RetouchPRO

Go Back   RetouchPRO > Business > Work/Jobs
Register Blogs FAQ Site Nav Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Work/Jobs Talk about the business side of things. Advice, questions, inspiration, and moral support

The life of a professional retoucher

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 02-24-2002, 11:29 PM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
Janitor
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,068
Blog Entries: 21
The life of a professional retoucher

We've talked a lot about the restoration business, but almost nothing about the retouching business (and this is RetouchPRO, after all).

Maybe its because all of us are like me and haven't a clue about life as a retoucher.

Are there any retouchers out there? Are you freelance, or do you work for someone? How do you get your business? How do you transport files, or do you scan from prints?

Etc., etc., etc.

Since I know nothing about the business side of retouching, I don't even know what to ask about.

Retouchers, speak up and be heard.
Reply With Quote top
  #2  
Old 03-02-2002, 12:12 AM
john_opitz john_opitz is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Dallas/Ft.Worth,Texas
Posts: 230
Mr. Nelson,
I took it, you were a janitor all along.
I'm a photographer/retoucher. I do the high schools(seniors) and model portfolios for models, agencies. I use film and/or digital. When going to the web. I scan from the print(like to use an 8 x 10). Retouching, Scan the neg.(70mm,2 1/4,35mm) or digital.
Reply With Quote top
  #3  
Old 05-07-2002, 10:57 PM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
Janitor
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,068
Blog Entries: 21
OK, this had an excellent start, then petered out. But I still want to know all that stuff in the first post.
Reply With Quote top
  #4  
Old 05-07-2002, 11:50 PM
Jakaleena's Avatar
Jakaleena Jakaleena is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 709
I've worked as an in house retoucher for a studio. I also have worked as an in house photolab digital artist. As a lab artist, I am usually handed a variety of things to work on - both retouching and restoration. I think it would probably be the same for independant artists.

After having worked as a studio retoucher, I think it would be very difficult to be independant and just call yourself a retoucher. The deadlines and turnarounds for some studio work, especially proms and the like, are very tight. For things like youth sports, the deadlines are a little looser, but the sheer volume of subjects makes up for it. Some shoot deadlines are as short as overnight. Unless you're in house, I honestly can't imagine being able to meet any sort of acceptable deadline.

Weddings, portraits and the like all have a bit more leeway, but many photographers & studios either have dig artists on staff, or the photographers are trained in touch up to alleviate the need to spend extra $$ on someone to do that sort of thing.

Most of the retouching work I've done as a lab artist has been stuff like taking pimples off of teenagers or giving a studio look to pictures that Uncle Harry took of Johnny to avoid having to actually pay a photographer...

There's also a great deal of work that comes from clients of photographers who did not touch up prints in studio. A call to the photographer usually gets an ok to do the work, and then it's things like taking out the fence behind the prize horse or taking that one little zit off of the end of Mary's nose...

With the exception of Cover Girl, the challenges in the retouch section are a good cross section of the stuff I see come into the lab. The thing is, though, that most of the people who bring in the more recently shot stuff will find out how much it will cost to fix the picture, and then 9 times out of 10 will say "oh, I didn't realize it would be that much. I'll just take another picture." I've even had them say, "oh, our neighbor Johnny has a computer. Maybe he can do it instead." It's a different attitude than with old irreplacable photos.

I've actually asked what they had in mind as a price they were hoping to get it done for, and most times have had them say that they figured it would only be $5-$10....
Reply With Quote top
  #5  
Old 05-08-2002, 12:02 AM
john_opitz john_opitz is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Dallas/Ft.Worth,Texas
Posts: 230
Advertising.........and mailing lists.......to get the business. Scan the negatives........for output. Or I do digiital files from the camera. No scanning of prints........only for web use.
I work for a studio. For a retoucher to do retouching in a studio you have to be fast........Other words..........You can't sit on an image for hours. You'll have hundreds of images a day(not all to be retouched). Some have it where retouchers only do removing of objects on skin,background or any part of the image,as well as smoothing of skin,removing facial flaws and other objects that want to be removed. Then there's the color corection dept. for custom prints, color correcting proofs. Oh! Make sure those people are not wearing sunglasses(magenta or green) If they have to, make sure their green. This way the pictures will favor on the magenta side.:o
I find "freelancers" should stay away from selections for color corection. And do other things(channel blending) to work faster, to make a living out of retouching. Save the selections for complex retouch work, if have to. And know all the color spaces....Not just rgb.......And USE LAYER MASKS. To undo/redo work.
Reply With Quote top
  #6  
Old 05-08-2002, 12:43 AM
john_opitz john_opitz is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Dallas/Ft.Worth,Texas
Posts: 230
Making actions help too....


This is a before:

Last edited by john_opitz; 05-19-2002 at 07:34 PM.
Reply With Quote top
  #7  
Old 05-08-2002, 12:46 AM
john_opitz john_opitz is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Dallas/Ft.Worth,Texas
Posts: 230
This is after:

Last edited by john_opitz; 05-19-2002 at 07:33 PM.
Reply With Quote top
  #8  
Old 05-08-2002, 06:21 PM
Bohemienne's Avatar
Bohemienne Bohemienne is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 2
Talking Interested!

Hey Folks!

I'm a High School Senior and I was looking to getting into photo retouching field...could you tell me what kind of college courses I should take, and some information about pay, and whether or not you enjoy your job? Or any other information that you can think of... ...would certainly be helpful.
Reply With Quote top
  #9  
Old 05-08-2002, 06:35 PM
Ed_L's Avatar
Ed_L Ed_L is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: northwest Indiana, about 45 minutes from Chicago, IL
Posts: 2,824
Samantha,

You can start a new thread any time you wish. I can tell you that there's a *LOT* of good info in this forum. Start at the beginning, and read most of the posts. Did I mention that I was a freshman at IU?

Ed
Reply With Quote top
  #10  
Old 09-14-2011, 02:06 AM
PhotoLogic's Avatar
PhotoLogic PhotoLogic is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mpls. / St. Paul, MN USA
Posts: 1
Re: The life of a professional retoucher

I started out in Consumer Photography shooting Portraits and Weddings. I am now a Freelance Minnesota Commercial Photographer of 25 years experience and was an early adopter of digital photography through the bleeding edge of the technology. I began using scanned images; Kodak PhotoCD; Video Capture Systems, Tri-Linear Array Scanning backs on 4x5 cameras; 3 RGB Filter Wheel Area Array digital backs on Hasselblad film camera bodies and now shoot DLSRs and PhaseOne Digital Backs.

I worked calibrating digital images with Commercial PrePress for 10 years and taught Advertising photography studios how to successfully transition from film to digital. That consulting became a job description, for me and soon to be other younger "Star Wars Babies", as the Digital Photo Technician, or DigiTech for short. In this Midwest market, that job description has evolved from knowing digital cameras, computers, tethering capture software and responsible workflow to now mainly how well you can retouch images.

Today's photographers, for the most part, have lost the ability or desire to get everything right in front of the lens and rely on the post-production aspects of digital to 'composite' the final image. There in lies a prime responsibility of the DigiTech/Retoucher to deliver perfect final images to the client. Every Professional Commercial Photographer has at least one DigiTech he can rely on for this, even if he 'likes' doing it himself at times. In most cases, a photography studio may have a bevy of DigiTechs from which to pick, from listing sites like www.assistantslist.com for this, providing they schedule them a month in advance at times.

Albeit, retouching skills have been devalued over the years due to the ubiquitous desktop computer and software, a busy DigiTech can garner a fair living, like I said - a busy DigiTech. To do that, you could take a class, become a NAPP member, read Layers magazine, follow psd.tutsplus.com and of course www.retouchpro.com for some insight to knowledge. But ya gotta do it. A good way to start out is to intern at a photo studio shooting the kind of work you'd like to work on. You could try an entry position at a PrePress/PreMedia shop. Build a web site showing your capabilities, or just get out there and talk to people that hire DigiTechs/Retouchers, like Professional Commercial Photographers and Advertising Art Buyers.

In this struggling economy and saturated photo market, education, tech savvy skills and on the job experience may not be enough. When it comes to working in a creative, high pressure, short deadline environment, what may tip the scales in your favor is a professional congeniality.
Reply With Quote top
Reply

  RetouchPRO > Business > Work/Jobs


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
professional freelance retoucher looking for work jadams007 Classifieds 0 10-15-2007 03:54 PM
Professional Freelance Retoucher looking for work. jadams007 Classifieds 0 09-25-2007 10:45 AM
Professional Retoucher looking for work wonger Classifieds 0 03-27-2007 07:29 PM
Are you a professional independant digital retoucher? Aric Work/Jobs 15 01-31-2006 11:33 AM
Professional Retoucher iretouch Classifieds 3 01-07-2004 11:07 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:16 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright © 2016 Doug Nelson. All Rights Reserved