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Photographer
Mad Hatter Imagery
Posts: 1,287
Buffalo, New York, US


When a graphics artist generally is always swamped does that mean that they are really good at what they do, or can it just as easily mean they advertise themselves well? I would like to find a graphic artist I can actually afford, but I assume those that are always busy charge more because they are more busy and not necessarily because they are better than the next person. Thoughts?

How can someone get the best value for the lowest price per photo?
Jul 06 13 07:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
DevKevin
Posts: 117
Wittenberg, Wisconsin, US


To me and this is my "opinion" prices will always vary for most retouchers depending on what/how much there is to do.. It's sometimes a over priced and over valued industry....not that people are not worth the time that they charge because they very may well be...but I think that prices should be reasonable for the effort and time someone puts into the work they are doing for you.



I don't believe in gouging people...but being fair, I know what my time is worth and it's not 50 dollars an image...not to say the quality is lacking either for something that might be 10 dollars an image...could be/ most often is the same quality just depends on the person using the pen I suppose... my opinion smile
Jul 06 13 07:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mad Hatter Imagery
Posts: 1,287
Buffalo, New York, US


Yeah. I would figure as much, but some people really demand a pretty penny. There might be the same graphics person asking for $50 an image, but if I post a casting call or whatever for a graphics person and offer a much lower amount they could just as likely as anyone else answer the ad and make a special exception because nobody else wants to pay $50 either. lol.
Jul 06 13 09:31 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
DevKevin
Posts: 117
Wittenberg, Wisconsin, US


That's true, I know for me I charge from 8-14 dollars and image and that's not because I think I'm bad at what I do but because I think that's what is fair for you and for me
Jul 06 13 10:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Digital Artist
Koray
Posts: 6,685
Ankara, Ankara, Turkey


Mad Hatter Imagery wrote:
How can someone get the best value for the lowest price per photo?

good luck with that.

Jul 07 13 02:20 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Mike Needham Retouching
Posts: 369
Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom


DevKevin wrote:
That's true, I know for me I charge from 8-14 dollars and image and that's not because I think I'm bad at what I do but because I think that's what is fair for you and for me

I don't want to have to eat cold baked beans out of a tin though. I presume you can rattle 4 of those off an hour, or do you like cold baked beans?

Jul 07 13 04:00 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
DevKevin
Posts: 117
Wittenberg, Wisconsin, US


Mike Needham Retouching wrote:
I don't want to have to eat cold baked beans out of a tin though. I presume you can rattle 4 of those off an hour, or do you like cold baked beans?

I think it also depends on the volume of work that you produce within a week/month.. and come on who doesn't like cold baked beans!

Jul 07 13 07:47 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Evan Hiltunen
Posts: 3,113
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US


Some people will look at a retoucher's before & after images, then look at their rate, and decide whether or not to hire them.

Other people will have an image, or images, they want worked on, have a budget in mind, then find a retoucher or graphic artist that will accept that budget.

Both approaches are completely wrong.

The OP needs to follow this formula:

Tr - K /5.3 = GWD

This is the general rule, and a general-ism, that will solve all your problems.
Jul 07 13 09:04 am  Link  Quote 
Digital Artist
Melania Morabito
Posts: 181
Vibo Valentia, Calabria, Italy


Koray wrote:

good luck with that.

+1.

I think the value of the work is, or should be, related to the price. I've never seen someone doing an amazing work for a couple of bucks. BUT, I've seen the contrary (MEH!): people that still need to learn what photoshop is about and have huge prices. But I bet they're not going to have a busy business tongue

Jul 07 13 09:51 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mad Hatter Imagery
Posts: 1,287
Buffalo, New York, US


Evan Hiltunen wrote:
The OP needs to follow this formula:

Tr - K /5.3 = GWD

This is the general rule, and a general-ism, that will solve all your problems.

Explain what this formula means? What is Tr and K and GWD?

Jul 07 13 10:13 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mad Hatter Imagery
Posts: 1,287
Buffalo, New York, US


DevKevin wrote:

I think it also depends on the volume of work that you produce within a week/month.. and come on who doesn't like cold baked beans!

I don't think many people wish for anyone to have to live on a Romin Noodle budget, but even if someone charged only $10 per image and did 4 images in an hour that is $40/hr. In the long run that can easily become more than I make, and a graphics person can be working independantly in their basement and not really answer to any boss in the mean time and have any number of clients without anyone knowing what their true volume of business is as well as having employment elsewhere as well. So it seems like it can be a very flexible and decently lucrative occupation.

Jul 07 13 10:16 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
LA StarShooter
Posts: 1,794
Los Angeles, California, US


They are not really making $40 per hour if they do 4 in an hour, charging ten dollars per image. First they have to discuss what needs to be done. They have to receive the images. Download them. Depending on their connection--well, I just downloaded one of my large files and it took about five minutes. Even if the connection is fast, that time factors into the actual amount. Then sending the images--. Collecting money--that's time.

In addition, the retoucher may not have a full week of retouching. They may only pick up 80 images. Which, if it were their only source of income would make it a rough week.

A good retoucher might be able to eat if they got $15-20 per image and they got enough work at that price.

Of course, it depends on what you want done.

In about six months I may be ready to offer really good retouching. I don't think I could pull if off for ten dollars an image. And by that I mean you use Photoshop or programs that offer that kind of quality.
Jul 07 13 10:33 am  Link  Quote 
Digital Artist
Melania Morabito
Posts: 181
Vibo Valentia, Calabria, Italy


Mad Hatter Imagery wrote:

I don't think many people wish for anyone to have to live on a Romin Noodle budget, but even if someone charged only $10 per image and did 4 images in an hour that is $40/hr. In the long run that can easily become more than I make, and a graphics person can be working independantly in their basement and not really answer to any boss in the mean time and have any number of clients without anyone knowing what their true volume of business is as well as having employment elsewhere as well. So it seems like it can be a very flexible and decently lucrative occupation.

It all depends.
For example, I actually charge 50$ for one full digital artwork, but it takes me 10+ hours, seems honest to me.

Jul 07 13 10:36 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mad Hatter Imagery
Posts: 1,287
Buffalo, New York, US


Melania Morabito wrote:

It all depends.
For example, I actually charge 50$ for one full digital artwork, but it takes me 10+ hours, seems honest to me.

Is that $50 in Italian funds? lol. I'm not refering for the large part to a complete overhaul. Mostly cleaning an image up without warping it and making it look unnatural. Keeping it look natural and not surreal is my main point of focus. If it is a full blown art project with many layers and filters etc than I would expect to pay more yes.

Jul 07 13 11:47 pm  Link  Quote 
Digital Artist
Melania Morabito
Posts: 181
Vibo Valentia, Calabria, Italy


Mad Hatter Imagery wrote:

Is that $50 in Italian funds? lol. I'm not refering for the large part to a complete overhaul. Mostly cleaning an image up without warping it and making it look unnatural. Keeping it look natural and not surreal is my main point of focus. If it is a full blown art project with many layers and filters etc than I would expect to pay more yes.

no, is in dollars...quite a misery in euro, just 35. big_smile

Jul 08 13 01:24 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Chuckarelei
Posts: 9,309
Seattle, Washington, US


DevKevin wrote:
That's true, I know for me I charge from 8-14 dollars and image and that's not because I think I'm bad at what I do but because I think that's what is fair for you and for me
Mike Needham Retouching wrote:
I don't want to have to eat cold baked beans out of a tin though. I presume you can rattle 4 of those off an hour, or do you like cold baked beans?

There are some operations in India and China charge a lot less than that.

Jul 08 13 01:38 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Mike Needham Retouching
Posts: 369
Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom


Chuckarelei wrote:
There are some operations in India and China charge a lot less than that.

It's not a fair comparison, as well you know the cost of living across the world varies. I responded to a remark from someone quoting dollars and living in the USA.

Jul 08 13 02:37 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Anthony John Turner
Posts: 7
Manchester, England, United Kingdom


my personal belief as a U.K. Freelance graphic designer/motion designer... IT depends on the work, the way I charge is via a consultation. You speak to the client find out what is needed to be done and charge by severity and time it will take to complete tasks, Once your name is a household name and your known for 'your unique style' you have a USP (Unique Selling Point) that people come to you for.

So to clarify.

My method...

1. Speak to the client.
2. Find out what they want doing set it in stone via email/paper/smoke signals...
3. Then i work out how easy it is for me to complete it in the shortest amount of time possible. (time is money)
4. Send a low res (watermarked) version for the clients approval.
5. Payment transfer.
6. File transfer.

I say I averagely charge between £2.50 - £20.00 per image depending on if it needs a quick retouch/colour alteration or a complete haul or even a restoration of an old image (they take time and patience)


Where as a BATCH ORDER can say 10 images no matter what severity of the image £100 normally takes 2 days max for me (to complete at a high level)

say you do them 10 images in 1 day thats £100 P/d say you get 5 of them every week thats £500 a week say you continue to grow your business at a cheap revenue... thats £2000.00 a MONTH! thats more than easy to live off for a starting out freelance.

I really hope this helps you understand how freelance artists work. BUT MAKE SURE you know what they can do to one of your images before you agree to a bulk.

Most of the time i give a freebee to show them my skills on an image they shot.

Anthony.
Jul 08 13 02:57 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Mike Needham Retouching
Posts: 369
Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom


Anthony John Turner wrote:
I say I averagely charge between £2.50 - £20.00 per image depending on if it needs a quick retouch/colour alteration or a complete haul or even a restoration of an old image (they take time and patience)


Where as a BATCH ORDER can say 10 images no matter what severity of the image £100 normally takes 2 days max for me (to complete at a high level)

say you do them 10 images in 1 day thats £100 P/d say you get 5 of them every week thats £500 a week say you continue to grow your business at a cheap revenue... thats £2000.00 a MONTH! thats more than easy to live off for a starting out freelance.

Most of the time i give a freebee to show them my skills on an image they shot.

Anthony.

By your example, let's take the worst case scenario of two days for ten images. That is actually now £50 a day, let's say over a working week of six days, that's £350 pre tax. You are also assuming a volume of work steadily flowing in.

Why give freebies that cost time and therefore money? A portfolio negates the need for people to question your skills. I don't question your right to do so, rather the principle in general.

Jul 08 13 05:48 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Kristiana-Retouch
Posts: 289
London, England, United Kingdom


Mad Hatter Imagery wrote:
How can someone get the best value for the lowest price per photo?

You may try to contact someone from India or China and if they will charge you with local rate you will probably get low rate.

downside - you may run in language barrier
downside2 - you will never know what you will get with super low rate

Jul 08 13 11:49 am  Link  Quote 
Digital Artist
Vasadi Studio
Posts: 11
Orange, California, US


It really depends on if you just need retouching or photo manipulation. Photo Manipulation takes a lot longer and I don't think asking for $50 and above is out of the question.
Jul 22 13 06:50 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Digitized Life
Posts: 20
Antioch, Tennessee, US


Mad Hatter Imagery wrote:
How can someone get the best value for the lowest price per photo?

Candidly Speaking.. U CAN'T

If you want quality you will have to pay more or suffer more.  I am in the process of redesigning the home page of my website and as I looked around, seeking another small business owner I found a lot of promises & pretending about what a person could do. Few had a history of delivering what they advertised and those who could produce wanted 2-3 times more that I can afford.  While I respected them, I did not hire them and went overseas to fill my need.  I'm getting a better value for the $$$ spent but a much lower value in terms of process & performance.

When it comes to "busy" much of that can be the person, their motivations & distractions vs. actually being consumed by work.

Jul 22 13 08:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Photos by Edward
Posts: 59
Phoenix, Arizona, US


i usually quote my regular rate for every job. For clients that I know have a smaller budget I'll let them know this rate is negotiable and if they have set budget I'd be happy to consider it. Once I know exactly what the job is (how many photos, the level of retouching they expect and what deadline they have) then most of the time the client and I can find a happy medium. Artists who are working a lot (like models who work a lot) don't need to take low budget jobs so they might seem a bit pricey. But finding hi end jobs is still difficult. The recession may have ended for some but companies are still tight about money. I'm sure you can find a quality artist or retoucher that can help you out. Request a portfolio review with before and after shots and ask for a resume (yes a good artist will be happy to show his resume/client list). Make sure they give you a detailed quote in writing so there are no surprises when they turn in the job. Also trades are becoming more of an option for artists. It never hurts to ask.
Jul 22 13 08:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Natalia_Taffarel
Posts: 7,665
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina


Digitized Life wrote:
When it comes to "busy" much of that can be the person, their motivations & distractions vs. actually being consumed by work.

Why would I do cheaper work below my regular quality? What do I get for it?

I'd be busy so I couldn't take on better offers that time
I can't use them in my portfolio
I won't get future work out of it

I'd only be doing it for the little money.

How does that sound like good business to you?

Is not about popularity or an attitude problem is about making good business inclined decisions.

Jul 23 13 08:10 am  Link  Quote 
Digital Artist
araielpl
Posts: 50
Garwolin, Mazowieckie, Poland


You should separate retouch from making photo manipulation. If you do that, then price 50$ or above is not that much... Honestly it's really low. I made some photo manipulations in the past for 40 Euros per image which took me 6-11 hours to do so 4 Euro per hour is not a great deal.

Also here is an example - I made these two works as a personal projects:
http://lukaszliszko.com/?page_id=76
http://lukaszliszko.com/?page_id=95

First took 15-20 hours to make it. Second one about 30-40 hours. People write to me to do something similar for them but I can't do that for 10$... If you write to digital artist/retoucher you should ask yourself if you would like to work for 2$ per hours as you propose.

Ps. I didn't want to say that retouching should be cheaper but an avarage retouch takes less time to do then photo manipulation. That was my point. Also I know that there are many great retouchers with amazing skills who should rate 50$, 100$ or more per image wink
Jul 23 13 04:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Toto Photo
Posts: 2,511
Belmont, California, US


Mad Hatter Imagery wrote:
When a graphics artist generally is always swamped does that mean that they are really good at what they do, or can it just as easily mean they advertise themselves well?

I've been in the marketing business for decades. I can get people to try someone's business, but there usually aren't enough new prospects to sustain a one-time-use business model. In other words, most likely they are busy because they are good and much of their busy-ness is repeat clients.

Mad Hatter Imagery wrote:
I would like to find a graphic artist I can actually afford, but I assume those that are always busy charge more because they are more busy and not necessarily because they are better than the next person. Thoughts?

I disagree, see above. If wishes were horses beggars would ride.

Mad Hatter Imagery wrote:
How can someone get the best value for the lowest price per photo?

Like any other product or service, shop around.

Jul 23 13 04:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
PWF Retouch
Posts: 290
Jacksonville, North Carolina, US


I retouch because I love to do it. Being as this is not my only source of income, I keep my prices low. Retouching funds my advertising for my photography. I charge $5.00 an image for basic retouching. I give discounts to regular, repeat clients. I couldn't imagine paying $20-$50 an image for basic retouching, but maybe I'm just cheap. Most of us on here are not rich, we're just regular Joe's doing this for fun or to make ends meet.
Jul 23 13 05:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
btdsgn
Posts: 2,212
Wahiawa, Hawaii, US


I've charged $1000 for a cover, but that's the only image I've retouched all year. Although I'm forced to eat ramen because of my business decisions, the good news is I still have time to come to MM and lurk... hmm
Jul 23 13 07:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Natalia_Taffarel
Posts: 7,665
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina


btdsgn wrote:
I've charged $1000 for a cover, but that's the only image I've retouched all year. Although I'm forced to eat ramen because of my business decisions, the good news is I still have time to come to MM and lurk... hmm

Loreal pays 1500 for KI wink

Jul 24 13 08:43 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
btdsgn
Posts: 2,212
Wahiawa, Hawaii, US


Natalia_Taffarel wrote:

Loreal pays 1500 for KI wink

I could probably afford a drink with my meals if I could charge that much... I'm destined to be poor. big_smile

Jul 25 13 03:02 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Seoul Photography
Posts: 404
Seoul, Seoul, Korea (South)


Instead of per image, work out your per hour cost and figure out how long it will take you to do the work they want.
If someone wants a simple beauty retouch, it might be a quick job. Maybe an hour. If someone wants compositing, with a new background + effects +etc then it might be a multiple hour job, but each one is still one image.

Say to yourself, my work is worth $20/hour, so it's a 3 hour job to do what they want for image X, so tell them they need to pay $60.
Jul 25 13 04:19 am  Link  Quote 
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