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  • Photo manipulation

    Hey all Just wondering how much would you charge for a decent artistic photo manipulation? I've been training photoshop for 6 years have a degree in photo design + graphic design and have been asked for work retouching/manipulation but like full on stuff like not just blemishes as in removing a model from backdrop and creating a total artificial image. For example, somebody wants the girl who has basic body paint for the lines across the body to be turned into a robot, so lots of lights added, mechanics under the skin all that sort of thing... So just wondering what to charge per photo? If anyone knows the average in industry or anything like that or if it's case by case.. I have just graduated and starting freelancer so still testing the waters with pricing. I know always varies with if you do per hour of per photo but just kinda want some opinions

  • #2
    Hi Paranoir and welcome to the forum. Discussion of pricing specifics is against forum rules, and it's strictly enforced, so you won't get a direct answer to this. You'll also probably be advised that you aren't ready for freelancing at this stage in your career.

    Reserving all judgment; I'll say that pricing can be a sketchy proposition, and it really depends greatly on what your "market will bear." If you don't know what the specific task on your table is worth to your client, how on earth could any of us know?

    You must find a way to advance-quantify the work for yourself (in hours, presumably), then multiply it by the hourly rate you'd like to make. Here, I'd add 50% just because it's so easy for this kind of work to snowball on you. Put that figure in front of the client. If it's too much for them, negotiate down from there without devaluing your services.

    If you really want a reference point, something you can try is getting an estimate for similar work from someone else in your locale. At least it will tell you what your competition is charging and what your client would have to pay to get it done elsewhere.
    I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.

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    • Paranoir
      Paranoir commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the feedback, and my apologies on the pricing thing, won't ask again. But I do have to ask why you say i'm not ready for freelancing? Kind of an unfair statement I mean, there isn't really anywhere for freelance training? And so long as I am doing all my research on legalities etc then what is stopping me? I am a graduated designer with a bachelor in arts (double major degree) there was over 100 graduates in my year alone, many studios in my small city are full to the brim, many of us chose to freelance. I'm not really sure why I wouldn't be ready, the only way to be more ready is to experience and learn by doing.

  • #3
    Though HotButton addressed this in the other post, to any potential responders - please remember that we do not allow pricing discussion on the forum. Thanks.
    Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

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    • #4
      We can't tell you how much to charge, for that kind of work, I would charge by the hour, not by project.

      Every photo manip/retouch is different and even then, every retoucher has a different level of skill.

      If you are completely unsure, you can always ask your client what their budget is. That can help you decide if you spend 15 minutes, an hour or 10 hours.
      It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" Winnie the Pooh

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      • #5
        That isn't photo manipulation. It's Illustration. It goes above and beyond typical photo manipulation.
        I'm assuming you have the artistic skills to pull it off and can estimate how much time it will take you - assuming you get exactly what the client wants with the first iteration (highly doubtful.) Like HotButton inferred, you need to set limits on the number of revisions you will make and how many client meetings there will be. Most of the illustrators I work with would do a "quick sketch" or three to see if they are on the right track with the client before committing time into doing a finished piece. A lot of times they will pencil or pen sketch on a printout of the photo right in front of the client.

        If you are in the business of freelancing, you have an estimate of what you need to make hourly in order to keep your business afloat.
        You also have some idea of contracting and licensing on such things.

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