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New Freelancer looking for advice

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Old 03-25-2010, 10:01 AM
Johnny retouch Johnny retouch is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 16
Re: New Freelancer looking for advice

Originally Posted by NocturnlCreativ View Post
Hi everyone! I just joined here! I'm looking for advice on a few things..

First of all, I've been working as a retoucher for about 5 years now. Out of college (2003) I started working for a photographer who used me as his retoucher/phone op/studio manager/etc. He paid me $10/hr which was never enough considering all that was asked of me. I spent the past 5 years searching for a worthwhile retouching job while taking on various freelance projects. I haven't had any luck finding a job with decent pay. I'm currently working freelance and have had steady work from a photographer who pays me $2/picture (usually ends up being $10-$20/hr). This sucks to say the least lol! I live in LA and can't afford anything out here. I don't know what to do. Sometimes I just think it's LA. All the job ads I read are so depressing (pay wise). Is it just me, or is it LA? Can anyone offer any tips on how to get a job/clients that pay enough to live off of? I love retouching and I love being freelance, I want to make it work pretty bad but I just can't survive on such low pay.

My other question is, how can I build up a portfolio (website) to show to potential clients when all of the photographers I'm working for are asking me not to use their work on my site? I know they have rights to the photos so just using them anyway would be looking for trouble. But here I am with 5 years of work behind me and nothing to show for it. Any there any places out there that offer pictures that are free to use for anything? I really have no clue what to do about this.

Any advice would be very much appreciated!
Use some of your personal photos, that are bad quality to retouch and show a before and after. You can even work on some good quality photos and use your creativity buy removing people and moving things around. You just need someone to see your talent. Start collecting these before and after samples, then put them on a cheep "Go Daddy" web site. Then start contacting the kind of clients you want to do work for and give them a link to your samples. I worked for a guy once who ripped up printed samples of my retouching, so I wouldn't have a before & after sample. Good luck from New York and start retouching.
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