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  • getting started

    As I mentioned in my first post I am going to retire from my present position ( not at all related to photography or retouch) in about 4 months.. I have been taking photography and Photoshop course now for about the last year or so. With the eventual goal of starting a second career as a retouch proefessional.

    I was wondering what things need to be done to establish a retouch business?

    What are the timelines of the major steps and actions that need to be done?

    What equipment is needed and/or recommended ? Who are the contacts that would be need to get started and maintain a retouch business ?

    What are the best ways to obtain clients ?

    I know I am asking a lot of questiuons and many of these have inexact or perhaps many varied answers but I would like to hear the thoughts and opinions of anybody and everybody who has something to say.

    thanks for your time and your thoughts

  • #2
    Hi ColonelFlag,
    Welcome to Retouch Pro. Is that ColonelFlag as in the character in MASH? I used to get a kick out of that guy.

    You might want to read some of the forum threads already dealing with starting a restoration business and see what tips you can pull out of them. Here are just some of the ones I've found on the topic.

    Not to minimize your thread in any way but I thought I'd show how many threads are on the site with a mountain of great ideas on starting your business. These are just a few of the more directly related. They should give you a big jump start in the profession. They've been very helpful to me. Good luck and let us know how you're progressing.


    • #3
      Here some things to consider (off the top of my head).

      You'll need:
      1. A computer with a lot of RAM (to handle big files), and the appropriate software.
      2. A good scanner - very important to spend some money here - it will save you a lot of work in the long run.
      3. A digital tablet - I couldn't imagine having to do this with a mouse.
      4. A consistently good printing source - not inkjets (I don't trust their longevity, no matter what the manufacturer says).
      5. A packaging idea. How do you want your work presented (it is special).
      6. Business cards, invoices, mailing labels, and a brochure with a few examples of your most striking work.
      7. A perfectly put together portfolio, with a good selection of your work. (I usually have a "before" and "after" printed, whenever I send something out to be printed, just for my portfolio).
      8. A plan for customer's method of payment. Everyone likes to pay by credit card, but it is another cost to you.
      9. Plan your time. Don't promise a 2 day turnaround, unless you can really do it. People will wait (within reason). Add these times to your work time: time to send to printer, time to get prints back, time to make delivery. In most cases I quote 2 weeks.
      10. Offer a guarantee and have a plan B. What if the customer is not happy?

      What you can do:
      Inquire at local places of business (the smaller ones). Explain that you have a new business/service and would like to leave your card and brochure for them to look over at their convenience. Bring your porfolio, in case they ask to see more work.
      If they don't offer restorations, bring up the notion that it might be an additional service they could offer their customers.

      Check to see if your local newspaper does feature articles. Write a short bio about your self and your business (human interest kind of story).

      Find charities or organizations that accept product donations, and offer a free restoration.

      I ran out of steam, but I wanted to say one more thing.
      Think about how you might handle a swamp of work. When it rains it pours.
      Good luck!


      • #4
        [QUOTE]Originally posted by DJ Dubovsky
        [B]Hi ColonelFlag,
        Welcome to Retouch Pro. Is that ColonelFlag as in the character in MASH? I used to get a kick out of that guy.

        Yes it is the mash character. Nickname based on my enjoyment of the show and that particular character and my own career in the military. Altho I was in asimilar field as the Mash guy I hope I was not in any way simil;ar to him LOL


        • #5
          Being like him could be hazardous to your health. He had permission to shoot himself in the line of duty. Anyway, I can always appreciate a fellow Mash lover.

          I hope you found good info to help you out. Vikki came accross with some excellent advice as well.


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