The Business of Professional Photo Retouching

 

Lesson Info

Build Your Network

Someone just alluded to the tag-teaming with someone, you can tell that's his languaging. He and I work because I'm a morning, he's a night so that works out well. This section, the back-up team players if an emergency arises, what if you get sick and you have a deadline? A larger job comes on and you wanna take it but you don't have the skillset? Not skillset, I'm sorry, Just even manpower, you need five of you. Or a deadline shortens? I would like to encourage everyone to start building a network of re-touchers. We are a weird group of people. We love each other. Designers are, some people can be really competitive and they kinda hide, they don't want you to see their, Re-toucher's really freakish. "Hey, can I help you?" I will have friends, and I kid you not, I have friends, finishers, re-touchers, where I'll be working on a job and I can't figure it out. Like a color curve is really difficult. And I send a tiny little piece of it and I'm like, "God, I can't fix that skin tone." "Ah...

yeah, send it to me." They make a curve and they email it back to me and I just drag it into my file. We do that kinda stuff. We're those kinda people. We are. We are. I don't know why. So you guys should start now. There's people right next to you. There's people in your life. Start now. Start building a network. That way when you get a bigger job, We get bigger jobs all the time and we call other finishers and we're like, "Hey, can you work over the weekend? "Do you want a freelance job at night?" And then they're calling me still. I don't say no, I say yes and I build the team out. Oh, the sick thing. That's a really good one. Yeah. Yeah, do you remember the Oculus? I wasn't sick for Oculus, Cole was sick. My son got really sick and I had a job in, and that hair job came in. We weren't even going out then. That was before that. Aww, you just did it cause you liked me. I was able to call him and have him do the job. And that was really, I'm gonna tell a story real quick. Go ahead. It was really akward. So, it was at Oculus job. The hair is exquisite. If you look at the high res, it's gorgeous. Frankly, I couldn't have done it that good but I don't wanna admit that. It was such a good job, I couldn't own it. I couldn't turn it in and say I kicked some holy booty. I couldn't. I couldn't do it. So what I did is I turned it in and she was raving about how beautiful it looked and I just said, "I have a confession. "My son got really sick, I couldn't do it, "Simon did it." Cause he works for them occasionally. That flew like the Hindenburg. That did not go well at all. She was furious. Absolutely furious. And I got really confused. I was like, "Well, you loved the job, "what do you care "that someone else did it? "Why should that matter?" But it mattered. I still to this day don't know why that mattered but it really taught me a lesson. It taught me a lesson like if I'm gonna outsource, it might not be the best idea for me to say that I outsourced. So keep that in mind with your clients. He had signed the confidentiality with that agency so it wasn't that kind of reason. I'm not quite sure why it didn't fly but it didn't fly. If you're gonna outsource, you may or may not want to tell people you're gonna outsource. If you're gonna outsource and you're on a nondisclosure, you cannot outsource without that person signing that NDA. Okay? So these are some little tricky parts but please, I think the crux of this section right here that I really wanna stress is build a network. The other thing about this, and I think you'll agree, I originally thought that having a network, or farming out to other people, or giving jobs to other people meant I would not get called. And you know what happened? Those people called me for jobs. It's the weirdest thing. My job expanded by me giving away jobs. So that's another thing to consider. And, one other note on that same issue-- Sharing tips works like that. Yeah. Or re-touchers will know other re-touchers who, once they get a little sweet thing they kinda hang onto it and don't share it. You know? I don't want you to know my secrets. But the other folks who do share, what happens is it gets shared out and when folks appreciate it, they're share back with ya. So now you've given it away and they're like, "Oh dude, you know about this little thing?" I was like, "No." So you shared that and you improved yourself. Yeah, it's not scarcity. It's this. It's open up. Things come from it. Jobs come. You got me that job at BLT, which was my favorite job I've ever had. I use to work at a company called Metaphor Imaging. It was a premiere finishing house. I felt all very hoity-toity. I was teaching at UCLA Extension and teaching Photoshop, and MacroMedia Director, and Illustrator. I had a student there. She was lovely. And she said, "Oh, I work at a really tiny agency "in the Hollywood Hills and it's all gals. "You should come work there." And I was like, "(scoff) I work at Metaphor Imaging. "I'm not gonna go to some small house." Well, I go back to Metaphor Imaging and I had a bit of a disagreement about the job flow with the owners. It went very badly and I realized I didn't want to work there anymore. This student, a student, talk about your network, a student had referred me to a job. I called up, I went for an interview. That job was amazing. We did Flubber, I ended up buying my house because of it. Because of a student that happened to say something. And that's what I mean by network. You never know. Someone in this audience, someone in the audience out there is gonna meet someone you'll never know. And all of a sudden you'll have a whole new career because you networked. Cool? That is a little preachy. But anyway. It was lovely, what are you talking about? Anyway, that's my point. Network, network, network. So important. Yeah. And so important to be reiterated over and over and I was thinking about where you can find networking opportunities too. Yeah. So let's do some questions everyone. Go ahead. [Female Audience Member] I do have a question. I'm still stuck back on your smart object layer. When you said to drag it, not to drag and drop it in but to ... Was that like, would you duplicate your layer from another spot? No. Excellent. So a great question. Thank you for asking. And I know it was a little extra ball I lobbed out there that might not have been kind. Alright. When you work on a smart object, if you import a smart object into Photoshop, that is a JPEG. It's flat and it has to stay flat. It has to stay JPEG. A smart object has to stay what it was originally designed to be or you have to replace it. What many people do is they will take it from the desktop and drag it into Photoshop and it will stay that format. Well, there's not a job I've had where I haven't had to edit the smart object that's inside Photoshop. So if I double click on that layer and open it and I edit it, put some layers on it, I have to flatten it in order for it to go back into Photoshop exactly in size and rotation and position. I don't wanna do that. I want to be able to save the edit. Lets say for example I have a picture of this water. It's a JPEG, it's stock shot from Adobe Stock. And you ask me to put clouds in the water. If you've already put it in your comp, or I've already put it in comp as a flat JPEG and I open it and I do all that cloud work, I have to flatten it before I can save it. Because I dragged it off the desktop. Hopefully that makes sense. [Female Audience Member] So where do you-- Oh I open, oh okay. So how do I get around that? Excellent. How I get around that problem is I open the stock shot first, make it a layer, a floating layer not a flat JPEG, and then I make it a smart object and put it in. And then saved as a Photoshop document. So it goes from a JPEG and then you save it as a-- It just has to be a layer. Photoshop document which is allowing layers. And then from there everything's gold. Thank you. [Female Audience Member] So can it be then a duplicate layer to that new file? Yeah, but you don't need to do that. You just drag it over, but yeah. Yeah, if you want to duplicate it, yeah you can. Or you can just drag it over. As long as it's not a background flat layer. It needs to be a floating layer. That's an excellent question. Thank you for that.

Create your own retouching business from the ground up. In this class, one of Hollywood¹s hottest retouchers reveals the secrets to designing your own business. Lisa Carney walks through the steps needed to start and run a smooth business while keeping your clients engaged and happy. Whether you’re looking to work with photographers, agencies or even bill for post production - you’re bound to find valuable insight into the world of photo retouching.

This class covers:

  • Defining the type of retoucher you want to be
  • Solutions for the problems you’ll encounter on shoots and in post production
  • Communication techniques for clients
  • Secrets for setting realistic expectations from markups through revisions
  • Pricing your services and handling billing issues
  • Emergency tips for when jobs go off the rails

Get the inside scoop from a true insider. You’ll finish this class knowing how to construct a profitable photo retouching business model AND develop the tools to sustain it.

 
 
 
 

Reviews

  • I'm a photographer who wants to be as good at Photoshop as possible. In my field few retouchers get hired, so it's all on me. Plus my creative vision cannot be accomplished by photography alone. Not to mention that in the field, as a photographer I can't always be perfect. Photoshop to the rescue. This is possibly THE best class I've purchased on Creative Live, and they've all been good. Great insight, entertaining, well taught Lisa and Simon were awesome. Bought more LC tutorials based on this course.
  • This course just opened my world. I started ( back in the Jurassic era) as an illustrator/drafter ( pen and ink), then CAD programmer, then GIS analyst with photoshop just coming onto the scene then...got pregnant and unplugged focusing on parenting and my inner artist. I was gifted an IPad 6 years ago in the mist of my Taxi Mom years. My favorite ‘hobby’ became manipulating images and an addiction to Adobe apps. Now, In my new empty nest status, I have been trying to figure out my next direction in life....and CreativeLive has been a wonderful resource to explore different creative opportunities, feeling somewhere between photography and graphic design, I wanted to ‘paint’ photos with my tool of choice the tablet, not the camera. ...but it wasn’t until this course that I clicked with an Aha! I don’t have to become an photographer? I could get paid to retouch? Other people’s photos?.....and, I have a work history skill set that backs it up! Thank you so much for this course! Loved the instructors and how they shared their experiences and knowledge. You two have just provided a wonderful map and whole new path to explore and inspired a much needed creative spark to get back to work❤️. Thank You!
  • Lisa knocked it out of the ball park again! Amazing work Lisa and Simon! I just can't find the many words that express how much I gain with each and every course she teaches. Once again, a wealth of information that was given in a down to earth manner. I absolutely love her teaching style! Amazing course Lisa and Simon, awesome job!