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Cheap retouch service from india the ugly truth

View Poll Results: artist should get their due?
yes 2 66.67%
no 1 33.33%
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  #11  
Old 02-28-2014, 12:26 PM
underarock underarock is offline
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Re: Cheap retouch service from india the ugly trut

Isn't there something a large group of retouchers could do to combat the market being devalued? We are the people offering the service, Wouldn't it make sense to act on stabilizing rates somehow? If enough of us can band together its possible to control this.
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  #12  
Old 02-28-2014, 02:05 PM
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Tony W Tony W is online now
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Re: Cheap retouch service from india the ugly trut

While not a bad idea I do not quite see how it would be really workable.

Do you mean fixing prices between a band of retouchers?

Apart from the huge task of getting agreement between parties, price fixing is illegal in many countries and how could any enforcement be made between countries?

On the chance that you got a large group to agree, for instance throughout the USA there will be many that would not want to play and take advantage of the local market by undercutting others prices.

Once outside the USA all bets and rules are off as can be seen here.

Something we all have to live with and adapt. Just like those who are photographers and find some amateur with another full time trade or career buying a digital camera and PS and starts offering work by setting up a website. Sometimes with seemingly good work often not!

At least that scenario is usually limited to local rather than the global nature of image retouching.
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  #13  
Old 02-28-2014, 02:30 PM
underarock underarock is offline
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Re: Cheap retouch service from india the ugly trut

@Tony W

Yes i agree that its challenging. I also do not mean to promote anything illegal in any form what so ever. I overlooked the price fixing detail and just suggested something errant in order to get people thinking. It is still our livelihood and I think any kind of public unity could be a boon to peoples ideas about retouching. This system could be as simple as developing a badge that retouchers would advertise on their websites symbolizing they uphold a set of standards. Similar to how creative commons works.

I want to understand the fine grain details of how the market has slipped away over the past ten years, why it is still slipping and if people really do think this is not going to be a job that can sustain an individual in the next ten years. I have roughly 5-10 years experience and I feel at a bit of a crossroads with it considering peoples voices here and my own interactions with clients wanting cheaper and cheaper rates(which I don't bow down to).

I can see that having an altruistic attitude could be seen as naive considering how saturated and competitive the photo world can be. The scenario I propose creates a sort of "prisoners dilemma" between peer retouchers.

I do believe that high-end quality retouchers will always be in demand - as that kind of work can not be taught over tutorials on the internet but instead comes from 1000's of hours hard work in the trade.
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  #14  
Old 03-01-2014, 04:57 AM
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Asiris Asiris is offline
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Re: Cheap retouch service from india the ugly trut

While unity and badges are all fun and fancy it won't work. Also as mentioned above price fixing is illegal. By the way price can vary drastically even in a very closed local market, because there are many factors that goes in price.

While I agree that top professionals shouldn't suffer that much in theory it looks like it not so much true in practice. There is a great documentary on the subject in very similar VFX industry. I strongly recommend to watch it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lcB9u-9mVE

There was a great article on the subject, but I can't find it. It was about VFX industry figting Hollywood against sending all the work abroad. It looks like they've found a loophole and might be able to make financially unreasonable for Hollywood to keep doing so if VFX industry can push a few new laws regarding outsourcing.

It might affect retouching scene as well as I imagine. So so far there are only three options for US retouchers as I see it: a) relocate; b) wait for better laws that can protect their interests; c) accept the current situations and look for ways to compete in global market.

The global race to the bottom is unfortunate, but it's what happening right now in all industries. Only few understands the danger of this. And right now the countries with lowest price for working force are winning.

It hurts everyone even those counties in the long run.
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  #15  
Old 03-01-2014, 10:33 AM
Shoku Shoku is offline
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Re: Cheap retouch service from india the ugly trut

One aspect of this that can be a real negative for buyers is location. How many people appreciate customer service over the phone from India, Taiwan, or the Philippines? Being able to have direct contact with a retoucher can make or break a project. Cheap pricing does not necessarily guarantee cheap results, but it also does not guarantee great results.
Building confidence in your client is paramount to a successful business. Once that bond is created they can be your client for life, even if the pricing is a little more than your competitor. And good clients can get you more clients. A good business is about relationships that are successful, which includes much more than pricing.
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  #16  
Old 03-01-2014, 11:59 AM
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Re: Cheap retouch service from india the ugly trut

Good points Shoku. Retouching is a discretionary purchase and is subject to the laws of supply and demand therefore cost will always be a factor. However, most clients will respond positively to a good pitch that leaves them in no doubt that they are talking to the right guy (or gal!). Once that trust is in place they are reluctant to take their custom elsewhere. Just like we are when we find a supplier that we like.
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  #17  
Old 03-04-2014, 04:16 PM
underarock underarock is offline
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Re: Cheap retouch service from india the ugly trut

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asiris View Post
While unity and badges are all fun and fancy it won't work. Also as mentioned above price fixing is illegal. By the way price can vary drastically even in a very closed local market, because there are many factors that goes in price.
Asiris, I am in no way in favor of or acting on price fixing or illegal activities. It is more that I am very concerned about it and tend to be vocal and proactive. I don't want to believe that there's nothing to be done about this situation - it's true that the most obvious idea is extremely and properly illegal.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Asiris View Post
While I agree that top professionals shouldn't suffer that much in theory it looks like it not so much true in practice. There is a great documentary on the subject in very similar VFX industry. I strongly recommend to watch it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lcB9u-9mVE

There was a great article on the subject, but I can't find it. It was about VFX industry figting Hollywood against sending all the work abroad. It looks like they've found a loophole and might be able to make financially unreasonable for Hollywood to keep doing so if VFX industry can push a few new laws regarding outsourcing.
I have some friends in the industry and TV and its just a frightening shame to see Rhythm and Hues just shutter and close after winning the highest honor for their work. Then have all the work shipped off to Montreal or abroad for the subsidies offered there. I am looking for that article as well and I was thinking of the same exact thing when this point got brought up as well. It is a very interesting parallel to look at.
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  #18  
Old 03-05-2014, 09:46 AM
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Asiris Asiris is offline
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Re: Cheap retouch service from india the ugly trut

It's is shame. Rhythm and Hues was amazing place. A home for numerous talented people. Those people are artists.

On the side note. I was watching the documentary very closely. I was very interested in what owners were saying. I don't know maybe it's only me, but I felt like they weren't as good businessmen as they were artists. I couldn't help to feel like their demise was preventable. I know Hollywood is ruthless, but so they should have been. They had amazing talent, many years of experience and countless movies done. They should have leveraged that and made better deal for themselves, because they weren't doing financially better than an average service worker. They lived from paycheck to paycheck. Judging on what they revealed in video their contract terms were bad for them as well. As I see it it was only reasonable to renegotiate. Maybe they wouldn't go bankrupt if they were firmer in their business.

Just an opinion of course. It's hard to judge what they were dealing with internally and maybe there were no other choice and they were truly crushed by overseas competition.

Hope these amazingly talented people will find new jobs soon. They've made so many good movies I enjoyed over the years.

By the way I found the article I've been talking about:
http://pando.com/2014/02/25/revenge-...big-hollywood/

There is a lot of news on the subject lately, but this one is a good detailed read.

Last edited by Asiris; 03-05-2014 at 10:20 AM.
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