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Retoucher
nebulaoperator
Posts: 327
London, England, United Kingdom


Hello everyone,

As you can see from the subject I want to seriously start trading as retoucher. I was thinking how to more efficiently focus on what I do and how in finding clients. As for a starters I love retouching beauty and fashion images(though latter is lacking in numbers) and ,,art,, focused too( if can call so).
My questions might appear  somehow lacking the understanding of  the industry works in general so please be patient in explaining to me things.
I know there are retouching houses in London( I am from London) that I can target for opportunity to work in there as lets say freelancer.Maybe to start as junior retoucher and work my way up. ?!
I am not familiar with the whole idea of how agency related retouching work can be acquired. If you could explain me how it works.
Then to my understanding there are photographers that I can target for a retouching work/projects.
What would be your advice how and where to start at the current retouching level I am?
Many Thanks  Tom
Apr 15 13 02:40 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
TMA Photo and Retouch
Posts: 719
New York, New York, US


You have some very nicely done images in your port.  I would get high quality prints made and put them into a display book you can carry around and show prospective customers.

Many people make up composite cards showing several of their retouches and they mail them regularly to buyers of the services.  It is nice to look at...shows your work...and someone may call you in for an interview... based on the impression you make.  You have several images that show very well.

Id also begin to think about setting up a very attractive separate web site featuring your images, services, and your availability.  Buyers like to visit web sites that allow them to view and take in your work... when they are ready...and have some time to evaluate. 

Theres much more to successful marketing...im sure others will have some great ideas as well.

PS:  You may eventually need to revisit some of the photographers that supplied your base images...they still own the copyright...and depending on the agreements you have with them...some may have issues with your using the images commercially beyond here at Mayhem possibly.  Hope not.

Best of luck!!
Apr 15 13 06:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
nebulaoperator
Posts: 327
London, England, United Kingdom


Hello TMA,

Many thanks for reply.

TMA Photo and Retouch wrote:
Many people make up composite cards showing several of their retouches and they mail them regularly to buyers of the services.

Composite cards.IS it something like PDF file? Sorry not really familiar with that term.

TMA Photo and Retouch wrote:
Id also begin to think about setting up a very attractive separate web site featuring your images, services, and your availability.  Buyers like to visit web sites that allow them to view and take in your work... when they are ready...and have some time to evaluate.

In fact I have my website maybe it needs a little bit to tweak? Like get rid of some images or so?!  . What do you think?
I am also wondering how did you started approaching clients or what segment  you were targeting.I am aware that you are doing retouching tuitions and it is differs from what I intend to do nevertheless we all started at some point.
I hope more people will jump into this thread and share they thoughts. I suspect there have been threads in the past like my one so if you could link me to it or just say something from your experience I would really appreciate. Thanks

Apr 18 13 02:40 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
nebulaoperator
Posts: 327
London, England, United Kingdom


A little bump up....
Apr 21 13 09:52 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
RONALD NZ TAN
Posts: 2,381
San Francisco, California, US


Hi Tom,

It would be best, if you rather solicit direct assistance from Ms. Natalia Tafferel on your inquiry. She is the best source for this kind of knowledge.

I think Ms. Tafferel is abstaining from this forum and website for reasons unknown to me and rather my conjecture.

—Ron


nebulaoperator wrote:
Hello everyone,

As you can see from the subject I want to seriously start trading as retoucher. I was thinking how to more efficiently focus on what I do and how in finding clients. As for a starters I love retouching beauty and fashion images(though latter is lacking in numbers) and ,,art,, focused too( if can call so).
My questions might appear  somehow lacking the understanding of  the industry works in general so please be patient in explaining to me things.
I know there are retouching houses in London( I am from London) that I can target for opportunity to work in there as lets say freelancer.Maybe to start as junior retoucher and work my way up. ?!
I am not familiar with the whole idea of how agency related retouching work can be acquired. If you could explain me how it works.
Then to my understanding there are photographers that I can target for a retouching work/projects.
What would be your advice how and where to start at the current retouching level I am?
Many Thanks  Tom

Apr 21 13 10:05 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
nebulaoperator
Posts: 327
London, England, United Kingdom


RONALD NZ TAN wrote:
Hi Tom,

It would be best, if you rather solicit direct assistance from Ms. Natalia Tafferel on your inquiry. She is the best source for this kind of knowledge.

I think Ms. Tafferel is abstaining from this forum and website for reasons unknown to me and rather my conjecture.

—Ron

Hi Ronald,

Nice to see you stopping by. That is actually good idea. I reckon she is very busy these days but there might be other reasons too I suppose.
Would you have to share anything from your experience?
Thanks

Apr 21 13 10:28 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
mathieu drut
Posts: 404
San Jose, California, US


Natalia has already written on the topic, she would most likely point you to her own blog: http://nataliataffarel.tumblr.com/post/ … 32/charles
Apr 22 13 08:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
The Invisible Touch
Posts: 709
Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain


Apr 23 13 01:30 am  Link  Quote 
Digital Artist
Anthony Bryan
Posts: 40
London, England, United Kingdom


The Invisible Touch wrote:
http://vimeo.com/21475881

This video is just great! Love it!

Apr 23 13 02:36 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
ST Retouch
Posts: 323
Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland


nebulaoperator wrote:
Hello everyone,

As you can see from the subject I want to seriously start trading as retoucher. I was thinking how to more efficiently focus on what I do and how in finding clients. As for a starters I love retouching beauty and fashion images(though latter is lacking in numbers) and ,,art,, focused too( if can call so).
My questions might appear  somehow lacking the understanding of  the industry works in general so please be patient in explaining to me things.
I know there are retouching houses in London( I am from London) that I can target for opportunity to work in there as lets say freelancer.Maybe to start as junior retoucher and work my way up. ?!
I am not familiar with the whole idea of how agency related retouching work can be acquired. If you could explain me how it works.
Then to my understanding there are photographers that I can target for a retouching work/projects.
What would be your advice how and where to start at the current retouching level I am?
Many Thanks  Tom

Tom,
I will try to explain you some things with my post.
Retouching business ( agency) is very serious job especially if you want to open agency in expensive cities like London, New York, Paris etc.
First of all you have to invest a lot of money to rent serious (fancy) offices on top locations , you have to invest in interiors, working stations, software, top professional monitors which are also enormous expensive etc.
This can be very,very serious investment .
This above is smaller problem ( of course if you have serious money to invest) .
Huge problem in this business is to find team of high end retouchers .
You have to cover all genres from beauty, fashion retouching, jewelry retouching, composite work, CGI work from scratch , etc if you want to have job on the market.
Beauty and simple fashion retouching are genres which don't make money in serious retouching business.
Things have changed on the market, magazines are almost dead , without money , many of them started to work with amateurs and semi professional people with free work and free submissions, because they don't have money to pay top professionals.
Also market is really over saturated with beauty and simple fashion retouchers, some of them are with great skills but they don't have job or at least they work for peanuts.
Your target are serious clients like fashion companies, Ad agencies, Corporate clients, serious stock agencies , serious stock photographers, high end wedding photographers and agencies , etc.
And these clients order a lot CGI work from scratch and composite work.
You have to offer them great quality and which is more important quantity.
These genres make money in retouching on the market .
Also there is one more genre which make serious money in retouching, this genre is design and making backgrounds and elements for companies which produce applications and games for Facebook, Iphone etc.
And to find these high and retouchers which have top serious knowledge with all these genres above is almost mission impossible.
Last year I was looking for 8 months to find 2 high end retouchers to join my team and I could not find anyone.
Many of them were great high end beauty retouchers, but they didn't know anything else , they didn't know composite work, CGI work .
There are some high end retouchers on the market which know all these genres , but mostly of them don't want to work as a full time retouchers, because they can make more money as a freelancers.
If you are planning to open retouching agency for beauty retouching be very careful , market is very , very small and on the market there are a lot of  very established agencies which produce this work.
You can not charge less then let's say $120/hour if you want to cover costs for agency ( offices, taxes, employees, insurance , electricity ,etc)
This is different story then you work as a freelance retouchers , because as a freelance retoucher ( I don't speak about you personally) you can work from home , you don't need to pay offices, employees and other serious costs.
The cost of one serious boutique retouching agency with 4-5 top full-time  high end retouchers  in city like London or New York is at least $15000 per month and even much, much more  ( rent for serious office office plus 4-5 salaries for retouchers ).
And imagine how much income you have to make per month just to cover these costs.
But if you have agency for better genres like CGI work, composite work, applications and games for FB or Iphone, you can make this .
Just like I told you above to find great team of real tigers in high end retouching which can work all these genres is very very hard work.
My very friendly advise before anything , first try to make team to cover all genres.
If you don't find top professionals you can not make work , deadlines are always short, you don't have time to tech your employees or to cover their mistakes .
If you find team this will be a huge step for opening retouching agency of course with serious investments.

Hope this helped ,
Best,
ST

Apr 23 13 05:12 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
The Invisible Touch
Posts: 709
Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain


ST Retouch wrote:

Tom,
I will try to explain you some things with my post.
Retouching business ( agency) is very serious job especially if you want to open agency in expensive cities like London, New York, Paris etc.
First of all you have to invest a lot of money to rent serious (fancy) offices on top locations , you have to invest in interiors, working stations, software, top professional monitors which are also enormous expensive etc.
This can be very,very serious investment .
This above is smaller problem ( of course if you have serious money to invest) .
Huge problem in this business is to find team of high end retouchers .
You have to cover all genres from beauty, fashion retouching, jewelry retouching, composite work, CGI work from scratch , etc if you want to have job on the market.
Beauty and simple fashion retouching are genres which don't make money in serious retouching business.
Things have changed on the market, magazines are almost dead , without money , many of them started to work with amateurs and semi professional people with free work and free submissions, because they don't have money to pay top professionals.
Also market is really over saturated with beauty and simple fashion retouchers, some of them are with great skills but they don't have job or at least they work for peanuts.
Your target are serious clients like fashion companies, Ad agencies, Corporate clients, serious stock agencies , serious stock photographers, high end wedding photographers and agencies , etc.
And these clients order a lot CGI work from scratch and composite work.
You have to offer them great quality and which is more important quantity.
These genres make money in retouching on the market .
Also there is one more genre which make serious money in retouching, this genre is design and making backgrounds and elements for companies which produce applications and games for Facebook, Iphone etc.
And to find these high and retouchers which have top serious knowledge with all these genres above is almost mission impossible.
Last year I was looking for 8 months to find 2 high end retouchers to join my team and I could not find anyone.
Many of them were great high end beauty retouchers, but they didn't know anything else , they didn't know composite work, CGI work .
There are some high end retouchers on the market which know all these genres , but mostly of them don't want to work as a full time retouchers, because they can make more money as a freelancers.
If you are planning to open retouching agency for beauty retouching be very careful , market is very , very small and on the market there are a lot of  very established agencies which produce this work.
You can not charge less then let's say $120/hour if you want to cover costs for agency ( offices, taxes, employees, insurance , electricity ,etc)
This is different story then you work as a freelance retouchers , because as a freelance retoucher ( I don't speak about you personally) you can work from home , you don't need to pay offices, employees and other serious costs.
The cost of one serious boutique retouching agency with 4-5 top full-time  high end retouchers  in city like London or New York is at least $15000 per month and even much, much more  ( rent for serious office office plus 4-5 salaries for retouchers ).
And imagine how much income you have to make per month just to cover these costs.
But if you have agency for better genres like CGI work, composite work, applications and games for FB or Iphone, you can make this .
Just like I told you above to find great team of real tigers in high end retouching which can work all these genres is very very hard work.
My very friendly advise before anything , first try to make team to cover all genres.
If you don't find top professionals you can not make work , deadlines are always short, you don't have time to tech your employees or to cover their mistakes .
If you find team this will be a huge step for opening retouching agency of course with serious investments.

Hope this helped ,
Best,
ST

I think the OP is just looking for help on how to start a retouching business as a freelance not as an agency.. but well explained info tho!! :-)

Apr 23 13 06:16 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
ST Retouch
Posts: 323
Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland


The Invisible Touch wrote:

I think the OP is just looking for help on how to start a retouching business as a freelance not as an agency.. but well explained info tho!! :-)

Yes I know what OP is just looking for ,
I  wrote post just to give him idea how market work , and which trends are on the market.
The same rules are and for freelance retouchers.
For all talented young retouchers targets are the same.
Fashion companies, online shops , stock agencies and stock photographers.
Of course many of them have in-house retouchers, but also many of them use freelance retouchers.
Which problem you will find if you want to work with these clients?
Their batches are always from 100-300 files with deadlines of 2-3 days.
If you are alone, of course you can not finish 200-300 files in 2-3 days ,you are not machine , but main thing is to find another 2-3 friends retouchers and to share work .
This is very huge paid market with a lot of job.
With this  level of  job you don't have to work pixel level D&B, but you have to provide  serious non-destructive retouching with great color correction.
Rates are from $5 -$10 per file , depend from level of work and client.
If you are fast with good skills you can make around 30-40 files per day  without problems.
Let's say if rate is  $5 per file, you can earn $150 per day, which is great.
But no filters here with these customers, no Imagenomic, Portait Professional or similar filters.

Main thing for young talented freelance retouchers, do not wait for some WOW clients .
Of course , they will come one day.
In the meantime , work hard for serious customers from above , practice, practice, practice, try to be faster every day.
Do not think that WOW clients are something you want in reality.
I will give you just small example.
Each ordinary stock photographer is better client than any top magazine.
You know why?
Because each serious stock photographer produce at least 300-500 files per moth .
Multiply this with 12 months and you will see that you will work for this client around 3000-5000 files per year.
Multiply this with $5-$10 per file and you will see that you really don't want these WOW clients which produce 5 and 1/2 files per month/year with one zillion calls and emails from editors and wannabe editors.

Also, the most important thing for young retouchers , start learning CGI work .
At the moment this is the best paid job on the market with very serious rates and with a lot of work.
You won't believe me which are rates for companies which produce applications and games for FB and Iphone.
Because there are not too many retouchers/agencies on the market which can produce great CGI and composite work.
And all of them are almost fully occupied all the time.

Best Regards to all!

ST

Apr 23 13 09:06 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
FLEXmanta
Posts: 1,001
Madrid, Madrid, Spain


ST Retouch wrote:
Yes I know what OP is just looking for ,
I  wrote post just to give him idea how market work , and which trends are on the market.
The same rules are and for freelance retouchers.
For all talented young retouchers targets are the same.
Fashion companies, online shops , stock agencies and stock photographers.
Of course many of them have in-house retouchers, but also many of them use freelance retouchers.
Which problem you will find if you want to work with these clients?
Their batches are always from 100-300 files with deadlines of 2-3 days.
If you are alone, of course you can not finish 200-300 files in 2-3 days ,you are not machine , but main thing is to find another 2-3 friends retouchers and to share work .
This is very huge paid market with a lot of job.
With this  level of  job you don't have to work pixel level D&B, but you have to provide  serious non-destructive retouching with great color correction.
Rates are from $5 -$10 per file , depend from level of work and client.
If you are fast with good skills you can make around 30-40 files per day  without problems.
Let's say if rate is  $5 per file, you can earn $150 per day, which is great.
But no filters here with these customers, no Imagenomic, Portait Professional or similar filters.

Main thing for young talented freelance retouchers, do not wait for some WOW clients .
Of course , they will come one day.
In the meantime , work hard for serious customers from above , practice, practice, practice, try to be faster every day.
Do not think that WOW clients are something you want in reality.
I will give you just small example.
Each ordinary stock photographer is better client than any top magazine.
You know why?
Because each serious stock photographer produce at least 300-500 files per moth .
Multiply this with 12 months and you will see that you will work for this client around 3000-5000 files per year.
Multiply this with $5-$10 per file and you will see that you really don't want these WOW clients which produce 5 and 1/2 files per month/year with one zillion calls and emails from editors and wannabe editors.

Also, the most important thing for young retouchers , start learning CGI work .
At the moment this is the best paid job on the market with very serious rates and with a lot of work.
You won't believe me which are rates for companies which produce applications and games for FB and Iphone.
Because there are not too many retouchers/agencies on the market which can produce great CGI and composite work.
And all of them are almost fully occupied all the time.

Best Regards to all!

ST

I don't agree with you

-You don't need a lot of money. A 10.000€ investment is far more than enough for a startup retouching boutique, and is peanuts compared to what is needed for another type of business. For a retouching studio, a decent office, 3 or 4 computers, a printer, a RIP, a decent internet connection and subscription to accounting services and an alarm is more enough to start up. That's how most studios get started and no, most studios aren't top offices in a Manhattan skycraper next to Condé Nast HQ.

-You DON'T need to cover all genres. Most of the studios I know won't even pick up the phone for anything that isn't fashion or fashion/cosmetics advertising. No still life, no jewelry, no bulk… as always, I don't know where you get that from but you have a lot of imagination. Can you imagine the guys at Milk Studios or Box Studios alternating between Vogue Covers and a bulk job of home appliances shot against white? Trust me, that doesn't happen…

-Magazines are not dead. Editorials are still being produced and advertising pages are now sold more than ever. I have been in the industry for a while now and I never had as much work as I'm having now. In fact, I'm about to open a retouching studio, as I've stated a couple times.

-No decent magazine works with amateurs or semiprofessionals. If no magazine has offered you anything more than collaborations, then chances are you still aren't properly established. Freelancers, when established, work for certain magazines so frequently that it's almost like they're on payroll and forget they're still freelancers! I guess you are confusing the internet scene with the established profesional industry.

-Wedding photography and fashion advertising are 2 terms that can't be used in the same sentence. Complete opposite poles.

-CGI is a whole different industry that doesn't have anything to do with the retouching industry, especially the fashion photography industry. No magazine has considered replacing their fashion shoots with computer generated whatever.

-In advertsing retouching studios you'll most certainly find both retouchers and CGI artists. Most of the times they work together when they do advertising.

-There's no such thing as an hourly rate in editorial work. Magazines have an established rate per image and there's little a retoucher can do to change that rate. You can negotiate a rate that might increase over the years, but, when it's the magazine who pays you, 120€ per hour is just NOT gonna happen. Maybe 100€ per image, a little more a little less.

-The problem with being a freelancer working alone is that, if everything goes well, they'll wanna book you more and more frequently and you'll find yourself having to reject a lot of work. That's the reason why most retouching studios exist: A retoucher who got successful and decided to buy 3 more computers, train some people and increase his work capacity.

-Some fashion brands do have inhouse photographers and retouchers, but those will only do bulk work (online store content mostly). The good stuff and the campaigns are always handled by by external production companies, creative agencies, photographers and retouchers.

-Why do you insist in retouchers having to learn CGI? That's just not the way it goes. Some retouchers work in an industry that is simply not tending towards CGI. Some of us still live in a world of models, designers and photographers, and that is just not gonna change because, guess what: Paper magazines are still being sold now more than ever. There are more fashionistas now than ever and they like their Metal and Numeró magazines.

-CGI is REALLY not that well paid now. A lot of work for little money. Editorial is and will stay the best paid type of work. In advertising or CGI you might get paid 4000€ for a single project, but it might as well take more than a month to be delivered. In editorial, sometimes you can even deliver 4 images in a day, and that is 400€ clean for a day's work. At some point it really goes editorial after editorial. In fact i know a couple retouchers who avoid advertising for the headaches and prefer to do only editorials.

Apr 23 13 03:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Alexey Adamitsky
Posts: 226
Minsk, Minsk, Belarus


Every time I read your posts ST Retouch there is so much BS and misinformation about retouching world in general and its niches in particular. I wounder if you your ever worked with higher end clients.

ST Retouch wrote:
Retouching business ( agency) is very serious job especially if you want to open agency in expensive cities like London, New York, Paris etc.
First of all you have to invest a lot of money to rent serious (fancy) offices on top locations , you have to invest in interiors, working stations, software, top professional monitors which are also enormous expensive etc.
This can be very,very serious investment .
This above is smaller problem ( of course if you have serious money to invest) .

Every business is serious when you approach it professionally, but it doesn't mean you need to do huge investments to get started, especially as a freelance retouching studio of 1-3 people working together. There is so many options to have everything organized online or if you want you can rent office space for cheap for first time if you really want. It might affect your pricing thought.

I suggest to work smart instead of creating more obstacles to making successful retouching business.


ST Retouch wrote:
Huge problem in this business is to find team of high end retouchers .
You have to cover all genres from beauty, fashion retouching, jewelry retouching, composite work, CGI work from scratch , etc if you want to have job on the market.
Beauty and simple fashion retouching are genres which don't make money in serious retouching business.
Things have changed on the market, magazines are almost dead , without money , many of them started to work with amateurs and semi professional people with free work and free submissions, because they don't have money to pay top professionals.
Also market is really over saturated with beauty and simple fashion retouchers, some of them are with great skills but they don't have job or at least they work for peanuts.
Your target are serious clients like fashion companies, Ad agencies, Corporate clients, serious stock agencies , serious stock photographers, high end wedding photographers and agencies , etc.
And these clients order a lot CGI work from scratch and composite work.
You have to offer them great quality and which is more important quantity.
These genres make money in retouching on the market .
Also there is one more genre which make serious money in retouching, this genre is design and making backgrounds and elements for companies which produce applications and games for Facebook, Iphone etc.
And to find these high and retouchers which have top serious knowledge with all these genres above is almost mission impossible.
Last year I was looking for 8 months to find 2 high end retouchers to join my team and I could not find anyone.
Many of them were great high end beauty retouchers, but they didn't know anything else , they didn't know composite work, CGI work .
There are some high end retouchers on the market which know all these genres , but mostly of them don't want to work as a full time retouchers, because they can make more money as a freelancers.

Oh man... Why you mashed everything together? You don't need to know everything from beginning. It will be also bad for the business at first. Learn to walk first. It's better to do fewer things thirst, but at great level and maybe expand into different things later.

What's up with this CGI obsession? Did you even do any of it? Do you know how it works in AD world?

CGI isn't as hot as it was several year ago. It's just a mean to the ends. When there is no other way to create something that is needed. If it can be shot or created digitally with comping the client wont care less unless he is getting the desired result. Also there is more than enough CGI specialists today on freelance as well and it's not as high paid as you want people to believe.

Beauty and fashion retoucher doesn't need to know CGI or heavy comping or creating matte paintings ect. It's different niches in retouching world.


ST Retouch wrote:
If you are planning to open retouching agency for beauty retouching be very careful , market is very , very small and on the market there are a lot of  very established agencies which produce this work.

There is always a competition no matter what industry you take.

I agree that the marked is pretty small. Still I get clients from time to time who contacts me for the first time and when I ask them how they found me the usual story that they looked at Elance/oDesk, got 100 replies, but were never satisfied with quality of the work and then got referred to my by friends. People still looking for quality work and ready to pay. You just need to be in front of these clients when they need you.


ST Retouch wrote:
You can not charge less then let's say $120/hour if you want to cover costs for agency ( offices, taxes, employees, insurance , electricity ,etc)
This is different story then you work as a freelance retouchers , because as a freelance retoucher ( I don't speak about you personally) you can work from home , you don't need to pay offices, employees and other serious costs.
The cost of one serious boutique retouching agency with 4-5 top full-time  high end retouchers  in city like London or New York is at least $15000 per month and even much, much more  ( rent for serious office office plus 4-5 salaries for retouchers ).

You don't need to be this big at first. You most likely won't survive and it's stupid invest that much from beginning. You can start small and then grow your business. What is more valuable are clients and just having everything "top" and "serious" won't bring business to your doors.


ST Retouch wrote:
And imagine how much income you have to make per month just to cover these costs.
But if you have agency for better genres like CGI work, composite work, applications and games for FB or Iphone, you can make this .
Just like I told you above to find great team of real tigers in high end retouching which can work all these genres is very very hard work.
My very friendly advise before anything , first try to make team to cover all genres.
If you don't find top professionals you can not make work , deadlines are always short, you don't have time to tech your employees or to cover their mistakes .
If you find team this will be a huge step for opening retouching agency of course with serious investments.

I can't image why you think a beauty and fashion retoucher should know all this stuff that has nothing to do with beauty or fashion retouching. It's entirely different industry - gaming/mobile gaming industry. You need different skill set to be successful there. The skill set of digital illustrator. Look up the difference.


ST Retouch wrote:
Yes I know what OP is just looking for ,
I  wrote post just to give him idea how market work , and which trends are on the market.
The same rules are and for freelance retouchers.
For all talented young retouchers targets are the same.
Fashion companies, online shops , stock agencies and stock photographers.
Of course many of them have in-house retouchers, but also many of them use freelance retouchers.
Which problem you will find if you want to work with these clients?
Their batches are always from 100-300 files with deadlines of 2-3 days.
If you are alone, of course you can not finish 200-300 files in 2-3 days ,you are not machine , but main thing is to find another 2-3 friends retouchers and to share work .
This is very huge paid market with a lot of job.
With this  level of  job you don't have to work pixel level D&B, but you have to provide  serious non-destructive retouching with great color correction.
Rates are from $5 -$10 per file , depend from level of work and client.
If you are fast with good skills you can make around 30-40 files per day  without problems.
Let's say if rate is  $5 per file, you can earn $150 per day, which is great.
But no filters here with these customers, no Imagenomic, Portait Professional or similar filters.

The more I read the more I have doubts about your experience with serious clients or ad agencies. What you describing is a low end market and you don't kneed all that skills you described to compete in this market.

The clients will always be in rush, but it's usually that they have unreasonable expectations and know nothing about how long this or that takes to deliver. When you educate them a little they usually don't mind to wait for greater final image.

Apr 23 13 11:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Krunoslav Stifter
Posts: 3,850
Santa Cruz, California, US


Alexey Adamitsky wrote:
The more I read the more I have doubts about your experience with serious clients or ad agencies. What you describing is a low end market and you don't kneed all that skills you described to compete in this market.

Coincidently I just recorded a video on how we need to reexamine our reasoning sometimes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5p3JI-Hb … e=youtu.be

Apr 23 13 11:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Kristiana-Retouch
Posts: 289
London, England, United Kingdom


ST Retouch wrote:
What's up with this CGI obsession? Did you even do any of it? Do you know how it works in AD world?

CGI isn't as hot as it was several year ago. It's just a mean to the ends. When there is no other way to create something that is needed. If it can be shot or created digitally with comping the client wont care less unless he is getting the desired result. Also there is more than enough CGI specialists today on freelance as well and it's not as high paid as you want people to believe.

Beauty and fashion retoucher doesn't need to know CGI or heavy comping or creating matte paintings ect. It's different niches in retouching world.

+1
And I also think - if you think you can do anything actually you can do nothing. In my opinion it's better to be higher specialist at smaller range than being wide range average or low specialist.

There is no way you as a retoucher can learn CGI stuff as good as persons who are CGI specialists at first place - it's massive information to learn and to know to get somewhere out of basics. (I'm not saying you shouldn't learn it at all  - it just takes a lot of time and knowledge to get good at it and to do advanced stuff). In my opinion it's more rationally to work in team with someone who already does it and specializes within that. (at least I do it - I share my work and clients and everyone is satisfied)

You know what they say - one man won't make Ice Age movie wink

Also I'm not quite sure about IPhone applications and retoucher=CGI specialist. I work with IPhone application developers and from retoucher they need a lot of pretty much basic stuff.

Apr 24 13 03:43 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
BOBBY DIMARZO
Posts: 185
Boston, Massachusetts, US


nebulaoperator wrote:
Hello everyone,

As you can see from the subject I want to seriously start trading as retoucher. I was thinking how to more efficiently focus on what I do and how in finding clients. As for a starters I love retouching beauty and fashion images(though latter is lacking in numbers) and ,,art,, focused too( if can call so).
My questions might appear  somehow lacking the understanding of  the industry works in general so please be patient in explaining to me things.
I know there are retouching houses in London( I am from London) that I can target for opportunity to work in there as lets say freelancer.Maybe to start as junior retoucher and work my way up. ?!
I am not familiar with the whole idea of how agency related retouching work can be acquired. If you could explain me how it works.
Then to my understanding there are photographers that I can target for a retouching work/projects.
What would be your advice how and where to start at the current retouching level I am?
Many Thanks  Tom

Apr 24 13 04:01 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
BOBBY DIMARZO
Posts: 185
Boston, Massachusetts, US


Another!!!!!
Apr 24 13 04:02 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
FLEXmanta
Posts: 1,001
Madrid, Madrid, Spain


Alexey Adamitsky wrote:
The more I read the more I have doubts about your experience with serious clients or ad agencies.

It's a very strange thing!!! There seems to be no way to make him accept that his learning process is still not completed.

None of the examples he's ever shown back up the experience he claims to have. I really have a problem with inexperienced people educating those who are in the process of becoming professionals by using the information found in good forums.

Apr 24 13 09:04 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Ovidiu Oltean
Posts: 179
Sibiu, Sibiu, Romania


Alexey Adamitsky wrote:
The more I read the more I have doubts about your experience with serious clients or ad agencies.

FLEXmanta wrote:
It's a very strange thing!!! There seems to be no way to make him accept that his learning process is still not completed.

None of the examples he's ever shown back up the experience he claims to have. I really have a problem with inexperienced people educating those who are in the process of becoming professionals by using the information found in good forums.

+1 to both of you.

Apr 25 13 02:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Ovidiu Oltean
Posts: 179
Sibiu, Sibiu, Romania


Apr 25 13 02:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
nebulaoperator
Posts: 327
London, England, United Kingdom


Hello everyone,

Didn't mean to abandon this thread what might seemed to be.

Thank you for the links Javi and matheu drut. I  watched and red them. I have a couple of more links and material to dive in.Lots of coffee around me.
There seems to be people( established retouchers) that find time to shed some light on the one's that deviated from the course and because of that reason they thoughts/advice are misleading and same people funny enough spare they time to interact with me smile...
Krunoslav dropped a brilliant link. Have my notes next to me and info to think/rethink my knowledge and understanding. Thanks for that.It's very informative and helpful to me. I spent one of the best and most useful hour regarding my quest.
Meanwhile I continue study. More info, links thoughts will be very appreciated and welcome. Thanks!
Apr 26 13 03:42 am  Link  Quote 
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