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Stigma Regarding Working For A Studio/House?

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  #1  
Old 06-02-2012, 04:13 PM
sweetsurndr sweetsurndr is offline
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Stigma Regarding Working For A Studio/House?

Hey all!

I'm just graduating college and I really want to start a full fledged career in retouching.

I'm from a small town in Ohio and I really want to move to a bigger city where the industry is really prevalent (at least beauty and fashion).

For about the past year I've been reading forums here and on Model Mayhem regarding people working freelance and those who work in studios. I hardly ever actually read anything from people who work in studios or design houses doing retouching, and it seems that there's this stigma that it's not as dignified as working on your own.

To me though it seems like it's harder to get your start and make money doing freelance work, but there are the obvious benefits of choosing your work/clients/etc. as well as individual recognition.

Is there a stigma in the industry regarding working for studios or am I just reading too far into things? And if there is, why so?
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  #2  
Old 06-03-2012, 01:40 AM
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Repairman Repairman is offline
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Re: Stigma Regarding Working For A Studio/House?

You will learn a lot by working with other retouchers. Pick their brains, find out what clients want, see how the admin side works etc. Once you have the confidence and a decent portfolio you can go it alone. Working for yourself is rewarding but being part of a larger outfit will give you a great education at someone elses expense!
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:57 AM
eraanexact eraanexact is offline
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Re: Stigma Regarding Working For A Studio/House?

Repairman makes good points.

You're probably not hearing from many studio retouchers because we're pretty busy, and because we're not constantly on the self-marketing hustle that some of these forums can provide.
The stigma may come from a belief that studio retouchers are cogs in a wheel, where this one only handles skin, and this one only handles fabric, etc.; or that it's rote production art or mechanical prepress work. Those places surely exist, but I've always worked at studios that are creatively challenging and rewarding.
I've been working in studios for the majority of my career, and I prefer it to freelancing. For one thing, you can focus on doing the work instead of having to focus on getting the work. I believe that by spending my work day retouching, rather than marketing AND retouching, I'm more effectively working to perfect my craft. That's just a personal preference though.
There's also the matter of overhead. By working in a studio, I'm not having to shoulder the financial costs of maintaining an Epson proofer and it's ink and paper supply, or a server that has to hold terabytes of data, etc etc.
The majority of retouching studios have a stable of photographers that they service, so I work on different types of imagery, both editorial and advertising, and can wear many hats, so to speak. It's always nice when the scenery changes. That being said, I've never had the experience of working for only one photographer, so I can't comment on that, but I imagine that if it's a great photographer who is regularly published, then that can be as equally rewarding. The studio that I'm at fosters personal relationships with the photographers that we service, and we (all two of us, it's small studio) work with a lot of them face to face regularly.

Like Repairman said, you do learn a lot from working with other retouchers directly. I've learned a ton since moving to NYC three years ago. It's made me a much wiser retoucher. For me, working on my own kinda made me plateau a bit skill wise. And it wasn't too fun paying quarterly estimated taxes!
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:32 AM
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Benny Profane Benny Profane is offline
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Re: Stigma Regarding Working For A Studio/House?

Stigma? How else will you learn? You can't be that good.
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Old 06-05-2012, 02:36 PM
sweetsurndr sweetsurndr is offline
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Re: Stigma Regarding Working For A Studio/House?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
Stigma? How else will you learn? You can't be that good.
Well from what I've seen a lot of people just try to go into the industry on their own. But that could come from what was already discussed above. They're not as prevalent online in these types of settings because they don't need to be.

I quite honestly would love to work for a studio but it seems a bit daunting to find one to work for, though I think I'm good enough that I could do it.
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:09 PM
eraanexact eraanexact is offline
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Re: Stigma Regarding Working For A Studio/House?

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Originally Posted by sweetsurndr View Post
I'm from a small town in Ohio and I really want to move to a bigger city where the industry is really prevalent (at least beauty and fashion).
Here is the solution to your issue. If you want to be doing fashion and beauty and work in a studio, it couldn't hurt you to give New York a shot. Work your way up. That's probably not going to happen in the small Ohio town, at least not on the scale that you'd like.
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:23 PM
sweetsurndr sweetsurndr is offline
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Re: Stigma Regarding Working For A Studio/House?

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Originally Posted by eraanexact View Post
Here is the solution to your issue. If you want to be doing fashion and beauty and work in a studio, it couldn't hurt you to give New York a shot. Work your way up. That's probably not going to happen in the small Ohio town, at least not on the scale that you'd like.
That's definitely my gameplan but it's just a little bit intimidating moving to New York especially having never been there! lol

I would like to find some sort of place to work before moving there but not sure what the odds of that actually are.
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:34 PM
eraanexact eraanexact is offline
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Re: Stigma Regarding Working For A Studio/House?

Yeah, that's intimidating for sure. I had solid experience before moving here, but I also didn't have a job lined up prior to the move. I hit the ground running and was freelancing and interviewing at a few places. One of those places I was freelancing for offered me a full time spot.
You're young though (I'm assuming you're young since you're just out of college), and what better time to make a bold move like that?
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:30 AM
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Benny Profane Benny Profane is offline
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Re: Stigma Regarding Working For A Studio/House?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetsurndr View Post
That's definitely my gameplan but it's just a little bit intimidating moving to New York especially having never been there! lol

I would like to find some sort of place to work before moving there but not sure what the odds of that actually are.
Listen, here's the cold hard facts, so you won't waste your time.

There are three places in the country where you can reasonably expect to find day to day work as a retoucher. New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Miami has some work, too, but, it would help to speak Spanish. It's a fairly easy language to learn, and the weather in February is awesome.
Sure, there are other little pockets around the country where you might find work, usually in house at various companies scattered about. But, if you lose that position for whatever reason, and there are many reasons these days, you will be in a place with no other alternatives. In New York, you will probably have another job in at least a month or so, even if it's freelance. But, the downside is that NYC rents are ridiculously expensive right now. It is not a cheap place to live. The upside is that it's an incredibly exciting place to live and work for a young person, and you will be challenged to be better by the hour, surrounded by thousands of smart, hip, and fun people doing the same.

Good Luck

btw, there is a job in Columbus that has been popping up on Monster a lot lately. Check it out.

Last edited by Benny Profane; 06-06-2012 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:20 PM
kav kav is offline
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Re: Stigma Regarding Working For A Studio/House?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
But, the downside is that NYC rents are ridiculously expensive right now.
What do you mean "right now"?
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