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The Art & Business of High-End Retouching

Lesson 32 of 32

Working with Clients & the Business of Retouching


The Art & Business of High-End Retouching

Lesson 32 of 32

Working with Clients & the Business of Retouching


Lesson Info

Working with Clients & the Business of Retouching

We left off here with difference in tablets we essentially we're talking about the fact that blackham tabs come in many different types and sizes and so forth. For example, if you work on santic tablets here allowed to know allowed to sinti tablets basically show you the image on your screen, so what that means is as you're working on the screen, you haven't image to its better reference for your hand too hand to eye coordination. Some people tell me that when they use tablets like this or the regular into us, which is entry level line, they don't have good hand eye coordination, so it just becomes really impossible for them. So you have that issue it's probably better to work on something like a sinti tablet where you can have image displayed on the screen and you can go ahead and work precisely and it's very interactive it knows when you're touching it knows you know everything you're basically doing with this tablet, but it has a screen which is beautiful comes in like thirteen inch...

all the way to the bigger sizes so it's fantastic for the for those instances no in regards to finding clients, rita cher's asked me and this is now going to get very retouching specific because as I mentioned initially it started with photography and then now it went all the way down to the retouching portion so finding clients for myself what happened with me life first started I actually in the other direction I started with um without haggling people because I know it's easy to get carried away and say let's, go ahead and contact all these photographers and see what we can get out of them however I went the opposite approach and instead I decided that my work would speak for itself and that I would have a good body of work and my personality and communication would be the reason why people would want to work with me and it be something that they would come to me for rather than the other way around. So my whole principle in mind was the fact that I went through word of mouth and when I had a few clients what happened was I did work for them, and after that they start referring me to their friends and colleagues it's very similar to a photographer. I think on the wedding side, for example, and I've asked a few wedding photographers and they said that whenever they were trying to market themselves, they realize that they start getting a lot of referrals and request from they're sisters and friends and family and and saying how when they shot one wedding and they met a bridesmaid or whatever it is and then they got a lead to another wedding and so forth so it really does speak volumes of how you interact with people and how good you are with people and how much work you get a relation of that you know, and this industry is no different from any others in that the better you are with people and how you with networking the mohr biz opportunities it lends to keeping an open mind and thinking that you know, there's a lot out there in that sense just like the example I used going to airports and how when you worked at the airport and these people would come across the code uru wedding photographer and they they yeah morning strong for and I know so he wants a wedding done and so they would end up getting business just because interaction was there, you know, so don't ever underestimate how good interaction plays in word of mouth plays in business and I think that you guys can attest that, which is why you guys are here, you know, they pick you guys based on a lot of your personality and what the reason you want to be here. So you got here more so than most people because it's what you wanted and it came across your passion came across and how hungry you are to learn, which is why you're still awake on day three on segment four on last thirty minutes, right exactly on dh so yeah promotion as well with social media my social media presence I intentionally kept very high because I like actually attractive people it's actually fun for me it's not even a job it shouldn't feel like a job social media should feel fun you know it should be interaction ideas and communications I don't know I read this but someone said that when you talk about yourself not me people will listen but when you ask somebody about how their day is going and how they're feeling, they will tell you and then you will listen to them and you get much more interaction that way. And so what I always find is taking interest in others is a much better investment in time than just showcasing what you have to say to everybody else and even when you you know commenter like like somebody's work on facebook or twitter, they remember that and they take the time to notice that you know you have appreciated what they have done and that pays off in dividends as well and uh, you know, personal projects whenever I talk about a little bit about this other day is whenever you create personal project people tend to notice this a lot more because you're spending time showcasing your personality and individuality and law these blog's and new sights pick it up and approach you and get you get a lot off opportunities like dimension and reference my friend mike kelly who shot that wonderful time lapse of the los angeles airport and then had explosion of social media interests because of that never underestimate the power of personal personal projects yes also good english I cannot tell you how people ask and come to me saying they're looking for work the one thing that I will do and if I realized the fact that they're just sloppy and don't take the time to approach you properly with a good proposal, I just don't even pay attention if they're if they're message hey, I want some work hey, you know, you have some work for me and I have no idea who they are that kind of shows what kind of personality have so please, you know, have a good sense of practicality when you're applying an approaching people for work or just any general situation you know, spend the time and show that you actually care about what they're trying to say. If you're going to go for a job interview, you'd put your emphasis on having a good resume or, for example, approaching a job director properly, you wouldn't talk to them casually as a friend, and you'd put this emphasis on approaching them that's one thing I've noticed most successful peoples and she have is a good sense of english and grammar whenever they approach a situation because that speaks volumes about you before you work no matter what now being represented as a re toucher this can also applies a photographer what does it really mean? I am represented by one mega management in london there a management agency meaning that say you are a client that wants a big production, a big commercial production and you want to go to one agency that takes care of everything a photographer, a re toucher model, makeup artists they supply everything so I'm on staff there and what that means is whenever they get a big budget job they hire me immediately to be the re toucher and I've always wanted an agent ever since I started touching I thought that was the end all if I had agent my life is going to be set that's all I had to do forever and I was really excited about my agent, but I realized something it didn't matter if I agent or not because the agencies will only be interested in you if you have something that benefits them at the point in your career you don't either agent is when you will probably find an agent and that's what happens and so don't look for an agent this is not the stage to be essentially looking for an agent because the agents will come to you essentially or you will find an agent when you don't necessarily need one it could be you know and I mention this because people who just start out saying oh my god, I need an agent but it doesn't work that way you have to show your worth to the industry and show that you're competent and you're able to deliver on big budget big budgets and deadlines and projects before they'll even consider you so keep that out of your mind at the moment in regards having agent and just focus on the work that you want to do and go at it because then you'll be noticed by people automatically and then things start making um entrances themselves okay now resource is for a photo shop and education creative life obviously a beautiful resource and one that has so many amazing videos there's also in person options like retouching classic dot com which is what I do and I photographers one on one and I fly out to them where they come to me and we sit down and go over a lot of interesting questions because I think every photographer has unique areas of focus right nobody shoots the same things nobody had the same problems so it's like a psychology session you know what? What what are you feeling like and how what what what what problems you're having with your footage up and it's like a doctor, you go to your doctor and everyone has a different set of problems so we do that the debt is another source where you know they you can go in person having structures and so forth stoppers dot com is when I sight that I write for is another good resource on quickly videos, la forums like retouch pro or retouching and carrying on facebook it's a group there that you know, it's little community it's not little it's actually really good community and if you want to see hilarious comedy siri's go to youtube and put you suck at photo shop it's the best, most layers little siri's out there on the web and there's obviously a ton of books out there and just a few of my friends have written some so with general little tips and tricks here and there, so you know few things to consider unrealistic expectations and educating clients. Now, where do you draw the line between educate inclined? And they're just passing on the job right that's the biggest concern? Mind? Because sometimes I get clients that just don't understand what what works and what doesn't now there's a point where you will get to where you just mean not half time educating inclined. However, if you have the patients it's a big payoff to educate a client because he doesn't take as much time as you think it does, it sounds like a headache and sometimes it really is so it's a pro and con situation, I find that when you take the five minutes as you get the client what's possible and what isn't, they tend to appreciate your openness and willingness to work with him. That alone can get you hard on really good jobs and get good references, so depending if you need a job or not. I think that educating clients is a good solution. However, there have been times when I've been really patient, open, if they still don't understand the things are impossible, right? I'm sure you guys have the situation all the time. I think people at home are laughing right now because if they're working on jobs right now, that's happening, right? Like the situation about hair, you can't make revlon here without shooting revlon style and quality, okay? And you can't shoot gucci if you shoot like wal mart or you can't get gucci if you shoot like wal mart is one thing I keep saying over and over again, so there are sometimes clans will say, no, I definitely want that, and no matter what, and if you say no, and you'd understand, then chancellor that's a red flag and I move on, I don't stay married to that client in that way, so yeah, you know, try to educates body if they have an open mind and they're receptive that's fantastic leads opportunities if they're close minded and they just won't budge then chances are it's a red flag and you should get out there that's my personal opinion on that matter commercial versus editorial intention what is the difference now as I mentioned earlier and we did come this quite a stick extensively this was shot by joey l was shot by a dixie dixon both fantastic people in great photographers really good guys just be specific people that might not make policy on the left is joey l on the right is dictated really and thank you so much for that yes so I brought this brought these images because although they both ten tisch can should very available degree of styles joey l typically does a lot of commercial very cinematic work dixie dixon also this commercial work but I think a lot of works very soft as well and it leads to a lot of editorial quality we actually shot this image on the right in the bahamas recently where the image was quite beautiful of the camera and after we worked on it I felt it was a good image to portray as editorial example because this is an image I would see going both ways now the main difference and treatment in regards to both is I find that commercial work is kept a little bit more realistic that editorial work with editorial work you can go live it further, so if you look at fashion magazines, you can go a little bit further on the appeal of what you're trying, go free can put more artistic integrity into it and tell more of a story, sometimes with a commercial world, even though you're telling stories it's more about selling products sometimes like if you're doing watch campaigns it's about making things ultra realistic and clean with editorial can go and push things further in regards to stalin treatment, I think, as I mentioned, commercial stuff is much cleaner, I think there's more fine control there and also with commercial work there, more people involved in the directions you have less flexibility to do whatever you want. As a reach usher, I find it was the editorial side there's less people involved meeting magazine submission sometimes so you could get away with a lot more and you could make things more artistic and more colorful and vibrant, and you do all these things. But aside from that, I don't think there is a particular difference in treatment. Is just based on the photographer that's, hard for the job now studio versus working at home, I have contemplated both, and I've done both where you'd work in studio verse, working home. Working at home has a huge benefit in the sense we can cut down on overhead costs you can lower your prices and so forth since you're working there a part of your home can be tax deductible and you working space however it lends the distractions so if you are easily distracted and you're washing like seinfeld in like three hours and looking at it cat videos on youtube for the next three hours then you then you're probably not the person who should be would lend to work at home from a psychology standpoint what happens when you work in home also you tend to mix your personal life and private life together and you become known as somebody who's you know doesn't have an individual barrier and for example like myself if I'm working from home also have found members called me seo you're free right because you're at home like no I'm not free I'm working and it kind of feels like you know you're not working because they think if you're home you're not working you get sucked into a lot of things here and there if you have a studio I think it's also a good refreshing mentally because you're leaving one spacing going to another it's in the psychology principle is when you enter and even one barry and going to the next you have this effect it has this effect on you change mindsets and when you're in a working environment you have a better use of time, so the pro pros being you probably are more efficient in regards to time frame, but the khan's being and probably cost more have a studio just as every touch her as a photographer, I'm sure you always he needs to do and you're not gonna be shooting from home if you can help it. But retouching this is more topical than photography, but I do know a lot of photographers who still shoot at home even though they take on big clients, so it just depends how you're home we set up, maybe you have space for a studio or maybe you could get away with it. But you know just something to consider. I don't think there's a right or wrong for retouching it's more half and half I know. For example, I work at home most of my time because it's something that I can changed from being in my personal life to my private life, I can switch over quite easily by having a studio space, for example, and not having those distractions, but if if I felt like, you know, I needed a place to get stuff done, this is why a lot of people go to coffee shops, right to get stuff done, just get away from everything, so you know, studios may not be such a bad idea not retouching healthy. I mentioned this before. Now a lot of people use screens that have a lot of glare, and they have I issues later on eyestrain and so forth. They're these classical by gunnar optics. They reduced the glare you have reflected from your monitor and the introduces eyestrain at a few friends tested out, and that was actually really fantastic. It's solved a lot of their eyestrain issues, so I recommend that if you want to take look into that if you don't have a mat screen also taking breaks and eating right dimensions because this is funny whenever we're working for hours and I don't know if this happens, you guys, but sometimes you forget you haven't drank water for such a long time or you haven't ate or you miss lunch or something is actually really common scare really enough to have issues like that. So please take breaks often and take care of yourself because if you don't take care yourself there's no, you later on, right? That sounded really morbid. Um, also funny enough taking and now I think this is understated, and I found that whenever you have an extended day, right, like you're working sixteen hours. Taking a thirty minute nap actually works really good staying focused for the rest of the day is actually a good use in times like good return on investment taking the thirty minutes just havel now I tell people usually take enough like no they think as lazy however actually works really well and you get quite used to having a little catnaps and I drops if you have an issue again with eyestrain sustain eye drops are fantastic for looking eyes making sure you can stay focus all day and lastly, if you notice my set up here did you notice how many hours have been working for last three days? I have no strain on my hand right now because my tablet and keyboard are set to raise why don't even have to look down my keyboard or my tablet or move a hand a lot you know my tablet is set so that the active area is very small on my keyboard shortcuts are laid out so that my left hand can access it like I'm playing a piano and not having to focus keyboard very important and very annoying if you have to refocus every single time looking at your keyboard uh job blow job worked well and working with clients so what does my typical job look like let's say that you contact me and I'm just gonna go over is very briefly because I think this whole three day span has talked a lot about workflow in regard to jobs and clients and so forth let's say that you are a client of mine and you are you come to me for the first time and you ask me, what is your average rate lot of retouched to ask me to? How do you determine your rate as they re toucher? Well, actuality is it depends on the re toucher and the person working I don't think there's a average and I say this because the way that I work personally is a client will come to me and say that they want to know what my rate is and instead of giving them an average rate, I'm not going to tell them that I work at a hundred thousand dollars in our which is not the case I'm just giving a round number um and I'll tell him that I want to see the details of the job I want to see the files, I want to see the notes like you saw felix do felix, do I want to see references? I want to see what you're after our collect all this information, I'd get a really good estimate of how long this work is going to take me and then send a price over that way they know as a client what to expect on their budgeting side and then they don't have to guess what happens is for me when I started getting people on hourly rate and I said, you know what is on they ask me I say okay, I work at theoretically sixty dollars an hour, which is not true I'm skipping around and figure they'll say ok? And they expect the worse they think we spend five hours on an image and then they have this incredibly high budget for retouching and then they say no, so you know, to make their life easier, I just say show me everything I'd be the best way possible and it turns out to be cheaper than they expect because retouch your always works faster and more efficient than they can when as a photographer as they work typically so it sets up really well for quoting on a job both on my end and there and they get the average quote which is typically cheaper than expect and they also know what they're budgeting on their cost sometimes they don't know ahead of time so I will give them an average range which then they can incorporate now I always see talk briefly particularly if the questions have been asked about pricing and is it always an hourly price? Is it occasionally just charged by image? Can you talk a little bit about your pricing and maybe some average ranges? Yeah, of course when I first started okay when I first first started I didn't want to put a great house so high because I didn't feel that michael was at par with what everyone was charging I didn't have the bodywork to showcase for it so for anything say editorial work I literally asked for four dollars an image and that was this flat and that's really low because I wanted to build that body of work really quickly I already had in mind that I was working a second job and that was what was supporting monetary the second rate was what got me my book to establish a portfolio to be able to deliver quality and showcase what I was capable of so those two years I ranked really fast and I got a body of work that showcase what I was capable of then I raise my rates however with that being said my rates never stayed the same obviously you don't want to undercut yourself in that regard so personally I basic by our and and what I mean by that is if you send me an image I will give you a final price say I give you a final price of one hundred twenty dollars an image okay for something that is not commercial but editorial or had shot or whatever it is that you are intending or a model portfolio whatever personal portfolio and what I will do in that final rate it encompasses how many hours I'm gonna work on my end because I know that it will take me two hours to finish that image and then that is a cruel into sixty dollars an hour but I'm not gonna tell him sixty dollars an hour I'm going to give him the final price now the difference is I will included revision clause because what you don't know is how many revisions that client will come with sometimes they can come with quite a few revisions. They are quite finicky and you won't know till you deliver that file. They'll be really excited to work with you until you deliver that final image funny enough you know whenever you're not working professionally and before you got into the industry you start taking pictures. You sure your friends, your family go it's you it's so good it's so beautiful all the stuff and then when money's on the line it's not so beautiful anymore, it's just about the money, right? They don't really necessarily even thank you sometimes it's just here's your image. Okay here's what's wrong with it that's what they say it's not about how beautiful it is, it's, what can we make it? How can you make it better? So I always come with a revision clause saying that maybe two revisions are included and anything after that would be thirty dollars a revision for instance, I cannot tell you what to give as you're great because you're it should depend on what you need to sustain a living. What are your expenses? What is your overhead? You need to calculus, costs and determined how much is it going to take to live through the year? And how much when you do wanna make keep in mind you need health insurance number of one, please, because I know a lot of artists don't and it's very critical that we stay healthy. That's important with obamacare, it's almost impossible not to have insurance. So think about these things, you know, have funding that way every year you're able to generate just enough to make it through. I remember that's why when I first started, I couldn't really charge what I wanted because I didn't have the work to showcase for it, so I had my second job to sustain monetarily, and then when I mean to jump into full time, I before I did so I may try it enough justice sustain myself for two years prior to jumping, because if you jump into a career without anything as a safety net it's going to be really stressful and it's going to show in your client and in your work, okay, aside from that it's always important to again go over things like color turning references and mark ups and making sure you have what you need. If you're not sure about something, please communicated. I can't tell you how many times I've learned from experience that when I don't communicate something, it bites me right? I assume that this thing is not going to need to be retouched, but guess what it is you think it's so intentional that they wanted to have that kept their when they come back and say, you know what I wanted that retouched and because you already quoted you homeless have to do it, you know, so communication is very important. Getting your information is important, just like we've been talking about over the last couple of days. Now again, your rates and your average is something I'm not going to go over because it is independent on your individual situation, so think about these things and then quote accordingly now the other things I use, we used to use a lot of ftp servers or file transfer protocol deliver declines, but nowadays I use dropbox a lot because so simple, so easy to use, I use what's known as you send it or now as high tail because you can send an upload directly to the client, you upload something and it sends it right to their email and it's taken dollard from the you you send it or high tail servers, I use stuff like we transfer as wealthy class preferred, which is another online source for transferring images for free without signing up. But again, the people say there's security issues where it's public link and very easy to access by other people. So it's all relative for my yeah, ah, a job just today that exceeded the limits of all the ones you had appear in google drive free how there was a limit for google drive yeah, and you can share your files from google drive and there is no limit except the limit of what you have far capacity on. Oh, I can upload his larges you want as long as it doesn't exceed the limit of your entire drive. Yes. So in this particular case, I'm thinking about I had an entire light room catalog, plus associated images that need to be transferred, and it would have well exceeded any of these particular that's fantastic it's, amazing that you mention that because now way have resources like you will drive and so many other upcoming ones that really do address the need for sony problems. We have that now when you look at things like ftp becomes outdated and created quite quickly. You know, I don't think I've ever used ftp is unless a clan has requested and for the last three years I've never had a request to, you know, log into their server two transfer files, which is I don't if it's good or bad, you know, maybe it's good, because maybe it's bad, because in situation like that with the ftp, you can easily just upload unlimited lee so, you know, I tell him, get please get a server from mito comfort too. Um, most of my payments nowadays are through paypal, you know, sometimes international clients will say, give your banking till so I'll have every bank has international bank number and a and a swift code essentially that allowed you to transfer internationally into your domestic bank account. So, you know, call your bank up to find out what it is or look online, and you can deliver that those details to your client for most of time I use paypal because so easy they take credit cards, they take paypal account, they just they don't even need to sign up to accept credit cards from your client so everything's typically done through credit cards, checks or bank transfers for personal use, and then I have invoicing, which I do manually through templates, invoicing, temples and keep track of those and print them out as well as fresh books, which is a good, easy resource to do invoicing, and that is a whole new category, which I'm not going to get into because is a very expensive for invoicing and it's also really important to have a bank accounts separate for business transactions, a business account and personal account just because it becomes much harder to differentiate the two at the end of the year. Secondly, please keep a tab of all your receipts ahead of time every time you expend something, itemize it, make an excel sheet and make sure you're on top of that because I learned the hard way that at the end of the year, that was the issue itemizing everything with your receipts, that was a pain doing it as a year. Progress made it so simple too. Then, you know, file for taxes, and I hope you're finding for taxes, okay? Most common crack characters six uh, obviously went to the communication and knowing what you're looking for, a lot limitation when a client knows what limitations are about an image and can communicate with you exactly and retouch his mindset. It's very easy to work with them, you know, all the clans that I worked for understand what can and cannot be done, we can get work done quicker. Which is another reason why it's great to attend a class like this to see what can and cannot be done for that purpose alone to communicate their three touches, building a portfolio and your website this is a very big issue, just based on who you ask, what has a different opinion for me personally, I think you know, having twenty thirty images per category is fine people either dissected in multiple ways they do the book one book to book three they do beauty, fashion, lifestyle, commercial, whatever it is it's his own individual approach, I don't have any person impressions on it. My book is done by book one book to book three it's all categorized randomly just to have some diversity and keep people's interest. But for example, if you're just a commercial re toucher, then obviously you do things look different, I do everything so you know that's that's my plan if you're looking for easy website resource thes air a few that view to recommend format squarespace, carbon made verb zen folio smugmug or having a ba hands portfolio our fantastic ways too easily set up web site before it was much harder to come up with websites if you had no web knowledge because there were only options like wicks and things like that where I'm not really a fan of but some of these options now are so beautiful and very easy, intuitive, so there's no reason not to have a really clean website for presentation for your clients and also having a blogger is so important. I can't tell you how many clients find you through your block just because of all the work you've been doing recently, and they actually follow you. Believe it or not, they follow you. And how many times have you used facebook, right? And you come up with a post or something you shared and knowing people like it or calling johnny, but the second they meet you the next time that oh, I love that you shared on your facebook wall like what you never you've never liked my post, you've never commented. So how are you stalking me? You know, they they are following you, whether you like it or not, and either for good reasons or bad reasons, so they are definitely paying attention. So keep up there with your block, even though you may not visibly see the results happened, there are worth it just so that you can keep updated with mohr work. Even though you can't put everything on your website, this prevents you from putting everything on your website have you seen those people where you have a website filled with everything they've ever done? You do want to be that person just how the best work there let it speak for itself, even if it's less than what you expect have it's totally fine it's better to have less and have quality than to have more with average work always, always, always okay, the importance of personality and retouching like I mentioned before, if you don't connect with the person you're working with on behind screen what's going to happen is it doesn't lend to a healthy relationship. You know, rita, she isn't about just the techniques it's, not even about just a personality it's about the working relationship, how I get along with the individual photographer. So I understand his vision. Do I understand? You know how he's declined to understand his sense of humor, things like that that makes the difference just like I mentioned being in a relationship with somebody you want to be able to understand each other because no matter how good you are as friends, it doesn't matter. It's what it's like being in a relationship and just equally being with the client. You wanna have that good working professional relationship not communicating with clients? The other question that comes up often is are you talking by phone? Are you talking by skype? You use email? Does do things get lost by email? I have mostly utilized email for the most part ninety percent of it comes through email this's a personal preference I say email because I can keep a paper trail of everything that ever said that has entered through their mouth or through their fingers in this case and I can then say, hey, you know what? There was a dispute but let's go back and see where the dispute wass if it's over the phone a lot of that gets lost now some people prefer the phone or skype which is totally fine but always follow up with a summary of that call identifying and listing out everything that you have discussed of the wise there's going to be problems especially if you work with multiple clans over time and as you know with clients sometimes payments come late and you have to either have a payment stipulation or, you know, agreement saying that payment should arrive here when it doesn't etcetera, etcetera so you can go back with an email or a summary and say, hey, we agreed to that you know, payment usual eight feet or whatever it is the case which is funny, right? Like they always expect work to be done yesterday but they're going to put you in the afterlife it always is the case they want it yesterday, but I'll get your payment later will be fine um it always happens you know with me personally I understand when that happens because they have to go through a multitude of levels just to get their payment on their when you work for companies and big commercial clients don't even expect payment two weeks later because it is not coming okay it's not on the way it's gonna be a while because with cos I think what happens is they get used to having ninety days for clearing checks and things and then they sent to the photographer as the retouching two things happened to me either the photographer will advance me the payment for the retouching portion up front because the company will then send them reimbursement for the team and he'll get paid later or he will also get paid later as well as ourselves so you know, it just goes both ways and you have to clear that with a client when you're working with them big thing to remember testing and working for free I still work for free sometimes I still test when I when I find a photographer that I think would be a great working relationship I don't go I cling onto their leg I'm like I want to work with you so I will test and I'll say you know I love your style I think it's important that we should work together let me let me show you I'm capable of and let me show you that just by looking at my work it's not enough I want to show you what I can do and how I can make you work better for you because people only realize that whenever you work on their images it really hits home right? Just like a photographer let's say that have you ever had your portrait taken by somebody has has turned out fantastic, you know, you never really understand the gift of photography till you're a subject of photography, right? It's until it's your wedding day or it's you know you're the recipient of it then you realise how amazing photography is because when you get that photo that you love so much, you'd realize how beautiful this art is we get so used to shooting other people and you see their reactions and we get numb from that reaction sometimes even though we really appreciate it right like let's see your wedding photographer you should multiple amount of weddings and you're just exhausted and yeah, I'm so happy you guys like the images and you know you take it for granted and whatever but and then let's see you get married and then you you're a recipient of those beautiful photos then you realise how amazing that gift is, so you know it's always that case and that's always why I like to test with the people that I want to build a relationship with is so that they could get an idea of what it is that I do and how it relates to them. So that's also why I test and still work for free sometimes it's not to say that you were working for free every time, and I still go to request that say, can you work for free? Just this one image? And then we we may consider, you know, that's really never, never the case that's only sometimes I feel like this is really gonna happen because there are people out there that will test and see if they can actually get stuff out of you. You know, it just depends on how serious they are and what the job is. So, you know, again, a few things to consider speed of business, unfortunately, our industry, you know, if I don't check my emails every, you know, for five hours, I'm going to get response to say, hey, did you get my e mail? Even now when I tell people I'm on the show? Hey, did you check your e mails during your break? Like, no, I didn't know we were discussing the show, so it does happen and you should understand this you shouldn't get mad it it should be understanding that clients they're going to be so demanding when it comes to receiving what they're looking for it's not a bad thing means they're excited they want to work with you they're interested and excited to see where you're coming from. So keep that in mind it's a twenty four seven industry people we still work on christmas we still work on holidays were shooting events for shooting weddings it doesn't matter what time of day was editing at three a m it's sunday morning and you know it's christmas eve or whatever you're still editing and you're opening presents while you're checking emails it happens you're on the beach like going to the bahamas right recently bereft operas and remember half the time a lot of us were on the beach were all checking emails while we're on the beach was the most ridiculous scene you've ever seen, but it happened and that made me realize this really encompasses our workaholic nature of this industry that's okay? Because we're passionate about what we do you know it's it comes with the territory it comes to the price of this beautiful idea of being able to do what you love full time, the perfect balance between professional and friendly like I mentioned earlier about professionalism and communication it's good to be friendly right? But at the same time you shouldn't overstep the boundary and be too personal, right? Do you have to maintain that distance? You notice people who are over friendly with stuff and chances are it kind of scares you away from working with them because they realize they're not professional. It comes down to business. So keep in mind it's still a business don't get too comfortable even though it is fun can't maintain that balance very important now working with another re toucher for me when I worked with another re toucher, I will work with one for a couple of reasons. Number one um, I worked with one of my colleagues nick nick lee lee, who is fantastic re toucher and one I found a whore with a lot of commercial projects and rebounds work back and forth and what happens is he will come in whenever I have a deadline that seemingly impossible. It allows me to meet the deadline allows me to give him what he's really good at and then also get were jobs. So it's not really a bad thing to collaborate with other colleagues, even if it's photography you know, I know a lot of wedding clients are wedding photographers who what they will do is expand their business, not by getting more for themselves. But by outsourcing the work that they do and having one umbrella or a name brand, so instead of marketing their work as their own work, they'll say, it's, where a group and we're a collective and they'll meet the client, we'll book the wedding and then have someone else go and shoot the wedding and making sure that there's still brand standard and having same quality from winning going so, you know, it's all individual approach, different marketing, marketing techniques and so forth, so working with other colleagues is not a bad thing, you know, we have we all have our individual strengths just like today, when we're discussing different tools and techniques, everyone has suggestions and it's beautiful, because, again, not everyone knows everything you know, we learn as we grow together in this industry and also why retouch is never get any credit in this field, and I'm gonna end with this because I honestly think that footage was considered a dirty little secret right before when for shop wasn't as well known photographers didn't want people to know that the images were photoshopped, which was okay, you know, I get it, however, because of the media and because the fact that so much negativity negativity attached to it, they've also shied away from showcasing that there's retouch is involved. However because of this has also been more education in the fact that retouching does happen and it's almost taken for granted there's more transparency within the field therefore now returns to start to get more credit you'll start noticing it on the line in the credit I mean also sometimes you don't get you don't have craze for assistance individual something you don't have creds for stylist you know a lot of people in the team that don't get credit for the main people that they focus on however it doesn't mean that you know we don't want it I want credit magazine I don't care what any of the re toucher says I want credit right so it's not to say that we don't and they only care about money I personally would love credit I think it's fantastic it shows a lot of class when you are coded for the work you've done I think just common sense so that's all I have for you guys today from my presentations you guys have any questions so I was one of these high end photographer said l a was being interviewed on tv and he was asked what is your favorite lens and his answer was my re toucher that's amazing that's incredible great just what I believe you had one of those situations where you didn't get credit for something that you were upset about our something happened where how do you handle situations like that well, I have come to know and expect never to get credit so that's my mentality when I do it's a real honor that's how I approach it so never do I expect credit or anything I'm gonna take kurt for granted for anything you know, but when I do concur it it really shows that I'm valued and I think that's great sometimes we don't have a choice maybe the photographer wants to credit us but the editors like no there's, no space for the code or there's no space for the line things like you know, very humbling speaking of humbling you know we all think to a certain degree that we offered is quite nice, you know? But depending on who you ask for example, I think mentions before I was working one day and my mother had come in and seen what I was doing I said, look at how good this is for some reason I felt like it was a really good piece I was proud of and she looked at said no xiros air just horrible right? And she said, I was like, man, that was harsh, right? Even my client was happy with that so you know, it was a humbling thing never forget that you know, what we do isn't amazing all the time and it's okay to be in perfect what we do question when you were on the commercial editorial because you said that or some retouching difference right? So commercial I find that a lot off like lootings and things you need to keep the tone and colors exact but how do you keep your photograph er's signature to touch of your color tone and everything in your commercial are you basically don't keep it I don't know how would you go about it yeah a lot of commercial work so specific that sometimes they will send me all the color work on layers and I want to actually demonstrate this because I think that it was very important talking about color work and I remember hearing this and whether chat rooms about let's see here just a second I know this is getting a little attention however um it'll be a quick demonstration let me say open slow j peg just for fun I think we have we're on a deadline here guys all right so say that we do something in regard to color where we have you know whatever let's say something someone tweeting and right now is going to freak out okay let's say we do something like this were multiple layers right? They will keep this in a folder on the psd and what they can do is they will keep this in a folder and then deliver that folder with the psd so I don't have to bother the colors it comes from them, like joey l, who sent us these images. When he worked on this set, he actually sent over his color work, and he said, work on the image, but don't touch my color work and that's perfect, because he had the control. Look, he wanted the sharpness and everything. Just work on the skin. So that's, basically, how I maintain that if it was up to me, then it's, just based on my preference. But if they don't have a reference than it's, kind of random it's, basically the same things. Editorial. I just try to keep things looking as normal and close the neutral as possible. I try not to have tents and tones and good carry away with that.

Class Description

One of the biggest challenges a photographer faces is the amount of time spent on retouching images. Creating a beautiful high-end finished photo requires the right tools and techniques — but the process doesn’t need to dominate your workflow.

Join international retoucher Pratik Naik, owner of Solstice Retouch, as he shares his secrets for creating beautiful photos in less time. You will also learn the business and marketing side of retouching — everything from working with clients to creative branding opportunities.

During a live photo shoot, Pratik works with photographer Felix Kunze, demonstrating how photographers and retouchers can work together to craft a final product that exceeds the expectations of both parties. You’ll learn every single step of the retouching process by watching as Pratik turns Felix’s raw photos into high-quality images.

Whether you’re a photographer who wants to present high-end final images to your clients, or you want to break into the world of retouching, Pratik will provide you with the skills necessary to be the best at your craft.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 14.2, Adobe Lightroom 5



Really wonderful course, thanks. May I suggest a fantastic idea for maybe those who purchase the course? It would be extremely useful to be provided with a summary of the content of each video segment, perhaps a 30-60 second video with written 'dot-point' sheet at the end of each segment, to be reviewed at a later time. It just takes too long to replay each video to get the important messages. The notes provided by Pratik were a step in the right direction but they need more detail of what was presented, including tips and tricks, in each segment. In this way, once having watched the entire course, you could go back and review the nitty-gritty aspects of each segment quickly and efficiently. These quick 'summary' clips could make up a separate 15 minute video, recapping in detail the hard-core content of the course, without interruptions from questions. This would be extremely useful and hopefully not take the presenter too long to film. I feel this would be a wonderful 'added value' aspect of buying the course, as it would not be available for for free viewing. It would certainly encourage me to buy more of the available courses. Keep up the great work at Creative Live! I have stopped my Kelby subscription and just watch you guys now!! Well done!! Peter Bourne Australia


Pratik has been a revelation and a revolution at the same time, even kinda a benediction because of its huge generosity to show us such an efficient and powerful workflow. His genial approach turns impossible things into possible. What amazed me most, was Pratik ability to see further the shot and take the best of it to reach the perfection. The original photo is still there, very recognizable, but through a precise and meaningful workflow, it becomes eye-catching, high quality, high impact. Pratik is a wonderful person, very genuine, high talented, with a sophisticated sense of the aesthetics and arts. This course changed drastically my way to look at photoshop and at the retouching techniques. Thank you!!

user d3cdf7

I have been a retoucher since 1992 and a commercial photographer and I am amazed at the wealth of information Pratik is teaching us. Love his great sense of humor. Yes, retouching takes me way into the early part of the morning...up to 4 am. I've learned to listen to Books on DVD from the library which help my attitude much better. Several degrees behind me and I know I was meant to make a difference with portrait photography. NO ONE wants reality, especially at elder ages. So I continue to learn to retouch professionally and not use a quick retouch filter which renders a fake look. I may incorporate a light retouching filter, but I find I must always do some manual retouching first, in order to have the appearance look real. Which is the old first rule to retouching itself. In the film days, I use to make my own texture screens in order to create more beautiful faces. My photographer friends would ask for my help in using them, when they had blurred an important celebrity shot. The texture screen would help spread the dots and give the appearance of your digital noise now. The results were the image looked more focused Thank you Pratik Naik, for being so generous with your techniques. I am interested in how to price out retouching jobs, as I have been told I give my retouching away with my photography. Thanks,, Jeri Goodwin-Akari cherished moments photography in walla walla, WA