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How does one break into retouching?

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  #1  
Old 10-28-2005, 04:43 PM
potatostar potatostar is offline
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How does one break into retouching?

I am very interested in a career as a retoucher. I am 2 years out of college and have an art degree, am working in web production so the only retouching I have done for professional purposes is low-res for web. Some of the image I get are high-res but they get shrunk down anyhow. I have good Photoshop skills and have worked with product retouching only. I know you have to know people and skin tones, I have never tried that yet. I was wondering what resources or classes I can use to practice and learn, and how do I break into retouching? I am interested in eventually joining the creative team at a company, studio, or agency. Is it really all in networking and who you know? I am in NYC, by the way, and always see ads on craigslist for a retoucher. However, I know I am not qualified yet to even apply for those. I do not have a portfolio for before/after retouching because I have nothing to show yet obviously, besides the images I have done for the website. I do have a good eye for color.
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Old 10-28-2005, 04:54 PM
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goose443 goose443 is offline
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Welcome to Retouchpro!

My advice would be to check out this site extensively as it has a huge wealth of knowlege and resources for people begining to retouch. Read the tutorials, try the challenges and participate in the forums. Before you know it you'll have the terms, techniques and experience and you'll be on your way to building yourself a great portfolio. And who knows, by the time you're ready to apply for that big job you may have the contacts you've been searching for through this very site!
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Old 10-28-2005, 05:04 PM
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shellby shellby is offline
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Online training

There are some great places to learn online.

try www.lynda.com

Enhancing digital photography with photoshop (great tutorial)
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Old 10-28-2005, 06:30 PM
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twinkissed twinkissed is offline
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You're right! That is a great site. Thanks for sharing that. There are quite a few available for free which I think is wonderful.
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Old 12-03-2005, 07:54 PM
mcacioppo mcacioppo is offline
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i'm a little late to reply to this but, however:

i have been using photoshop for a while now, since version 4, and i was in high school then, kept it up through college (majored in photo) and while in school got a job doing very minimal retouching and mostly color correction and photo agency stuff, but i knew i could make better money and be less bored having retouching as my day job (i.e. i am actually an artist and just do that technical stuff for the money, right? right.).

anyway, in order to get my foot in the door at other places i would post on craigslist (i'm in NYC as well) looking for models or photographers, especially students, who needed retouching done, and offered a trade of sorts, or really cheap rates, they would give me work to retouch i could use on my website and portfolio. it worked for me enough to get around 10 peices. no tear sheets of course but if the works good enough you should be able to find jobs.

another good way to get images to retouch is to look for free stock photos.
a good site for that is http://www.sxc.hu/

also, temp agencies can be good resume builders and ways to eventually get hired. thats how i got my job and i'm now at a major magazine publishing company. i thought it would have taken a lot longer to get in at a place like that. oh and i'm sure it always helps to know someone, but i know absolutley no one who can help get me a job in the industry, and i have one. i guess it can go both ways.

good luck!
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Old 12-05-2005, 09:22 AM
emarts emarts is offline
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Get a job in a prepress house or the prepress dept. of a printing facility. You can start as a scanner operator. Many of them first start by scanning images and doing minor cleanup. But it will usually graduate to more complex retouching. Once you get the tech skills down, you can try for more creative positions either at the same place, or at a design company. Get a copy of Photoshop at home (if you don't already), and give yourself assignments and build a portfolio.
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Old 12-06-2005, 05:08 AM
ffureel ffureel is offline
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This is what I want as well...to be a photo retoucher/ manipulator. Are there any people here from the Uk who has some golden info related to breaking into this market. At the moment Im studying for a profesional photography degree part time on a wednesday, this is making very hard for me to get any job let alone a job that I want...someone please advise.

Oh I have a site www.ffureel.co.uk its not specifically designed towards retouching but all of the photos have been through Photoshop.

Thanks.
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  #8  
Old 12-06-2005, 11:11 AM
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shellby shellby is offline
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photography or retouching

You need to decide where your heart lies - Photography or Retouching? Sometimes you end up spending so much time infront of a computer and wonder when you will ever get out and take photos! Now days though, I think a lot of photographers do some retouching but outsource when they don't have the time.
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Old 12-06-2005, 02:03 PM
Photolew Photolew is offline
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I am a photographer so let me give you my personal feelings. First thing you will need to do is establish some sort of price structure for this. Something like $x amount a head , x amount to remove braces, etc.

Then you will need someway for me to send you the files, and also a way for me to get them back. Preferably via the net, shipping is too slow and ads WAY too much to the cost.

As to who, you best bet would be word of mouth to start. Get in with a couple of photographers. If it was me you were approaching, the best way to get my attention would be to offer to retouch a few files for free.

L
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  #10  
Old 12-07-2005, 12:54 PM
emarts emarts is offline
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I guess I'm working backwards. I've been retouching for 14 years and only recently I decided to learn photography. I'm taking courses at NYIP. I guess my next step is to join a local camera club and offer retouching services there or at least get to know some of the other photographers.
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