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What to include in a prepress portfolio?

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  #11  
Old 12-23-2007, 02:09 PM
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AdamZx3 AdamZx3 is offline
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Re: What to include in a prepress portfolio?

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has Real World Color Management been updated recently, i was thinking of getting the color management book by Eddie Tapp...
The 2nd edition says 2004 on Amazon, so yes fairly recently.
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  #12  
Old 12-27-2007, 02:32 PM
Don Marcelo Don Marcelo is offline
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Re: What to include in a prepress portfolio?

Hey AdamZx3
With your question regarding what to include in your portfolio, when I got into the premedia/high-end pre-press industry, I concentrated putting 10 of my best work in my portfolio from previous employers and personal work. Only you can determine these things. If you're going to concentrate on lots of fashion/glamour and skin retouch, then emphasize that on your portfolio. If it's products, then concentrate on that. If the company has various clients, then mix it up with your best work. I have several different portfolios for my Graphic Production Art work to Retouch to Photography. Target the specifics for the job you are applying for.

Study the companies and check out what kind of work they do. Stand out from the rest of the crowd. I did it by wearing my best outfit, by sending them thank you emails and cards for their time and outlining to them what I can contribute to the company, by having a solid portfolio including my laptop and showed them my workflow. I sold myself by the fact that not only can I do retouch, but I can also do other graphic production work. Know your CMYK numbers. I had the foundation, but I wasn't proficient with the cmyk workflow since I have a photo background which concentrated more on RGB workflow. In the end, I was able to beat other candidates who I thought were better than me because most of them had over 10+ years of commercial retouch experience compared to the fact I only had 3+ years of graphic experience. Bottom line, you will have to outsell everyone else by doing whatever is necessary to land the job (but don't lowball yourself either because it will only hurt the industry).
From what I see, you have all the necessary skills to get into a high-end shop

I am very fortunate that I go to work everyday and love what I do and like the people I work with.

...just FYI (and I guess for everyone else who is interested)...if you're still aspiring to be a high-end retoucher and you are currently looking for work and you don't mind relocating, as of December 26, 2007, my company is hiring in the Seattle area for a High End Retouch/Assembly operator. Check out craigslist in Seattle. Don't know if you want to relocate from NE Ohio to the Pacific Northwest or not, but hey, it's an opportunity. I like to help people out especially the ones who I think are talented with aspirations. I don't know what the industry is like in Ohio, but it seems like there's more opportunity in the West Coast and East Coast and maybe Chicago area. Have you considered moving out Ohio if there isn't much work?

Good luck to you and Best regards
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  #13  
Old 12-27-2007, 02:41 PM
pixelzombie pixelzombie is offline
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Re: What to include in a prepress portfolio?

the chicago area is overstaffed ever since Schawk bought out Seven, i still run into a few people that are trying to get back on their feet after they consolidated...
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  #14  
Old 12-27-2007, 03:24 PM
Don Marcelo Don Marcelo is offline
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Re: What to include in a prepress portfolio?

That's too bad. I can only hope for the best to those few people trying to get back on their feet. I suffered their same fate in the past. I remember during the "dot.bomb" when my Ad Agency (which was world-wide) suffered a massive "workforce" reduction. Every graphic production artist (including me) from the East Coast to the West Coast got laid off, and centralized a hub in Indiana because the company saved a ton of money by doing so. Almost like "offshoring" work, except it's here in our country. That's why I believe that having all those skills like those of AdamZx3's got will make him more valuable to a potential employer. I say never ever stop learning and growing
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  #15  
Old 12-27-2007, 05:53 PM
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AdamZx3 AdamZx3 is offline
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Re: What to include in a prepress portfolio?

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...just FYI (and I guess for everyone else who is interested)...if you're still aspiring to be a high-end retoucher and you are currently looking for work and you don't mind relocating, as of December 26, 2007, my company is hiring in the Seattle area for a High End Retouch/Assembly operator. Check out craigslist in Seattle. Don't know if you want to relocate from NE Ohio to the Pacific Northwest or not, but hey, it's an opportunity. I like to help people out especially the ones who I think are talented with aspirations. I don't know what the industry is like in Ohio, but it seems like there's more opportunity in the West Coast and East Coast and maybe Chicago area. Have you considered moving out Ohio if there isn't much work?
I would relocate in a heartbeat! Ohio has very little to no retouch work. I just assumed get 2 years in hear and look for a good paying job. I considered relocating to North Carolina because of the weather, but finding a job is the tough part! Since I have 0 years experience I would think that is my biggest drawback, but depending on how you look at it, I don't have any bad habits to break I'm hoping having a background in photography, design, retouching, and studying a lot on prepress will move me into somewhere.

My sister and her husband live in Tacoma, but he left off to Iraq so she's back home, but anyway they loved it out there. If you have a ballpark idea on salary could you PM me? I really would just be happy with enough to live comfortably on without living in a bad part of town. I have a wedding to go to this weekend in Columbus but will have to get back to you sat afternoon. An opportunity like that would be great.
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  #16  
Old 12-27-2007, 06:49 PM
Don Marcelo Don Marcelo is offline
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Re: What to include in a prepress portfolio?

Yes. I too love the Pacific Northwest. I may end up going back up there someday. We shall see. In the meantime, I'm spending some time down here again in the Bay Area (more like East Bay).

Anyways, as far as salary, it really depends on your experience and how good you are at negotiating, and of course experience. A "good paying job" is all relative. Here's what I wrote previously from another post:

"The pay range I've personally encountered in the high-end pre-press for a full-timer varies from $20/hr to $32/hr. I heard from my other co-workers who has worked in the San Francisco Bay area that retouchers there in the city make anywhere between $35/hr to $50/hr. I haven't personally encountered that and I don't know if that's true or not. I think it's based on what type of accounts that color house holds, the economy, the area you're in, and the type of company you work for and their budget."

People with no real-world experience from what I've seen and heard can get paid anywhere from $8.00/hr (a very small or cheap shop) - $15.00/hr and that's in the West Coast. This is an industry (whether its graphic arts/Design/Advertising/Photography) where there's more artists than there are jobs. Companies, be it big or small, can literally pick and choose a candidate and lowball the salary. With globalization, technology, the internet always on the rise, its harder and harder to get a "good paying job" in the United States of America. You have to constantly learn new skills and keep growing and you have to accept change or else you might get cut from the team.

In my opinion, you may be better off pursuing the MPI job because of your connection. You know what they say and it's 90% true..."It's who you know who will give you the job...and it's what you know that will get you to the top."

I was very lucky when I landed my job with my company in Los Angeles where I didn't know anyone and I sent my resume blindly through craigslist. Luck of the draw. By no means I am at the very top of my game, but I'm also not a newbie. So get that experience in your belt however small it may be (whether its freelancing for your church or your school, getting a part-time job at your local kinko's or small print shop, getting a job at a retail photo finishing place). Anything that will give you an opportunity to learn on-the-job skills while you keep honing your skills and passion and keep building your portfolio. And keep knocking on the doors. Don't ever give up.

Hope this helps. Best of luck to you
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  #17  
Old 12-27-2007, 08:30 PM
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AdamZx3 AdamZx3 is offline
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Re: What to include in a prepress portfolio?

Yes Don that sure does help, thanks for the info. While I would love to apply for that job, the more I think about it, I don't think I will be ready enough. In another month I will have more training and have my portfolio finished up. Also I don't know if $15 an hr would be enough to live (and start from scratch), my sister says just outside Seattle the apartments are around $1000 a month and up. While the apartments here are around $400+ electric for a decent place. I would imagine the salary would be $12-15 starting out. Rumor has it that the local photo lab (only works with pro's) start out at $20hr for retouching / CC but not real sure on that one. My first pick will be working prepress with lithographic press's then the color lab, but I can't be too picky!

I would love to start out just retouching but I think I will have to do that on the side, maybe via FTP to get some experience....and if luck falls my way (which it never does haha) then freelance full-time.
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