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  #1  
Old May 14th, 2008, 10:28 PM
Becca Hosier Becca Hosier is offline
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Default Retouching as a profession

I just finished my freshman year of college, and I'm thinking about my future. I really, really enjoy digital retouching. My father is a professional photographer (PPO, PPA) specializing in portrait photography, so I've always been around the art. Actually, it's me that is teaching him Photoshop! I've gotten tons of practice with him, but it's hard to put your own father on a resume.

I was just wondering if there was any advice on how to get into the industry. I know I have great connections to photography studios through my father, but I also know it's difficult for retouchers to hold a job through the slow season.

Here are some samples. I literally just created a website in 2 minutes just to post them so I could show them here.
http://www.moonlit-eve.net/samples/

I promise I'm usually a much better web designer, but 1:30 AM doesn't make you the best ;)
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  #2  
Old May 14th, 2008, 10:49 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Hi Becca,

Great start. Where are you located? Is it in a place with a lot of local photographers who grew ip on film? Get an improved slick website. There are lots of packages out. No need to spend a lot.

Your website speaks ofr you and it should be perfectly laid out.

When you describe wiaht you can do for a picture's "defects" that's great in an intro. However, it may not be nice to actually verbalize that right next to a beautiful bride that sahe had baggies to be removed. We can see that if the picture or cut out is large enough.

Just use the word "enhanced" or "glamor look" to for the lady herself. The picture will be obvious. Try to choose photographs that are well composed. The bride by that pillar seems clumsy, still your work seems excellent.

As soon as you are confident we'lll try to put together a package of pictures for people to retouch and then have a place for you to advertize. For free at the moment! We don't charge but we do try to keep out bozos!

Welcome and keep posting your work. We'd like to see you progress. Tirm armes is a good guy to follow. He has some excellent LR actions.

Asher
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  #3  
Old May 15th, 2008, 02:52 AM
Tim Armes Tim Armes is offline
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Hi Becca,

I wish that I could offer you some advice, but I've no idea how to go about such work. I know that are businesses that specialise in retouching - perhaps the best bet would be to search them out and try to get a job with them - even freelancing if necessary.

This would allow you to gain experience in the industry so that you can start up on your own once you feel ready.

Tim
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  #4  
Old May 15th, 2008, 01:55 PM
Becca Hosier Becca Hosier is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Hi Becca,

Great start. Where are you located? Is it in a place with a lot of local photographers who grew ip on film? Get an improved slick website. There are lots of packages out. No need to spend a lot.

Your website speaks ofr you and it should be perfectly laid out.
I'm located in Cleveland, and yes, there are a lot of family businesses around here that did do film. My father was one of them, but I really don't think there are any studios that do only film anymore...actually I'm almost positive there aren't.

Yeah, the website isn't my "official" website, I just threw it together to show you guys.

Quote:
When you describe wiaht you can do for a picture's "defects" that's great in an intro. However, it may not be nice to actually verbalize that right next to a beautiful bride that sahe had baggies to be removed. We can see that if the picture or cut out is large enough.

Just use the word "enhanced" or "glamor look" to for the lady herself. The picture will be obvious. Try to choose photographs that are well composed. The bride by that pillar seems clumsy, still your work seems excellent.

As soon as you are confident we'lll try to put together a package of pictures for people to retouch and then have a place for you to advertize. For free at the moment! We don't charge but we do try to keep out bozos!

Welcome and keep posting your work. We'd like to see you progress. Tirm armes is a good guy to follow. He has some excellent LR actions.

Asher
Thank you very much! That's very helpful, especially the terminology :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Armes View Post
Hi Becca,

I wish that I could offer you some advice, but I've no idea how to go about such work. I know that are businesses that specialise in retouching - perhaps the best bet would be to search them out and try to get a job with them - even freelancing if necessary.

This would allow you to gain experience in the industry so that you can start up on your own once you feel ready.

Tim
The only problem is it seems like most of these businesses are in places like New York city or LA or something, and I'm not planning on relocating, especially when I'm in school.

But thank you for your advice!
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  #5  
Old May 15th, 2008, 02:53 PM
Bernard Wolf Bernard Wolf is offline
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Hi,
I'm a photographer and I retouch my own images and have done some retouching here and there for others. Like you, I enjoy it.

You might want to go to the forum at: http://www.retouchpro.com/ and ask your questions over there. There are some top retouchers who participate and some not so great wannabes. Maybe do a search for questions already asked similar to yours.
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  #6  
Old May 17th, 2008, 02:10 PM
Chris Tarantino Chris Tarantino is offline
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Location: Flower Mound, Texas
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Default Hello Becca

Good Luck with School and then afterwards with your retouching.

All I can say is make sure anything you do looks a professional and clean as possible. Even if your retouching is top notch, your portfolio won't get past anyone if it looks under par.

As far as retouching goes, it really is mostly a matter of practice and continual use. Try new things that you would normally not do. Even if you don't get good at that particular style/technique, it will open up ways to improve what you are already good at.

When you feel you are ready, there are always Photographers or shops looking for interns to help them out. Photographers especially if they are trying to build their own Portfolio. They might not pay well, but it will give you a good variety of images and styles. Larger companies are always looking for entry to mid level people to add depth to their staff. ANd since you are new to them they are willing to train you in what they or their clients are looking for so you get education, and a lot of time, some job security.

Chris
www.christarantino.com
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  #7  
Old February 10th, 2009, 12:51 PM
Leonardo Boher Leonardo Boher is offline
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Well, I just started jumping into the world. I didn't know what will happen after that and now I'm enjoying a work as photoretoucher :)
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  #8  
Old February 10th, 2009, 04:47 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Chris and Leonardo,


I personally appreciate the hard work that goes into retouching. It does require a lot of patience building up clients. I recently recommended using a retoucher for one of the photographers here, as it would not be efficient for him to stop everything to make corrections. Each photographer has different skills. I see nothing wrong in admitting that and focusing on getting work and shooting opportunities.

Here we have a spread of photographers from really expert to just enthusiasts with passion. Real beginners don't stay. The most successful photographers here already will have mastered the skills or found retouchers they use and keep secret about. I myself have not used a retoucher's services but could imagine doing so. First I like to be in full control, but with future success I might delegate. I wouldn't want my work to be really the creative product of the mind of someone else!

However, for a lot of commercial or wedding photographers, the priorities may be different. So, for a wedding photographer, devoting hours to Photoshop, making a wedding picture flawless, might be a total diversion of energy. It would be, then, far more sensible to give the work to a retoucher who could use the money so earned!

So I hope folk will use you guys. Be patient. I'd like to see more folk use the efficient services of reliable and reputable retouchers.
First, it's important to participate, share ideas and skills and thus establish credibility. Don't worry about losing secrets in technique. It's mostly time and dexterity that people lack.

As people ask for help in a retouch dilemma, if you do help out, demonstrating how to solve the problem, the community benefits. At the same time, your skill gets known. If you just correct a face and don't say how it was done, that doesn't help anyone. If things are done in this way, it's a "win win" for us all!

I personally wish that more folk would master lighting and composition and marketing and forget about giving all their time to Photoshop! For you, there's a delicate tightrope to walk between unwanted self-advertising and really welcome involvement in day-to-day discussion of images. Have no fear to help!

I value the skills different folk bring and retouchers are more than welcome in OPF.

Asher

BTW, only recently has it been common knowledge that famous photographers used retouchers. I must say I was surprised to hear that "Annie" Leibovitz was one of them!
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  #9  
Old April 21st, 2010, 12:40 AM
sherief mohamed sherief mohamed is offline
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for me ..
when i was going to studios sometimes , i like this kind of job .. to be called a retoucher or a designer .. then i started learning with my self .. i got the photoshop basics .. then i went asking many studios for a job .. but they for sure just accept professional retouchers .. cause its business they don't teach peoples .. they need a professional ones .

so i went to a studio and i asked them to practice and learn and work for free .. about 4 hours 3 or 4 days a week .. then after 2 weeks .. i went to another studio telling them i was training in the previous studio and iam professional now ( kinda ) and i am able to work .. then from studio to another .. now a very professional retoucher with experience in many other things in photography
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  #10  
Old April 21st, 2010, 01:16 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Great. Why don't you just introduce yourself in the appropriate forum and show some of your work.

Asher
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Our purpose is getting to an impressive photograph. So we encourage browsing and then feedback. Consider a link to your galleries annotated, C&C welcomed. Images posted within OPF are assumed to be for Comment & Critique, unless otherwise designated.
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