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Entry Level Jobs

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  #1  
Old 07-13-2011, 04:28 PM
PDBX PDBX is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Entry Level Jobs

I recently decided it was time for me to start my retouching career. I have a couple of restored images under my belt but I'm no professional. I'm interested in all aspect of retouching from restoring images to hi-end fashion but I have a long way to go. At this point I'm clueless on how to start making/attracting money. I'm thinking it might be better suited for me to land a job until I am able to branch out on my own but I'm not sure.

What are some good approaches to getting into this industry?

What are some good entry level retouching jobs I could pursue while building up my skills and portfolio?

Any advice or guidance is greatly appreciated.
Thanks for taking time to read my post.
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  #2  
Old 07-15-2011, 09:14 AM
eraanexact eraanexact is offline
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: NYC
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Re: Entry Level Jobs

Look for internships at photo studios, ad agencies, or pre-press houses. Craigslist can be a good place to look. These are the most likely places to find retouching jobs outside of actual retouching studios. Definitely try to get an entry level or internship position at a retouching studio if there is any in your area. I don't know what the Portland market is like, but a quick google search sent me here:

http://www.pushdotstudio.com/site/index.html

You could contact them and inquire about openings.

Starting out in this way is tantamount to entering an apprenticeship, so have patience and some humility. Learn as much as you can.

If location isn't a huge concern for you, then going to a bigger market like NYC will have way more opportunities for someone starting out. Just sayin.
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Old 07-15-2011, 01:12 PM
PDBX PDBX is offline
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Re: Entry Level Jobs

Hey Eraanexact

First and foremost Thanks for replying.

I don't think there's a lot, if any retouching studios here but I will look into an internship with pushdotstudio. As well as other pre-press, photography, and ad agencies I find. Are there any specific retouching techniques I should focus on in my portfolio to help land that entry-level position or internship?

I would like to find something here but if I can't within this next year I'm totally open to NYC. I was born and raised there so I have no problem moving back. I'm all about chasing the dream. Especially if it means getting my foot in the door. The challenge I face here in Oregon (like many smaller markets) is there are so many artist with few opportunities so naturally companies demands are really high.
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Old 07-15-2011, 01:58 PM
eraanexact eraanexact is offline
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Re: Entry Level Jobs

I think a willingness to learn and genuine curiosity is more important than flawless technique when you're starting out. Technique will come with experience. It sounds like you know the basics, but good masking skills and color theory come in handy.
When I started, my portfolio was full of super arty, completely commercially unviable "student work", but it also showed that I was comfortable with layers and general photoshop basics. Good luck!
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:13 PM
PDBX PDBX is offline
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Re: Entry Level Jobs

Starting out my confidence is a big roller coaster. So that helps the psyche.
Thanks for the advice....
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  #6  
Old 07-25-2011, 06:25 AM
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DJSoulglo DJSoulglo is offline
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Re: Entry Level Jobs

Portland? There's loads of advertising agencies there, w+k for instance. They have a nice big retouching dept and I reckon that you could get an internship there. The guy who runs it now gave me my internship
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Old 07-25-2011, 12:06 PM
PDBX PDBX is offline
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Re: Entry Level Jobs

Hey Djsoulglo

First and foremost Thank You for responding to my post. I appreciate all replies.

An internship with W+K would be a DREAM job come true for me. Their projects are always top notch but I always thought they contract out their work so an internship seemed out of the question. I will definitely inquire more about an internship with them.

If you don't mind me asking, how did you obtain your internship with them?
What experience did you have and what did your portfolio consists of prior to obtaining your internship?

Thanks again for your advice
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  #8  
Old 07-27-2011, 06:33 AM
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DJSoulglo DJSoulglo is offline
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Re: Entry Level Jobs

Before I started there, I had no portfolio, I was a bartender. My girlfriend's twin sister started working at w+k amsterdam and she said something about retouching. It seemed like fun so I called them. They were busy and said "come by in a month". So I took one month to read every book and watch every DVD on this planet. Did that, went in and got the internship. Then I worked in the retouch for a while, but then there wasn't enough work, so I started doing studio work (indesign, quark, illustrator, photoshop, etc). Kept pushing myself in Photoshop and then managed to get a job retouching.

I trained myself for about 2 years, worked with a lot of others and just learned whereever I could. Just be prepared to push. I worked a normal job 3 nights a week in the bar, and worked 5 days a week at w+k for no money. This lasted 3 months, I was exhausted, but it got me there.
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  #9  
Old 07-28-2011, 12:55 PM
PDBX PDBX is offline
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Re: Entry Level Jobs

That's a great story. I've a similar one where as I started using Photoshop to manipulate images but kept switching my major chasing a big money job. Especially after the economy failed I struggle trying to find my artistic voice. To make a long story short I went from chasing a high profile income in film to scaling back doing the things I really enjoy.

I have now come full circle and know what I want. Most importantly I'm not afraid anymore to speak up and go after it. I'm more than willing to do whatever it takes to become a professional Retoucher. I'm currently in the middle of my self training and hope to gain an opportunity to grow faster. I feel like I can absorb much more just by being around my peers.

I recently took your prior advice and sent out an email with my best example showing my current level. To my surprise I received an response the next day and now hope to report good news in the upcoming weeks. No matter the outcome I want to take this time to thank you for giving me that insight and extra push.

Thanks again for sharing your story with me and others here on this forum. I really appreciate it.
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  #10  
Old 08-02-2011, 04:36 AM
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DJSoulglo DJSoulglo is offline
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Re: Entry Level Jobs

Good luck, I hope you get there.
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