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Dealing with clients....who are photographers

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  • Dealing with clients....who are photographers

    Hi

    Thanks in advance for the taking the time.

    I have been retouching for several years. I do some beauty work but the majority of my work is for head shots and portraits. It should be basic but can take a bit of time if done properly with natural looking results.

    I do a lot of work for a very established photographer who has been shooting for 25+ yrs. They are very good and have an extensive portfolio. I think however that he (as well as many others) has gotten away from aesthetics and details of an image and leaves it up to post production. To me this is the worst because as a photographer myself I feel that photography isn't just about posing and light it's about the prepping and details of a shot. Things like stray hair and particles on clothes, wrinkles and distracting objects.

    With retouching, in particular head shots and portraits the more you reconstruct or try to create something from nothing the more crappy and un-natural something looks. Not everything can be fixed with good results.

    How do you tell a client who happens to be a really good, established photographer that...it just can't be done or shouldn't be done?

    Thanks again

  • #2
    Re: Dealing with clients....who are photographers

    I wish I had an answer for you, but my first reaction is Good Luck with that!

    --shift studio.

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    • #3
      Re: Dealing with clients....who are photographers

      I think the Ego of the Professional will always get in the way. Therefore, if they want to pay you to fix something they could easily do themselves, that is their problem.

      A very quick example is where I was tired of removing the reflection from eyeglasses. I suggested (via email) that could take a single frame without the glasses, so I had something to work with; simple cut/paste for a clean look. The answer back was "We'll talk about it".

      I still wonder what they needed to talk about?

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      • #4
        Re: Dealing with clients....who are photographers

        "Don't worry, we'll fix it in post."

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        • #5
          Re: Dealing with clients....who are photographers

          Originally posted by Benny Profane View Post
          "Don't worry, we'll fix it in post."
          that saying should be banned, you know how many times I get that.

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          • #6
            Re: Dealing with clients....who are photographers

            I get loads of images coming through that need all sorts of s**t removed from sets and locations because the snapper couldn't be arsed to use a broom. Sure I'm paid for it but the client is paying for unnecessary retouching. Digital is great but back in the day when producing trannies and scans (where mistakes are expensive), one's focus was on each stage being as good as it can be. Lot's of carelessness creeping in and I'm not talking about the low end either. Let's not even get started on burned out highlights and 'dayglo' colours. Grrrr.

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            • #7
              Re: Dealing with clients....who are photographers

              Granted, not all photo shoots require a crew, but for those that do, damn right it's easier and cheaper to pay a retoucher for their time than to take the time on set and hold up the photographer, assistant, digital tech, stylist, model, art director, etc, for their time. It's the cost of one vs the cost of many.

              Also, as someone who does photography and retouching, I can tell you there are many times I'd rather take twice the time to retouch something at my leisure than to do it on set. The reason being on set you have to pace the day and sometimes what should take two minutes disrupts things and ends up taking waaaay more time than expected. And I assure you the pressure on set is drastically greater than to retouch, trying to be artistic while interfacing with models, products, clients, technology, and the the clock, etc. How often as a retoucher do you have to wait for the model to come back from the bathroom, the art director to get off the phone, the stylist to finish pressing the clothes, the makeup person to spray the hair, etc, and then, just when the photographer is about to pull the trigger and get out another shot, you want them to stop again for a piece of dust or a smudge??? Are you nuts? Plus, retouching is easier to fit into mornings, evenings, weekends, etc, if necessary, while a shoot is typically time sensitive and constrained.

              So enjoy bitching to your monitor and coffee cup from the comfort of your swivel chairs, but you guys have no freaking idea...

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              • #8
                Re: Dealing with clients....who are photographers

                Whoosh. Taking care of the details didn't used be an issue; it was a given because there was no choice that wouldn't have major cost implications. The art of 'thinking ahead' has taken hit as well. It's not an issue for you as you clearly have the time to retouch at leisure.

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                • #9
                  Re: Dealing with clients....who are photographers

                  Originally posted by Flashtones View Post
                  So enjoy bitching to your monitor and coffee cup from the comfort of your swivel chairs, but you guys have no freaking idea...
                  Oh, au contraire, amigo, I have plenty of idea. Used to be an assistant back in the time when an 8x10 transparency was a work of art. Bottom line, photographers have become lazy, because of the relative ease and lower cost of retouching. They have parties to run to, after all.
                  If there was one thing, I wish they would just hire a good hair stylist and listen to him/her on set. It's almost impossible to fix bad hair to the state most people want. That, and buy a damn dust buster. Please.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Dealing with clients....who are photographers

                    Benny +1 LOL

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                    • #11
                      Re: Dealing with clients....who are photographers

                      It's true that more is left for post. The reason being, post is simply more efficient for most of this crap.

                      Listen, I'm a photog turned retoucher -- I know both sides. More of my income is from retouching than photography these days. Retouchers shouldn't feel so exploited, it's the photographers who are loosing their shirts off of this "new" reality. More work for you guys, while the photographer is now expected to produce 4 times the volume at a quarter the price of Benny (and my) 8x10 days.

                      Yo, Benny, why'd you stop assisting and go into retouching if photography was so damn easy?

                      Now put your head phones back on and push that mean, mean stylus around and stop yer sobbin'. This is what you're paid for, isn't it?

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                      • #12
                        Re: Dealing with clients....who are photographers

                        I happen to think that this a good discussion going on here from multiple angles, though I've never understood how these threads degrade into endless volleys of personal insults. I feel like I'm reading Youtube comments sometimes, and I don't even get to see cat videos.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Dealing with clients....who are photographers

                          What insults?

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                          • #14
                            Re: Dealing with clients....who are photographers

                            How about front covers shot at 1600+ ISO? Maybe it's just me, but where was the thought process in that?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Dealing with clients....who are photographers

                              Originally posted by Flashtones View Post

                              Yo, Benny, why'd you stop assisting and go into retouching if photography was so damn easy?
                              Well, first, I never had the capital to open my own studio. Daddy wasn't rich. I know that it's different today, and a lot of people rent everything, including space, but that wasn't so back in the day.
                              Also, after working for a few of these guys, I had no taste for competing with their 7am to 2am work days.

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