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Which retoucher gets to use the final?

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  #1  
Old 04-22-2011, 01:25 AM
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Which retoucher gets to use the final?

Here's a tricky one. A couple of months ago a photographer came to me with an image that had been retouched by another retoucher. The image was butchered beyond recognition and it was essentially a rescue project. The only thing about that image the client wanted to keep was the mildly composite work. I had to cut pieces from the original to fix anatomy, skin, hair, etc... It would had been much easier and more efficient to start from scratch.
Well, the ad is currently out now and it's my version. The only visible trait left from the previous retoucher was the mildly composite work. So, my question is that which retoucher gets to use the final for portfolio work?
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Old 04-22-2011, 02:18 AM
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Re: Which retoucher gets to use the final?

If you are happy with the finished product I think it's fair to show both the original and your version as a sample of work. It sounds like the input from the other retoucher was negligible. I hate having to use pre-worked images as you always find something that you feel obliged to fix and it's annoying that the client doesn't appreciate it. They think your're carping. Hohum.
R.
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Old 04-22-2011, 04:25 AM
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Re: Which retoucher gets to use the final?

I'm not entirely happy with the result. It could've been a lot better if I were to retouch it from scratch. I'm still contemplating if I would want it in my portfolio at all. It was high profile work and it'd be nice to have to show to potential clients. At the same time, I'm aware this could either effect my name positively or negatively. I have image A (the original) and image C (the final), but I don't have image B where the composite work originated.
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Old 04-22-2011, 04:36 AM
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Re: Which retoucher gets to use the final?

Then: the first rule of portfolio prep applies - if in doubt, leave it out!
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Old 04-22-2011, 06:14 AM
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Re: Which retoucher gets to use the final?

R, said it all IMO - leave it out.

I think that we can be swayed by the fact that we have put such a lot of work into a poor original or photographed something under extremely challenging situation and even nearly ' turned a sows ear into a silk purse' - we imagine that the audience can actually recognise this. Usually this is not the case and therefore unless extremely satisfied perhaps it is better to just walk away rather than risk your rep.

As to who gets to use the final surely the photographer would have a say in this as it would be him/her that gets the main glory?

I would imagine that either you or the original retoucher could claim work but only for those parts you actually did. The 'mildly composite work' of the other retoucher in your final is the contentious part. Could they argue that while only a small part of the original this seemingly 'minor work' was key to making the image come to life?
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Old 04-22-2011, 06:22 AM
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Re: Which retoucher gets to use the final?

Can't you do a complete retouch from scratch (since you have the original), and make it sort of "approved" by the client (so you can put the name of the company in your port) and show only this one?
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:46 AM
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Re: Which retoucher gets to use the final?

I think that 4personnen is on the right track.
Just because that client ran the ad with the one that you're not totally happy, doesn't mean that you have to use that one for your portfolio. Not sure if retouching is the same way, but in photography, the client always seems to choose your least favorite as their most favorite. What do I do for my portfolio? Retouch the one that's my favorite and use that one. I don't see why you wouldn't be able to start over and use the one that's all your work for your portfolio.
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:07 AM
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Re: Which retoucher gets to use the final?

I wanted to retouch the image from scratch, but I don't have the needed image to make the composite.

Anyway, I've decided to leave it out. Although I've done significant amount of work to the image, but it's not entirely mine and there are visible retouching trails under keen eyes due the nature of it being a rescue project. I could have many pieces of great work in my portfolio, but it only takes one bad or mediocre work to overshadow them all.
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