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What are good retouching houses?

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Old 01-06-2010, 12:29 AM
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Sveltepig Sveltepig is offline
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Posts: 143
Re: What are good retouching houses?

Hello Velocity arts
I hear what you are saying about pre-press and print houses closing.
Is the alternative web-based?
Or is it commercial work for billboards?
(digital printing is other than off-set printing - is this waht you mean?)
Or is it just that the printing industry (magazines etc) in in the East (NYC etc)
I am not from USA, so don't know these details
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Old 01-06-2010, 06:04 AM
SilvaFox SilvaFox is offline
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Re: What are good retouching houses?

Originally Posted by Velocity Arts View Post
OR...Work for a dead end publisher/printer, have benefits, make a half decent wage, learn all you want about color and retouching. Then freelance on the side.
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:46 PM
cobalt60 cobalt60 is offline
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Re: What are good retouching houses?
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:30 AM
jcarruth jcarruth is offline
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Re: What are good retouching houses?

This is probably not what you want to hear, but I thought I'd put in my 2 cents worth based on years of freelancing and having to market myself. With regards to either finding full-time work, or freelance jobs, the marketing approach is the same. I've distilled it here into 6 steps:

1. Identify your market - which means brainstorming - think of any entity that might use your retouching services on a full-time or freelance basis. Have fun with it. Let your mind go into places it's never been before. Web search like crazy.

2. Put those markets into categories - such as ad agencies, design agencies, photographers, product manufacturers, movie production houses, art directors, etc.

3. Think of an approach to each market, based on your research. In other words, how do they like to receive your materials, and what specific materials to send them. Cover letter? Samples? Resume? Web Link? E-mail? Fax? Tailor them to your market approach.

4. Cold call. Send off materials. Follow up. Keep a record. Rinse. Repeat.
Following up is the most important and most frequently overlooked step. How many times I have called, expecting a rejection, and come to find that the art director or HR person didn't even receive my materials in the first place. Oh, and don't call more than once a month. That's what the record keeping is for, which can be a SimpleText document noting when you called and any market intel you got from the call (very important that intel). Might as well press for it while you've got them on the phone. Ask questions if they don't have a job for you right at the moment - what's your market like? know anyone else who's hiring? etc. Get chatty with them. Be friendly and gracious. They're helping you, remember. And chances are, they will remember you when they do have work later on, so send them your info anyway.

5. Make consistent effort. I spend 4 hours a day training and 2 hours a day job hunting. Make a daily schedule and put job hunting on your schedule. Stick to the schedule (unless of course, you're working - hooray!).

6. Bear in mind it's a numbers game. This keeps you from getting discouraged. If it takes 100 calls to get to one job, and you've only made 20 this week, then you have 80 more calls to go before you can eat. Why stop at 20 because you're feeling rejected? If you love retouching, you'll do the grunt work of marketing. If you can't quite bring yourself to market yourself, either you don't know how (that's what this post is for), or maybe you don't love it enough? Just a thought.

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Old 02-15-2013, 03:03 PM
heyrad heyrad is offline
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Location: Santa Monica, CA
Posts: 80
Re: What are good retouching houses?

LA is a tough market if you're looking for in-house retouching... Mostly catalogue, automotive, movie/cinema and celebrity stuff. The catalogue stuff is down and out web stuff... masking and such. Get 'em in and get 'em out. I know a few people that work at some of these online places and they literally have 2 min/image... 2 minutes. Crazy!

I've been fortunate since I built most of my contacts and experience from 12yrs in NYC... I work directly through agencies and photographers, so life is good. If you're just starting out though... that's tough. Find your niche. Do you want to be great at skin? or Selections/Masks? Still Life? Cars?

It's always good to apprentice somewhere to learn how things actually work. Watching a job start and complete to billing is VERY important. If you're mentor is worth anything they'll help you get planted somewhere. You might not make a whole lot your first year or 2, but work hard and be as perfect as you can.

Learning how to retouch properly is pararmount. I'm going to be launching a tutorials site this year that will explain how the real work actually works. If you wanna see what I'm talking about then check out my new facebook page...

Best of luck to all

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Old 02-16-2013, 04:36 AM
Quantum3 Quantum3 is offline
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Posts: 911
Re: What are good retouching houses?

Hi, my experience is like follows:

1. Work for free till you figure out how to charge (you will figure that out in 2 jobs).
2. Analyse your experience and look for the goods and the bads.
3. Create a contract to protect yourself from the bad things.

About point 1, it happens that, when you do things for free, people don't measure what's ethic and what's not and they want everything (you become an slave). So, at that point, you know what people can do if no rules, so from there, using your common sense, is from what you create your contract, then you, literally, rule the people.

That's my experience: I have more clients and less problems due the clarity of the contract I did. This works for me and for a photographer friend, so I believe it will work for you, but that's just my thought.

Have a nice carnage!
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