Pre Shoot Communication


The Business of Professional Photo Retouching


Lesson Info

Pre Shoot Communication

So we're gonna move on. So here's how this is gonna work, and it's a little interesting, I think. Simon is gonna be the retoucher onset and he's gonna be in his position. Why thank you. Go ahead and scoot on over there, darlin'. I am, think of me as a fantasma, I'm not actually here. I'm gonna be walking through the set and talking about what you're looking for. Please note that when you're on a job, you would not be doing this. The retoucher has no right to walk in to a set and make changes and make demands. You don't do that. I'm gonna show you what we're looking for, and how I'm gonna talk to the photographer, and give direction how I would really do it and then, hopefully give you guys some ideas. So I'm gonna invite Casey on, he's our photographer. Yay, our fabulous photographer. And, one of the things I wanna talk about is when you're starting a job with a photographer, you wanna definitely communicate with him. The key thing is he is the captain of the ship and you need to k...

now your position. He is captain, or she is captain and that is it. There's the rule. You're gonna pretend you're a first mate today, aren't you, isn't that what you said? True story. Which is really awesome. And what you wanna do when you're working with a photographer is you wanna set up and say, alright, honey. You may call him honey, I call him honey. How do you want me to talk to you during the set? So what you wanna do is establish some rules, because what's gonna happen is, imagine the retoucher is over here, seeing, oh crap, the hair is in the wrong spot. Or, oh, we're having a really big wardrobe issue. We can't have him look bad to his client. He's the captain of the ship, he's responsible for the whole gig. I can't make him look bad. So we need to establish in advance how do I talk to you and not make you look bad, and make sure that we correct the problem. As many of you, as photographers, know, when you're shooting, look he's responsible for vibe and getting what's needed, and what's the exposure, and my god is the catering truck there, where's the client, is the client happy? How much time is this studio? Oh, we're about to go into overage. He's got so much going on in his mind. Chances are he's not looking, is her hair on the shoulder? Is the hair not on the shoulder? Did I cover that? Did I cover this? Did I cover that? Dare I say it's kinda not your job. Right, yeah. Like you said, exposure, composition, and the emotion that's coming through is what I'm looking for the most. Right. So, can I ask you a question? If you had a retoucher on set, how do you think you would like to be approached to fix something right when you're in the middle of a shoot? I think, for me, I would rather hear about it. Because it is something that, if we can fix it right away, and that's exactly why they're brought onto set, is to look for that thing. So if I'm not looking for it and they see something, I want to make sure that, at least that they would come near me. So that if I'm just wrapping something up or we get to a point where there is a good stop, that, you know, you could step in, or the retoucher could step in and we could fix that just right away and to have that shot, have that coverage. So one of the things that I do with my photographers is I have a shoot list. They have their shoot list, I have my shoot list and they're often different shoot lists. And what I do is before he kills any kind of lighting, 'cause you know when you do a shoot you often have multiple setups you do. When he thinks he's done, we've already made an agreement that he's like, are we cool? And if we're not cool, then we redo it with whatever corrections. But you have to set that up in advance and you have to let them drive the boat. And you have to be willing to have him say, no, we're moving on. That's it, no. And there might be a hundred reasons, you might be noticing the model's getting tired, it's not working, you've got another issue. So you're gonna have to be flexible in this area.

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!