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Questions about retouching jobs in NYC

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  #11  
Old 11-29-2007, 04:48 PM
Benny Profane's Avatar
Benny Profane Benny Profane is offline
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Re: Questions about retouching jobs in NYC

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Originally Posted by BodegaGo View Post
whatever they're working on at the moment to see if they can't get some free work out of ya

Heh. Been there. Got the job, though.
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  #12  
Old 11-29-2007, 05:12 PM
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BodegaGo BodegaGo is offline
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Re: Questions about retouching jobs in NYC

yeah, not much you can do about it. or at least i never have, it's the tricky sort of thing where you're like "should i ask to get paid for this test? or am i just happy for the opportunity?" only once out of 20 odd tests did anyone ever offer up front to pay me for the 3-4 hour test
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  #13  
Old 05-21-2009, 07:06 PM
Paul Cooper Paul Cooper is offline
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Re: Questions about retouching jobs in NYC

Unfortunately high-end retouching studios rarely (if ever) pay for tests...
P
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  #14  
Old 05-27-2009, 05:14 PM
eraanexact eraanexact is offline
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Re: Questions about retouching jobs in NYC

I'm looking to move to NYC in August, and I was wondering this very same thing. I have nine years experience working at high-end retouching studios in Detroit and Atlanta, but I've found the biggest hurdle so far is simply me not being in New York yet. I see ads on craigslist, for example, that I believe would be far far easier to apply for if the hiring party didn't see that I currently live in Atlanta. I'm sure the higher end shops and agencies up there must get tons of resumés from out-of-towners all the time.

Have any of you local to NY found that retouchers coming in with 5-10 years experience in other markets get passed over at all when applying for jobs?
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  #15  
Old 04-15-2010, 10:36 PM
boynamedsue boynamedsue is offline
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Re: Questions about retouching jobs in NYC

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Originally Posted by eraanexact View Post
I'm looking to move to NYC in August, and I was wondering this very same thing. I have nine years experience working at high-end retouching studios in Detroit and Atlanta, but I've found the biggest hurdle so far is simply me not being in New York yet. I see ads on craigslist, for example, that I believe would be far far easier to apply for if the hiring party didn't see that I currently live in Atlanta. I'm sure the higher end shops and agencies up there must get tons of resumés from out-of-towners all the time.

Have any of you local to NY found that retouchers coming in with 5-10 years experience in other markets get passed over at all when applying for jobs?


Hey,

I recently moved up to NYC from the south where i had 4 years retouching experience and did a few things here but i still haven't found anything to root myself down with. It's been tough but i think that there are a lot of people up here trying to retouch for houses and very little positions relatively speaking. So yeah i am one person who moved from the south with experience who feels like the market is passing me over. i guess persistence is the answer.
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  #16  
Old 04-17-2010, 11:45 PM
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Amanda_Lauren Amanda_Lauren is offline
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Re: Questions about retouching jobs in NYC

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Originally Posted by kevin thompson View Post
Thanks for the answers people!

A couple of questions though:

What is a good number of examples to have in a portfolio for an interview or on the web? Having more doesn't mean better right? What about a CD or thumb drive to show the layered steps you did?

Everyone menchoned a test image. Is there a spacific type you are usually faced with or does it vary depending on the place?

Finding high quality images for before and after examples is not easy. I suppose you have to do the best you can with what you can find.
Hi Kevin-
Up until a month ago I was an employee at Quad Graphics. Great company. Benny is right on this one when starting out Pre-press houses are the way to go. You get a taste of everything. But they aren't expecting high end work either, they have 24-48 hour turn arounds. I went through a temp agency unintentionally called Career Blazers. Quad is merging with World Color right now, so I do not believe they are hiring at the moment. The merge will be more complete in July I believe. But Career Blazers and other creative agencies alike are great to help get a job. Other pre-press houses are Donnelly and Hearst for future reference.

Networking is great. Business cards. Portfolio on the web, is easier than sending PDFs via email simply because certain email hosts have limits on how much you can send through their email service. Craigs list is great. Linkedin, Monster, and Career Builder. There is no specific formula, its hard work to get a job in this industry, but these tools help.

To answer your specific questions:
In my opinion, I would say 5-10 images is a good place to start to show what you can do, a variety. and yes sometimes less is more, it depends what you have. What I can't show in my work, I use in words with my cover letter.

I have never brought a cd or flash drive with me to an interview to show layers, that's what the test is for, to show your work flow.

Tests are standard. I have interviewed everywhere from places like Box to Quad, all want tests. They usually give you something on the extreme end, one gave me a photo of Natalie Portman with markups and color adjustments and another place gave me a certain amount of images to touch up in a certain time (that was for a restoration place) and another gave me small portions of images and had specific instructions for what to do to each image. They want to see your thought process and work flow.

To find high quality images, I have been asking my artist friends to have a photo trade off. And some artists on retouchpro.com are happy to share their high quality images for you to retouch, as long as credit is given where it is needed on both ends.

I've been in your shoes, I feel your pain. I hope this helps. Think outside the box is my philosophy. Good luck.

Salut,
Amanda Lauren
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  #17  
Old 06-23-2010, 01:58 PM
RozoNYC RozoNYC is offline
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Re: Questions about retouching jobs in NYC

Hi Kevin,

I've just moved from NYC after almost 13 years there, 10 as a retoucher and it always has been a struggle for me since I was both new to NYC and new to the industry. I was also surprised that most jobs were only freelance (long term if you're lucky) without benefits. It did get easier the more I worked because I made more contacts and kept adding to the portfolio.

I've tried "creative" temp agencies - Aquent, Artisan, Update Graphics, 24/Seven, CTI - which were great because they had the connections with the ad agencies which could provide full-time staff positions, but I couldn't get work from them until I had a good portfolio. I got great images by working for a high-end commercial photographer - insane person, but learned so much and got great images for the book. You can try Craigslist (both "Jobs" and "Gigs") or contact photographers directly (LeBook is a great source for high-end photographers and retouching houses). And as mentioned by others, you can try bartering your retouching for photo usage from photographers or even stylists, make-up artists, and others. If nothing else, you could make some new connections - it really gets easier the move people you know! I've found the best place to create a simple but FREE web portfolio is Behance.net (http://www.behance.net).

And of course you can try cold-calling retouching/pre-press/printing shops directly - you never know what can happen. I got a 6month FT freelance gig from cold-calling retouching houses from the phone book! LOL

Much luck to you! Never give up - there is always a way.

RozoNYC
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