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Retoucher
Srinath Mayilswami
Posts: 30
Madras, Tamil Nadu, India


Hey all..
      I have started to do retouching jobs and am currently working with some local photographers. But I am confused about when to get paid? Should I ask for the full payment after agreeing on the price and before starting the retouching work or should I finish the work and then, get paid after sending the final TIFF files? Just curious to know the industry practise.
Aug 30 13 01:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
GK Retouching
Posts: 363
Denver, Colorado, US


Be wary about doing all the work upfront and hoping to get paid. I've been swindled more than once. Also, I wouldn't ask for the money prior to anything being done unless you are working with someone you've already established trust with.

I typically ask for half upon agreement--taken through Paypal so they have the reassurance they can get a refund if you don't come through--and once the image is finished I watermark it. If they are happy with the job, I ask for the rest of the money and remove the watermark.
Aug 30 13 01:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Srinath Mayilswami
Posts: 30
Madras, Tamil Nadu, India


Stolen Fate Design wrote:
Be wary about doing all the work upfront and hoping to get paid. I've been swindled more than once.

Exactly my apprehension.

Stolen Fate Design wrote:
I typically ask for half upon agreement--taken through Paypal so they have the reassurance they can get a refund if you don't come through--and once the image is finished I watermark it. If they are happy with the job, I ask for the rest of the money and remove the watermark.

That's a better way. Never thought about watermarking them. Thank you.

Aug 30 13 01:47 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
GK Retouching
Posts: 363
Denver, Colorado, US


You're welcome. Just make sure you put it in such a manner it can't be worked around. I know that sounds crazy but I've heard of retouchers being hired to remove another person's watermark.
Aug 30 13 01:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Natalia_Taffarel
Posts: 7,665
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina


Picture Ninja Retouch wrote:
That's a better way. Never thought about watermarking them. Thank you.

Please don't... Real professionals don't appreciate when people put watermarks on THEIR image. You will never work on the real industry.

Don't want to get screwed know who you're working with, BEFORE you start working with them. Do they have a portfolio? Real clients of their own? A visible name/website/FB? Etc

Do you want people to trust you, show them you trust them.

Do you want people to respect you? Respect them and their business ethic.

I NEVER get money in advance and I've been screwed ONLY ONCE by Rory Lewis a famous uk based scam artist/photographer.

But I do chose and know who I'm working with

Aug 31 13 03:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ken Marcus Studios
Posts: 8,456
Los Angeles, California, US


It's not unprofessional to require a 50% deposit on all jobs with the remainder to be paid upon completion and delivery.

KM
Aug 31 13 03:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Srinath Mayilswami
Posts: 30
Madras, Tamil Nadu, India


Natalia_Taffarel wrote:
Real professionals don't appreciate when people put watermarks on THEIR image. You will never work on the real industry.

Good to know that. Because I was about to start watermarking my final photos.

Sep 02 13 12:04 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Natalia_Taffarel
Posts: 7,665
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina


Picture Ninja Retouch wrote:

Good to know that. Because I was about to start watermarking my final photos.

You mean THEIR final photo smile

Sep 02 13 07:40 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
FLEXmanta
Posts: 1,001
Madrid, Madrid, Spain


Ken Marcus Studios wrote:
It's not unprofessional to require a 50% deposit on all jobs with the remainder to be paid upon completion and delivery.

KM

It's just not realistic. When you start working in the established industry, as in your clients are production companies, magazines or even advertising agencies, rather than a begginer photographer looking for a retoucher in a forum, an advanced payment would something impossible to comply with. Most of these companies normally pay even months after the delivery of the job (because their clients also pay late, and their clients too, and because there's people in accounting departments whose jobs is to define when money should leave and money should come in).

The rule of thumb is to get paid 90 days after invoice date (at least in most European countries). Some clients I've worked for have paid in 30 days and that makes me consider them excellent clients, like, ABNORMALLY excellent smile

Sep 03 13 03:26 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Srinath Mayilswami
Posts: 30
Madras, Tamil Nadu, India


Natalia_Taffarel wrote:
You mean THEIR final photo smile

Wow. Yeah.. Their photos. Perfectly got it now .. smile

Sep 03 13 04:03 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
ST Retouch
Posts: 323
Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland


This is interesting thread and I can say I agree and with Ken Marcus and with Flexmanta.
30, 60 or even 90 days payment after invoice date is common thing in the industry , also I want to say that  50% deposit is a common thing in the industry and also 100% advanced payment is a common thing in the industry.
A lot of things depends on where is your position on the market as a photographer or retoucher or retouching agency.
If your customers are waiting outside your door just for you and your service you can charge 100% advance payment  and you will not discuss without 100% advanced payment.
If you are less busy and you are looking for customers or ask for job because you ( not "you" personally) have problem to find job ,then you will have to play with "their rules" in many cases.

It is not unprofessional to ask 50% deposit for your new client , because you don't know him/her ( even if your customer have great portfolio, web site, even if he/she has "some name" in the industry , it doesn't mean that this customer is great)
Also problems which you can find once when you start to work with very serious productions, Ad campaigns and fashion companies ( for example when you make shooting, retouching and complete advertising campaigns where you have to work with your team with hundreds of files and when you need with your team 3-4 weeks, even more , to finish that job) it is common to ask at least for 50% deposit or in many cases 100% advanced payment to protect yourself .
It is not problem when you work couple of files from time to time for this or that client , or some simple fashion editorial retouching with 3-5 files for some magazines , you can survive even if they are late with payment, even if they don't pay you you will not die, , BUT when you have to spend one month on job with your team no way without at least 50% payment and other 50% payment with signed contract with bank guarantees.
If your customesr from the industry don't want to sign contract with bank guarantees for serious jobs, that means that customer is not professional.
Very simple.
Leave that potential client  and say thank you.
If you offer unique service , service which customers can not find easy with others, you can play "your rules".
And "your rules" are 100% advanced payment, or at least 50% deposit plus signed bank guarantees.
That's the market not only in photography or retouching business , everywhere.

Hope this helped,
Best
ST
Sep 03 13 05:00 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Natalia_Taffarel
Posts: 7,665
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina


ST Retouch wrote:
This is interesting thread and I can say I agree and with Ken Marcus and with Flexmanta.
30, 60 or even 90 days payment after invoice date is common thing in the industry , also I want to say that  50% deposit is a common thing in the industry and also 100% advanced payment is a common thing in the industry.
A lot of things depends on where is your position on the market as a photographer or retoucher or retouching agency.
If your customers are waiting outside your door just for you and your service you can charge 100% advance payment  and you will not discuss without 100% advanced payment.
If you are less busy and you are looking for customers or ask for job because you ( not "you" personally) have problem to find job ,then you will have to play with "their rules" in many cases.


That's the market not only in photography or retouching business , everywhere.

Not the way it works at all. Where do you get this información?

What "market" you speak of?

Sep 03 13 07:06 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Robert Randall
Posts: 13,842
Chicago, Illinois, US


I have no idea what it's like to work for Internet models or photographers, so I can't comment on how money changes hands in those situations, I can only comment on my own process.

If I work for a client through the efforts of my agents, their policy is as follow...

Estimate the project.
Upon client approval, request a purchase order.
Upon receipt of purchase order, send client a preliminary invoice for 50% of estimate, or all of the production costs, whichever amount is higher.
Invoice remainder of amount due, including any and all overages agreed upon during execution of the project.
Hope you receive the funds within 45 days.

If I work directly for a new client without help from my agents, my policy is as follows…

Estimate the project.
Upon client approval, request a purchase order.
Upon receipt of purchase order, send client a preliminary invoice for 50% of estimate, or all of the production costs, whichever amount is higher.
Invoice remainder of amount due, including any and all overages agreed upon during execution of the project.
Hope you receive the funds within 45 days.

If I work directly for an old client without help from my agents, my policy is as follows…

Estimate the project.
Depending on the scope of the project, sometimes send client a preliminary invoice for 50% of estimate, or all of the production costs, whichever amount is higher, or sometimes not.
Sometimes receive a PO somewhere in the chain of events, or sometimes not.
Invoice remainder of amount due, including any and all overages agreed upon during execution of the project.
Usually receive payment in 10 to 30 days.

Sometimes, the estimate process is as simple as receiving a call from the client, being told what’s in the budget, and accepting or rejecting the project. Since most of my clients have been with me a long time, there is a measure of trust and cooperation. I hardly ever refuse a project, even if it isn’t a moneymaker, because I know they’ll be coming with a moneymaker the next time.

Outside of my long-term clients, who are mostly my friends, it’s not uncommon to have to wait up to 120 days to be paid. I have waited as long as 13 months to be paid by one fortune 500 company.

I am certain that others do business differently, there is no single truth to any of this stuff.
Sep 03 13 08:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Silver Mirage
Posts: 1,560
Plainview, Texas, US


Robert Randall summed it up nicely if you are dealing with established professionals and businesses.

If you are dealing with start-ups or people new to the business you may want to do something like the watermark idea -- just be sure to spell it out clearly in advance so your clients don't 't panic when the see the watermarked image.

As to getting a deposit in advance, why should the client trust you any more than you trust them? A service such as paypal does give them some recourse, but I suspect you will have trouble getting an advance until you have an established reputation.

Many businesses offer a discount if the invoice is payed within 30 days. I found it very effective in my professional days. Of course you have to figure this into your pricing.

Finally, don't count your money until the check clears. My experience is that most people are reasonably honest, but a lot of people are a little bit flaky, tight for cash, or both. You will encounter a lot of people who are slow to pay and a few who never pay. You just have to consider it a part of doing business (any business -- happens to lawyers, doctors and plumbers just as it happens to retouchers and photographers). Over the years I've had several clients go out of business on me, some before I even finished the order. Some after I had spent time and money preparing orders.  Stuff happens, so try to be prepared for it.
Sep 03 13 09:06 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Natalia_Taffarel
Posts: 7,665
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina


Robert Randall wrote:
I have no idea what it's like to work for Internet models or photographers, so I can't comment on how money changes hands in those situations, I can only comment on my own process.

If I work for a client through the efforts of my agents, their policy is as follow...

Estimate the project.
Upon client approval, request a purchase order.
Upon receipt of purchase order, send client a preliminary invoice for 50% of estimate, or all of the production costs, whichever amount is higher.
Invoice remainder of amount due, including any and all overages agreed upon during execution of the project.
Hope you receive the funds within 45 days.

If I work directly for a new client without help from my agents, my policy is as follows…

Estimate the project.
Upon client approval, request a purchase order.
Upon receipt of purchase order, send client a preliminary invoice for 50% of estimate, or all of the production costs, whichever amount is higher.
Invoice remainder of amount due, including any and all overages agreed upon during execution of the project.
Hope you receive the funds within 45 days.

If I work directly for an old client without help from my agents, my policy is as follows…

Estimate the project.
Depending on the scope of the project, sometimes send client a preliminary invoice for 50% of estimate, or all of the production costs, whichever amount is higher, or sometimes not.
Sometimes receive a PO somewhere in the chain of events, or sometimes not.
Invoice remainder of amount due, including any and all overages agreed upon during execution of the project.
Usually receive payment in 10 to 30 days.

Sometimes, the estimate process is as simple as receiving a call from the client, being told what’s in the budget, and accepting or rejecting the project. Since most of my clients have been with me a long time, there is a measure of trust and cooperation. I hardly ever refuse a project, even if it isn’t a moneymaker, because I know they’ll be coming with a moneymaker the next time.

Outside of my long-term clients, who are mostly my friends, it’s not uncommon to have to wait up to 120 days to be paid. I have waited as long as 13 months to be paid by one fortune 500 company.

I am certain that others do business differently, there is no single truth to any of this stuff.

That's pretty much how photography is as far as I see with my clients... retouching doesn't have production cost so the advance of 50% doesn't make that much sense.

Sep 03 13 10:55 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
GK Retouching
Posts: 363
Denver, Colorado, US


Natalia_Taffarel wrote:

Not the way it works at all. Where do you get this información?

What "market" you speak of?

You have probably never encountered this as you're one of the most sought after retouchers in the world, and the business probably always comes to you but those that aren't readily established need to find work where they can and sometimes that means the dreaded Craigslist. Unfortunately you get even less information there so it's hard to do in-depth research on them. I used to base my business on trust--you get the picture, I trust that you'll pay and more than once it was forgotten of, I was ignored or I was lowballed. I've even encountered that here. Why I suggested the watermark. I would never do it to a reputable, highend publisher but the every day photographers/models aren't as reliable and not to sound jaded or cynical some have no problem with ripping you off if you don't work under contract. They straight won't pay you, offer you a job and ask that you do a couple images as a test, which in most cases is a way just to get what they want at no charge, and several other varying methods. Basically, I agree with ST. When you're established you can easily have a set of rules, when you're just starting out you need to change your methods based on each customer/situation.

Sep 03 13 11:05 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Natalia_Taffarel
Posts: 7,665
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina


Stolen Fate Design wrote:

You have probably never encountered this as you're one of the most sought after retouchers in the world, and the business probably always comes to you but those that aren't readily established need to find work where they can and sometimes that means the dreaded Craigslist. Unfortunately you get even less information there so it's hard to do in-depth research on them. I used to base my business on trust--you get the picture, I trust that you'll pay and more than once it was forgotten of, I was ignored or I was lowballed. I've even encountered that here. Why I suggested the watermark. I would never do it to a reputable, highend publisher but the every day photographers/models aren't as reliable and not to sound jaded or cynical some have no problem with ripping you off if you don't work under contract. They straight won't pay you, offer you a job and ask that you do a couple images as a test, which in most cases is a way just to get what they want at no charge, and several other varying methods. Basically, I agree with ST. When you're established you can easily have a set of rules, when you're just starting out you need to change your methods based on each customer/situation.

That's my point. I'm established and I don't ask for 50% in advance.

When I wasn't I didn't ask for 50% in advance

I work based on trust and I don't have production expenses before hand.

I work and always have worked with people I think I can trust.

Sep 03 13 11:21 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
ST Retouch
Posts: 323
Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland


Natalia_Taffarel wrote:

Not the way it works at all. Where do you get this información?

What "market" you speak of?

I speak about real industry with professional clients and big fishes where daily rates are with  very, very   serious 5 digit numbers  just for shooting or  video (without post production for video and photography, this is extra cost)
Next weekend  with my team I will be part of the large team with   one advertising agency and one video production agency for AD campaign for one very  large  company.
We will work with RED Epic camera where only one lens cost about $12000, and for video and shooting you need 4-5 different lenses.
Do you really think that someone will bring on location Red Epic Camera with 4-5 lenses, plus so expensive lighting for video  ( which cost over 100000 Euros) , team, make up artists, hair artist etc without at least 50% advance payment?
And this is just for video production.
Add on this Hasselblad system with lenses  for photography which also cost a lot ( another 50000 euros) .
For your information that company already paid 100% in advance , with this level of job there are no only 50% deposit, no one discuss about that.
They also paid  and extra insurance for equipment.
And that is industry business , a real industry business where everything is with 50% advance payment or 100% advance payment.

So I am wondering about which industry you speak, online retouching for photographers , classroom students , portfolio updating, free magazine submissions, or 3-4 editorial files captured with cheap speed lights for some printed magazines with street fashion files and covered later with color grading  or online magazines or blogs?
That is not a real industry I am sorry , maybe on some forums it is, but in reality there are another rules.
Yes you have right for that , in some cases you have to wait 90 days for your money ( especially if you don't offer very unique photography and  retouching when they MUST pay you with 100% or 50% advance payment, because there are no other people on the market like "you").
There are so many retouchers and photographers which offer that level of job.
Many of them work for free for "some glory" and "promises"about some future work which "will be paid in the future".
I will write again ,  if you are unique in photography and retouching business you play with your rules, and customers will accept your rules.
If you ask for 50% or 100% advance payment, YES they will pay you.
When customers start to accept your rules , that is sign that you are in the industry business.

Many people play on forums some people from the industry, but if someone ask them how many retouching chairs you have in your agency, how many full time photographers or retouchers you have, which professional monitors you have, how many square meters is your studio for shooting and production ( is it 200, 300, 500, 600 square meters) ,with which serious medium format  equipment you work ( Leica, Hasselblad, Phase One, Mamiya) , how many working stations you have, no one will have not even one answer on that questions.
But on some forums "they are people from the industry".
Also many people think that retouching doesn't have production cost, which is really funny.
Yes it is like that if you ( not "you " personally ) is a freelance retoucher from your sofa.
If you have office , expensive equipment, employees you have enormous retouching production cost.
And I am wonder if you say that you are from the industry, that you  don't know about retouching production cost and you speak on forum that retouching doesn't have production cost.
Serious advertising and commercial retouching does have cost, in some cases enormous costs, depends on which project you work .


So that's the difference between serious business and freelance sofa online business.

In serious photo production and retouching business 50% deposit is common, many established photographers and retouching agencies  don't even answer on calls or switch on their equipment without that.

Also Robert Randall has great post about real industry and how things work so read carefully his post.

Best,
ST

Sep 03 13 11:27 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
GK Retouching
Posts: 363
Denver, Colorado, US


Natalia_Taffarel wrote:

That's my point. I'm established and I don't ask for 50% in advance.

When I wasn't I didn't ask for 50% in advance

I work based on trust and I don't have production expenses before hand.

I work and always have worked with people I think I can trust.

Honestly, the only time I can ever really see a need for an advance payment is if the picture requires stock images but that's more for DA and not retouching. I only mentioned the upfront payment as a method of trust, not a requirement and that's for both parties. It's not for everyone though, and a lot of established photographers will laugh and find business elsewhere but for an every day customer it's not that insane of a request.

Sep 03 13 11:27 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Natalia_Taffarel
Posts: 7,665
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina


ST Retouch wrote:
In serious photo production (...) 50% deposit is common

yes

ST Retouch wrote:
In serious retouching business

Name a few

Sep 03 13 11:37 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Robert Randall
Posts: 13,842
Chicago, Illinois, US


Natalia_Taffarel wrote:
That's pretty much how photography is as far as I see with my clients... retouching doesn't have production cost so the advance of 50% doesn't make that much sense.

To my dismay, nearly 50% of my time is spent in retouch. Typically I retouch for clients for whom I am the photographer as well, but not always. Typically my clients are ad agencies or corporate direct, but not always. Typically the retouch is for an image or two, but sometimes it's for a ton of images. As part of my job I'm charged with providing proofs, which, along with messengers or Fedex, are a production expense. Sometimes the proof expenses run into the thousands of dollars, sometimes they are a mere pittance. Periodically, coming mostly from design firms that don't have a production department, I'm charged with supplying press proofs to my clients, which is also an expense that can easily run into the thousands of dollars.

Right at this moment, i'm working on files for the production arm of Publicis. It's an ongoing project that required an NDA, so all I can tell you about it is the number of images will exceed 1000 by the time it's finished. It will take more than a year to complete, and I invoice on a weekly basis.


Again, I don't know nor do I understand, the Internet business model, I can only tell you what I'm conversant with.

Sep 03 13 11:37 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Natalia_Taffarel
Posts: 7,665
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina


Robert Randall wrote:
Right at this moment, i'm working on files for the production arm of Publicis. It's an ongoing project that required an NDA, so all I can tell you about it is the number of images will exceed 1000 by the time it's finished. It will take more than a year to complete, and I invoice on a weekly basis.

Well yes, that's different. Since I've work with long term projects and I invoice weekly/Monthly as well - Not the most common scenario tho.

Editorial - Advertising
WHEN/IF you're not the photographer nor doing production work either proofs are not common.

I work mostly in/for the european market, so I don't know what "common" is in the US

Sep 03 13 12:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Robert Randall
Posts: 13,842
Chicago, Illinois, US


Natalia_Taffarel wrote:

Well yes, that's different. Since I've work with long term projects and I invoice weekly/Monthly as well - Not the most common scenario tho.

Editorial - Advertising
WHEN/IF you're not the photographer nor doing production work either proofs are not common.

I work mostly in/for the european market, so I don't know what "common" is in the US

At the moment, Publicis is one of the four largest ad conglomerates in the world, its headquarters are in Paris.

Sep 03 13 12:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Natalia_Taffarel
Posts: 7,665
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina


Robert Randall wrote:

At the moment, Publicis is one of the four largest ad conglomerates in the world, its headquarters are in Paris.

But again... you did production with them.

I did L'oreal Paris last month 4 KI no production, no proofs, no 50%

My contact is from Paris, the actual production company is in China... Maybe there's no "common"

Sep 03 13 12:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Robert Randall
Posts: 13,842
Chicago, Illinois, US


Natalia_Taffarel wrote:
Maybe there's no "common"

That would be my guess.

Sep 03 13 12:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Srinath Mayilswami
Posts: 30
Madras, Tamil Nadu, India


As much as I love all the inputs from you guys, my head is starting to spin a little. smile I used to work for some advertising photographers here in India and it was common for us to ask for 50% advance. But was just wondering if it applies to retouching industry too. ( I am just starting out and my clients are mostly photographers working in small editorial projects and building their portfolio).
  So, Finally I have decided to decide the price, work on the image, send them a low res version like 800 px long edge and then after getting paid, send the final Hi resolution file. Is it ok do that?
Sep 03 13 02:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Natalia_Taffarel
Posts: 7,665
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina


This might help you https://www.facebook.com/notes/natalia- … 2569812586

oh and yes... it's an acceptable practice smile
Sep 03 13 02:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dean Johnson Photo
Posts: 56,800
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US


Robert Randall wrote:
I am certain that others do business differently, there is no single truth to any of this stuff.

That is a single truth.

I'm going to steal that quote from you as it applies to so many different topics here, I'll credit you the first few times but after that it's mine.
wink

Sep 03 13 03:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Retouch007
Posts: 403
East Newark, New Jersey, US


Natalia_Taffarel wrote:
Well yes, that's different. Since I've work with long term projects and I invoice weekly/Monthly as well - Not the most common scenario tho.

Editorial - Advertising
WHEN/IF you're not the photographer nor doing production work either proofs are not common.

I work mostly in/for the european market, so I don't know what "common" is in the US

WHAT??!!! NO PROOFS in european market I'm moving over there. : )

Sep 03 13 03:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WIP
Posts: 15,406
Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom


Picture Ninja Retouch wrote:
send them a low res version like 800 px long edge and then after getting paid, send the final Hi resolution file. Is it ok do that?

Very low res.

Sep 03 13 03:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Robert Randall
Posts: 13,842
Chicago, Illinois, US


R G wrote:
WHAT??!!! NO PROOFS in european market I'm moving over there. : )

Someone is generating the proof, just not at the RGB stage.  There may be some pubs that use only soft proofing, but I can almost guarantee that somewhere along the line, at least a page proof is required.

In my experience, most of the people that do retouch nowadays are not conversant with a CMYK workflow. I would argue that is probably 99.999% true of the retouchers with profiles on MM. Again, in my experience, most color houses prefer that retouchers provide only RGB files, because it's much easier for them to convert to their own purposes than to have to fix a file that has been poorly converted. For instance, Classic Color, one of the premier trade shops in Chicago, doesn't want files that have a profile embedded. Yet the majority of retouchers feel it's necessary to maintain color management by embedding a profile. Taking a file from managed RGB into unmanaged CMYK is simple. Removing a profile from a managed CMYK file, not so simple.

Sep 03 13 03:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Retouch007
Posts: 403
East Newark, New Jersey, US


Robert Randall wrote:

Someone is generating the proof, just not at the RGB stage.  There may be some pubs that use only soft proofing, but I can almost guarantee that somewhere along the line, at least a page proof is required.

In my experience, most of the people that do retouch nowadays are not conversant with a CMYK workflow. I would argue that is probably 99.999% true of the retouchers with profiles on MM. Again, in my experience, most color houses prefer that retouchers provide only RGB files, because it's much easier for them to convert to their own purposes than to have to fix a file that has been poorly converted. For instance, Classic Color, one of the premier trade shops in Chicago, doesn't want files that have a profile embedded. Yet the majority of retouchers feel it's necessary to maintain color management by embedding a profile. Taking a file from managed RGB into unmanaged CMYK is simple. Removing a profile from a managed CMYK file, not so simple.

I really don't know what 99.999% of retouchers on MM really know or do so I can't speak for them.  That is really interesting to hear about Chicago though lots of us in NYC work in CYMK to avoid problems. I personally have done both with very good success.

Sep 03 13 04:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ruben Sanchez
Posts: 3,433
San Antonio, Texas, US


Picture Ninja Retouch wrote:
Should I ask for the full payment after agreeing on the price and before starting the retouching work or should I finish the work and then, get paid after sending the final TIFF files?

I always get 50% up front before starting.  Once I finish, I send them copies of low-res files so they can see that the work is done, and once I get the other 50%, they get the full-res files.   Of course, I discuss all this in detail with the clients before I ever agree to do the work, else they are going to feel like I'm holding the photos hostage.  It's all business and everything is agreed upon before any money transfer takes place.  It's very professional.

The worst ones who have not paid me in the past after doing the work, were the small advertising agencies, as they also were waiting to get paid by the client, sometimes up to 90 days or more.  I'm sure it's not like that in the large markets of NYC, LA, London, etc., but in the smaller city markets, you have to be aware of who you are dealing with.

Trust is a good thing, but trust does not pay the bills, unfortunately.  On my repeat clients, I don't ask for a fee up front, but instead offer a 15% discount if the entire amount is paid within 10 days.  That's something I learned in my accounting classes, and nearly all businesses, if they have a good accounting department, do pay within 10 days.

Sep 03 13 04:39 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Robert Randall
Posts: 13,842
Chicago, Illinois, US


R G wrote:
I really don't know what 99.999% of retouchers on MM really know or do so I can't speak for them.  That is really interesting to hear about Chicago though lots of us in NYC work in CYMK to avoid problems. I personally have done both with very good success.

I don't doubt for a second that you work in CMYK, which is why, between you, me, and a few other stragglers, I didn't say 100%.

Sep 03 13 05:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Robert Randall
Posts: 13,842
Chicago, Illinois, US


Ruben Sanchez wrote:
On my repeat clients, I don't ask for a fee up front, but instead offer a 15% discount if the entire amount is paid within 10 days.  That's something I learned in my accounting classes, and nearly all businesses, if they have a good accounting department, do pay within 10 days.

For real, fifteen percent discount for pay in ten days?

Sep 03 13 05:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Artist/Painter
sdgillis
Posts: 2,434
Portland, Oregon, US


c_h_r_i_s wrote:

Very low res.

or slap a nice semi transparent logo over the image with words like sample, upaid, rough, draft etc

Sep 03 13 05:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Natalia_Taffarel
Posts: 7,665
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina


c_h_r_i_s wrote:
Very low res.
sdgillis wrote:
or slap a nice semi transparent logo over the image with words like sample, upaid, rough, draft etc

Who are you working for?

I sincerely don't understand why someone would need to do that... wha do you really lose?

They lose the chance to work with you! If you're good, have a fair price and are efficient is their lost

Sep 03 13 05:31 pm  Link  Quote 
Artist/Painter
sdgillis
Posts: 2,434
Portland, Oregon, US


Natalia_Taffarel wrote:

c_h_r_i_s wrote:
Very low res.

Who are you working for?

just about any photographer from this site who I don't know personally and I am totally serious.

Sep 03 13 05:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WIP
Posts: 15,406
Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom


Natalia_Taffarel wrote:

Who are you working for?

I sincerely don't understand why someone would need to do that... wha do you really lose?

They lose the chance to work with you! If you're good, have a fair price and are efficient is their lost

A friend photographer sent out work for approval to a client, full res..... client used the work but became difficult on payment..... it took months and months for the photographer to get the money out of the client.

Sep 03 13 05:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
ST Retouch
Posts: 323
Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland


Natalia_Taffarel wrote:

ST Retouch wrote:
In serious photo production (...) 50% deposit is common

yes


Name a few

Everyone who is in serious business and has costs charge 50% in advance.
This is very common  on  European market ( so if you say that  "you work" in European market .... you should already know that) no one will accept any serious job without deposit.
I can not write you which other agencies charge 50% and 100% advance payment because forum is not a place to discuss about that, their job-their rules.
Maybe you don't ask for deposit because probably you are just a freelance retoucher who  works with couple of files periodically from your home , but once when you start to work serious on the market with office and employees you will ask for deposit , believe me, and you will not write on forums that retouching production does not have cost which is really  nonsense.
Retouching production costs are very high especially if you run your business in large city and if you don't ask for deposit you can find yourself in trouble  with your business.
Personally I don't accept any serious job without deposit 50%, in many cases where I have to work with my team shooting and post with a lot of files , I don't discuss without 100% advance payment.
And I have no problem to get 100% payment when I ask, because I have very large studio with over 700 square meters , with 3 different stages ,with full equipment , guest rooms for sleeping, lounge room etc  so I can offer to my clients  everything from coffee and barbecue up to final advertising files and party at the end.
In my business I don't even discuss about 90 days payment.
I produce with my team thousands and thousands of  files per year for advertising commercial and serious print work , I don't  even count here thousands and thousands of Look Book files and stock files( also many photographers use my studio and equipment for their work ) .
Sometimes if I have to work with couple of files for this or that client or friends , it is not problem they can pay me and later because I have a lot of long-term clients with their open-account system and they pay every Monday or if we have special relations every 2 weeks, but this is only for my old clients.
But when I have to work serious jobs and commercial campaigns  , it is different story, deposit is a must and everyone will tell you that.

I don't like to post about me , simply because I really think forum is not a place for self-promotion , for me it is nonsense to use forums for self promotion ( like couple of others do here ), this is my first post ever about me and probably the last post about me.
I am not here to sell any CD or tutorial , or to make self promotions with hope of finding some clients, I have them a lot.
I like forum because I can share sometimes my opinions and experiences with other members and finally the most important thing  I always look for talents.
And I made post because I found that  many times  some people here on forum play "some established heroes from the industry" even without their simple office and professional monitor and without  knowledge about real industry .
And always the same story from those people with questions and comments to others with words " about which industry you speak, you are not in high industry , we are from high end industry ,etc etc,
A real high end industry means 50% advanced payment or 100% advanced payment , bank guarantees,  real high end industry is when you work with thousands of files per month or tens of thousand of files per year and when your customers play with YOUR RULES.
A real high end industry means offices , large studios , employees , hundreds of clients etc.

Everything else is less or more  online freelance job from time to time for this or that client or some magazine submission  where you play with customer's rules to earn some extra money to pay your bills .

And I hope so that finally couple of you with some your imagination that you are from some  high end industry learned what is a really high end industry and I hope so we will  not discuss anymore  on this great forum and site  child stories about "your industry" in the future.

For all young retouchers which are at beginning of their carriers couple of very friendly advises:

- if you have to work for free sometimes, do it, work for free.
- when you make strong portfolio and when you are sure with your skills and results, start asking for money.
- don't be shy in the business, if you don't ask for money, no one will give you money, if you don't ask for deposit no one will give you deposit.
- if you are shy and if you don't believe in yourself in the business, clients will eat you for breakfast,  they will not threat you seriously and they will leave you without payment and file.
- be always very professional with your clients and be honest, in many cases this is more important thing than your retouching results ( if you are professional and honest they will give you more chances even if they are not satisfied with your results for the first time)
- many potential customers are great and honest , very few are not and keep your eyes open , so if someone doesn't pay you sometimes , go forward , leave it, the future is yours.
- don't start immediately to ask  for deposit especially if you don't have money and when each dollar is very important for you to pay your bills.
- do not show to your potential client that you need money desperately and do not try to make your rates lower, this is the worst thing which you can make.
- when you start to receive more and more clients then is time to ask for deposit .
- remember one thing, with asking of deposit you will be and you will look like a serious retoucher.

Just find the right time when you are ready to ask for that.

Best Regards to All
ST

Sep 03 13 06:12 pm  Link  Quote 
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