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OK, I feel really stupid....

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  • OK, I feel really stupid....

    I'm about to be unemployed (but not helpless).

    I have some contacts among the scrapbookers in our community and I think there is a demand for someone to work with photos. I'm thinking of setting up shop using PhotoShop, my iMac, scanner and printer.

    The kind of work I want to do involves scanning the customer's photo and then using PhotoShop to manipulate it - remove the flagpole from uncle Fred's forehead, take aunt Minnie out of the woodshed and sit her in a meadow - that sort of thing. I expect to be called on to lighten and brighten the only known image of grandma, or to put grandma and grandpa in the same picture even though they never came within 10 feet of each other

    I think of this as re-touching, but when I mentioned this ambition to an acquaintance, she asked me what kind of paint I use and asked how I decide what skin tone to use. OK, so it's not re-touching - obviously that is something different.

    So what do I call myself. Photo-manipulator doesn't have a golden ring to it.

    What do you call yourselves when asked what you do for a living??


  • #2
    I tell potential customers that I do digital retouching and restoration, then show them some examples of before/after type photos. Usually though the customer will specify what they want done, so worrying about what to call yourself really isnt too importiant, being able to tell potential clients what you can do or show them examples of your work is far more importiant. Now thats just my opinion, so dont take anything I've said as carved in stone, but it has worked pretty well for me...I still live in doors and eat on an almost regular basis...Good luck..dont get discouraged, and, you might want to browse thru the Work/Jobs section from the beginning of it. There are many useful threads there about starting and operating a business, client relations and varoius aspects of the whole Profession. Remember, whenever you have a question, just post, someone here will have an answer for you. Thats what we do each other. Tom


    • #3
      Thanks Tom, I've been reading those threads and you're right there is a lot of useful information there - many things I haven't thought of.



      • #4
        Sorry to hear about your upcoming unemployment. I think Tom hit it right on the head. One thing I would like to make sure you didn't miss is the thread Tom posted on about how he handles the customer's prized photos. I think that is very important. It shows your customers that you actually care, and it just might set you apart from other businesses the customer might consider. I don't remember the title of the thread, but it is in the work/jobs forum. Best of luck to you in your endeavor.



        • #5
          In your search for work, do not overlook the idea of scanning negatives and placing them on CD's. I have a couple of customers that are cleaning out their parents house after they have died, and are finding large piles of negatives, most without prints of course, and since the kids are scattered all over the country, how do you get a copy to everybody?
          We offer a scanning service where we will produce either a low rez scan so they can share on e-mail, or produce a high rez scan on cd's so everyone gets a copy of the cd, then they can just take that to someone in their area to print the ones they want.
          Not very exciting, usually there is no retouching involved, but when one runs out of the necessity's of life (necessity's are bread, peanut butter, blackberry jelly and toilet paper) it all helps


          • #6
            How do you charge for that service? Hourly? I just got a film/slide scanner and think this is a great xtra service!


            • #7
              Thanks for the tip Mike. I hadn't thought of that possibility. What kind of equipment do you use for that??



              • #8
                Hard for me to believe that I had a new idea

                I have a HP 5370C flat bed scanner with a 5x5 transparency adapter. Depending on what I am doing, sometimes I scan several prints or negatives at one time. This works real well for low rez stuff where they just want to look at a positive image so they can pick and choose. I scan to PS, then select and rotate so all are in the same orientation, then save as a jpeg.
                High rez scans are done individually weither I am printing or just saving to a CD.
                And do not forget color slides! They also can be scanned for this kind of thing.
                As of now, for a long job (say at least 30 or better negs or prints or combination of the two) I look at about $30/hour with a 10 scan per hour guarantee. That assumes that I can do the job when I want, and can leave it for a few days to do something more profitable. And thats a good selling point on this kind of work. Most people are not in too much of a hurry for this, so if you offer them a choice ie 30/hour and it will be done in 3 months or so, or 60/hour and its done by the end of the week....... That way you can get a job in to do in the little dead times that come around every so often.
                Anyway all of this seems to work for us, my pleasure to share.


                • #9
                  Thanks for sharing your experience Mike


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