The Business of Professional Photo Retouching

Lesson 44/54 - Delivering Final Files

 

The Business of Professional Photo Retouching

 

Lesson Info

Delivering Final Files

So let's talk about delivery, now you've done the job, you've checked your files, you're happy, your naming convention is right on the money, you've cropped intelligently and now you're gonna deliver. So use your client's transfer protocol, this can be really frustrating, and what we mean by that is, look, we're Dropbox folks, we love us some Dropbox, folks. I have some clients, they're Box folks, they like Box, I can't stand Box, they love it. Some people are Hightail, well iMessage is, a li'l security issue but it's one of those things. So who is your client and what's there, you have one, they're Fetch folk, FTP, FTP. They like to use FTP. Use your client's, now that is not always fun, but, it's theirs, do not be a pain in the butt, be agreeable, use what they want. Have some backups, 'cause I have clients, who prefer something other than Dropbox, and they're like, nah we use it, it works fine for everyone and I'm like, I don't know what it is between me, and your stuff dude, ...

ana every time I get it, I grab screen grabs, here's my alert I'm gettin', he goes ha, that's kinda goofy. I's like yep, we do this every time, you wanna do it again, we'll do it again. He goes, what did we do last time? I said, you sent it to me on Dropbox and I got going, and he was like, alright let's do that one more time, Yeah. and I was like, do it, You gotta be careful, try your client's protocol first, and have backups, so Wetail, Hightail, there might be some security issues but, have some backup plans, and then on top of that, have some logistical, no kidding, someone gets in a car, delivery plans. So while I lived in France, I had retoucher friends in the area that were my backup. So if need be they could get a file to someone, and that was a good, and then, if you can run a test run to so, before everyone's behind and waitin' for your file, and it's now 18 gigs, man just throw somethin' at 'em, just go do a test, it's like here's a screen grab, in the email, I just had it, I sent it to you, all the way through did you get it? Check on your FTP, did you get it, Check on your Hightail, your Dropbox, did you get it? Did everything work? Do that way early. Do that when you get the job, that is so smart, I don't think of that, that's a really good idea, Yeah. Do a test run when no one's mad at you yet. Alright, now on the other thing about transfer and sending, we're required to send layered files, and we're doing a job, we send it. They say send the layered file, that's gonna take 40 minutes, I mean it could take some time. I always send a flat TIFF first, and say please start with this. Yeah, yeah we need the layered file. Yeah darlin', I know you need the layered file. Here is the flat TIFF, could you print that, and start the process, because, nine times out of 10, there's revisions. Of course there's revisions, I don't wanna wait for them, to wait for the fully layered file to come, for them to print it, then say, oh, can you change her eye color? And then, I have to send it all over again. So I often encourage them to start with the flat TIFF, and tell them the layered file is on it's way. Yep. Good practice. Hard drives, so, I get stuck on this all the time, this is really embarrassing, I'm gonna admit to something, I never have clean hard drives ready, Do you know what I mean? They always have something on 'em, They're not clean, have a few little, even thumb drives, hard drives that are clean, so you're not re-formatting or trying to erase, when the driver is there, or the client is there, and you need to give them a file. I know it's a crazy little thing but I have a few, You get to charge for it, you're gonna charge 'em for their delivery method. But jeez, have a few, and on photo shoots, this is a really big thing I like to do. I like to in advance, ask when I'm comping on a set. Am I the one responsible for giving the client the files, chances are yes, chances are, I need to give them a hard drive of those files, and you wanna charge for them, so you wanna have that in your bill in advance, when you're on set, 'cause oh, oftentimes what will happen is, when I'm comping on set, the entire photo shoot comes to me, and I've retouched a few of 'em, I'm responsible for giving the whole job, not the digi-tech, but me, it's happened a few times, so have some hard drives, and know to sell it, and mark them up. Can we just go back a little bit more to, we had several questions on backup, and so I just wanna make sure, Okay. We understand your backup system because, you're doing all this different client work, are you responsible for backing, all of that up forever or, and how many backups do you have? Do you put them in the Cloud for the long term. These are really great questions, All of that. Alright. Chalk and cheese here, cheese, chalk, chalk and cheese. I'm gonna go first then you can go second, how's that sound, Please do. Awesome, Knock yourself out. Alright, and I have different philosophy, than other people, first of all, with my clients, I establish that I am not archiving the jobs for them, I tell them in advance, I am not an archivist, I don't do that, I don't want that job. But I tell them, so you wanna inform, so I let them know they're responsible for that. I save everything, I save everything, I save every layered file, every version, of every layered file, and when my backup drives become too much, I have on order, it's like a 22 terabyte drive, I've got eight terabyte drives, for my image library, I've got two 16 terabyte drives, for my work backup, I'm a freak, I've spent a lot of time. Everything used to be on individual hard drives, over the years, he saves nothing, it's actually crazy, so I save every layered file, he saves, flat versions, correct?, Or one layered file? Yeah the last layered file, Yeah. I do use Dropbox, I use Dropbox as a working function too, so I work locally, but I save to Dropbox, in case we're traveling, so working, current jobs are on Dropbox, and I the Pro version of Dropbox, the Cloud scares me, I have my personal photos on the Cloud, I have brushes, inci-dary things you use in Photoshop, gradient maps and stuff, I have that on the Cloud. I don't have any jobs on the Cloud. I probably need to get over myself, that might be a technological adjustment. And how 'bout you mister, what do you save besides nothing. Very little, I mean, I go through, I keep things efficient man, I told you about my color coding my jobs, once it goes into red means it's done, and the invoice is out, as soon as I get paid, then the invoice goes into a paid file, and that job gets taken down, I won't hang onto scans that went for it, or any notes or anything but I will hang onto, at least the last layered whip, and maybe a version, and I'll hang onto that for quite some time, just in case they call up, and it's only one time ever, have they ever called back up after the job's over, and said hey do you still have that file. So one time in 20 years, Yeah. That's good so, I pretty have much, four years of a lot a work on just, a little transfer, Passport hard drive. Yeah. But each one in there has one file from one job, Yeah, and I have one copy now, one copy of the files, I have never opened up an old job, other than for educational purposes, to teach from, never for professional reasons on a job. I do however have CrashPlan, so I use CrashPlan, So CrashPlan I use, it's all for immediate jobs, it's for what's going on right now, I'm not using CrashPlan for archiving purposes, I'm using it in case, heaven forbid, something happens on the job I'm working on this week, and it dies, I'm using that for email, and accounting, that kind of stuff, context, so I do use CrashPlan and I'm sorry, I don't know how much it's a month, but I do have a version of that. Okay, great. Cool. Thank you. Excellent. Great so I'm not sure if there's anything, we need to cover on this, that we haven't already covered. That FTP site, one other thing came up, in my head and it was back to the dry run, whatever transfer you're gonna do, don't wait 'til the last, when you're sendin' big files, to find out there's a problem sendin' a little baby file. My last job I had to go back to FTP, so this client had a lotta security, and they couldn't use anything but, a dedicated FTP server, and it'd been a while, since I'd used one so I was like alright, you gotta punch in the username, password, and all that kinda stuff, so it took a little bit of a learning curve, and I wish I woulda done that earlier in the job, rather than later, so I got bit by my own words there. Yeah, yeah that's good to know, and then on this, again the physical delivery, I think that is sum'n you gotta keep in mind, just in the back of your head, and here's where I've gotten in big trouble, on the physical delivery, the messenger, in LA it's expensive, it is crazy expensive, and to be honest, I of late, keep forgetting, to negotiate that, at the beginning. And so who's FedEx are you using? And then the bill goes up so, I'm not very good at being careful about this, so you should be, when you're doing your estimate and when you do your job, if there's FedEx-ing involved, you wanna ask them for their FedEx number in advance, so that you're not trying to get paid later. Getting paid after the fact's really hard. Isn't it? Yeah it is. There are messenger services, and when I lived in LA before, I had an account with a messenger service, and I used them, and then I just, decided I didn't wanna deal with that, and I put the onus on the client now. Too much to think about. I did a physical delivery when I was workin' for Dawn, at Dazzoo Yeah. And I was her assistant, I would normally forget some things, I was a little scatter brained back then, for different reasons but, she was like, hey this one comp, make sure you take special care a it, don't let anything spill on it, like last time, I said okay, so maybe we had 10 different comp's, and I put that one way up here, on the shelf behind me so, I made sure nothin' would spill on it. She was like, hey we have all our comps in the presentation? Yeah, you sure? Sure. Everything gets mounted, gets shipped off, Dawn and all the other Art Director's take off in a car, and they go down for this big presentation, down at Paramount, 20 minutes later I get a call, she was like, hey remember that comp, we were gonna be real careful about? I was like yeah, she goes, how come it's not in this presentation? I was like, I'll be down in five minutes. I jumped on and just lane-split like a crazy person man, on this motorcycle, it was back before even helmets, I didn't even need a helmet, it just like went up the back a my t-shirt, I go runnin' in, can you give this to-- You can't end her action, Dawn Titlebaum please? But, Yeah. That was one of those have a backup kinda things, you know, Yeah. At what length are you willing to go. Yeah, Made my bones on that, lane split, Yean, I was down there fast, So yeah I think that's, Yeah, we have stories, deliver. Again, I wanna reiterate, it doesn't sound, very super sexy but as you were saying, you can often lose the race, right at the end. It's a delivery thing, I have lived in places where Internet is spotty, I lived in the backwoods of France, Internet was very spotty, I had to drive for three hours, to get to Periguex to go send a file, because Inviseral the Internet went out. We have a place in Truckee and when it snows, sometimes the Internet goes out, but I will tell you I know all the spots I can go to, within a five to 10 to 20 mile radius, and that's my job, and it's because, I want to be able to go to the snow, I want to be in the middle of France, in the middle of nowhere, that I made sure, I knew where I could go as a backup. Yeah, when I go to my Dad's house in Maryland, his Internet is okay and then sometimes not okay, and I check with my sister that's 10 miles away, it's like hey, if things go nutty down here at Dad's, can I jump up, up to you, she's like yeah. There's another time that I had two jobs in, and the Internet was workin' a little spotty, so I called up my son and he's like, hey Dad what's up, and I was like, hey you know that really sweet lookin' race car, Daddy just bought you, and he's like yeah, I said why'nt you drive that down to here, and let me give you a hard drive, 'cause you're gonna take it down into Beverly Hills, and deliver that for me, so that I can work on the second job, and he was like, alright I'll be right there. Yeah, use your children, that's our motto. Awesome, so many words of wisdom from you two, love it, okay, couple questions that have come up through the class, that we have a few minutes to get to, One is from Alejandro, when we were talkin' about, our color corrections and the order of things, that you do them in, and the question was, what happens if color corrections were done, in a different program such as Lightroom, and then transferred to Photoshop, do you ever work in Lightroom or are you just in Photoshop? In terms of knowing what's been done. You wanna let me have this, Okay Lightroom is the-- He's gonna ask you what is Lightroom, so that's gonna answer that question immediately, no baby, let me have this one, Alright, it's all you, Alright, Yes this happens, I work with photographer's, and they do work in Lightroom all the time, so what I have worked out with my, and I'm gonna say this correctly, I will have my photographer save out a DNG, when that photographer saves out, from Lightroom, a DNG, I then open that file in camera raw in Photoshop, and I save out the XMP that camera raw will create, from the DNG and I save that out, and you will actually see that in my asset folders, you'll see a Lightroom document, a DNG, and then you'll see the XMP, and I'll label it, illustrated look or opening file from client DNG, even though it's XMP, so yes, the answer is yes I do it all the time, client saves a DNG out, I open that DNG in camera raw, and save out an XMP. Love it, I got it straight, yes, Thank you, you did, Thank you, and another one that had come in from Kay Walker, this is when we were talking about, how to kind of track your time for jobs, and she says for tracking times spent on jobs, how 'bout using the history log in Photoshop, which is found in Preferences, is that a back tool that you could use potentially? I don't use it to the extent it can be, Yeah I-- With the whole history, brush and stuff, Yeah, but that's actually, I feel like, that's more about tracking moves, and my moves aren't important, did I use a clone tool, do I use the heal tool, did I use an adjustment layer, it doesn't matter for my process, and I do not wanna, disrespect how this person is, perhaps using it, for me it kinda doesn't give me the information I need, what I need is a timestamp, I need to know how much time I spent, and we've already discussed, my energy level's a little freaky deaky here, I often will work on a job, get a call for a second one, I pause that one, I open my second one, I do a quick revision on that one and then I close it, and open a third one for a second, get that goin', okay and now I'm on a second one, the history log would die, it would just not work, for someone like me in my workflow, so what I end up doing is, I have a piece of paper off to the side, or actually it's a notebook, and I'm flippin' that thing, but it's a little analog, great, Yeah, Okay, one more, from Deb, how do you feel about hoods on monitors? I know we talked about how you guys have your setup at home, but is there a reason to use one of those? Keeps the reflection out, and I know folks who really like that, and they'll make a big stink if they go into a shop, and they don't have a hood on theirs, but I've kind of done so much with so little for so long, that I can kinda get along with anything anymore, except for our house, I'm in front of the picture window, and when the sun comes up at a certain time, I get the light through the picture window, and then it just gets too reflective for me to work, and I got bit on a job that was very, very dark, and there was a couple things I missed in the shadows, so, that's when I put up the shade, and double shade and coupla curtains, so for me as long as the reflections aren't, givin' me troubles then I'm fine without a hood, but I think some folks use it for like, actually calibratin' color, Yeah, Okay, so what, And that's outta me, Yeah you can find folks who like to wear fancy clothes, and then you got people who like to wear jeans, I'm a jean person, so what I mean by that is, I'm not into all the bells and whistles and the equipment, when a hood is necessary, a hood is necessary, and that's an environmental issue, so that depends on the room you are in, and the colors of the walls and the lights, so if you need a hood, you need a hood, however my hood is cardboard, literally if I need a hood, I go and I get a cardboard box, and I put it around and, so yes, hoods are fantastic and if you wanna pay the money for 'em, awesome possum, and if you don't, cardboard is fantastic, I also have Gator-Board, black Gator-Board, and I'll put that on, sometimes when I need it, or put it up just at the time I need it.

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.

Reviews

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 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!

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!