As an automotive image editor, I often get asked – how much should a car dealership expect to pay for professional photo editing services? The short answer is to plan for around $2 to $10 per image on average. However, the final cost depends on several factors the type of edits required, number of photos, turnaround time, and services needed.
In this article, I’ll break down what goes into the pricing so dealerships can budget better and decide if it’s a worthy investment. With the right editing, your online listings will really stand out and drive more engagement and sales. So let’s get in!
Cost Breakdown of an Automotive Image Editing Service
The cost of automotive image editing services can vary substantially depending on:
Types of Editing Services
The types of edits you need will impact the price. Simple color correction and background removal may be cheaper than complex 3D modeling or CGI. If you only need a few minor touchups like spot removal, it will cost less than a full virtual makeover of the vehicle with lots of edits.
- Basic Editing: This includes simple adjustments like color correction, brightness/contrast tweaking, cropping, and resizing. Expect per-image costs in the range of $0.15-$1.00.
- Mid-Level Editing: This involves more complex tasks like background removal, object removal, minor blemish correction, or basic lighting enhancements. The cost per image typically ranges from $1.00-$5.00.
- Complex Editing: This includes high-end edits like compositing (combining multiple images), 3D rendering, extensive retouching, or special effects. Costs can go up significantly here, starting from $10.00 per image and potentially reaching much higher depending on the specific requirements.
Number of Images Needing Edits
Most automotive editing services charge per image. So the more photos you have edited, the higher the overall cost. Volume discounts may be available if you have many images edited at once.
Rush delivery with a fast turnaround will be more expensive than a standard turnaround time of a few days. Overnight or same-day editing has premium pricing. For example, if you are doing a complex edit, then the service provider will ask for about $10 and it will be delivered within the standard time./ If you are in a rush and need the image within 24 or 12 hours, then they may charge you up to $50 per image!
Generally, expect to pay $10-$100 per image edited depending on the types of edits and turnaround time. A full virtual makeover with 3D modeling could be $200 or more per image. For an entire photo shoot, you may spend $500-$3000+ for automotive editing services.
While this may seem expensive, the high-quality images you get in return are well worth the investment. They will make your vehicles look amazing online, in ads, or in printed marketing materials. This leads to increased engagement and sales.
What Services Will You Get from an Automotive Image Editing Service Provider?
Professional automotive image editors have a wide range of editing skills to take your images to the next level. Here are some of the top services they provide:
Add or Remove Objects
This service can be used in creative ways like adding a driver or passengers to make the car look like it’s in motion. Objects can also be removed, like taking out street signs or other cars to simplify the background. The editing should look realistic as if the added or removed elements were part of the original photo.
Making Color Variations
The color variation service provides flexibility to market the vehicle in multiple colors without multiple photoshoots. The editing process involves techniques like overlays and color matching to ensure the vehicle looks natural in the new colors. This service is popular for creating a color configurator.
Color Correction and Manipulation
With color correction, precise adjustments are made to white balance, hue, brightness and contrast to make the colors look true to life. Manipulation provides artistic license to alter colors more extremely, like giving the paint a pearlescent or matte effect. This expands the stylistic options.
Car Background Replacement
Cutting out the car and changing the background allows telling different visual stories. The vehicle can be placed in studio settings for a clean look or lifestyle contexts like driveways and city streets to connect with consumers. The composite work blends the new background and car together seamlessly.
Matching the lighting and perspective, shadows are added under the vehicle to create a realistic grounding effect. The shape and colors of the shadows are edited to look natural based on the environment the vehicle is composited into. Proper shadow creation brings together the whole scene.
As you can see, automotive image experts provide a vast range of editing options to transform your images. Investing in these services pays dividends through enhanced marketing assets.
Is Using an Automotive Image Editing Service Provider Worth It?
For busy automotive businesses, hiring a professional image editing company is definitely worthwhile. The high-quality edited images will make your marketing efforts much more effective.
You benefit from their team of experienced editors, top editing tools, and fast turnaround. This allows you to get brilliant images without having to do the work yourself.
It frees up your time to focus on other priorities. And it’s more affordable than hiring a full-time in-house editor. The improved images directly support your sales goals by highlighting the best aspects of the vehicles you sell.
Ultimately, the visual impact of flawless images makes automotive image editing services well worth the price. The return on your investment from increased conversions is immense. Your brand also benefits from having showroom-quality images represent your business professionally.
It’s a smart decision to outsource this specialized work rather than struggle with mediocre images. Let the experts handle the editing while you handle the sales.
Tips for Finding Affordable Services
Here are some tips to get quality automotive image editing without overspending your budget:
Experience: Make sure the service you choose has experience editing automotive images. This will help ensure that they are familiar with the specific challenges of car photography and can produce high-quality results.
Portfolio: Ask the service to show you a portfolio of their work. This will give you a sense of their style and quality.
Turnaround time: Find out how long it will take the service to edit your images. This is important if you have a deadline to meet.
Price: Get quotes from a few different services before making a decision. Be sure to compare the price, experience, and portfolio of each service before you choose one.
The right automotive image editing service provides outstanding results at competitive prices. With some savvy shopping, you can certainly find a provider that fits your budget. Their editing expertise allows you to showcase vehicles at their very best on any platform.
I hope this article helped explain what goes into the costs of our services. While hiring a pro editor does require extra investment, you can find affordable pricing through bulk edits, reasonable turnarounds, and custom packages. And the rewards are well worth it – flawless inventory images that capture buyers’ attention and dramatically boost your click-throughs and bottom line. So partner with the right editing provider, and get your car listings picture-perfect and sales-ready!