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Author Topic: Drawing the Line on Re-touching  (Read 11852 times)
Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #20 on: June 29, 2011, 07:02:20 PM »
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IMO there are allot of over statements and misinformation being voiced here.

Joe, you talk about WE as if there is one one workflow everyone adheres to. There were plenty of bland homogeneous overly lit interiors long before digital. There has always been bad and good photographers-always will. There really is no WE. Just speak for yourself.

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Interior photos are as a whole so retouched now compared to 10 years ago they are approaching renderings.

The top guys like Hedrich-Blessing were doing major retouching long before digital. They had an in-house team that retouched transparencies and did amazing work. That was part of the reason their work was the gold standard and very hard to compete with. I got asked by potential clients in Chicago, "can you fix X like the guys at HB can?" if you couldn't you were second tier. I could by sending it to a lady in Texas, but I would take a month and cost a fortune-I rarely had the time or budget to include this service.



« Last Edit: June 29, 2011, 07:49:46 PM by Kirk Gittings » Logged

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asf
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« Reply #21 on: June 29, 2011, 07:53:14 PM »
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The top guys like Hedrich-Blessing were doing major retouching long before digital. They had an in-house team that retouched transparencies and did amazing work. That was part of the reason their work was the gold standard and very hard to compete with. I got asked by potential clients in Chicago, "can you fix X like the guys at HB can?" if you couldn't you were second tier. I could by sending it to a lady in Texas, but I would take a month and cost a fortune-I rarely had the time or budget to include this service.


Yes, and the difference now is almost anyone can do the retouching only major players like HB were doing before digital. And so clients are expecting it.
On a shoot last year for a well known NY architect I told them I couldn't do the retouching beyond X - no problem, they had interns in their office with PS skills who did it (at intern rates). I gave them instructions as I do to the paid retouchers I use and they did it, no problem. And they did a very good job.

I'm not saying retouching isn't getting paid for still. I'm saying over the last years I've watched it erode, and I don't see the direction changing.

But as to the OP's question Feppe's answer is basically what I tell clients.

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JoeKitchen
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« Reply #22 on: June 29, 2011, 08:06:48 PM »
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IMO there are allot of over statements and misinformation being voiced here.

Joe, you talk about WE as if there is one one workflow everyone adheres to. There were plenty of bland homogeneous overly lit interiors long before digital. There has always been bad and good photographers-always will. There really is no WE. Just speak for yourself.

Point taken, have fixed my post. 
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Joe Kitchen
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Scott Hargis
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« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2011, 11:02:44 PM »
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Here's one attempt to actually answer your question: "standard global post-processing (including brightness, contrast, white balance, levels, curves) is included in the price. Local and specialty post-processing is done upon request, and includes, but is not limited to, removal or addition of objects, retouching of surfaces, and HDR, and will be charged at $X per hour."

Feppe, thanks for that. That's the direction I'm going to go, I'll probably riff on your text a little but the gist will be that "material changes" will be billed at $XX/hour. There's always going to be a live conversation about this stuff, but I like having things in writing.

Thanks all.
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Abdulrahman Aljabri
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« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2011, 01:22:22 AM »
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Very informative thread.

You can also term things in essential vs advanced editing. Essential editing is included in the price, advanced editing is billed by hour with a description of what each type includes.
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Rob C
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« Reply #25 on: June 30, 2011, 02:42:54 AM »
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Hmmm...not sure what you are trying to add to the conversation with those images?




A comment on standards, perhaps?

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BFoto
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« Reply #26 on: June 30, 2011, 10:39:19 AM »
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Thanks for the responses.

I think I should clarify this a bit. I'm trying to separate the "normal" post-processing that I would do regardless of what I'm being paid -- like color corrections, toning, sharpening, cropping, blending multiple exposures -- from the material changes I'm being requested to do (like changing the color of the flowers).

I have no problem with charging extra for that work, but what I haven't done a good job of is communicating to my clients where the line is. I'd like to get some language into my contracts to clearly communicate a policy so that it's clear at what point I'm going to start billing an hourly rate for re-touch work.

Be specific in the contract.

Included - minor retouching such as color corrections, toning, sharpening, cropping, blending multiple exposures

Extra/Variation - larger changes to the integrity of the image (total color changes, etc etc etc)

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feppe
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« Reply #27 on: June 30, 2011, 11:02:25 AM »
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Very informative thread.

You can also term things in essential vs advanced editing. Essential editing is included in the price, advanced editing is billed by hour with a description of what each type includes.

"Essential" and "advanced" might mean a very different things to a client and the photographer. The worst-case scenario is that the photographer will be in court arguing with a trained attack lawyer on the definition Tongue It's best to describe where exactly the line is drawn between included PP and what costs extra, which is something I attempted to do in my earlier post.

It's best to draft the contract and take it to a lawyer. The few hundred EUR/USD spent on it will pay itself back very quickly in a dispute, no matter whether it is agreed upon in a gentlemanly manner (whatever happened to that?), or goes to judge, mediation or trial.
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feppe
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« Reply #28 on: June 30, 2011, 05:40:10 PM »
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That looks like a 'work for hire' type of agreement to me - whereby you are talking to them & charging them for your time & expenses to do a job for them - rather than a 'licence' type of agreement - whereby you are talking to them & charging them for the use of your pictures.

That's indeed a crucial distinction: work for hire means that the client gets copyright of the work in question.
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Rob C
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« Reply #29 on: July 01, 2011, 03:40:25 AM »
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That's indeed a crucial distinction: work for hire means that the client gets copyright of the work in question.



That's why lawyers do well.

In a recent conversation with one, I learned that the finest minds in the profession don't ever want to go to court: they always seek an out-of-court settlement. That's why the owl is a symbol for them.

In the case of the fine distinction made by feppe, I think that these things could be simplified by introducing standards of contractual behaviour where different jobs, photography included, work within simplified guidelines. In other words, if you hire a photographer, there is only a single form of hire/copyright that is possible and then everybody understands where they stand. I understand that the differences adopted are mainy there in order that the snapper might winkle out a little more revenue; okay, that's what it's all about; but the level of fees would always be an individual's choice. What's not to like about a situation where another photographer can't undercut you via the contract but only through price?

Freedom of negotiation might sound a very attractive proposition, but it's what's led to much of the confusion that surrounds pricing and expectations on both the part of the doer and the payer! I faced similar problems too, not so much copyright because things were slightly different up until the 80s ran their course, but pricing for calendars was hellishly complex, or it could have been. My solution was to simplify: I priced everything that I could think would impinge upon the job and then, checking out what vaguely similar non-bespoke calendars were retailing at, I added a percentage to the projected production costs for my projects that I thought fair, that paid for my design, photographic and production time, and would stand comparison with the retail market should my client ever choose to check that as a guide to my prices. It worked out very happily. Please, don't get me going on Golden Ages again!

Which brings me back, neatly, to my lawyer friend: did you know that even they had a Golden Age at around the same time?

Rob C
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tom bako
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« Reply #30 on: July 03, 2011, 11:30:30 PM »
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Basic retouching is limited to and not more than 10 minutes which includes standard post processing an image - that is converting to a workable image file such as tiff or psd or jpeg and includes basic spotting, basic global color correction and correction of converging parallel lines otherwise known as 'perspective control' a simple step in photoshop. Now once you have completed conversion of your raw file into a working file and completed basic retouching. The next step is what I call 'Advanced Retouching Service'.

Breakdown for the client - keep it simple and show samples to the client step by step as part of your portfolio. This only needs to be done once for all clients.
Photography on location: $$$your Rate (lets say for arguments sake 650.00)
Post Processing a single image file:  $$your Rate (let's say $50.00 per image - convert to tiff or psd) Basic 10 minute retouching fee included.
Now here is the kicker, use the term Advanced Retouching Fee. Tell them you will proceed with the work based on their approval of your written quotation.
Advanced Retouching Fee: Based on the clients request and your skill level and time spent on the computer. starts at $75. to $150 per hour. charged in minimum 15 minute or half hour increments. Have the client list all the changes they would like to make have them send it in an email with approved in the subject area of the email and in the body of the email. Or you can write this into your standard contract form. BTW I have never used a photography contract I always get a %50 deposit prior to starting the work for new clients with the balance paid on delivery (after client viewing proofs posted on the net).

If you live in fear of losing a job because someone else will do it cheaper have them show you a written quote from that studio or photographer (of equal value) and if the mood strikes you give them a first time discount of 10% . When working in a soft economy you sometimes have to bend the rules. I find that explanation through illustration works best.
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D_Clear
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« Reply #31 on: August 04, 2011, 09:40:52 PM »
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When we quote advertising and fashion jobs there is an expectation that the final product will need to have a lot of polish and style applied in post, that's just how it is these days. For me that's also a big part of the interest, it's what makes it engaging for me, not unlike colour grading in film/motion.

The nature of our projects means most of our shoots take anywhere from 1/2 day to a week to execute 1-12 shots. The post typically takes longer then the shoot. We do not accept projects unless we do all the post and we expect a lot of requests, we expect to be asked to make magic and we plan for it because that's part of why we get hired. I can't help but note a bit of a peevish tone in some posts about lower rates and feeling put upon to do more retouching, consider improving your skills, or send the work out, but lots of retouching on commercial work is here to stay.

Recognizing the importance and respect of communicating boundaries in advance - giving the client the information so they can control their budgets and consider rates when they request changes, we separate the post into it's own area of the estimate, into the last section (we write in a chronological order of the project workflow).

In that section we describe how many final shots they get, the expected retouching based on our experience with our workflow and what we know of the project through discussion, scouting, experience, etc.,. All of this is included in the estimate, in an ideal scenario this would deliver the job for that price. Sometimes it does not, but that's the client's (informed) decision.

As an aside, I feel I have to mention that part of our job these days is to think ahead of our clients in a benevolent way, even my newish assistants know not to strike a shot until we've captured any number of plates to get background information, etc. To tell a client that removing a coffee pot is a big retouch because someone didn't capture a plate without it is a bit of a shortsighted approach to modern workflow.

Part of our estimate includes a time-cap on the post, on a per file basis. In other words 'for this type of shot you will get 60 minutes of actual retouching' (RAW processing and files finishing, draft proofs delivery, final delivery are separate areas in our estimates). In the event their needs go beyond this budgeted time we explain we will need to estimate the additional work as a separate fee, based on a transparent hierarchy of fees; basic at x and hour, more involved at xx an hour, difficult at xxx an hour. We bill additional work in 15 minute increments. The software we call on is immaterial, we are billing time and skill.

This method works extremely well for us and is in my view the most ideal and mutually respectful way to 'paper' the retouching portion of the agreement.

Hope it helps

DC
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« Last Edit: August 04, 2011, 09:51:09 PM by D_Clear » Logged

DC
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