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What are good retouching houses?

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  #1  
Old 06-24-2008, 06:41 PM
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Hamburger Image Hamburger Image is offline
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What are good retouching houses?

I'd like to work for a retouching house in Los Angeles before going freelance, in order to learn the business. I'm having trouble finding houses by just searching on google, what are some of the better known ones?
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  #2  
Old 06-29-2008, 11:18 AM
Velocity Arts Velocity Arts is offline
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Re: What are good retouching houses?

Hi,
Question first - so I can help you:

Are you experienced? If so, what business is it exactly that you want to learn?



PM
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  #3  
Old 07-06-2008, 08:12 PM
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Hamburger Image Hamburger Image is offline
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Re: What are good retouching houses?

I have about one year experience retouching skin and bodies. So far I have only done this for my fellow Brooks students, and would like to work for a house before going freelance. I'd like to learn about the business ... contracts, pricing, etc.
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  #4  
Old 03-08-2009, 05:37 PM
trucolorimaging trucolorimaging is offline
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Re: What are good retouching houses?

Did you receive any answers about names of studios in LA? I am a senior retoucher in NYC and looking into relocation and was curious if anyone gave you any names?
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  #5  
Old 04-29-2009, 12:34 PM
mashell mashell is offline
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Re: What are good retouching houses?

hi, i just stumbled across a place called big creative (www.bigcreative.com) in CA. i sent them an email a few days ago to get info and see if i could submit a portfolio but i haven't heard back.

i am curious about your experiences with the houses in NYC. are they mostly exclusive, ie- can you work for multiple firms? is living in NYC imperative? i am a freelance fashion retoucher and it seems like all that work is done in NYC and Europe. i have done "ok" living in detroit and i have a few national campaigns under my belt, but i want to take things to the next level...i don't want to move though

any input would be greatly appreciated!
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  #6  
Old 04-29-2009, 06:11 PM
Velocity Arts Velocity Arts is offline
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Re: What are good retouching houses?

Hello,
From what I have experienced, most freelance retouch opportunity out of NYC are for on-site only/ local applicants. I scour the ads daily and find it amazing the opportunity - mostly fashion as NYC is a fashion hot spot.
That not being able to secure work off-site there I could only imagine having a lot to do with VERY, VERY tight deadlines with everything rushing with tight fashion magazine and newspaper press schedules - likely many reworks and corrections on the imaging that does not allow ANY extra time it takes working with/communicating with off-site freelancers (in my case 3 hours behind and clear across the country).

That said, I have however had off-site freelance luck with other states however (NJ, MO, IN,FL and Hawaii) and even some from Europe - a little fashion, aviation, entertainment and some automotive.

As far as gigs out here in Southern California, ad agency and the few retouch studios are your best bet. STAY AWAY FROM PRINTERS AND PRE-PRESS HOUSES THAT HAVE IN-HOUSE RETOUCH DEPARTMENTS AS THESE ARE DEAD ENDS AND A BOAT ANCHOR TO THE RETOUCHER - PRINT IS A DEAD AND DYING INDUSTRY HERE IN THE WEST. Having been employed by a large commercial printer for the last 26 years that will be closing their doors in mid June, I will then be a full-time freelance probably like many of you.

Keep trying

Best of luck with all of you.

Peter


www.velocity-art.com

Last edited by Velocity Arts; 04-29-2009 at 07:56 PM.
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  #7  
Old 04-30-2009, 02:23 PM
mashell mashell is offline
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Re: What are good retouching houses?

thanks for the input!
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  #8  
Old 11-22-2009, 12:00 PM
Shorty80 Shorty80 is offline
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Re: What are good retouching houses?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity Arts View Post
That said, I have however had off-site freelance luck with other states however (NJ, MO, IN,FL and Hawaii)
What places in NJ did you do work for? I live in NJ and would like to find places I could do retouching work for at some point.
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  #9  
Old 01-05-2010, 04:21 AM
ginho ginho is offline
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Re: What are good retouching houses?

You can find lots of great retouch and CGI studios from around the world on my blog:
http://artbuyersbible.blogspot.com/
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  #10  
Old 01-06-2010, 12:13 AM
Quantum3 Quantum3 is offline
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Re: What are good retouching houses?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity Arts View Post
STAY AWAY FROM PRINTERS AND PRE-PRESS HOUSES THAT HAVE IN-HOUSE RETOUCH DEPARTMENTS AS THESE ARE DEAD ENDS AND A BOAT ANCHOR TO THE RETOUCHER - PRINT IS A DEAD AND DYING INDUSTRY HERE IN THE WEST. Having been employed by a large commercial printer for the last 26 years that will be closing their doors in mid June, I will then be a full-time freelance probably like many of you.
www.velocity-art.com
Hey Peter, what's Pre-Press? I have red many people worked there but have no clue about Pre-Press.

Thanks for your reply,

Mart
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  #11  
Old 01-06-2010, 01:29 AM
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Sveltepig Sveltepig is offline
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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
K
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  #12  
Old 01-06-2010, 07:04 AM
SilvaFox SilvaFox is offline
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Re: What are good retouching houses?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity Arts View Post
STAY AWAY FROM PRINTERS AND PRE-PRESS HOUSES THAT HAVE IN-HOUSE RETOUCH DEPARTMENTS AS THESE ARE DEAD ENDS AND A BOAT ANCHOR TO THE RETOUCHER - PRINT IS A DEAD AND DYING INDUSTRY HERE IN THE WEST.
www.velocity-art.com
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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  #13  
Old 01-08-2010, 12:46 AM
cobalt60 cobalt60 is offline
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Re: What are good retouching houses?

www.rocketart.com
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  #14  
Old 01-17-2013, 11:30 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.

Cheers!
jcarruth
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  #15  
Old 02-15-2013, 04:03 PM
heyrad heyrad is offline
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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... facebook.com/pages/Conrad-Digital/605697016113953.

Best of luck to all

Conrad
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