Casting Cards vs In Person


The Business of Professional Photo Retouching


Lesson Info

Casting Cards vs In Person

I would like to talk a second about casting, and how this can cause troubles for fires, these are how fires start. So this was Tyler that we shot yesterday, this is his model card, these are his shots, and then this is who shows up. Now that's pretty close to what he looks like. He didn't gain any weight, really, he's about the same size, he's a little denser, so there's going to be a little more retouching in here. So this is actually pretty decent. We often find jobs that they cast off a card, versus casting in person, and what happens is the model shows up and the model no longer looks like that card. Because, you know, it's expensive to print cards, they gain weight, they lose weight, they cut their hair or things happen. And I want to talk a little bit about why this happens. It's money. So to cast off a card is a pretty limited amount of money. Someone just goes through their cards, you get emails, and you pick someone. How much is casting in person? Casting in person in LA for a...

print shoot, not a video shoot, roughly ballpark figure I got is $3,500 minimum and that's like for a four hour casting. That's a lot of money. And then, wait, who's going to decide? Is it an agency person going to do that casting? Well agency is often in Chicago and the photo shoot and the photographer is in LA. What, you're going to fly someone to LA for a casting? And then pay their rate and pay their per diem? And pay their hotel? Maybe not. And so you cast off a card and what ends up happening, is you get, not in this get, but you get someone who doesn't look like what you thought. And you got to work on that. Now, why I wanted to talk about that is money, and again I'm not paying for that. I'm not paying for that mistake, and I want to know in advance, you know the client can pay for it, it was their mistake, they pay for it. But, too, I had kind of a ... I don't know, I'm going to tell the story. There was a little snarky comment about a portrait class I did, and there was a gal with freckles and we took the freckles off. And, oh, why didn't you just shoot someone else? Why didn't you just shoot someone else? Why did you take her freckles off? And it made me want to talk a little about this retouching world and people make comments like that. Well, why did you do that? Why didn't you get someone else? When someone's a model, they're not, you know this is not a picture for him to send to his grandma, it's not about him, it's about the product he's choosing to represent, he's getting paid to represent that. So you almost become a thing, and I don't mean that in a disrespectful way, but you're really designed to be a vehicle for the product. And photographers make all kinds of decisions. Someone it's vibe, it's a look in their eye, it's a way they behave, it's shape, who knows what it is, and yet sometimes there might be some characteristic that doesn't fit for that product. It's not a judgment call, it's just that it doesn't fit. And so when we're talking about retouching we get a lot of flack in our industry about, oh, you're ruining people and you're doing that. Well sometimes, first of all, it's not our decision. It's the product producer who wants what they want. But sometimes it's just about a vibe they're trying to present, it's not about ruining someone's identity. So, that was a little preachy, sorry about that, but casting on cards versus in person, that is a question you want to ask when you're bidding a job. And I'm not sure I was clear about this, we often bid jobs before they're in. Why do we do that? Because the photographer who is hiring us will call us up and say, hey I'm up for a job and the job is 35 folks on a seamless for a nursing catalog, I need to put a retouching estimate in. 80% of what I do is estimating on a job that is not in. And I always ask, are you casting off cards or are you casting in person? Because I know that the minute the job is in, I better be checking for extra problems to augment the estimate before I start the job.

Class Description

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.


Bill Buckley

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.

Kari A. Youkey

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 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!

a Creativelive Student

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!