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-   -   Time for a change? (http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/salon/39540-time-change.html)

skoobey 04-08-2017 05:19 PM

Time for a change?
 
I just wanted to share a couple of thoughts, maybe get your opinion?

I've been retouching for a while now, but at this point I feel like freelance rates are getting so low, it just doesn't feel like worth it to look for work at all... and I love my job. Like someone flipped a switch. I guess what I am asking is is this the freelance rate? 1$ an hour? I went from cleaning up images for 20$ to doing everything for couple of bucks. All the freelancing offers I'm getting are like a joke 10c per image path and things like that. I can't be doing terrible images for 3-4$, I just can't. It turns into less then 1$ an hour and even at that, I don't have enough work to sustain myself.

I notice the situation is very different when working on-site and i am seriously considering moving. I'll go into driving a truck or being a flight attendant if this is where retouching has gone.

Do you guys work freelance?
Have rates gone down considerably, or do I suck this bad?
Have any of you moved for work? I see that even retouchers with no experience earn more than a good salary?
I really feel terrible when I see Indian companies that do horrific work charging 5-10$ an image and here I am about to get evicted.

skoobey 04-09-2017 10:27 AM

Re: Time for a change?
 
I love it how I try to answer everyone, but no one thinks it's necessary to answer me.

Reminds of me when I donated to the site, but never became a patron. I guess I should've payed an entire week of my income, not a day.

klev 04-09-2017 02:20 PM

Re: Time for a change?
 
I thought about how to answer this one. I have no idea what Europe is like. In the US, I wouldn't suggest it in California. Your major markets have inflated a great deal relative to salaries. It would make sense to move if you think you can obtain work there, meaning that shops in a particular area are actively looking for people and they pay out rates that support their cost of living.

As I recall, your work became quite good. I don't know what the overall portfolio looks like, but I would never recommend the nonsense of freelancer sites as a business model. For what it's worth, inflation is likely to kill off the business model used by those Indian sites.

skoobey 04-09-2017 02:38 PM

Re: Time for a change?
 
I really don't care what the destination is, as long is it is a civil country. I do not consider UAE to be that, but if there are no other options... too bad Canada has no retouching market what so ever.

I think people try to live the good life. I have no intention of buying a new car, drinking coffee or dining out, and things like that... I am used to not having that. I find it hard to believe that you have to watch out for every penny like you do where I live. Sure, cost of living is higher, but the biggest difference I can spot is the rent. 3-4x of what it is here. But then the salary is much bigger? 500 compared to 3000 is a huge difference. And the tax is lower on top of that.

I've had a response from this e-comerce company based out of Philly, but I guess my offer of 2500$/mo was more than they are planning to spend. I couldn't possibly survive on less. I'm not sure I'm good enough to get employed with Trump and everything.

So many "Is". Argh! A terrible way to start a sentence, but it is what it is.

klev 04-09-2017 04:43 PM

Re: Time for a change?
 
Those market options sound terrible. They don't have enough shops. You could get there and find nothing. It might not be as bad as it is there. I'm not sure. Shoku can comment on San Diego if he pops in. I'll give you LA as an example. Most of the retouching places are toward West LA with a few (not many) closer to the Hollywood area. They (or at least most of them) are not growing. If you don't have growth, it's a bad market.

I would suggest that moving to do the same thing is useless unless you have a well thought out business plan in place.

skoobey 04-09-2017 04:57 PM

Re: Time for a change?
 
I wouldn't move unless I get an offer, there is no point in just sitting around. Besides, I can't just walk into the country. Do you know what is the salary for a beginner retoucher in LA area?

klev 04-09-2017 08:55 PM

Re: Time for a change?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by skoobey (Post 332869)
I wouldn't move unless I get an offer, there is no point in just sitting around. Besides, I can't just walk into the country. Do you know what is the salary for a beginner retoucher in LA area?

It's not a market that I would recommend to anyone. I'm going to guess $45k or less starting out. It doesn't matter how much you think that is. You would have trouble finding a place to rent if you are coming from outside the US. Figure you would need to keep rent below $900 while having a reasonable commute to shops that are mostly based on the west side, which means multiple roommates.

The biggest volume is likely to be among the various retail brands. That seems to pay anywhere from $35-50k/year. Again though, it's a terrible idea. NYC probably has a healthier market in spite of more people, and they actually have public transportation.

Ultimately I would say that there are better occupations. There's no growth in that area, which is fine if you have the right niche (recall what I said about a business model and plan). Otherwise it's not very good.

skoobey 04-09-2017 09:18 PM

Re: Time for a change?
 
Well how many careers does one need to be proficient at before he finds employment? I'm an architect, and a furniture designer, and a photographer, and a retoucher, and I'm learning 3d modeling. I get what you are saying(go where the money is), but when do I actually get paid?

Obviously someone hired those people selling kitchen appliances, working in boutiques, working in restaurants? When do I become qualified for any of those?

klev 04-09-2017 10:30 PM

Re: Time for a change?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by skoobey (Post 332872)
Well how many careers does one need to be proficient at before he finds employment? I'm an architect, and a furniture designer, and a photographer, and a retoucher, and I'm learning 3d modeling. I get what you are saying(go where the money is), but when do I actually get paid?

Obviously someone hired those people selling kitchen appliances, working in boutiques, working in restaurants? When do I become qualified for any of those?

Considering the quality of your work, the rates you stated are all garbage, and they do not provide a workable business model. The act of moving may or may not change that, but it's a lot more difficult when you can't ride some amount of industry growth.

You can be very skilled at something without the availability of work that is accessible to you. Any kind of major change really needs to involve both sufficient skill and a viable model. This particular area doesn't have a lot of growth potential, because the number of publications has declined. That tends to make things difficult for people entering a particular market.

skoobey 04-09-2017 11:00 PM

Re: Time for a change?
 
I can't find work for the death of me. I've had some people reach out after me complaining in other communities, I'll see if that leads anywhere(the rates these guys offered me are still low, but paid work is paid work).

What i mentioned is the kind of work I had access to. I even asked one of the members here, but he said I'm not good enough to work on anything he does. I feel like crap knowing that I've started to get good at something, and I see people making a living doing the same thing, but me not being able to find my market. As I said, I was trying to offer doing a decent job for 10$ per image but to no avail.

I understand that the market is shifting, I'm not stuck on fashion, I have no problem retouching whatever is paid. I guess the whole idea of moving is just linked to the uncertainty of living where I do and me not feeling appreciated what so ever. And trust me, I've traveled, you can't believe the insanity of living in a communist country, unless you've lived in one. All the things people take for granted... forget about that, it's a different system. Someone said in another thread that they worked on some easy retail for 8$ an hour. That is like a fantasy to me.


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