BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Elisabeth A. Gay
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/2/2004

How Do I Price Restoration Work?

I have been doing some work restoring old family photos that have been severely damaged. I've been asked if I could do this for someone and how much would I charge. It can be a lot of work, so I was wondering if anyone has done this and how would you price such work?

To love this question, log in above
9/26/2005 4:57:12 PM

BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/7/2005
  I would probably charge it on an hourly basis and give a rough quote on how much it could cost - yep, it could be very time-consuming!

To love this comment, log in above
9/26/2005 5:15:16 PM

Elisabeth A. Gay
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/2/2004
  Thanks, Natalie,
I thought about hourly, but I guess I should have worded my question differently - how much an hour is a reasonable charge? I don't have the slightest idea what sort of rate to charge. Photographers here charge $85 an hour for weddings and events, but I haven't found anyone who does restoration work. I'm sure $85 would put people off! I live in the Bahamas, small town, don't really have anyone to ask here.

To love this comment, log in above
9/26/2005 5:31:32 PM

Liza M. Franco
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/26/2004
  Hi Elisabeth,
I do a lot of restoration work, and I try to be really fair in my pricing. From what I've seen others charge, $35.00 per hour is the going rate in my area and some that I've seen online. Try to leave yourself some room: Estimate how much time you think it may take and explain that you need a little give or take on it, because you won't know for certain until you are actually working on it. If it is less, they'll be thrilled.

To love this comment, log in above
9/26/2005 7:28:55 PM

Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2005
  One cannot define an hourly rate for the whole world. I suggest (1) you "ask" the client if they have a budget for you to work to (at the same time you should assess in your own mind what "you want" from the time required to do a decent job; (2) If the client is reluctant to give you some idea of what they are prepared to pay, then asses it solely on your own opinion of what "you want" for each hour spent. This is by far the fairest way of pricing anything. Some hot shot whizz kid down the road may charge $35 an hour ... but he may be able to do the job in 3 hours tops. You may be much slower than him but want $50 an hour. See what I mean? Price it for what "you want" and forget about other people's rates. They mean nothing. If you do lots of this kind of work, your rates will increase naturally as your talent and speed increases.

To love this comment, log in above
9/28/2005 12:03:01 PM

Andy Mitchell   hello elisabeth
i do photo restoration and charge $30 an hour 2 hour min. so if it takes only 30 min you have made $60. if it takes longer you may loose alittle up front ,but as you get faster it all equals out.if the photo(s) are real bad have means of upping your hourly price. dont forget you have to get the photos in your computer, so you can charge for scanning.

To love this comment, log in above
9/28/2005 7:01:46 PM

Elisabeth A. Gay
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/2/2004
  Thanks for the guidelines everyone, I really appreciate it.

To love this comment, log in above
9/29/2005 7:57:44 AM

Log in to respond or ask your own question.