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What gives?

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  #1  
Old 06-23-2008, 07:50 PM
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jagerman jagerman is offline
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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What gives?

After ten years pushing pixels in photography studios I decided that I needed a change. So a few months ago I went part time at the studio I was working for and started marketing myself as a freelancer to adverising/editorial photographers, record companies, magazines, ad agencies etc... It has been really slow and I am starting to get down about it. Is the market really that bad right now or do I suck and just not realize it? Am I kidding myself thinking I can do this and make a living or am I just being impatient? Some body give me some advice before I make make a career change and waste over a decade of paying dues.

Thanks, -W

I have posted it here a bunch in the past but here it is again.
http://immortalimaging.net
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  #2  
Old 06-23-2008, 08:24 PM
Sinisa Sinisa is offline
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Re: What gives?

hi!

i like your work - there are some stunning images on your website! you are obviously skilled and have very good taste. the only thing is, (for most of the images on your website) it's really hard to work out what you have actually done, apart from minor colour corrections.

impressive work on the close up of the blue eye and eyelashes! how did you do that? paint with a brush or copy and paste from the existing bits? hair is one of my weak areas...

the guy with boxing gloves sitting on the floor: you decided to leave untidy eyebrow and skin looks worse then before - the blackheads on the nose, the oversharpening, the stains on the carpet... maybe you wanted to make it rough and masculine but (for me) it's kind of not working.

i hope any of this helps - please feel free to comment on my work, all criticism welcomed!

sinisa
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  #3  
Old 06-24-2008, 10:51 AM
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jagerman jagerman is offline
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Re: What gives?

Thanks for the kind words! It is hard to show the details of your work at 500px. I have never been a fan of promoting myself on the web but you have got to start some where.

And, yes the boxer was made to look tough. The art directors comment was "make him look like he just got his ass kicked but keep it real".

-W
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  #4  
Old 06-24-2008, 12:01 PM
vkphoto vkphoto is offline
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Re: What gives?

Personally I agree, you do have great taste and clearly have technical skills. In most cases the work you did was on the same parts I would've worked on, in others not so much. I kind of liked the deep hue of the boxing gloves next to the boy with the wrapped hands.

In any case, your problem doesn't appear to be lack of skills. Working freelance and marketing yourself can both be difficult. Think about where you are marketing your services, what do the ads look like, who are they speaking to, where are they posted? Think about your portfolio, I noticed many of the small nit-picky things you did but that's because I work with retouching. Are you going after photographers or commercial clients? Do you have cards or postcards? Brochures? I know it all sounds lame but you have to get people going to your website. Once there you need to show them as much as possible in as little time as you can. Assume people have the attention span of goldfish.

Advertising is a super pain, but it must be done. You have to DECLARE what it is you're doing and how well you do it, and have content to back it up. If you want to find as much work as possible you then have to shove that in everyone's face until you get hired.

Good luck, for what it's worth I think you do excellent work.
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  #5  
Old 06-24-2008, 02:23 PM
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Vernon Vernon is offline
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Savannah, Texas
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Re: What gives?

My 2 pesos worth:
Brochures are definitely a good way to promote yourself, and your site; starting with the photographers in your area - send them your brochure. Make sure there is a link to your site, etc , in the brochure.
Consider talking to your school of art and ask if they will allow your contact information to be made available to new photographers seeking to pair up with a retoucher - Perhaps on a bulletin board?

I know this may appear a little lowly, but consider posting on Craigslist.com for your area and others; it's basically free advertising - you might be pleasantly surprised at the response from the typical person wanting to improve a shot to the lone freelance photographer needing someone of your talent to polish up his work.

Basically, when you're not already working on project, assume the advertising part as your down-time task.
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