haha dude I love your retouching man!!! Also, cant wait to see what you and Irene come up with!
Well, this is an interesting question. With this particular image I worked on it for about 3-4 hours and transferred to a different retoucher I use when I get too busy. So he and I both worked on this elapsing over 8hours.
As a side note, I have a retouching team here. 1 freelancer and one permanent retoucher. For commercial shoots, my permanent retroucher focuses on surfaces and inanimate objects (textures, chrome, reflective objects), while the freelancer finishes off what I start.
As far as payment etc. It is financially feasible for our clients to pay for all of this and it is normal for us to spend 1-2days on image retouching depending on the image. The reason it takes so long for our team is the megapixel count and workflow. I shoot at 39-50 megapixels at 16bit. The clarity of the image is so intense that it prolongs the process right off the bat. We then send it to color correction and preproduction where we print on ORIS.
When it comes to my commercial work, quality is absolutely necessary. With my test shoots with models and agencies i dont spend nearly this amount of time on an image as it doesnt make sense financially.
I hope this helps!!!
Thanks for all the positive words!