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How Much to Charge for Photo Editing

How Much To Charge For Photo Editing

Knowing how much to charge for photo editing makes your freelance work a lot more seamless. Yet, most photo editors fall short of setting the correct price for their service. We have used the ideal pricing and each time closed the deal super fast. Right now, we will explain to you much about how much to charge your client in different situations.

Further, we are going over how to select photo editing rates and present them to clients. But, first, let’s have a check on them.

How Much to Charge for Photo Editing on Difficulty Level

Charging for your photo editing service can be a little bit daunting. But it would help if you thought about the pricing according to the difficulty of your task. So to help you out, we will talk about each of the difficulty levels of photo editing tasks.

For Basic Photo Editing

First comes the basic photo editing projects. It includes essential tasks like color correction, adding drop shadows, image cropping, etc. In general, this type of photo editing takes around 5 minutes or less. You must charge at least $0.50 – $1/image for basic edits, even as a beginner. 

For Mid-Level Photo Editing 

You need to spend at least 10 to 15 minutes on an image at mid-level photo editing tasks. You could categorize these tasks as improving white balance, stretching the image background, and working with Level and Curves. Talking about the charges, you could charge at least $2 – $3/image.

For Advanced Photo Editing 

While performing advanced photo editing, it could take up to 30 minutes of work. Some advanced photo editing tasks include background removal, layer adjustments, image masking, etc. Thus, you could charge anywhere between $4 – $10/image. Of course, pricing depends on the complexity of your task as well.

Note: This sort of editing needs deep knowledge of photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, and others.

Photo Editing Rates To Charge Based on Project Type

You could also determine how much to charge according to project type. Below we are going over some of the most common types of photo editing projects. Learning these would help you charge for your service to the correct point.

Per Hour 

You try to charge according to your work hours at the following project type. As a result, the total earnings depend on the hours you have worked. It’s a lot simpler and best for newcomers.

Depending on your experience, the hourly rate could be $50 to $120. But it’s better to clarify to your clients how many hours you would need to complete a specific task. Doing so would ensure further confusion between you and the client.

Per Image Charge

Charging per image would be ideal when you have a few pictures that take less time to edit. Moreover, you and the client determine a fixed rate for each photo you edit. One thing to note, the rate does not change even if you need to spend extra hours editing the images.

Considering the photo editing task complexity, rates by images could be $0.50 – $10, considering the photo editing tasks’ complexity. It’s always best to probe the job before getting into it. Make sure you are clear about how much time you need to edit and polish each image.

Project Cost

You could charge according to the project’s quantity and timeframe as the last option. Not to mention, while calculating the total project cost, you need to consider all additional fees as well. But most of the time, clients present you with a specific budget depending on the project.

Projects can start at as little as $100. At the same time, more significant photo editing projects can also surpass the $1000 mark. You need to consider the total number of files, turnaround time, quality, and other factors when deciding on the budget.

Note: You need to charge a retainer when a client wants to book your service ahead of time.

How To Determine Photo Editing Prices For Clients?

While determining your photo editing charges, you must review some aspects. These should be the main subject you should think about. So, whenever any client approaches you, go through these points before starting any pricing.

Clients Location

The location of your client plays a great role in pricing. You won’t charge the same to companies from the New York City center and those from suburban areas. Neither one has the same budget as well.

Your Payment Package

Always prioritize your pricing structures. I don’t agree with the rates below your minimum photo editing rate. If the client doesn’t have the budget, inform them about your rate properly. As a last option, refer them to a photo editor willing to go at the following rate.

Your Experience In The Industry

According to your experience in the industry, photo editing charges can go high. As a rule of thumb, you need to charge higher as you become older in a specific category. But as a beginner, it’s better to start with basic pricing. 

Turnaround Time

As a professional photo editor, you should consider how much time you need to complete a task. Not all tasks take the same amount of time. Some photo edits are fast-forward, and others are a bit advanced. 

Note: Be sure of how many revisions you offer to your client. Keep it in mind while making invoices. 

Additional Costs

You may need to subscribe to premium photo editing tools like Photoshop, Lightroom, Luminar AI, and others. You may need to outsource a photo retouching service. In some cases, you would have to use presets or actions. Charge your clients if you need to cover additional costs.

How To Present Your Freelance Photo Editor Rates

As a freelance photographer, you need to ask if your client has any fixed price or rate for the photo editing task. If the client is not interested in explaining any rate, ask for their acceptable range. Once the client has stated the price range, you could decide on whether to ask for a higher price or not.

Reminder: Don’t pitch your photo editing rates before clients express their initial pricing. Otherwise, it would show the client as if you are hurrying to get into the project.

Let’s explore some of the questions and their answers on how much to charge for the photo editing tasks. 

Average Cost of Product Photo Editing?

On average, the cost is around $90 per hour for product photo editing. Talking about per image, you may need to spend around $3 per image. Further, your project’s average cost would depend on the file quantity and the pricing. Though these rates are only estimates, the real rate can go up and down at any time. 

How Much Does Pro Photo Editing Cost?

In general, a pro photo editing costs at least $5 or more. This is because pro photo editing includes advanced techniques. It takes a large amount of time and proper skill to be a pro photo editor, which is why it costs more than usual.

How Much to Charge for Photo Retouching?

As a beginner, charging around $20 per hour would be the best way to go. With time you could charge up to $180 per hour, according to your experience. Moreover, you must consider the task complexity while deciding on photo retouching prices.

How Much to Charge for Real Estate Photo Editing?

Make sure to charge at least $2 to $6 per image while providing real estate photo editing services. Real estate photo editing may need advanced techniques and software like Lightroom and others.

How Much to Charge for Background Removal?

It’s fair to charge somewhere between 0.50$ to $2 for background removal services. Further, you could add up the price if you have to perform advanced techniques.  


It’s very crucial to optimize your pricing rate as a photo editor or professional photographer. Learning about how much to charge for photo editing would help you to price services in a proper way. Whether you’re a pro or have started working in the industry, it’s always best to follow a certain pricing parameter.

Thus, pricing your work the right way would make your time worthwhile. Plus, it would help your client to better understand the market situation and your skill level in photo editing. At any cost, avoid under-selling your photo editing services. Know your worth and charge in the right manner.