer working from the second bedroom of an apartment has an entirely different cost structure and cash flow than a decent sized house with a diversified business, like having a small print house on the other side of the wall. And, all of this is in constant flux, since this has become a global business, with competition easily accessed on the internet. Today's prices will not be tomorrow's.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: NYC Retouch Industry

                          Originally posted by Benny Profane View Post
                          Not really. A lot of well healed shops will do a job for a new client (like the smart guy who's doing fakery over the phone) for a loss, or maybe practically free, just to establish a relationship. Talk to the salesmen/women at some shops. All jobs are not priced the same at all. Even established clients are priced differently - some hourly, some on contract.

                          Besides, a freelancer working from the second bedroom of an apartment has an entirely different cost structure and cash flow than a decent sized house with a diversified business, like having a small print house on the other side of the wall. And, all of this is in constant flux, since this has become a global business, with competition easily accessed on the internet. Today's prices will not be tomorrow's.
                          Then the freelancers appear to be in a hopeless position, based on your comments.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: NYC Retouch Industry

                            Ok. Let's stay on topic to the original post please. Anyone else care to chime in??? Thanks!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: NYC Retouch Industry

                              This is on topic. Pay attention. Nobody is going to answer your original question, because, as I said, nobody really knows the answer.

                              No, I wouldn't say the freelancers are screwed. NYC is a big enough market to accommodate quality work on many levels. Some clients may prefer the one to one service of a freelancer, as opposed to dealing with intermediaries in a house.

                              Comment

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