Hiring a full-time retoucher — is it profitable?

Today we’re going to talk about hiring a full-time retoucher (or a half-time, or a quarter-time). Retouchers also provide this service.
It’s not when you give orders to a retoucher from time to time, but when you «book» him for a month/half/quarter job. That is, you guarantee him payment for that time per month and give him a sufficient amount of work. Let’s take a look at how much more advantageous this is compared to one-time orders. All prices are approximate just for illustration and calculation purposes.

Check this post and you'll find out why

For example, you make an order for six photos of medium complexity. An experienced retoucher spends 1 hour on 1 photo and charges about $50. Total he spends a full working day on 6 photos and earns $300. There are 22 working days in a month. The retoucher will be able to take 132 photos in a month. So if you do individual orders for 132 photos, you’ll pay $6600 a month. But if we look at the statistics of how much a retoucher makes on average per month, it would be about $4200/month (US in 2022). Do you know why a freelancer can make more than a full-time person? Because he has to look for clients, make an effort to be seen, i.e. spend a lot of resources to provide himself with work. And all of this he includes in the cost of his job.

And here we come to the main point — why would it be more profitable to hire a retoucher on a full time basis? Because a retoucher spends a lot of resources to find new clients, even if he has different clients. So if you offer them permanent employment (you book yourself some time a month for your photos), the freelance retoucher needs to spend less time/resources looking for permanent work, and he is willing to lower his rate for you because he saves his resources as well. It’s a discount for volume and for a steady stream of work. And there may be a discount of about 20% for you. The exact price depends on the retoucher, the country you live in, the complexity of the work and other factors.

So if you’re constantly taking photos and have a constant need for retouching, it’s more advantageous for you to find a retoucher on a permanent rate. You do not have to book a whole month. If you have a job for a quarter of a month, you can arrange for a retoucher to work only with your photos for a quarter of a month (about 6 days or 36-42 hours of pure work time). And you not only save money, you also get the assurance that your photos will be done in time (if you ask a retoucher from time to time, he may be busy a week or two in advance, and you need the photos to be ready in a few days) and if it is a permanent retoucher, he will know the characteristics of your style, which is usually needed, will adjust to you.

So as a retoucher, I recommend you: if you’re constantly busy shooting and asking for help from a retoucher, try working with him on a part-time basis for at least a month and you’ll see how much more comfortable it is.

If you decide that you are ready to try working with a retoucher on a permanent basis, even if not for the whole month, then you can contact to me and I will be glad our cooperation: serg@sergretouch.ru or https://www.instagram.com/sergretouch/

You can also see approximate prices for retouching: https://sergretouch.com/price/