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  • Professional, Amateur, Hobbyist?

    RE: Retouchers

    Just trying to figure out who's who and what's what here at RP as I only found the site about an hour ago.

    Where would you put yourself?
    447
    Professional retoucher low-mid end
    13.42%
    60
    Professional retoucher hi end
    12.98%
    58
    Enthusiast/Hobbyist
    67.34%
    301
    Other (please elaborate)
    6.26%
    28

  • #2
    I'm a photographer as well. I'm from the big apple as well. Relocated to Gods' country, Texas.
    Welcome by the way.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the welcome John. I too am a photographer. What do you shoot?

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      • #4
        <I too am a photographer. What do you shoot?>

        High School Seniors majority. Portfolio work. Not as much,as with the H.S.S. though. Weddings, I don't do anymore... Sat. I'm at the studio with the seniors. For the portfolio work.......I work with an agent/talent scout. The last big thing I did was for Dillard's(clothes).......their here in Texas(dept. store). And Tommy(cologne). But it was not product. More fashion.

        Hows' the photography feild up in New York? I worked with a shooter(Russell Beal) when I was starting out....,in New York. He was a nice guy. He was a fashion photographer. A nice guy.

        John

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        • #5
          NY's alright. It's pretty slow everywhere at the moment, and I can only talk about the last year because I've only been here that long. What with the economy and post 9/11, last year was pretty slim with the exception of the last month. I think the ad agencies had a lot of money earmarked that they hadn't used and we got slammed with work from them all of December.

          A friend of mine has an international school portrait business and he loves it. He's shooting digital.

          I try to focus on fashion, but unless it's ad work, it doesn't pay a lot. Also do the occasional editorial shoots and evironmental portraits. I like all aspects of photography, so I do whatever pays at the time, although I won't be shooting sports anytime soon.

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          • #6
            Yes, slow all over,as I'm told. Digital is the way today, as they say. But I can shoot either way. No favorite here!........Just like I said to another photographer, who asked me this question:
            What's your favorite camera!?..... My reply: One that doesn't break down!!!
            One question I like to ask of you? Since your a photographer. What do you think of the modeling sites you see on the web today(the ones you pay to see models) and do you feel this is a good business for "certain" photographers? Even though some of the pictures look like their boyfriend/girlfriend shot em'.
            Their are a lot of "legit" ones(true modeling sites). But the well known ones(agencies) still don't see it as an outlet. Maybe for the above reason. I know some of these sites,where they display the girls'/guys' pictures(for fashion,print work) to be discovered as models, just take their money....... I know better on how to get in the modeling field. It's a lot harder than displaying your pictures on the monitor.
            Two Models I work with(true models). Not internet models(as I call them). Don't care for the web thing, to be noticed. One works the L.A...,TX...,N.Y., circuit. The other appeals to the Latin market mostly for work. Both have agents, to do the discovering for them. I guess they don't need the web?

            BTW, Tell the New Yorkers' that I really miss the pizza up there. But I found one place down here. The guy is from N.Y. as well. He tells me it's in the water. No joke. The water to make the dough...... I don't know, though. Sounds like I should be a poet.
            And try to get a good hero down here! New York always had good bread. Texans think I'm talking about a hollywood character, when I say a hero.
            One other thing, check out the action section. Some good actions are here.

            John

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            • #7
              Hi, and welcome aboard.
              Can you elaborate on the terms "low-mid end" and "hi end"?
              I do freelance restorations, and work for a photography studio, retouching (mostly children, families, and hs seniors), digital manipulations, and restorations. I'm guessing that would be low-mid end?
              Vikki
              (also in New York)

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              • #8
                I mostly just do this as a hobby (I can't find the time to get anything really started business wise) but I have been getting myself a fair amount of freelance work lately.

                - David

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                • #9
                  I had thought I might earn some extra money doing retouch work to suplement my retirement income. I quickly found that while I could acquire the technical skills - remember how to use the tools - I lacked the artistic "eye" that was required and I was spending many more hours than I could hope to be paid for trying to achieve the look the customer was asking for.

                  Also, I'm not a sales oriented person and found it hard to "sell" a product that I was never satisfied with.

                  I admire those of you who possess the qualities demanded of this profession.

                  For now, I'll continue to develop my technical skill and leave the artistry to others.

                  Margaret

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                  • #10
                    I would also like to know how you define "low-mid end" and "hi end". Are you referring to the price people charge? The amount of work they have? The quality of the work they do? The number of employees in the company? I don't know how to answer this - please clarify.

                    Thanks, Jeanie

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for the welcomes

                      Jeaniesa & Vikki,

                      I suppose I was referring to the end client when getting paid to do retouching or restoration work, and the amount or expertise needed to complete the job.

                      I myself worked as a retoucher for 2.5 years for Corbis, but doing lower end, less involved work. For example, I was responsible for taking raw drum scans and cropping, color correcting, cleaning up dust and scratches, and mild restoration of historical images and smaller file sizes (under 100 mb). The majority of the output of these images was via a Fujix printer or they were burned to cd, but rarely used larger than 11" x14" and not often used in a largely commercial way. As time went on, I came to do more higher end manipulations on larger files for commercial use, but it was still stock photos, with the exception of rights restricted celebrity images. I would also consider retouching and restoration for a consumer/retail market to be lower to mid-end type of work. (I don't mean for this work to be construed as low grade I've just only heard of fashion, advertising, etc. work where the end use may be an advertising campaign for Pantene or an editorial fashion story in say ID or German Vogue to be referred to as 'High end.) This is the sort of thing I do now, and it requires much more than what I previously did.

                      John, I hear you about digital. I'll be shooting digital this Friday, but I primarily still use film myself at this point. I figure that when they've finally stopped using drum scanners, the quality and output possiblity of the technology will be high enough that it will be economically feasible to invest in it whole hog. Oh, and I think the pizza is just getting better here.

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                      • #12
                        A West Coast Welcome, Ant!

                        I retouch/restore as a hobby for friends, relatives. I've found this a great site for info/techniques that can be applied to many areas of interest.

                        Again, welcome aboard.
                        ~DannyR~

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                        • #13
                          Welcome aboard! It's just a hobby for me. I've been doing it for a while, but I'm not sure it would be worth my while (like Margaret) to try to make a living at it.

                          Ed

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                          • #14
                            Restorations - certainly an amateur compared to some of the works shown here. Have mostly done work for friends and family but this doesn't pay very well - family think everything is a "love job".

                            Photography - freelance work - mainly travel and landscapes in Australia. Gorge country around where I live, and I try to spend a few weeks in the deserts each year. My goal at the moment is to try and get a body of work for an exhibition of the New England area (of Australia). Hopefully this will pay for some of my digital "toys" as I am fully converting to digital.

                            I also have just started selling digitising services - I have a Canon 4000 35mm film scanner and a Epson 3200 flatbed scanner so I thought that rather than just sit there most of the time, they should "pay their way" . I'm aiming at the person who has granny's box of 120 negatives and wants do preserve them and possibly get a few enlargements.

                            My real job - Computer project manager (sigh) - keeps me away from my camera but does pay the bills.

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                            • #15
                              Hi all,

                              I have just changed jobs. In the past I worked primarily on image restoration, but now will work mostly on portrait retouching.

                              I am also new to RP and must say that this is a most impressive site.

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