TPF Noob!
Jan 15, 2016
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Hi guys, I'm a retoucher. :1219: I am used to doing company/agency full time onsite work; therefore, I'm used to the work already being decided and given to me for a set hourly rate. After doing some money saving, I have now left my full time retouching position and plan to become a full time (or close to full time) retoucher. So that means, I am now responsible for finding work and handling pricing, contracts, taxes and more.

I'm asking you guys for suggestions on a couple of questions I have. I want to hear from both photographers and retouchers:
  • What is good pricing for portrait, fashion, photo manipulation/composite, clipping, basic editing or batch editing jobs (for events, weddings and such)
  • Do any of you guys work with retouchers or have a need for them? If you do work retouchers, how often do you work with them, and how to you communicate with them?
  • How do contracts normally go between photographers and retouchers?
  • How much are many of you fellow photographers okay with paying for your type of photography to be retouched?
  • Do most photographers prefer unpaid test work, before paid work?
  • What do any of you photographers look for in retouchers? What do retouchers look for in photography clients?
  • Are there any retouchers here making a decent living full time retouching?
  • If any of you guys have any sample pricing lists, contracts, request forms, and other legal documentation?
  • Where do you draw the line with how much photographers want per assignment regarding pricing and what you are willing to do?
I think those are most of the questions I have. I apologize for such a long post, but I love to hear people's input from both sides of the spectrum. Please feel free to add additional suggestions that I may not have asked about.

I know some people may comment: "why would you leave a full time position for the risky freelancing world?" I agree this is a risky move, but the full time onsite condition was pretty harmful to a health condition I was recently diagnosed with and am still learning how to manage. I figured working from home where I can control my schedule for health management and frequent doctor appointments. I have a few months of savings so I've been putting 90% into portfolio development, blogging and marketing. I am open to taking up a part time job soon to supplement income, just in case retouching does not have an immediate full time income. I know building things like this take time.

I look forward to you guys responses! Thank you!:)

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