Lincoln Barbour Studio

All About Photo Retouching Costs

Despite how hard we try to “get it in camera,” inevitably, some retouching tasks need to be done to make the final photographs meet our vision and the client’s needs. Since photo retouching costs can vary wildly, I will define what is basic retouching, advanced retouching, and how much it costs for both.

Our Retouching Rate Philosophy

At LB STUDIO, we charge a per shot fee for all our photography productions for basic retouching and high-resolution file delivery. That fee can vary on the subject matter. For example, we charge a $50 retouching fee per final file delivered on a typical architectural photoshoot. If we shoot products in the studio on a white background, we only charge $25 per image for retouching. If we’re shooting with a high-end 100mp camera (like a PhaseOne), we charge $150 per image for basic retouching because it takes so much longer to clean up these huge files. (Note: please inquire about our high volume discounts for big projects).

We base those per shot charges on our studio’s $150 hourly retouching rate. We spend about 20 minutes doing basic retouching for an architectural shot, so we can get three done in an hour ($150 / 3 = $50/shot). If we’re shooting products in the studio on a white background, we can get about six shots cleaned up and clipped out in an hour ($150 / 6 = $25).

Keep in mind, retouching simple photos take less time than complicated shots. An example would be retouching the view in one window versus dropping in a view for a whole wall of windows. That’s why we average it out rather than charging by the hour for basic retouching.

Before and After Examples of Basic Photo Retouching

Before RetouchingAfter Retouching
Before RetouchingAfter Retouching

Advanced Photo Retouching

Occasionally, a client will request more complicated retouching tasks like removing telephone polls, exit signs, and even replacing the sky. We sometimes do these tasks in-house, or we’ll contract them out to Crossboard Creative (owner Brian is a certified retouching NINJA!)

Knowing how much it will be for extensive photo retouching costs is a bit of experience and a bit of guesswork. But, we always try to bid a firm price for advance retouching projects, even though sometimes we go over our bid. If we start getting into multiple revisions after our initial quote, we’ll let you know how much it will cost before doing it. 

Advanced Photo Retouching Examples With Costs

Before RetouchingAfter Retouching

Scope: Change Sky, Straighten Perspective, Add Grass, Remove Construction Materials
$365 Retouching Cost

Before RetouchingAfter Retouching

Scope: Color Correct, Add Chairs Shot From Five Other Frames
$275 Retouching Cost

Before RetouchingAfter Retouching

Scope: Adjust Perspective, Replace Pedestrians and Street Scene, Remove Telephone Pole on Right
$300 Retouching Cost

Before RetouchingAfter Retouching

Scope: Remove Telephone Pole and Wires, Remove Stop Sign, Cleanup Landscaping
$450 Retouching Cost

Retouching Can’t Solve Everything

That’s why we work so hard to get it looking right on set. But retouching can be a huge time saver. With 20 years of experience photographing architecture, we know precisely when we should do the work on location or “fix it in post.”

Whether with retouching or on-set fixes, we’re happy to do whatever is needed to make the shoot a success in your eyes.

Contact us today to book your next project.


PS: If you have some older photos that could use some retouching, we’re happy to give you a free quote. Contact us any time.

Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

    RECENT Posts


    Email Us




    977 Seminole Trail #267
    Charlottesville, VA 22901



    1631 NE Broadway #829
    Portland, 0R 97232


    [email protected]

    Subscribe to Our Newsletter