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Retouchers at Photoshoots Overview

Lesson 13 from: The Business of Professional Photo Retouching

Lisa Carney, Simon Peter Raible

Retouchers at Photoshoots Overview

Lesson 13 from: The Business of Professional Photo Retouching

Lisa Carney, Simon Peter Raible

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Lesson Info

13. Retouchers at Photoshoots Overview


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Who Should Be a Retoucher?


Genres of Retouching


Comp vs Finish


Lisa's Path to Retouching


Simon's Path to Retouching


Establishing a Look


Who is The Client?


Lesson Info

Retouchers at Photoshoots Overview

So what are we doing for the pre shoot? This is all about managing expectations. Managing clients' expectations, managing photographers' expectations, managing what you can and can't do. I really wanna stress what we're talkin' about today, right now, is pre shoot. This is, you have the ability to go in in advance and say, "Hey, look out for this, do this" This is not post, you've got the job and you gotta deal with the results. So we were talkin' about all the times in our careers where we got bit. The stuff we'll learn as things go wrong. We compiled all this and made up one dreamscape of a photo shoot where all our wishes came true as a retoucher. Every little problem that we've always had, we're gonna correct for. We're gonna call it out and correct for it here. This would be the way things would go were we to run the world. Yeah, I say that's pretty accurate. And you said something really telling. He said "little problems." What we're gonna show you are tiny little things that...

add up to so much money. I feel out there in TV Land there's gonna be some folks who think, "Oh, no, that stuff's really obvious." I assure you, this is not getting done on photo shoots. I 100% assure you. So, we've got a pre shoot checklist that we're gonna discuss with the photographer, with the retoucher, and with the stylist. And what that means is what are you telling the photographer that you need? What is, you as the retoucher, what's your checklist? What do you need to have? The stylist, the stylist is so important. Would you agree that stylists are well overlooked? Yeah, they can save you and I a lot of time if they-- 100%. Work to be aware of what we needed. And also be aware of what costs us time. So it's, the little stuff is, it's only a little teeny thing on this shot, but when they shoot the same little thing times 200 shots, that's 200 times you gotta fix it. Little baby, little threads comin' out. Snip it once, it's done. But then if you gotta retouch it up 200 times, it turns into more money and more time. A thing. Now I wanna tell you a little bit of a story that just happened recently with a photographer. So we had some, we, the royal we, they had some costuming decisions that were made for the product. Lace see-through shirts, we're gonna go over this, and coloring. I asked the photographer, at the end of the job, I said, "So, hey, why did you pick that?" And he said, very candidly, he said, "You know, my bad, it's very stressful doing these shoots, I defer to the client." So he walked to his client and said, "Hey, the stylist has brought all these outfits, let them pick." But the client doesn't know what's hard to retouch. They don't know what's gonna show up on digital. They have no idea. They just know they want their bubble, whatever, to show well. And it was really an eye-opening experience for him as well, to realize, "Oh, I need to take the lead on clothing." Not because of how the product is presented, but how much cost. And one simple clothing shift, one small, little clothing shift can literally save hundreds and hundreds of dollars. So we're gonna talk about that. And then we're gonna talk about coverage, oh boy, coverage. Mm hmm. This one's a big deal. Coverage is, and we're gonna discuss how to do it, is getting full range of motion. You'd be amazed how often it's not caught. Shooting someone straightforward, turning sideways, turning this way, it's overlooked more times than you can imagine. And again, it's learning from our mistakes, 'cause we've been tryin' to put together these posters, and they need the hands a certain way, and it, it would have been so easy to shoot it, it'd taken two seconds, and it just wasn't done, so here's a checklist of stuff, if you cover all this it's gonna make the job way easier later. For example, striped shirt, toy job. Product doesn't show well in front of a striped shirt. They need a solid shirt. That's $800 to fix that, and not easy. So $800 plus time. Hopefully, when folks are on a shoot now, and stylists now who are watching can go, "Oh, great, maybe stripes are not a good idea." I'm gonna tell you nine times out of 10, stripes are a bad idea. Period, paragraph. Body shaping, stripping in body parts. Let's say for example, on this shot here, changing an arm on a striped shirt, stripping it in, is a nightmare compared to a solid shirt. And then clonin' out behind it, so if you have to continue out the rest of that girl's chest, to move the arm out here, that's quite a bit of stuff. As opposed to just a solid color shirt. So, conversation with stylists. I never get to talk to the stylists by the way. Never, never, never. Maybe I should. Hopefully in the future this will, this'll be-- Hopefully, yeah. Heard out in the world. If not, photographer should know this. So, wardrobe choices. Lint brush. The best $2.99 you can ever spend in your entire life. I am demonstrating right now how lint quickly expands. In fact, it's probably all over him by now. And cleaning up this, dust and scratch, not too hard. Times that by 600 shots? Don't you want me to do the heavy lifting? You want me to handle the big stuff. You don't want me cloning out lint. I'm too expensive for that. Pulling the pants down. I'm gonna talk about, I don't mean takin' the pants off. I mean pullin' the pant legs down. I have expression I use, and you'll see some demo, about rubber band legs. They drive me crazy, and it costs a lotta money to fix. So, I'll talk about that. No stripes and lace. Now I know this is a wishlist, and you don't always get this, but it's somethin' to watch out for. If you're gonna have lace tops or stripes, it's gonna cost more. You can have it. Just know that it's gonna cost more for retouching time. Okay? Proper size clothing. Oh, my kingdom for shoes that fit. You'd be amazed how hard it is to fit, not impossible, to refit shoes, 'cause you've got shadows, and you've got people behind them, so high heel shoes that aren't fitting and the heel's standing out? I know it's a dream list, but wouldn't that be lovely. It would be lovely. Okay. I don't mean to gross anybody out, but we're talkin' real here, we're gettin' real. As I said, the best $3 you can ever spend is a lint brush. Please, the nose hairs, I'm beggin' ya, just, please. (audience laughs) And any other hair that you have that you might not wanna talk about in public that need to go. Please. I'm trying to be a little delicate here, but we do do lingerie catalogs and swimsuit catalogs. So there might be some other areas that need some attention. And believe it or not, I believe you should consider requesting the model wax if that is necessary. You'd be amazed how often this doesn't happen. The other thing that rarely happens, and I cannot figure out why, the manicure. Why is there no manicure? And it's not that expensive to have a stylist or an esthetician on set at the beginning, and get the whole cast. This happens on entertainment, if you can imagine. And those two bottom ones are really quite difficult to fix. I mean, to do each and every nail, you're talkin' about blends, you're talkin' about highlights, you're talkin' about masking, for each nail. So that one's not a smooth one, I gotta tell ya, peach fuzz on girls still, when I see peach fuzz I'm like, "Oh boy, here we go, okay." Yeah. There's no slick way of doin' it. And again, I really have to tell you, if it's a one-off shot, who cares, it's fixable. We're not talkin' about one-off shots here. We're talkin' about gallery shoots and catalog shoots, and it gets expensive. All right, bad wardrobe. Now, I love these shirts, I think the, I have a ton of 'em, I think they're fantastic. Don't shoot with them. When you can see through, and I'm not sure if the morie on the screen is good or bad here, but you can see the pant lines. Those have to come out. That's money. These see-through T-shirt's a nightmare. Absolute nightmare. So where it gets problematic you guys is the clothes look good on. The stuff's cute. Someone shows up you're like, "Aw you look so cute, totally adorable." Complete nightmare. Complete nightmare for retouching. And there's certain clothing, small checkers, that morie. So I'm asking that photographers and stylists know small checkered, at this point, what would the harm be to have a solid shirt? Just have a solid colored shirt. It's, you're not gaining anything from the pattern. The other thing I wanna talk about is steaming. Like, steam it. Get a steamer. You'd be amazed.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

File Naming Convention Sample
Estimate Worksheet Form
Finishing Delivery Example
File Naming Convention Explanation
Worksheet & Billing Checklist
Solar Curves Action

Bonus Materials

Adobe Stock Contributor
Alien Skin Software Discount Code

Ratings and 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 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!

Student Work