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Solving Problems in Post

Lesson 47 from: The Business of Professional Photo Retouching

Lisa Carney, Simon Peter Raible

Solving Problems in Post

Lesson 47 from: The Business of Professional Photo Retouching

Lisa Carney, Simon Peter Raible

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Lesson Info

47. Solving Problems in Post


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

Solving Problems in Post

I'm gonna say it again, and I'm sorry I say this a lot, it's about the money. So you need to know how much things cost. Do you remember I just suggested you guys do this. For a project. So, figure it out, get a file, and you can get this, this is available on stock. Get this exact image. Go ahead and figure out how to fix it. Find out how much time it takes you, and know that this was actually what was billed. I'm very curious, that might put you in the level to see where you're at. That's what I charge, I would charge. I didn't do this, someone who works for us did this. But that's what the cost was. Find out where you fit in the food chain. If you could do it for less money than that, then know you're pretty high up. If it takes you longer, like if that's two or three day fix, then you know you need a little more work to be at a certain level, that's all. It's not to make you feel bad. It's just to understand. And, on that same note, I do wanna stress that half the battle is knowing ...

how to fix it. It's not physically doing the fixing. Let me say that again a little slower. Half the battle is not actually the physical fixing of the item. It's sorting out in your brain, god, what technique do I use to fix this? That's some experience that we know this. I'm gonna cheat and tell you frequency separation is the way you wanna go. But that's one of the things that is valuable and you should charge for, is the fact that you know how to solve these problems. Not the physical doing the problem, it's knowing how to solve the problem. I hope that's clear. It's a little esoteric, but. Shall we move on to our famous photo shoot? Oh yeah. Let's talk about this. So this job came in. It's not famous. Not too long ago. And this was the image that I was given to finish. So on the left they shot this actor, and they got up on a ladder and shot him and his face is in focus. The hands in and out of depth of field are out of focus. And they put in a rope. They asked me to finish it. And they were like, hey, the hands are gonna need some help. So just know that going up and estimate for it. So I was like, okay, I was like, everything else is smooth but those hands are, I was like I can only get so good with those, there's not a lot there. I mean it's just completely out of focus. They're like, well, what would you suggest? I said can I run a little baby photo shoot? They're like, yeah, that'd be fine. So this was done with Lisa and our friend, and our friend had a fantastic camera. So we were like, Marty, come on over, we all went out and then afterwards we had this little mini photo shoot in the backyard. Went and got some rope. I sat down, Lisa sat there with a reflective card. With a printout. Bounce card. And she's like moving my fingers she was like, okay take a picture of that. And we did that a couple of times. So we got everything super in sharp. They had said, don't make it like super clean so I was out there and I was scrubbing my hands around in the dirt in the backyard in the garden. So I shot 'em really dirty, and then I took some off and got 'em medium dirty, and then I got 'em a little bit dirty. So I had a couple of those set up. And then the other thing I took into consideration was, this was what sold and it got signed up all the way up the route. And they got pretty close with my hands but my hands aren't his hands. So in Photoshop it was a Puppet Warp and I kinda warped everything around and put it as close to exact to what got signed up, signed off on, just so it removed that bit of headache. So it didn't get up like three other guys and go, how come this hand is so much bigger, whatever the problems would be. So there's a little bit of that experience in there as well. Got to charge for the photo shoot. And then charged a little extra money for masking out and stripping in new pieces, but they dug it. In fact the only thing they said was it looks too sharp, can you push it back. Now all the nails were showing, there were too much creases. They were like, okay, it's a little, now my eyes are going to these hands 'cause you did too good of a job on it. So I just back on up on how tight the photography was. But it is taking a problem, knowing your solves, recommending the solves, and then executing after that. Excellent, so I wanna talk a few points about this. Okay. 'Cause I think this is a really good example of how it is. So first of all, entertainment. In entertainment you do not change the comp. You gotta give 'em exactly what they had. So he was talking about, he had to mask, he has to use Puppet Warp, you used Puppet Warp, right? Yeah. To exactly like up the hands where it was, because they signed off on it. Now, other jobs, ad agencies, he could have dropped that in in any way, shape or form and it would've been fine, really, just the vibe. In entertainment it's not about the vibe. It is, you give us exactly what we signed off. So he did have to be precise. The second thing I really wanna point out is, look what a hack job this is. This is nothing. This is like point and shoot camera stuff. I mean it was a Canon so it was a nice lens and all that, but I feel like in our industry, this notion of a special shoot. Well we gotta get a, oh we gotta do this, and we gotta get a lighting setup. No, you get a card. We could have done this with a iPhone. I can not tell you how many special shoots I do, with my iPhone. So please remove the idea that it's gotta be a big deal. It's hackville, but hackville is actually proville. This is just what you need to do to get the job done. I mean, what did it take us, 15 minutes? If? 15 minutes and that brings me to point two, the value of the job. You remember when we talked about pricing, and we talked about the value? It did not cost him that, this is 15 minutes worth of a solve. He woulda had to mask out the hand anyway from another shoot. That represents the value of the job. So when you do special shoots, you sell your photography like a stock shop. This is really important to me because I don't wanna devalue our industry. And just because we're clever enough to grab an iPhone, it's still a stock shot, and it still has value and you pay for it. Right? So hack it in, charge for it, and that's not unprofessional. It isn't, that is being professional. And it's keeping the value of the market and the value of the work up. And know to solve, I'm gonna say something about you, I think five years ago you would have wrestled through illustrating that hand. Aw, on the contrary, I have another hand story to tell you. I think you would have wrestled. Here's what I'm gonna say and you tell your story in just a second. So what used to happen in our entertainment movie stuff is you got a pile of poo, you just polish that poo. You don't think to go get something else, you just do what you're given. And I think you're extending yourself a little, that's all I'm saying. I dunno. Extending myself. Give me your story. There was another character sell, so all these different superheroes, had all these special powers and that's what was shown in the bus shelter. This was for Warner Brothers, I believe. They brought in maybe for seven different pieces, they brought in seven high res retouchers. So I got this one, and it was fantastic, the lady looked just right. And it was all 3D, this globe that glowed. And the hand was just a mess. And I was like, hey, what are you guys gonna do about this hand? And it was such an important show to them that there was probably five or seven different folks running in and making sure that everything was run just right. So the suits of the show. The suits. They were heavily involved. So they're like, we're gonna have a meeting, then we're gonna have a second meeting, then we're gonna figure out what we're gonna do and we're gonna set up a shoot and then we'll get everything in then we'll get it to you. I was like, is that what's gonna happen, great. So I'm sitting there for a day, nothing. Two days, nothing. And I'm helping other, I'm doing some other artwork. I called up my son, he was at the time 12, 13. I was like, hey, get your younger brother to hold up that little stuffed soft soccer ball in the back and grab that digital camera of mine. He did that and he took a couple shots, emailed it to me, of his brother. So I got a 13-year-old shooting, a two-year-old holding a soft soccer ball on a Canon 81 bought for a hundred bucks, emailed to me. I drop it in, it looks perfect. Everyone comes in, they're like, oh did someone else sign off on it? Yeah, someone else signed off on it. And everyone else thought it was cool with the other person and it smoothed right through there, got printed up, never heard anything about it. What I didn't know is that you get to charge for it. Yes, that's new. I took my kids out for pizzas, but. Yeah, yeah, so, good. So anyway, so again, extend yourself, think about how you can shoot something different and get paid for it.

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