I know it all depends on the person but I have never done this and have no idea about any estimates: Let's say I go shoot someone but then I send my RAW photos to someone else that is good with Photoshop to edit them and send them back to me. What is the average price for this? Like I said I have no idea that is it $1.0 per picture? or $10.00 per picture ? or $50.00 per hour? Just some ballpark.

  • I'm curious about what sort of photos you want edited and the outcome you're looking for. When I edit my photos (I am no professional), I spend about 5 minutes at most on each picture. Occassionally more if I'm adjusting the level curve or something. Am I missing something?
    – Myridium
    Feb 11, 2015 at 20:14
  • @Myridium Both the time it takes and the quality of the result are dependent on the skill of the person doing the editing. Some people who enjoy photography don't enjoy the editing process and have no interest in developing those skills, or may not have time to do all the editing they want done, but still want refined, high-quality images.
    – Era
    Apr 27, 2016 at 17:53

7 Answers 7


I have used retouchers in China like these guys that charge $5/picture (and less for large quantities) and aren't bad for basic retouching. For more skilled retouchers $10/picture is common. For pros that are more on the "graphic artist" level the rates I see run $50-$100/hour.

  • ah good to know! I was thinking of $20.0 for like 10 pictures :D I was way off then.
    – Brandon
    Feb 11, 2015 at 19:45
  • 3
    @Blake: Depending on what you want done I wouldn't say that's inconceivable. For example, if you just want someone to run some auto-balances and heal obvious marks -- something that takes a decent Photoshopper one minute per photo -- and you're potentially a regular customer I could see pricing like that. For $5/photo I expect skin smoothing, highlight fixes, some enhancements like teeth-whitening and eye sharpening, and hand-tweaked tone balancing. Stuff that might take around 5 minutes.
    – feetwet
    Feb 11, 2015 at 20:20
  • Note that the link is dead.
    – mattdm
    Jun 28, 2019 at 20:51
  • I have hard time with that, Some Retouching like adjusting light and remove some obvious blemish may take 2 to 15 minutes, but newly i work with an makeup artist in a test scenario to see if we can work together, i do adjust light first, then match face skin color, then clean hair, blemish, and distractions, frequency separation, dodge and burn, and some time local dodge and burn, working on eyes, fixing edge issues on lip and may other places, and it took minimum of two days in one of the images. 5$ even in country such as mine (Iran) which a programmer wage is around 100$ lead to starvation. Jul 15, 2020 at 14:03
  • 1
    @deadManN: You're definitely not going to get two days of work for $5. I suspect the basic retouching I was getting for $5 was taking under 10 minutes because they were doing routine things with which they were experienced and had a streamlined workflow. What you're describing could probably be done by an experienced retoucher in much less time, but you're going to have to "audition" retouchers just to find one that does all of that nuanced work in a style and quality that satisfies you.
    – feetwet
    Jul 15, 2020 at 15:00

As a professional photographer it takes me about 20-30 minutes per photo AT LEAST whether I'm editing a photos of inanimate objects or humans. It can take much longer if you're actually altering the information in the image. I've been asked to remove cords, change house numbers, edit out telephone lines, etc. That 30 min when editing a portrait includes tackling blemishes, skin imperfections like dark circles, smoothing skin and whitening teeth. Depending on the project I usually charge $100/hr to edit photos, but I live in NYC. Where you live is another factor.

All my clients have been ecstatic once they see the final photos. I charge a premium bc of the effort I put into my edits. If you want repeat clients rather than a one time gig, or if you want your clients to refer you, I would highly recommend getting to know photoshop and definitely spending more than 5 min on each photo. That way you don't have to outsource and can keep all your hard earned cash! When I first started I'd edit photos for $25/hr, so pricing depends on your experience and your ability. Youtube and google have foolproof tutorials on everything!

Hope this helps.


shootdotedit are used by a lot of photographers, especially in the wedding arena, and their processing and pricing would be a useful model to judge against.


  • There unlimited pricing plan is really weird, how could they provide an unlimited manual service ^^ ? Feb 11, 2015 at 21:09
  • 1
    They are doing a standard type of processing on a mass basis; designed for production work in volume. For groups like wedding photographers, it can really work well.
    – chuqui
    Feb 11, 2015 at 21:16

First of all you need to categorize what you nean by "Edit" them.

This is probably not an answer but a big comment.

Lets think for example in Portrait. In general depends on the overall quality of the photo.

  • Remove imperfections on skin... This depends on the skin, ilumination, makeup.

  • Color corrections... This is relative if you do not have a target white balance for example. But can range from simple "look" to equalizing diferent shoots to look the same.

  • Hair masking, of course depends on the background, and the hair.

Or probably you are looking for an artistic interpretation of your original photo.


As a Professional Photographer and Retoucher, it should NOT cost less than $5 to retouch a photo unless you are doing very high volume minimal retouching. It takes about 3 minutes to retouch most photographs on the basic side, longer with more advance processes. The price per hour generally is between $85-120 per hour depending on the studio and if it is for a commercial venture. If you are being charged less then they aren't paying their employees very well at all, the employees are just pushing a button on a preset and you are not getting a professional service.

  • Doesn’t this depend on the cost of living in the locale the workers are living?
    – lijat
    Dec 30, 2018 at 6:36

Image editing cost depends on multiple factors like specific requirements, location and the complexity of images. If the picture is so old and worn one, then it will take more time and expertise to finish the job. So, the cost will depend on required time, expertise, expected quality of output, and the condition of the source picture. Another aspect on which the cost will be influenced is the type of retouching work you are asking for. Usually, for hourly package start from: $6-8 hourly & $1,000 man month.


Photo retouching cost depends upon the work and time taken for the requirement. But there are most commonly photo editing company charges around $0.20-$2/image for basic editing that took around 3-10 min for editing/image.

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