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Contacted by an ad agency

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  • Contacted by an ad agency

    I met with an ad agency in Portland Oregon yesterday whos clients include adidas and red bull. The meeting went really well and I'd hardly call it an interview since they seemed to already like me.

    But I don't really have much experience with retouching in house for and agency. I'm wondering, what is the agency workflow/culture like? I have only freelanced until very recently so I don't know how it all works.

    I would love to hear other retouchers experiences within an ad agency. I am excited to work with a team of people even if it means I'm knocking out shoes all day. plus there is beer on tap

  • #2
    Re: Contacted by an ad agency

    You probably won't be knocking out shoes all day -- unless that is a really, really, big part of their business. If it is, then you can expect to be called upon to handle the work and the volume - on a different schedule than you might make or agree to yourself.

    I've done both. I've gone in and out and back again.

    Depends on the agency. Some are better than others. Remember, when you freelanced - you could juggle your schedule to make things work. If you felt like taking a walk, sit outside, or just take 2-3 hours of personal time in the middle of the day - you could. You would just have to work till 2-3 AM. As long as you delivered when you said that you would. On staff - someone will tell you when to work on something - and when to stop, and oh, how's the original thing coming? It can be hectic. Also... agencies may expect OT at any given time. This is understandable, since their ultimate objective is to always satisfy the customer, meet or exceed their expectations.

    On the plus side, you usually don't have to worry about not staying busy. And you will have a steady income. If you can get officially on the payroll, you will be eligible for benefits, and have them take out taxes (if you prefer). I liked the part of getting paid every two weeks and not having to do a tax nightmare at years end.


    • #3
      Re: Contacted by an ad agency

      I've been working for ad agencies for about 8 years now, on contract and freelance. I find it to be a great place to learn a lot.

      You don't get paid overtime, you have to work hard, but you get to work on great brands, and you can learn so much from sitting with Creative Directors and hearing how they look at things. I'd do it if the money was right.


      • #4
        Re: Contacted by an ad agency

        I have worked for a number of Agencies both in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, CA but only in the capacity as a freelancer. Unlike DJSoulglo, I do charge overtime. Some of them have served beer on Fridays; nice touch, and others let me work from my studio at home. What has been my experience is that as a freelancer, people seem to appreciate me more, than when I was an employee working 50hr weeks and sometimes weekends just to keep up with the demand. The other good thing about agencies with large corp clients seem to be they have great budgets to work with. My experience anyway.


        • #5
          Re: Contacted by an ad agency


          You got the best of both. I agree that my work produced as a freelancer for agencies was both better rewarded (financially), and appreciated. It must be because they know you can say, "No". Also, they are on pins and needles, not seeing the work necessarily being performed in front of their very eyeballs. On the flip side, being in house, on staff, your expertise can start to be taken for granted. Your magic becomes old hat. And OT becomes more often needed. But, I too experienced the beer-thirty time on Fridays. I say if you are going to go in house, try and get a contractual agreement. One that gives you time off and allows for OT charges.


          • #6
            Re: Contacted by an ad agency

            Thank you all so much for your replies. I wasn't expecting to jump on board until January but I am starting work on Monday instead. I'm really looking forward to it. Everyone I've met at Roundhouse is super cool. They were voted one of the 50 best places to work in the city based on employee polls. Yay


            • #7
              Re: Contacted by an ad agency

              Let us know how it goes.


              • #8
                Re: Contacted by an ad agency


                Hey guys. So I've been working at the agency for a few now. It is fabulous!

                I get to bring my dog, drink coffee (or one of the three beers on tap), and retouch photos for mainly adidas campaigns. The company culture is super inviting and refreshing. I never want to leave. Nothing wrong with hanging out with fun people and making photos look good.

                Happy Holidays guys!


                • #9
                  Re: Contacted by an ad agency

                  Visited their website, looks like a great place! Congrats on the offer and check back here now and then with tales of your adventures!


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