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Newbie to this site - Pricing Question

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  • Newbie to this site - Pricing Question

    Hello all,

    Was doing some research tonight and came across this excellent resource. I'm a web developer but have been doing more and more retouching work after dating a pro photographer / retoucher.

    Question.. How much would one charger per image as an amature for a image that would be used by a professional. Ie) Realtor Mug.

    Be back Soon,


  • #2
    Hi brandonx49,

    Welcome to RP!

    I'm surely not the right person to answer your question as Photoshop is just a hobby for me.... but I searched the forums for topics concerning quoting and pricing Restoration/Retouching jobs ..... I think here you can find what you are looking for .... Just scroll down the forum's page ...


    • #3
      Have an hourly rate you can quote but...

      We charge $75 per in Hillsborough, NC for all digital manipulation work including cropping, sixing, color balancing, restoration, blablabla. If you're into this because you like it and enjoy the challenge though, you tend to go overboard when doing a job. I usually use any downtime I have tweaking a finished job trying to make it better... I probably shouldn't but I can't help myself. I usually stick to my estimate in terms of actual charges but I show my actual hours on the invoice and then credit the overage to the client so they know what actually went into the job.
      We charge between $30.00 and $120 to digitize the original depending on the size and process. For originals up to A4 we use an Imacon scanner and charge $37.50. Between A4 and 22" we shoot with a Nikon D1X and charge $50. Anything larger gets the fine art treatment with a 4x5 camera and we scan the film on the Imacon, that's $120.
      Most restorations are done in 3-4 hours but charged at about 2 hours. Ad manipulations sometimes go to 10 or 12 hours... show dogs and graphical composites mostly.
      We always charge for proofs and meetings away from our shop.

      The idea is to give yourself room in case something gets out of control... like the client, so you can cover extreme overuns while also making it possible, in a good situation, to under promise and over deliver. That keeps the good ones coming back and the hard cases profitable.

      Keep in mind we're a small shop in a small town. Big metro areas probably mean higher rates.


      • #4
        Hmm thats nice I will have to move to USA after school

        On my vacations I was working in a small photo studio in my town.
        Medium restoration (scanning, colors, cracks, balancing, print 10x15cm) costs about 30zl (1 american dollar = 4zl ) So here in Poland we have "quite" different prices


        • #5
          Sample of my Work

          Hello - thanks for your input Chip.

          Here is a sample of my work. The photos were taken by a local pro. photographer in town with proper lighting and an very expensive Fuji S1 Pro 6 MP camera. Sure beats working on the typical 3 mp camera where the detail is terrible zoomed up close. The client asked me to retouch them after I told them I'm doing this type of work now. They were not pleased with the yellowish tinge to everything and the usual. I charged them $40 Canadian an hr for 3 images. All images (5) probably took me around 2 hrs but I'll only charge them 1.5 hrs cuz I'm an ameture still.

          Brad's Retouching

          Any critique would be much appreciated.. thanx. I uploaded them to my website. Cheers, Brad


          • #6
            Never quit...

            This is kind of lengthy.

            Originally posted by brandonx49

            Here is a sample of my work. The photos were taken by a local pro. photographer in town with proper lighting and an very expensive Fuji S1 Pro 6 MP camera.

            Brad's Retouching

            Any critique would be much appreciated.. thanx.

            I guess if I had any critique it would be for the photographer. I think your color correction and skin work are good. It's always difficult to evaluate color from one monitor to the next but I think you fixed a problem the photographer probably should have dealt with... white balance. I don't think the S1 can output RAW file format so it is essential that white balance be right on when they make the exposures.
            White balance is hard to fix in photoshop because different parts of the scene respond to different light differently. That's not exactly what I mean but I can't think of a better way to say it. Anyway, you did a good job fixing it. I've resorted to keeping a collection of pictures with a variety of skin tones and lighting situations which I know are accurate and use them for comparison when making corrections.
            If I were to change anything about the finished work it would be to cancel the double highlights in the eyes on the studio portraits. A single, preferably roundish eye highlight is more pleasing to look at. For head shots I keep the setup simple with a single umbrella behind and to one side of the camera and a reflector near the subject on the other side.
            You know you did good when the subject sees your finished product and they say, "hmmm, I didn't know I looked that good!" ...which doesn't happen all the time, for me anyway.
            You say you're an amateur but you've now done work for hire. Don't say that anymore and practice every chance you get. Your confidence will grow with experience but you have to act confidently to get the experience. $40.00 per hour is probably a good starting point but don't advertise it. It's much easier to give a break on a high rate than it is to increase a low one later on. It can be scary quoting a high rate because the client may walk so let them know you can negotiate. Don't get fixed on hours or rates. Find out what they truly want and then find a way to give it to them while getting what you truly want.
            Practice, experiment, fail... you have to know what doesn't work as well as knowing what does. Never quit.


            • #7
              I come at this discussion from the perspective of a former graphic designer and commercial photolab marketing person (clients all commercial photogs and art photogs, not wedding/portrait types).

              These thoughts come from commercial photography, not retouching:

              1) Someone will always charge more than you, and less. You probably won't go wrong by doubling whatever price you currently charge. Someone who's doing good business will still be more expensive.

              2) If you are cheap you should think about ethics. Cheap part-timers hurt people who are trying to make a living. Maybe you should get good before you charge anything at all.

              3) You might consider levels of work rather than hours. Hourly pricing removes the possibility of making up on an easy job what you've lost on a hard one and it leads to squabbles. If you start with a quote and stick to it, the client will be happier when you deliver. Never tell the client how many hours it really took, don't fish for sympathy or talk about offering a bargain.

              4) Consider minimum pricing per photo or per project. Skilled technical people do that, unskilled technical people fail to do that. It's a test.
              For example, you might want to charge $75 from the get-go, which might include unspecified hours of work to get to an improved state. If the image looks tough, you might want to specify $125. This would not include the cost of the final print.

              Just thoughts, but they're time-tested in various markets.


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