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Work/Jobs Talk about the business side of things. Advice, questions, inspiration, and moral support

Please Help, O Wise RetouchPro Community!

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  #11  
Old 08-06-2009, 03:59 PM
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twopoint0 twopoint0 is offline
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Re: Please Help, O Wise RetouchPro Community!

A SVA BFA is no substitute for learning the hard way- by working. And for a recent grad in today's economy, that probably means an unpaid internship or a very low salary for a lot of hours. In NY, you might try working (your butt off) for a commercial photographer like a Marcus Klinko.
Of course, I may sound like Captain Obvious to you as well.
By the way, learn your craft inside out first, then maybe you can market yourself as a specialist.
Good luck!
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  #12  
Old 08-07-2009, 10:35 AM
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abenormal abenormal is offline
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Re: Please Help, O Wise RetouchPro Community!

Hey "theautochthon"

I work at JWT NY. (That's J Walter Thompson, rebranded. :P) PM me your real name and contact info and I can get you in here for a look around, look at your book, and see if we can get you in here for some freelance. We're always looking for good retouchers who can fill in when needed, so it's a "if there's not anything today there might be something next week" type of situation. We hire different levels of retouchers as well, for pitches the work doesn't need a high level of polish (but do need to be done quickly) and then there's the finished retouching for print ads, where attention to detail is critical.

Here are some things we look for in freelancers work:

Realistic work. Edges that are soft where they should be soft, crisp where they should be crisp, shadows that darken colors (not just blacken) and fade off realistically, colors and values that match their environment.

Attention to detail. If an object or person gets removed, their shadow gets removed as well (without needing to be told). Cloning that is careful and considered, without step and repeat patterns.

Clean masks, without stray flecks or cut lines. Layers that are organized logically, with color corrections above cloned layers, etc. Preserving flexibility and working with others is important, so color corrections that are masked to individual elements are good, color corrections that have large complex masks across several elements are bad. Another bad no-no is cloning or painting above color corrections, picking up the correction in the cloned area, and making the color correction uneditable without redoing the cloning.

File management. The best work in the world is worthless if the file doesn't make it to the server or gets accidentally deleted or overwritten.

Speed is a consideration, but it's far from the first consideration.

Last edited by abenormal; 08-07-2009 at 11:06 AM.
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  #13  
Old 08-09-2009, 01:46 AM
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theautochthon theautochthon is offline
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Re: Please Help, O Wise RetouchPro Community!

Hey, thanks so much to everyone for all the great advice!!

Quantum-what you said about having a limit and set expectations for a job, that's so true; I think my biggest problem right now is not knowing exactly how long a complicated image/composite may take for me to complete--again, something that will get better as I gain experience. "Measuring what's perfect is a must and that will be dictated by the use the images will have." That is now my motto! It's so easy to forget that not every image is going to end up a 6' x 8' print and some need more attention than others.

twopoint0- I certainly don't think a bfa is a substitute for experience through actual work, I was just trying to illustrate my novice (but not quite completely incompetent! lol) knowledge of retouching. The problem is, how many unpaid internships can anyone really be expected to do? I'm in between that world and (hopefully) the world of paid internships right now...as far as marketing myself as a specialist, the work I'm doing (and kind of hope to keep doing) is for fine artists. Is it a bad idea to stay within that one "type" of freelance work, for instance, should my book focus on that, or should it show a variety of fine art, commercial, ad, editorial, etc work?

abenormal- we will be in touch and thank you for your offer, and for essentially outlining a checklist of things to keep in mind when I'm reviewing my work, I really, really appreciate it!!!

...I think I'd be lost without this site...

Last edited by theautochthon; 08-09-2009 at 03:57 AM.
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  #14  
Old 08-13-2009, 11:18 AM
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abenormal abenormal is offline
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Re: Please Help, O Wise RetouchPro Community!

Quote:
... a specialist, the work I'm doing (and kind of hope to keep doing) is for fine artists. Is it a bad idea to stay within that one "type" of freelance work, for instance, should my book focus on that, or should it show a variety of fine art, commercial, ad, editorial, etc work?
On the one hand, New York is probably the best place in the US to focus on a fine art niche. All you need are a few good relationships with successful artist-clients and you could have a long and profitable career. OTOH, a narrowly focused book isn't going to help you branch out or get you work when the fine-art chips are down. If you want advertising work, you need an advertising book. If it were me, I would try to get as large a variety of assignments as possible - you can always edit stuff OUT of your book if you decide you don't want that kind of work.

-abe
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