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  • New Freelance Retoucher


    Hello everyone!
    This is my first post on RetouchPro. Seems like a great site!
    I'm a new retoucher looking for freelance work. I want to do this full time, so its not just a hobby or something I do on the side, its definitely my passion.
    I love beauty and fashion retouching, maintaining the skin texture is one of the most important aspects and I never use blurs.

    Also my work is going to be in Advanced Photoshop and Photoshop Creative in January so look out fo those.

    Does anybody know how to get represented by an agency, or is there anyone looking to take on a freelance retoucher?
    Any feedback/advice is appreciated too.

    Check out my website www.amyreaddesigns.com and www.flickr.com/photos/amyread for examples.
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    Amy.Read
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    Last edited by Amy.Read; 12-20-2007, 09:30 AM.

  • #2
    Re: New Freelance Retoucher

    Hi Amy,
    If you're in the Western part of the U.S., my company sometimes uses freelancers to start out and see what kind of retouching level skills he/she is in. I started working out in our Los Angeles division which we did a lot of retouching and graphic arts work for Fox Home Entertainment and Weider Publications. Then I moved to Seattle for more high-end catalog work such as Nordstrom, Eddie Bauer, Brooks Brothers, etc. Now I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area working inside the corporate headquarters of one of our biggest clients.

    My company is worldwide as well so maybe we have a color house in the U.K.

    My company is RR Donnelley. And we have 3 color houses in the West Coast called Iridio (Los Angeles, Portland, and Seattle). We also have several Photo studios across the nation. Check out our website as we're always growing and looking for talent. Sometimes we posts jobs on craigslist (that's how I got in believe it or not).

    I dig your work so just keep knocking on those doors and good luck to you.

    Cheers
    Don

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: New Freelance Retoucher

      Thankyou for the kind words! I just had a look at the site, its a beast! Huge company.
      I'm in the UK, I'll have a look on craigslist as there were no job listings on the uk site.

      I'll keep on knocking!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: New Freelance Retoucher

        Yeah I know. There are pros and cons working for a big company. One of the things that I love about it is that I'm always challenged and learning constantly from Old School Retouchers to fresh and bold new ideas from newbies. Also I get to transfer and move around once in awhile if the opportunity comes up. The bad part about it is that, there is no individual accolades or ownership to the image since it is often re-worked by other co-workers. C'est la Vie. Just take your time and with your skills I'm sure you'll find steady work.

        Best,
        Don

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        • #5
          Re: New Freelance Retoucher

          the other bad thing about big companies is the mandatory overtime and the 6 day work weeks...

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: New Freelance Retoucher

            Oh yeah I forgot about the O.T. Unless you love O.T. I love it because I have goals with my money that I'm saving. I hate it when I get to work on "Forced Voluntary Overtime" on the weekends. Our L.A. division, is mandatory every other weekend O.T. Our Seattle division is "Forced" voluntary. Our SF division (where I am currently) is strictly voluntary. So be prepared to work long hours if you want to be in this industry.
            regards,
            Don

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            • #7
              Re: New Freelance Retoucher

              I think long hours are ok when you love what you're doing, its either that or get a job at Norwich Union and be bored out of my skull 100% of the time.
              Does anybody know any companies in the UK that do retouching, or agencies that represent freelance retouchers>

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: New Freelance Retoucher

                I agree completely about loving your job. I am very fortunate that I go to work everyday excited about the projects that I will be doing that day, and I like the challenge, and love what I do.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: New Freelance Retoucher

                  i don't mind long hours, i just hate being forced to work them...when i interviewed at donnelly they pretty much said "if you don't like the hours, there's the door"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: New Freelance Retoucher

                    Hey Pixelzombie,
                    Which division if you don't mind me asking?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: New Freelance Retoucher

                      it was in Elgin, IL..i knew ahead of time that was the policy but i was curious to see if things had changed...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: New Freelance Retoucher

                        Gotcha. I have a good friend who works there. I have met and talked to a lot of great old-school, commercial, pro-retouchers since I've been in the industry and pretty much all of them said that all colorhouses have the same policy regarding overtime. Especially the L.A. area. I think it's just the nature of the beast since a lot of Design Agencies (including my former Design agency employer) tend to give their files at the end of the day (especially Friday evenings) and they expect a quick turn around time. This is an industry where if you don't like overtime, you won't fit in. Smaller shops may have a different policy since they can not afford to pay overtime to their operators.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: New Freelance Retoucher

                          do u reckon it would work better if the hours were differnt, like a later start and later finish for those late file transfers? or staggered hours for differnt people? or is there so much work you just need to work like a mad nut all day

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: New Freelance Retoucher

                            Some shops have different shifts. When I worked in LA, we had 3 shifts and I worked the second shift from 2pm till midnite sometimes till 2am - 4 am in the morning depending on the workload. In Seattle, we had 1st and second shifts. Where I am currently (SF area) it's first shift for me 8am until whenever the projects get done. Overtime for me is usually 10-12 hours (depending on the workload). Right now (month of December) we are actually slow so we don't have overtime work (typical for this client) but will be busy again starting in mid January. If you get your foot in the door with a color service house, make sure ahead of time that you are comfortable with their hours. Remember, you are at the mercy of shop's client. Ask a lot of questions regarding hours, pay, work/life balance, part-time work, flex-work, telecommuting, etc. It really depends on the shop and their clients. I know 1 high-end pre-press shop in San Francisco where the employees don't work a lot of overtime due to the fact they belong in a union (pros and cons with union). It really depends on the person and what he/she is willing to sacrifice. I couldn't tell you right now if I can do 50 hrs/wk for the rest of my career. Maybe I will. Maybe I won't. But at this point of my life, I'm perfectly fine by the hours. Hope this helps.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: New Freelance Retoucher

                              Originally posted by pixelzombie View Post
                              the other bad thing about big companies is the mandatory overtime and the 6 day work weeks...
                              Yeah, but I'm of a certain age where I'm starting to see the benefits of a pension and 401k. Ain't nothing like payroll deduction and compound interest mixed in with a little patience.

                              Comment

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