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Average Time Spent per Restoration

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  • Average Time Spent per Restoration

    Face it...When doing this work the main thing we are charging for is out time. That being said, I am curious as to what you think the average time you spend, start to finish, doing a typical restore is and, taking an educated guess, how many restores can you do in a typical day...assuming not all your clients bring in photos that look as though they were dragged through a knot hole backwards then left in the yard for the dog to play with. Tom

  • #2
    At least 2 to 3 hours for average restorations or more. If it goes longer it is usually my own fault because I tend to do things the hard way or I get too picky on the details.
    Haven't been put to the test to see how many a day I could do. I kind of like being able to take my time and not have a back log of jobs waiting.


    • #3
      tom, did you read that part in the rules and bylaws where it says the thread starter has to answer his own question/give his own opinion? i would be esp. interested to know your answer as you have produced quick and reliably good results in all the challenges. You stike me as working quickly and efficiently.

      at this point, i am more hobbyist than business; perhaps the disciplines of the marketplace would speed me up. i have a lot of faded 70's color photos, they usually take me 15-30 minutes to fix, although there have been notable and awful exceptions.

      the older photos i most want to restore, and this seems true of my "customers" too, are usually pretty bad and wind up taking several hours. a noteworthy example: restoration challenge #10 - i conservatively estimate i have put in 40 hr. on it over the last year, and will prob follow some advice of mig to amanda and make a fresh start, aided by everyone else's insights and techniques. it was some comfort to realize that that one is an objective booger, no matter the level of expertise.

      i was given a photo of a bride standing in front of a mirror, wearing glasses. she wanted her glasses removed. i thought, no problem. well, it took me at least 3 hours to get both their glasses off. i never realized before how glasses shrink eyes and discolor the skin behind them. and hide eyebrows.

      i don't know if i could quit at a point i wasnt really satisfied with, even if the customer was. but i also don't kmow if i could change something i thought i had just right that they didn't.

      if anybody needs me i'll be in the sandbox writing 100x on the board "the customer is always

      nope, can't do it.


      • #4
        Oops...Kathleen, You caught me! My average time on a restore that is not one of the nightmare types( Lots of damage,rips,gouges etc.) is one hour start to finish. I dont try to return the photo to "brand new" condition because with or without advanced equipment that is seldom possible. That being said, I still strive for the best results I can obtain. Most of the photos I work on actually require very little other than scratch removal, tone and contrast adjustment and occasionally some mold/stain removal via the clone tool, history brush technique or the constructive use of masking and filters of various types. A really bad photo may take 3-4 hours or more, but I think the reason for what seems like the short times I spoke of is that before I actually begin work, I already have pre planned what to do and the order to do it in. That and being familiar with the tools and techniques I have become comfortable with plus many hours of "play" help keep things moving along. In this business what we are selling is our time. Thus, keeping turn around times at a reasonable level is a must. If the customer is willing to pay for 6 or 8 hours of work, thats great! I have found however that the vast majority are happy with a photo that has good clairity, tone, contrast, with the major scratches etc. repaired and which is easily recognizable at a viewing distance of from 10 inches to 3 or 4 feet and is not over $30 or so, thus I explain to clients what to expect for the minimum time(1 hour) and what can be done for more time and money. Almost all pick the minimum and , interestingly return with more photos for me to work on. I wish there was some way to return every photo to a pristine and perfect condition, but at the present time and with the current technology that just isnt possible, so I aim high but settle for customer satisfaction and quick turn around times. Understand that the times are averages--some photos may take 30 min. others 3-4 hours, but most are in the 1 hour range, thus I can get around 4 or 5 done per average day. Tom


        • #5

          From the land of dig up every ruined, gouged, scratched, torn, messed up photo you can and bring it to Christie, I spend an average of 1 to 6 hours on a photo...depending on the extent of the scratches and mold. Unfortunately being a perfectionist and having a hard time getting away from that I generally get paid for a maximum of about 2 hours. But that is probably my own fault as I can't leave a photo alone until I've done all I can and people in this area just can't afford any more than $30.00 tops.

          So I try to chalk the rest off to a learning experience and practice.


          • #6
            With so many new members, I thought it might be interesting to get some input from you folks on the amount of time you spend on an average restoration...hence the resurrection of this deeply buried thread... Tom


            • #7
              My average time for an average type job is about 1 - 1½ hours, which is what it took for the latest restoration challenge (#35 - Grans).

              Difficult jobs are usually 2-3 hours.

              Horriffic jobs take even longer than that, but the only time I really take those on is in challenges since most people don't want to pay for a full restore on those types of things.


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