How do I work out what is fair to pay for photo editing?

  • I know it all depends on the person but I have never done this and have no idea about any estimates: Let's say I go shoot someone but then I send my RAW photos to someone else that is good with Photoshop to edit them and send them back to me. What is the average price for this? Like I said I have no idea that is it $1.0 per picture? or $10.00 per picture ? or $50.00 per hour? Just some ballpark.

    I'm curious about what sort of photos you want edited and the outcome you're looking for. When I edit my photos (I am no professional), I spend about 5 minutes at most on each picture. Occassionally more if I'm adjusting the level curve or something. Am I missing something?

    @Myridium Both the time it takes and the quality of the result are dependent on the skill of the person doing the editing. Some people who enjoy photography don't enjoy the editing process and have no interest in developing those skills, or may not have time to do all the editing they want done, but still want refined, high-quality images.

  • feetwet

    feetwet Correct answer

    6 years ago

    I have used retouchers in China like these guys that charge $5/picture (and less for large quantities) and aren't bad for basic retouching. For more skilled retouchers $10/picture is common. For pros that are more on the "graphic artist" level the rates I see run $50-$100/hour.

    ah good to know! I was thinking of $20.0 for like 10 pictures :D I was way off then.

    @Blake: Depending on what you want done I wouldn't say that's inconceivable. For example, if you just want someone to run some auto-balances and heal obvious marks -- something that takes a decent Photoshopper one minute per photo -- and you're potentially a regular customer I could see pricing like that. For $5/photo I expect skin smoothing, highlight fixes, some enhancements like teeth-whitening and eye sharpening, and hand-tweaked tone balancing. Stuff that might take around 5 minutes.

    Note that the link is dead.

    I have hard time with that, Some Retouching like adjusting light and remove some obvious blemish may take 2 to 15 minutes, but newly i work with an makeup artist in a test scenario to see if we can work together, i do adjust light first, then match face skin color, then clean hair, blemish, and distractions, frequency separation, dodge and burn, and some time local dodge and burn, working on eyes, fixing edge issues on lip and may other places, and it took minimum of two days in one of the images. 5$ even in country such as mine (Iran) which a programmer wage is around 100$ lead to starvation.

    @deadManN: You're definitely not going to get two days of work for $5. I suspect the basic retouching I was getting for $5 was taking under 10 minutes because they were doing routine things with which they were experienced and had a streamlined workflow. What you're describing could probably be done by an experienced retoucher in much less time, but you're going to have to "audition" retouchers just to find one that does all of that nuanced work in a style and quality that satisfies you.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM