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Photo Retouching "Improving" photos, post-production, correction, etc.

Experimenting? Client vs. Personal work

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  #1  
Old 07-10-2012, 03:54 PM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Newbie Experimenting? Client vs. Personal work

So, as it happens, I think I am making progress with my retouching, but...

I would like to experiment more, try to achieve certain looks. The thing is, I am still too slow, and even with my slow workflow, I am still not what I would consider "good".

I have a lot of client work, and I am struggling to keep up with things, but I am wondering if I keep practicing these "basic" things, WILL I EVER REACH the level of skills I am aiming for? Should I just keep working hard, and experimenting will happen by itself? Will I get more confident and just "know" what I want?

I don't think that, at this time, I am technically ready to dive in deeper, and be TIME efficient enough, even for personal work.

What were you experiences, how did you get where you are now?
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:05 PM
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ratpat13 ratpat13 is offline
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Re: Experimenting? Client vs. Personal work

Oh where to start. I might not be the best person to talk but like others i've experience a lot of what your going through and in some ways still am.

I don't know what type of retouching your doing or aiming for. I work for several studio photographers so the work i am doing for isn't high-end and doesn't pay enough to be able to use all the techniques or approaches i would like but i always aim for the best quality the time allows me.

I would say this, client time and work is client time. Unless your being paid enough to have the time to experiment and are confident enough in your workflow to know you have the space to do it then stick to what needs to be done. In my case there usually isn't. It's not to say don't experiment but you might have to wait for your own personal time to do it. Especially since you say your struggling to keep up with the work that you have then you definitely should be focusing on getting your work done in the best and most efficient manner. It's not to say you shouldn't experiment beyond the basic work your required to do time and time again, but if you become proficient at those steps then your room to experiment and how well you can execute those experiments benefits as well. Plus it's hard to experiment and enjoy it if you have the wait of all that work piling up behind you.

I defiantly sympathize with feeling stuck in a rut, I know whit my work that in the long run this type of work (portrait studio) isn't really going to pay off but it also means i have gained a lot of experience in a production atmosphere that can be applied to whatever future direction I take this.

It all takes work and practice both the technical and the aesthetic. If you want to go further then you do have to work at it, you will get more confident but it wont just happen. I know in my experience that my clients aren't looking for anything wild, they want clean and realistic. But that has to do with there taste as the photographer and the type of business they are in. So I work on it on the side, I occasionally show them alternative edits for work that i accomplished on my own time. But i know i can get to that type of work a lot quicker and achieve in Photoshop what i have in my head a lot more easily because I have a strong workflow and technique that lets me execute what i want (not to say its all about technique since all the technique in the world wont help you if you don't have an eye for it and that takes work to).

You know yourself best and you said it:

"I don't think that, at this time, I am technically ready to dive in deeper, and be TIME efficient enough, even for personal work."

Start finding out where you need to improve and find the solutions that are going to be best for you. We are all happy to help. Tell us your weaknesses and we can find solutions.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:50 PM
Scatterbrained Scatterbrained is offline
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Re: Experimenting? Client vs. Personal work

What kind of photography work are you doing and what kind of processing are you doing? What are you trying to do? For me personally, I've found that a subscription to Kelby Training/NAPP has been far more rewarding than just experimenting, as I can see how established photographers and retouchers handle their workflow and process images. For me, it was well worth the money.
You can figure out how to rebuild your engine by taking it apart and trying to put it back together again, or you can have a professional teach you how to do it. I don't think it would be hard to figure out which method would be more successful.
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:24 AM
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alloidstar alloidstar is offline
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Re: Experimenting? Client vs. Personal work

You know? You don't have to fasten yourself to gather many clients if you are still slow at your workflow.

Just keep on creating and doing things you think yourself is right.

Remember these things:

As an image retoucher person you dont have any choices to take your goal set immediately to the highest point of your skills.. It only takes a lot of time to practice your productivity skills and also your quality.
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Old 07-11-2012, 06:17 AM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Re: Experimenting? Client vs. Personal work

Quote:
Originally Posted by alloidstar View Post
You know? You don't have to fasten yourself to gather many clients if you are still slow at your workflow.

Just keep on creating and doing things you think yourself is right.

Remember these things:

As an image retoucher person you dont have any choices to take your goal set immediately to the highest point of your skills.. It only takes a lot of time to practice your productivity skills and also your quality.
Yeah, that's what I think, too. My "photoshop monster" rate has gone down significantly, and I tend to do things much more gently and step-by-step now. I mean just my opacity went from 10's to 1's when using brushes, and I finally got a fix on what color curves do, ahahhha. I no longer, for the most part, use splitting the image etc.

But still, I think my progress could be better.
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