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  • Just needing your help

    Hi everybody!!

    I am a new user and I need some help. I am very interested in digital photo retouching and I want to know everything about it.

    If you could give me advide or information I will really apreciate it.

    I have decided to find information like this, because I think it is a lot easier for me, and that I think I have found the right place, haven't I?.

    Well, if you can help me this are a few of my questions: --- like I said you might think I don't have a sense of looking information anywhere but believe me I have my reasons...

    1. Is there a title for the person that retouches pictures? .. like photo retoucher!!

    2. If if it is, where can I go to study and earn a diploma or skills to become one?.

    3. What would be the best thing do if I decided to pursue this great career and get experience?

    4. Can I contact someone or go somewhere that can guide me to get resources.

    5. Is there any posibility that I can go somewhere and see how they work on this field?

    6. I have sooooome knowledge with computers but I do not know how much I need to know before starting.

    7. Is is worth to do the work for a good living?

    Well, these are a few of my questions, like I said I want to know everything about it. I do not have a friend relative that knows anything about so I rely on what I can get from this kind of questions.

    thank you soooooo much, I will apreciate your time and advice.
    thank you

  • #2
    Hi Don, Welcome to RetouchPro

    This is a faily new industry so some things are not well established yet. Like usual, it is the simpler sounding questions that are harder to answer, but here are my attempts;

    1) Named: Often time I hear people inquire for a "retoucher that is good at Photoshop", Digital Retoucher, Digital Artist, Photo Retoucher, Photoshop expert, etc.

    2) Education: Is an ongoing process (this web site is a good example), I am guessing that the best well rounded education would be received at the college level art schools. Along with retouching and image manipulation you could learn graphic design, pre-press for publications like magazines, animation for computer games and the movie/film industry etc.

    3) see #2, read through threads on this web site, volunteer / intern some where that does what you would like to do. Read and practice ...

    4) Follow the threads on this web site ... I don't know of any specific place to go, you might call you school systems to be sure that you know about any programs that they sponsor. Also your library of course ...

    5) who knows - anything is possible - the best chance of finding that opportunity is to do the stuff listed above.

    6) Computer savy is not required beyond the basics - everyone has different levels of ability in that area, learning the software program that you are using is however a good thing ...

    7) Can it make money? - Some do - some don't - kind of like "do cooks make good money?" - depends on where you work, you could work anywhere from a cook at McDonalds to a five star restuarant or own a catering company ... My sister does production level art work for a phone book company and is just starting out in the industry - someone else retouches for photographers - someone else works at a color lab, someone else does animations ... The bottom line: It depends on, in this order;
    -if you are suited for this kind of work
    -your communication skills and personality
    -your expertise in areas that other people have trouble with
    -who you get to know

    Hope this helps some, Roger


    • #3
      Welcome to the site Don. Roger gave you an excellent answer, so I'll just welcome you, and suggest that you check out the challenges, to see how people are accomplishing their goals, and read the threads for a ton of information.



      • #4
        Thank you for your info

        Hi, and thank you again for your information.

        I think I really like this career so I have decided to go and study it.

        and I will do what you said.

        Thank you.

        If anyone still want to give me more details about this please feel free!!

        Thank you!!!


        • #5
          Welcome to RetouchPro.
          You have asked many frequently asked questions regarding this subject. If you search around the forums, you will find answers to most, if not all your questions. There may even be an actual "FAQ".
          Please take a look around, and repost any questions you can't find answers to.


          • #6
            Welcome to Retouch Pro. You have several questions but I will try to answer what I can.
            1. No formal title but Photo Retoucher or Photo Restorer is good
            2. I don't know of any place that teaches it for a diploma or anyone that offers an apprenticeship. It's pretty much a situation where you dig as much up on your own and do alot of trial and error. There's a wealth of tutorials on the web for Photoshop and photo restoration and Katrin Eismann has a fantastic book specifically for photo restoration. It's become a bible for most of us. It's called Photoshop Restoration and Retouching.
            3. Build up a good portfolio of your work and list your self in the yellow pages and even get a web page to showcase your work. There's so many things you can do and this forum has alot of threads on the subject to give you ideas.
            4. You will find alot of resources on the web. NAPP has seminars that are real good. National Association of Photoshop Professionals
            5. I'm not sure where you can go to see someone in action. I just studied on my own and learned from others on this site and others using their tips and tutorials. Try going to that big 3 day seminar NAPP has. It's a huge event.
            6. You need to have a basic knowledge of computers and a good knowledge of the tools in Photoshop or what ever editing program you use
            7. That depends on your talent, ambition, good business sense and determination to make a go of it

            I hope that helps you get started. You're pretty much on your own to learn this stuff but if you enjoy it, it should be a fun venture.


            • #7
              Many junior/community colleges offer Photoshop classes, and some offer certificates in digital arts. To learn digital retouching and restoration, first you need to learn to use an image-editing computer program such as Photoshop or PSP, etc.

              Spend some time investigating all the available resources in your area for schooling:

              Los Angeles area community colleges


              • #8
                Re: Just needing your help

                HI im ANGELO,

                i had the exact same quetion! so im glad you posted this, im so clueless as to what to do. i have spoken to soo many lectures and techers etc but no one can give me a straight answer. But i have come to the conclusion that i will just continue my second year of studying photography and then really practice on my retouching skills. Maybe move to melbourne and try and get some work experiance in a magazine company. Basically just get myself and work out there, then hopefully if someone likes my work i will get more work and so on. ahah pretty much my plan =D seeing as though there is real course dedicated to it.

                good questions =]



                • #9
                  Re: Hello everbody, I need your hand!

                  I have some of the same question as Donamai's HELP PLEASE


                  • #10
                    Re: Hello everbody, I need your hand!

                    i like Donamai have the same question but let me go a little deeper I have purchase books dvd's etc and most of them only take you so far and leave you hanging only to buy one more book or tape most of the tutorials don't hit on the hard subjects it becomes mind blowing so many books and tape I am new here and so far I must everyone has been so helpful and i intend to continue to read the threads here as a senior on a fixed income this my best resource because if I tried to buy all the books i would be broke so keep up the good work guys and thanks to everyone that has answer my question


                    • #11
                      Re: Just needing your help

                      1. Is there a title for the person that retouches pictures? .. like photo retoucher!!

                      Retoucher, Photo Retoucher, Digital Retoucher, etc are all valid titles.

                      2. If if it is, where can I go to study and earn a diploma or skills to become one?.

                      Generally, most retouchers have backgrounds in either photography or in illustration. Fashion and beauty retouchers tend to have photography backgrounds. Advertising retouchers tend to have backgrounds in illustration, since that work tends to be "hyper-real", and oftentimes requires creating elements with illustration. But regardless of which sector of retouching you work in, an understanding of light and how it behaves is essential.

                      3. What would be the best thing do if I decided to pursue this great career and get experience?

                      That depends on where you live. Big cities have more media outlets, advertising agencies, photographers, etc; and you can start out by interning at a retouching studio or ad agency or photographer's studio. This is harder to do in a small town. While true that the internet has made distance a smaller issue than it used to be, I still think there's no better way to learn than to be totally immersed in it, and if you're spending most of your day trying to dig up work online, then that's time that you're not retouching and expanding your skill set.

                      4. Can I contact someone or go somewhere that can guide me to get resources.

                      Look for internships or entry level positions. There's no substitute for learning "in the field", so to speak.

                      5. Is there any posibility that I can go somewhere and see how they work on this field?

                      Consider moving to a major media city such as New York and hit the ground running.
                      6. I have sooooome knowledge with computers but I do not know how much I need to know before starting.

                      7. Is is worth to do the work for a good living?

                      It is! I love doing this. I've made my living doing it for just about 11 years. There's nothing I'd rather do. That being said, this is a career that demands time and perseverence. Like many other careers, you have to pay your dues.


                      • #12
                        Re: Just needing your help

                        Forgot to answer #6:

                        6. I have sooooome knowledge with computers but I do not know how much I need to know before starting.

                        In this day and age, you should be pretty proficient with computers for nearly every career. So yes.


                        • #13
                          Re: Just needing your help

                          I would also throw in that while there are many free courses online, the knowledge you get from that may be spotty and incomplete. Software training books are expensive and quickly become outdated (though, I would recommend Katrine Eismann's book and there are a few other advanced books on channels and color spaces that have served me well over the years)

                          If I was someone just starting out, without access to an actual instructor who really knows their stuff, I would complete all the courses available from some online pay subscription sites.,, and are three sites that I have used in the past. There are literally hundreds of hours of training for photoshop on these sites, as well as Lightroom, Adobe Raw, and any other software/OS you may need to learn. Some of the techniques they teach you may be beginner techniques and you will discover as you learn that there are more subtle ways that advanced level users use, but you have to start somewhere. I also work in graphic design in a city where there are a million graphic designers. It is a real race to stay up to date on current versions of software and I have found these online courses to be as useful for basic/intermediate training as any courses I have taken at universities. After you have solid skills you can look to more specialized free tutorials of how to achieve special effects, etc. to add to your knowledge base.

                          I have to throw that in because I think it is a good place to start. To me $20-$30/month for all-you-can-learn is a good deal if you have the time and inclination to teach yourself.

                          Good luck! Follow your passion and it will lead you to what you are naturally good at.


                          • #14
                            Re: Just needing your help

                            Funny, just realized the original post was almost 10 years ago... wondering if the original poster made any progress on that goal?


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