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Getting started, building first portfolio

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  #1  
Old 12-14-2007, 03:54 AM
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Enkay Enkay is offline
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Getting started, building first portfolio

Hi, I've been retouching pictures as a hobby for a while now and I feel like it's time I bring it to another level.

My question is simple, I'm not a photographer and I only do retouches so I'm lacking "raw" material to build a portfolio. By raw material I mean high quality pictures taken by photographers at a high enough resolution. It goes without saying that I want to have the right to use those pictures for my portfolio so no copyrighted images!

I'm in no way ready to start working for a big reknown photographer or advertizing agency but I can see myself working with a photographer who is in a similar situation that I am in with their work.

How do you get in touch with photographers? Where do you find high quality pictures to retouch for your portfolio? How did you get the ball rolling?

Thanks for any input from people who have been there before!
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Old 12-14-2007, 08:42 PM
PatNugent PatNugent is offline
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Re: Getting started, building first portfolio

I've had a little luck with Craigslist. Alot of people will hate you and tell you that you're ruining the industry, but what the hell, everyone needs to start somewhere. I'm in the same position as you, just starting to build a book to try and get work.
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Old 12-14-2007, 09:50 PM
pixelzombie pixelzombie is offline
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Re: Getting started, building first portfolio

you could try royalty free stock photos to begin with...
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Old 12-14-2007, 09:54 PM
PatNugent PatNugent is offline
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Re: Getting started, building first portfolio

Damn that's a good idea. There are plenty of great photos out there for little to nothing.
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Old 12-15-2007, 09:15 AM
Mike Mike is offline
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Re: Getting started, building first portfolio

Think about contacting a photographer in your area, see if they will provide you with some images, maybe trade them work for work?
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Old 12-15-2007, 10:12 AM
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sandr35 sandr35 is offline
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Smile Re: Getting started, building first portfolio

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike View Post
Think about contacting a photographer in your area, see if they will provide you with some images, maybe trade them work for work?
That's a good idea. Ive been a retoucher for some portrait companies, a newspaper and do some for idividuals around the community for years. Until now, never thought about hitting an agency or professional photographers. Yes, check out agencies. Around here, employers love a degree in design/arts, those are very helpful in landing a job when your portfolio is small. I would check out istock or stockexchange.com too or ask friends and ppl you know to take some pics and try to retouch/manipulate those. Ive got some stuff to upload for critiques on here too, I'd like everyones opinion when I get the chance. How do ppl present a portfolio these days anyway(Book or DVD or depends on your target employer)?

Didn't mean to write so much! Good luck!

Last edited by sandr35; 12-15-2007 at 10:17 AM. Reason: spelling and adding
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Old 12-16-2007, 05:24 PM
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Enkay Enkay is offline
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Re: Getting started, building first portfolio

Thanks alot for the input, keep it coming!

I'll give stock photos a try, that's a very good idea. I'm also trying to ask photographers but without a portfolio most of them don't seem to be that interested.
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Old 12-16-2007, 09:55 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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Re: Getting started, building first portfolio

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Originally Posted by Enkay View Post
I'm also trying to ask photographers but without a portfolio most of them don't seem to be that interested.

How are you presenting yourself? If you came into my studio and said you wanted to show me how good you are, just give me a copy of an image that you had a problem with and let me show you what I can do, then handed me a memory stick to put the image on, I would most likely call your bluff.

Then the ball is in your court to show me if you will sink or swim.

By doing this, you have cost the studio owner nothing but a bit of time and maybe he gets first chance to hire a great retoucher!
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Old 12-16-2007, 10:21 PM
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Enkay Enkay is offline
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Re: Getting started, building first portfolio

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Originally Posted by Mike View Post
How are you presenting yourself? If you came into my studio and said you wanted to show me how good you are, just give me a copy of an image that you had a problem with and let me show you what I can do, then handed me a memory stick to put the image on, I would most likely call your bluff.

Then the ball is in your court to show me if you will sink or swim.

By doing this, you have cost the studio owner nothing but a bit of time and maybe he gets first chance to hire a great retoucher!
That's actually what I'm doing, by email tho. I havent tried going in person as I don't want to bother them in the middle of a shoot or whatever.

I also haven't asked that many photographers just yet as I've been busy with other projects but I should have more time in a few weeks and will be doing it more.

I tell them I've been retouching pictures for a while now and that I'm thinking about building a portfolio for more professional work.

I offer to retouch one of their pictures for free to show them what I can do since I do not yet have a portfolio for show.

I usualy get... no reply. Or maybe I should give them a few days more as I've only started doing this friday.
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Old 12-17-2007, 09:20 AM
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sandr35 sandr35 is offline
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Wink Re: Getting started, building first portfolio

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enkay View Post
I tell them I've been retouching pictures for a while now and that I'm thinking about building a portfolio for more professional work.

I offer to retouch one of their pictures for free to show them what I can do since I do not yet have a portfolio for show.

I usualy get... no reply. Or maybe I should give them a few days more as I've only started doing this friday.
If I were a photographer...I would think your full of it; ask you to bring in something and then we'll talk. I wouldn't want my time wasted.
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