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  • Are these Realistic Rates?

    So I am in the process of setting up my Rates. I feel I do good quality work and should start seeing some compensation for the long hours I spend into retouching. here goes...


    20 or more images- 8$ an image
    10 images- 10$ and image
    1-5 Images- 15$ an image


    Also... what is your preferred method of payment? I mostly see paypal.

    THANK YOU!

    - Jessica

  • #2
    Re: Are these Realistic Rates?

    You're leaving yourself very little wiggle room there J. What if those images take a day apiece? Even if those were hourly prices you'd still be short changing yourself so be as vague as possible! Good luck with your venture.
    R.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Are these Realistic Rates?

      Originally posted by Repairman View Post
      You're leaving yourself very little wiggle room there J. What if those images take a day apiece? Even if those were hourly prices you'd still be short changing yourself so be as vague as possible! Good luck with your venture.
      R.
      This is true. I should probably just talk to the client first and figure out what type of retouching they are looking for.

      Thanks for the input!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Are these Realistic Rates?

        This is an issue that photographers are up against a lot so I will answer as a photographer (who occasionally has a requirement for retouching services).

        It is often useful to ask what the clients budget is rather than to have a standard rate. You can then get into a discussion which goes "OK, for that I could do a basic retouch on X number of images. If you require a more detailed retouch then I would only be able to do Y number of images"

        It is useful to have a couple of examples of a "basic retouch" and a "detailed retouch" to show the client - my guess is that many clients will say "I can see that the detailed retouch is what I want so need to revise my budget"

        Bear in mind that the price you quote cannot be too high (you will frighten the client away) but must leave room for negotiation (eg "I can see that your budget is tight so, if I can use your images for my portfolio I can offer a Z% reduction" etc)

        Hope that helps

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Are these Realistic Rates?

          Originally posted by fraiseap View Post
          This is an issue that photographers are up against a lot so I will answer as a photographer (who occasionally has a requirement for retouching services).

          It is often useful to ask what the clients budget is rather than to have a standard rate. You can then get into a discussion which goes "OK, for that I could do a basic retouch on X number of images. If you require a more detailed retouch then I would only be able to do Y number of images"

          It is useful to have a couple of examples of a "basic retouch" and a "detailed retouch" to show the client - my guess is that many clients will say "I can see that the detailed retouch is what I want so need to revise my budget"

          Bear in mind that the price you quote cannot be too high (you will frighten the client away) but must leave room for negotiation (eg "I can see that your budget is tight so, if I can use your images for my portfolio I can offer a Z% reduction" etc)

          Hope that helps

          This is a fantastic help. I really dislike the idea of set rates but that's all I see other retouchers advertise. I absolutely understand a limited budget and I am more than willing to work with people seeing as retouching doesn't feel like work to me.

          Thank you again. this was a tremendous help.

          - Jessica

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Are these Realistic Rates?

            I mostly retouch my own photos. When I work on am image taken by someone else, it's for practice. I'll admit that I'm totally clueless regarding retouching rates. I've given some thought to offering up my retouching services. I may do so regardless because the challenge and experience are attractive on a personal level. However, from a business standpoint, I can't justify opening Photoshop for $8 an image for anything except the most basic 10-15 minute retouch.

            I'm not knocking your prices, I'm just curious. How much time to you anticipate spending per image and what sort of retouching would be expected?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Are these Realistic Rates?

              Originally posted by drode View Post
              I mostly retouch my own photos. When I work on am image taken by someone else, it's for practice. I'll admit that I'm totally clueless regarding retouching rates. I've given some thought to offering up my retouching services. I may do so regardless because the challenge and experience are attractive on a personal level. However, from a business standpoint, I can't justify opening Photoshop for $8 an image for anything except the most basic 10-15 minute retouch.

              I'm not knocking your prices, I'm just curious. How much time to you anticipate spending per image and what sort of retouching would be expected?
              Valid points but, assuming Jessica is relatively new at this and is trying to get started as a business, it is essential to get networking and play the long game. Photographers, models, stylists etc start off doing lots of work for low rates in the hope that someone will remember them when a more lucrative contract comes along. Admittedly, many have to wait a long time, and, for some, lucrative work never comes along. But charging a full market rate as an unknown will not get you much work (IMHO)

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Are these Realistic Rates?

                You make a great point. The argument is if you do work for free or cheaply, you are somehow cutting other folks rates and hurting the industry. How then does a new photog/MUA/model/retoucher, get in the game at all? How do you gain experience and make contacts?

                You work cheap and maybe even free to cut your teeth. IMO, You earn your chops by taking whatever work you can get in the beginning. Hopefully, if you work hard and develop your skills and contacts, you can command higher rates and work on higher end projects.

                Sorry about getting off topic. I didn't mean to hijack Jessica's thread.

                Originally posted by fraiseap View Post
                Valid points but, assuming Jessica is relatively new at this and is trying to get started as a business, it is essential to get networking and play the long game. Photographers, models, stylists etc start off doing lots of work for low rates in the hope that someone will remember them when a more lucrative contract comes along. Admittedly, many have to wait a long time, and, for some, lucrative work never comes along. But charging a full market rate as an unknown will not get you much work (IMHO)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Are these Realistic Rates?

                  I find quoting an hourly rate and estimating the amount of time required per image (based on a discussion with the client of what they would like to see changed/fixed) to work better than a flat "per image" rate. This also discourages clients from dumping hundreds of sub-par images in your lap and expecting them all to go over the moon. Hopefully instead it gets them to choose a few select images they would like to see beautified and helps to manage their expectations up front in terms of what is possible and what is affordable.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Are these Realistic Rates?

                    Adam raises a very good point. Never drop your price without getting something in return - however trivial that something might be. If you quote $500 and the client says 'I only have $250' it is important not to roll over and except. Get a concession from them even if it's only more time to do the job or payment on delivery. Be wary of using a spratt to catch a mackeral - if you work cheap you'll get cheap. It is soul destroying to work all hours for a pittance and your work will suffer. Don't be a busy fool - if your good you'll get the work. People use retouchers for a variety of reasons; one being to save their butt because they screwed up. People pay good money to get out of a fix!
                    R.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Are these Realistic Rates?

                      So tell me, if I had ten bucks to spend on either a mc donalds happy meal, or have you retouch a picture for me, what can i expect from you? I mean, those fast food burgers are pretty damn good, and I wouldnt want to spend my hard earned singles on something else. what are your skills? experience? are you good? do you suck? what do you classify as retouching. Maybe your skills and work are only worth as much to warrant such a low price, but I couldnt imagine you do much at all for 8-$15 per image. Id love to see some examples of before and afters you have done. If you are "retouching" images for your friends facebook pages, and your idea of that is hitting the auto correct button and saving it as a little jpg to email around, ok, your price is cute. If you are talking about real high end retouching, and you have the work to back it up then you are either incredibly foolish and have no concept of business, or the value of your time... or you are kind of like a Mother Theresa of the photo world.

                      Off the cuff, if anyone came to me and said that they can do retouching for the equivalent of what some uneducated shlepp working at taco bell makes per hour, Id laugh, and realize that they do not have any clue as to what is required to do that kind of work, nor have they put the time or investment in to the education, experience, and equipment necc to do a substantial job.

                      Sorry to sound harsh, but your prices are a joke, unless, like i said, you arent worth more than a few bucks an image with what you are capable of. At the rate your planning to charge, you may as well do it for free and for the fun of it. I dont see any rent or mortgage payments in your horizon, but lots of food of the dollar menu!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Are these Realistic Rates?

                        Wow

                        Harsh is an understatement. Maybe you were born with savant like abilities; the skill of a master and the rates to match. It's hard to get started, it's hard to learn and grow, it's hard to ask questions and it's especially hard to be belittled by those who might help (but don't). It is, however, courageous to make the effort. It is brave to suffer the slings and arrows and continue to move forward.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Are these Realistic Rates?

                          Jessica, allow me to give you KISS! Keep It Simple Stupid.

                          Set an hourly rate, whatever works for you and whatever your geographic market can handle. One simple easy rate, whatever it is, since you are starting out, I would say $75/hr. I don't know, it is your rate and you know your market, this is just a starting point.

                          What you do in this hour is irrelevant, you remove a blemish or white balance a photograph, the same thing. You spent it on One picture or many, does not matter. The thing is, you just spent an hour doing retouch. The clock ticks from the moment you locate the first file till you save the last one. So, the hour includes the open/save and load next. If I give you 100 pics 10k each will take some time to load and if I gave you 500 MG TIFF file, you know where I am going..You got your behind covered either way.

                          An hour is an hour is an hour. Then, you set minimum, say 30 minute minimum. There are some wise people out there that would love to pay for 5 minutes.

                          This will save you the trouble of 5 pictures or 20 photographs. Simple and easy on all to understand. The other advantage to this is, it gives you the opportunity to "size" the job and see how much you would like to get out of it without revealing your actual rate.

                          Moving on to another but related subject: You Can Never Be Expensive Enough!!!

                          You know the old saying "you get what you pay for" - same here, if you are affordable -reads CHEAP- so is your work. Price your self high, then, size a job lower, meaning "oh, don't worry Aladdin, this is really going to be 30 minute job" Ah, it will cost me $40 bucks to do, it is only 30 minutes which sounds a lot better than "She did 20 pics for 40 bucks, it is like $2 each, she is so cheap" totally different perspective.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Are these Realistic Rates?

                            Part of me wants to really lay into you and the other part says to take it easy. First, relax and it's unfortunate that your first reaction is that you feel belittled. Sarcastic in my reply? Absolutely , but only to try and wake you up or anyone else for that matter , ESP when you are not only undervaluing part of the industry but more importantly devaluing yourself. I don't know anything about you, your skills , your experience or what your background is or where you want to go ultimately but in simplest terms to answer your original question.... No! Your rates are not realistic..... At all..... if you are truly doing retouching. Makes no difference if your starting out or trying to break in or whatever. You shouldnt be giving it away and at the prices you list well, that's basically what it is sounding like. You want exp? Test, assist, intern, study etc but your not helping yourself or anyone out by working cheaply. First, you'll become known as a cheap source, second you won't be getting any work worth anything at all since nobody's going to shoot a big commercial job and say hey there this girl who can retouch our campaign or ad or wedding or portrait or whatever for that matter for about ten bucks an image. You will jam yourself into a hole real fast if you are really trying to make a go at it and get somewhere. Third you'll have a tough time being taken seriously... Hence my sarcasm.... Nuff said. Fourth , you had better learn to shake it off if you don't hear something you don't like. ESP in this field, it moves fast and nobody really gives a shit if your feelings get hurt. What are you gonna do when after you finish some pics and your about to send out an invoice for $20 and your client calls and says they're unhappy and want you to do it over or change it or give them a refund? Cry and put a little

                            I'm no savant or retouch guru. I can hold my own but I have never given my or my colleagues time away for nothing since there is value in what we do. If you feel otherwise then you need to start selling that point to people. Any retouched I know usually is charging at least $250 /hr. Maybe there's $125 per in there as a favor or low end or bulk work but never ever ever like what you had in mind. Now one caveat. I'm talking real retouching here. Good skilled aesthetically pleasing and professional level. And without still knowing you or you abilities it's a blind guess as to what you would be worth. But if you are good then you are a fool for not being compensated properly.
                            So point being and in closing........ Pretty please, with sugar on top, and chocolate syrup and sprinkles and a big fat cherry....... Don't sell yourself short, cheapen and devalue the trade, and start off down the wrong path. If that still stings too much then I'd be happy to hear from anyone else that disagrees and can put it more gingerly

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Are these Realistic Rates?

                              Originally posted by garibaldi View Post
                              Part of me wants to really lay into you and the other part says to take it easy. First, relax and it's unfortunate that your first reaction is that you feel belittled. Sarcastic in my reply? Absolutely , but only to try and wake you up or anyone else for that matter , ESP when you are not only undervaluing part of the industry but more importantly devaluing yourself. I don't know anything about you, your skills , your experience or what your background is or where you want to go ultimately but in simplest terms to answer your original question.... No! Your rates are not realistic..... At all..... if you are truly doing retouching. Makes no difference if your starting out or trying to break in or whatever. You shouldnt be giving it away and at the prices you list well, that's basically what it is sounding like. You want exp? Test, assist, intern, study etc but your not helping yourself or anyone out by working cheaply. First, you'll become known as a cheap source, second you won't be getting any work worth anything at all since nobody's going to shoot a big commercial job and say hey there this girl who can retouch our campaign or ad or wedding or portrait or whatever for that matter for about ten bucks an image. You will jam yourself into a hole real fast if you are really trying to make a go at it and get somewhere. Third you'll have a tough time being taken seriously... Hence my sarcasm.... Nuff said. Fourth , you had better learn to shake it off if you don't hear something you don't like. ESP in this field, it moves fast and nobody really gives a shit if your feelings get hurt. What are you gonna do when after you finish some pics and your about to send out an invoice for $20 and your client calls and says they're unhappy and want you to do it over or change it or give them a refund? Cry and put a little

                              I'm no savant or retouch guru. I can hold my own but I have never given my or my colleagues time away for nothing since there is value in what we do. If you feel otherwise then you need to start selling that point to people. Any retouched I know usually is charging at least $250 /hr. Maybe there's $125 per in there as a favor or low end or bulk work but never ever ever like what you had in mind. Now one caveat. I'm talking real retouching here. Good skilled aesthetically pleasing and professional level. And without still knowing you or you abilities it's a blind guess as to what you would be worth. But if you are good then you are a fool for not being compensated properly.
                              So point being and in closing........ Pretty please, with sugar on top, and chocolate syrup and sprinkles and a big fat cherry....... Don't sell yourself short, cheapen and devalue the trade, and start off down the wrong path. If that still stings too much then I'd be happy to hear from anyone else that disagrees and can put it more gingerly

                              That was the entire point of this thread, To hear the opinions of a set rate... I do not charge anything atm simply because people do not know of me. I have done my research and most freelance retouchers have a set price for however many images they retouch... I do not want to freelance in this business. I am looking for a steady job doing in house retouching. Yet right now (trying to graduate school and all) I am looking to make some cash for tuition and get my name out there. I agree with almost everything being said on this thread. I am in no way offended, belittled, hurt, or pouty. I appreciate the input from everyone and just want to try to do the easiest thing.

                              But the hostility... yeeesh

                              Comment

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