The Business of Professional Photo Retouching

 

Lesson Info

Workflow Overview

Now we're gonna start talking about workflow. And I mean workflow in a big esoteric way, and then, we literally mean workflow. And what I mean by that is, working out of the house or working out of the office. And choices you make, pro and con, and decisions, you know, which direction do you go and maybe do a combination. So, we thought we'd talk a little bit about, you know, kind of the realities we've been finding about working in office, out of office. From home or at someone's side. So at home, you have a lot of control, don't you? You have a lot of control about your space, your machine, your environment, your pacing, the temperature of the room. I know that sounds crazy, but you'd be amazed how the temperatures can swing wildly. He has worked at some places where, in Hollywood, I hope you don't mind I'm telling your stories here, where they're in this box, and the heat in this box is extraordinarily bad, or the likewise, it's freezing cold 'cause there's an air vent, and you're s...

itting there for hours and hours in this cold environment. Light? Bouncing light. They like to put finishers or retouchers, in the old days we used to be very, um, I wanna say sought after. We were seen as something of value, and we were in "suites". They would be these offices that were pitch black with a nice couch 'cause, do you remember I said the dog and pony show? We used to do the over the shoulder with clients. So we were in suites with giant desks, things would be brought to us Fireplace, sauna. Fireplace and sauna, yes. Literally, fireplace and sauna. Now it's kinda cubically. It's even less than cubically. Sometimes it's a production office, and there's literally light bouncing off, you can't see and there's glare , and you're sittin' like this. There was, I don't have the slide handy but the slide, I apologize for not calling attention to it earlier. The slide we had for the comping on set, the guy was sitting there on set at a table, the monitor was so low, and all I could think of was oh his back. His back must've hurt after two minutes. So these are kinda some of the issues we, you really need to consider about your work and your longevity and what you do home versus office. When we, the tools of the trade, we talked about yesterday when we had the tablets, you cannot, don't be retouching with a mouse. Don't, just don't. Buy a , that tablet's what 80 bucks, 50 bucks? A little baby one's 60 bucks. Because the long, it's a longevity thing. How long can you work if your, you've got carpel tunnel? Not too long. So, another thing about the home, you control your environment, but in the office you can control it a little bit. You can bring some of your stuff with you. So you can bring your, I bring my own tablet. I don't work on their tablets. I bring my own. So office, let's talk about that for a second. What kind of pros and cons are going on when you work in an office? Where we live, the commute. The commute is horrendous if we have to out of, out into the office. So, I'm literally gonna explain one of the commutes out, there's an agency, I love them. I think they're great folks. They do amazing work. It literally, no joke, takes me two hours to get there and, two hours, and any time I leave after 3:00 in the afternoon, which is always, it's two hours home. So that's four hours of commute in a car, not paid. I don't love 'em that much. I just don't. It's not worth my time or effort or life work balance. And I have to make these kind of considerations. Those commutes got me motorcycling way back 20 years ago. And, there when the traffic gets backed up, you're allowed to split between the lanes on a motorcycle. So, you learn how to do that, everything comes down, the gas is less, it's a lot of fun. But it can take a four hour day commute down to 45 minutes in, 45 minutes out. So there's two and a half hours, every day, times by week, times by month. So, Not paid. Not paid but, Well, okay. Yeah, I bump up my rate if I have to go in house, I will raise my rate a little bit. Now let's talk about this. We know us, sitting here with the amount of time and experience we have, that we have the luxury to have this conversation. You guys might not. You're startin' out and you're goin' in office, period, paragraph, 'cause you need to start. And that's fine. That's how we started. However, I'm suggesting if you are starting out, you are starting out with, in your mind you know full well your goal is to get outta Dodge. And you behave differently. You will behave differently at that office if your goal is to get out. Still work for them. But get out. You make different decisions, you'll be fast, you'll document, you'll make sure your bosses know what you're doing, how efficient you are, and you will be able to get out, like I did. It's possible. If that's something you like. Some people don't like it. In addition to that, there's a, what do I wanna say about that, is the money. Let's go ahead and talk about the money. Working in house in our industry means you get more money. Why is that? It's because you are there hourly, you are sitting there and there are, if you're not staff, you are sitting there waiting for them to make revisions and you're bringing your knitting. Remember? You're hangin' out. That, it's considerable. It took a lot of money to sit there, it's a lot of time. I would say almost 30% of the job, It's, yeah it's what you weigh out, so, if I go and work in house and then I'm stuck there, I'm there, I'm obligated to be there for four days. While those days are coming I'll be hearing about other jobs that I can't take. Now if I was working out of the house, I could have both jobs. However, you can only work so much during the day, so, I might make make close to the same amount of money working at one job, because I'm there for all the down time and they're paying me for all the down time as well. And I get paid a little extra per hour while I'm there. So let's say that louder. We charge more to go in, into an, in house, I'm sorry, it's into an office than, we charge less if we're working from the home office. As an incentive. So I wanna do a little bit of math here, not math but say some numbers he just said. I think you earn 30% more if you're in office, because of the wait time, if you're hourly. He is saying, which is absolutely accurate, in addition he could take a second job, so when you're, you might be earning 30% less if you're at home, but you could also take in a second job. And we often have three jobs in at the same time. In the office? At home. At home for sure. And if you get smooth, I've done two different jobs. I've gone in and worked on their stuff, but talked to them and okayed it and say, I know you really want me to come in, I would rather work at my house. We want you to come in. I have this other job. You can work on it in between. Are you cool with that? Yeah. Okay, I'm gonna make a face over that. Huh? I'm gonna make a face over that. It's a rare exception. So what he is saying is, he will go into an office and on the downtime he'll say, "Are you okay if I work on this coffee job?" not this other entertainment job when I'm at an entertainment agency It can't be the same family of work, so. Yeah, you can't be workin' for these guys on the superhero movie and the same superhero movie for another design firm, you can't get that close. Can't get that incestuous, but if I'm workin' on a superhero film here, to do another food product, sneaker ad in between, sometimes that's cool if they're cool with it. Or you take in your own computer so you work on theirs for their stuff, like dude, I'm just kickin' it, or another thing you could do is say, "I'll clock out." That's what I was about to say. I do this often. I will say I will clock out now and work on this coffee ad in the corner, not at your desk but on my computer, never on their, never on their computer, never. On my computer if that's okay. So that is a secondary option. The other thing I wanted to mention about working in office that's a big deal for us is the communication process is easier. So if you have a job that's complicated and there's markups, they want you in house. They want you there because it's easier. But what that gets you is, you don't get naps, you don't get walks in the afternoon, you don't get to feed your chickens. You gotta eat at the restaurants around that shop. Yes, and then you get bigger. I have to tell you, I definitely take in less money. I don't go in office very often, but it's worth it to me. So my bank account has less, but I'll take it. Conscious choice. And again, I'm acknowledging I can make that choice because I've been doin' this a long time. So those are our, is there anything else we wanna say about that or is that pretty, life work balance. Do you go in the shops that don't make, that don't have good coffee? That's why I mean, I do, I do, but it's not terrible. It's gotta be nice folks who you laugh a lot, and good coffee. Yeah, that makes sense. If they blow either one of those, then I'm sorry, I can't come in. He's picky.

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

  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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!