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The Retouching Industry

Lesson 9 from: The Art & Business of High-End Retouching

Pratik Naik

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Lesson Info

9. The Retouching Industry

Lesson Info

The Retouching Industry

You know, one of the most important things about retouching is actually like I mentioned not even retouching it's about the business and marketing of it, and so we're going to put the business into today's lecture instead of just talking about business, we're going to talk about marketing and everything that people have questions about and the way the action developed my presentation today is based on you guys, the questions that all of you guys have given me a cz the most calling questions you wanted to know regardless if you retouch your photographer, I think everyone should take away something from this, so for example, we're going to start wide and have things that benefit photographers and then start narrowing it down to things about the business and about retouching as a re toucher because I know some people are tuning and itjust a wide audience. Okay, first and foremost, you guys can reach me on social media at sources retouch on instagram or facebook by searching my name or fac...

ebook dot com slash high every touch so first and foremost aside from the main slide is this's obviously type of work that I do kiss you haven't visited my website before sources three touch dot com I do everything from beauty to fashion way do commercial editorial intention so I've covered everything in regards to my career from working with our directors to photographers to models to the clients to the companies themselves, I have a little bit of experience on either end, so hopefully I can answer a lot of question that you guys have, whether you're advancing your career or is something you're just curious about now, how I got started on people typically ask me this quite often, and actually it started when I was a kid. It starts when you're born starts with that innate experience and that joy and that lust for passion or lust for your creative side. So when I was a kid, I always just loved drawing and painting that was something that I should do quite a bit. I had supportive parents who always used to nourish and give me the attention that I wanted as a child, and that approval of what I did was good. And so what happened was growing up my family would say, oh, you're doing such a good job. I love your drawing my mom would collect, you know, my crappy drawings on dh that continued going on high school. That was my favorite subject art with my favorite subject. Uh, when I got to high school, I took a class for animation, and I saw that as a future I said, you know, computers are the next step, and this was back, uh, what in nineteen ninety nine I discovered for the shop on my computer and the moment I discard for shop hated it I didn't find love like everyone is expecting me to say I hated it isis animation shot before this not anything even exists with animation shop it seemed much more flashy but everyone said you know what give photoshopping try um and in that class I was even supposed to use for the shop was built in the computer so it sneakily gobind teacher's back and start using photoshopping aside I said you know this this program has some potential even those kind of boring and consider it in comparison I started picking it up I went home after school every day and starts fiddling around I said this is pre mush the progression of art I realized this because when you're painting something there's no undo button there's no copy paste fun there's basically just you messed up you know start again or work over what you just did I love your show because you could use layers you can correct things you did you go back in time I said this is brilliant this is like our two point oh right this is exactly what art should be so I kind of ditched drawing and painting and kind of cheated on it with a push up and so from then on I continues ing photoshopped to do things like manipulative manipulating cars, animals random stuff you know getting blackmail material on friends if they decide to do something really evil so it was great no one messes me is fantastic um so that was my initial start but the thing that kept me driving going forward was the fact that I had the passion right I didn't do it because it was awesome or you know it made a lot of money I did it because I enjoyed it and that's the principle behind everything we're doing right now that's why you guys are here and that's why you flew here to come see me and see us is the passion you guys have to advance your craft and that's the same passion I had when I started learning for shelf there was no rhyme or reason for it it was just because I enjoy doing it and I didn't care about the money it wasn't about the money it's about the passion and that is what drives you to progress in this field um but reality happened and my parents happened and then they said you need to get a job I said well you know what I think I think I want to still keep on doing photo shop maybe I'm not so good at making money from it just yet I start dabbling in graphic design I started doing some digital painting and nothing really stuck but one day in college I picked up a camera with that camera I fell in love again with photography, but instead of photography I fell over the post production and I realize that when you take a photo it doesn't look like that in the magazine, right? Like as you saw today, that's, why I brought felix and to show you that no magazine cover looks exactly as you shot it there's no there's a lot of work that has happened, I didn't know that, so what happened? I tried to find resource is online couldn't find anything, which is why I'm also here today to give you a whole spectrum of what a person wants to know if they're starting out many ways I finished college, I did a lot of business and marketing in college, I didn't like it, I'm an artist, I like doing art and push up, and so what happened was I worked at a hotel for three years, doing a lot of sails and things like that, but every single day while I was at that job, I went home and I work till two a m trying to progress my hobby, and at that time my hobby was retouching. I learned that with retouching such a mysterious field, but I felt like when I saw those images on magazine covers, I felt like I could do that and I had this face and myself is confidence that even though I didn't know how is done I could do it and I jumped in I remember I barely had a knowledge about retouching but because I had the base techniques down my tools I said I could backtrack and figure it out so I did I actually got my first client just like seven years ago or six years ago now and I didn't know what I was doing but I took a shot at it I went in haphazardly right and I learned as I went along I got the basics right? But then from there I find to my craft by talking to other artists so the rita jurors which is why I say that we're all friends we're not enemies always is on the way to learn and so as I worked with as I worked in that job for three years then she would happen is by the third year I had gotten enough clients that I could quit and that was the leap of faith or I quit my job and jumped, but before jumping I made a game plan and I think every artist has that point in the life and career where they want to go full time, they don't know how and so what it was made a game plan I said, I'm going to have this many clients or I'm going to be able to make this much from my passion prior to jumping and have a safety net for, say, about six months or a year that way if things didn't go according to plan, I could easily fall back on my savings and I think a lot people make the mistake of jumping too early and, you know, going full time without thinking things through. So even though your passion about this is all about understanding business and knowing how much the safe so that is kind of where I am now it's been a few years since then and things have taken a turn for the better I kept pushing I still kept that work for going you know, when I was working, I skip christmas, I skipped my birthday lost friends is pretty terrible but that dr kept me going and something inside me said this is going to be worth it and that's what? You have to have a cz you're going forward, so why should you listen to me? The reality is you shouldn't you shouldn't listen to something just because it's standing on a stage you should listen to somebody because of what they have to say it's not about who's saying it it's what they're saying that's very important it's not about the brand it's about what I'm saying and what you can get out of it because the end of the day it's an art there's no wrong or right it's about does is what he is, whatever he's saying does it apply to me and that's what you should take away? Don't think everything I say is fact use it as an opinion use it as something that you can think about and say well, I do agree with this by doing I don't agree with us and that's totally fine that's open to discussion okay um, quick question for you predict something that I think if there's a lot of people out there who are looking tio make this jump and do this full time daniel lopez lotte from geneva, switzerland asks when starting out prior to building a name for yourself how did you overcome all the intimidation brought on by the sea of competition? When people see that there are so many talented rita church and you know photographers and all that out there, what was it that got you over that hump to make that jump? Your biggest competition is yourself it's, not the guy next door. If you do, it doesn't matter what he is doing, what people buy is your personality, they buy your tastes. When you look at your competition, you tend to want to copy them. You tend to want to copy what's everyone success was doing, I went against the green for myself for example, when I set up my first retouching portfolio, I never should be for afters every thought is crazy, they said, you're not going to your clash not your clients are not going to know how good you are and I said that's fine because when they look at the final image will stand on its own and I had this belief go with your gut instinct, just like felix did with his photos he went with his gut and think he didn't over analyze, so the reality is don't worry about the competition stand out on your own just based on your own personality that's why we're individuals because we have that personality standout on okay, so retouching what is it? What is retouching? Well, the realities isis it's the previous way toh lai it's the prettiest wayto lie we touch, he is lying because what we're doing is essentially hiding all the flaws and covering them off. However, you're essentially manipulating or tweaking a photograph and I honestly think one of the main reasons why that is is so that you can create the exact vision that you saw when you on set so in felix went on set and he was showing the model he may not have noticed any other distractions that he saw later, so what it is is you're bridging that gap between what you saw and what you have ok and where you want to be which is why I say don't over edit because on set you see this natural beauty that you see from the model and you want to keep those real sick qualities so keep going back to what you saw on set and everything that you didn't see would be something you'd take away and I honestly think that is what retouching is about and obviously with retouching it could also be something that builds illusion so when you see products that are for sale makeup campaigns et cetera that's all illusion right like we know you're not going to look like that just because you put on foundation or you have that mascara that extends two hundred yards like that's never gonna happen but we know that because we've come to know this by experience but we still want to see that in campaigns to give illusion so it's either reality or illusion now retouching isn't new I get this question a lot you're cheating your cheater well the realities retouching was there from from the conception of photography it was there before photography was there when art happened I know this because I studied art history I studied art I went and looked at galleries I studied these things and I say this because whenever you go back in time prior to film you see artists who are commissioned to paint they painted these figures and these you know you go back to the roman era these guys were sculpted in a way that they never look like so when you go to a roman exhibition or something and they have sculptures they have these beautiful six pack abs right? Like I bet you half people didn't look like that or at least they kind of emphasized them because they were hired to make people look better then you step forward a few years and you see paintings same concept you know these guys were hard to make them look better their heads were chopped off right like these artists were meant to they were essentially rita ushers they were retouching reality as it happened so retouching is not something that's new in the film days you'd have dodge in bern where you you know still going the darkroom you dodge and burn witches physical things you do right it's not a digital concept so yeah maybe this cheating but you know it's something that we've grown accustomed to but that is an opinion whether it is sheena isn't I think that realized that falls back on the person looking at it um so I'm not going toe dire into that uh I do recommend there's a great book which is also gallery is called faking it manipulated photography before photo shop it was a beautiful gallery it showed a ton of photographs from historical eras showing you basically what images look out in the film days and how they manipulated it and how they'll take slides or other prints and that cut on copy and paste, too. I mean, people disappear, we're just adjust frames where they're dodging, burn it's very fascinating so you cannot find that online because I think the gallery's continued a wonderful example of somebody who does something completely in the dark room and completely manipulative you want to see, like how things can be manipulated in the darkroom. Yeah, it's, it's pretty extensive, right? I mean, you think just because you don't have photoshopped, you can't do much, but the reality is you can, um so there is actually so a j skulls that he made a funny comment. He said, rita cher's air almost a dirty secret, so they don't get a lot of promotion. Yeah, I think he's seen do you agree with that? I definitely do. We're going to cover that as he perfect it's amazing because he read my mind, so we're going to be talking about that, and that is a good point, because way our dirty little secrets, unfortunately.

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Ratings and Reviews


Really wonderful course, thanks. May I suggest a fantastic idea for maybe those who purchase the course? It would be extremely useful to be provided with a summary of the content of each video segment, perhaps a 30-60 second video with written 'dot-point' sheet at the end of each segment, to be reviewed at a later time. It just takes too long to replay each video to get the important messages. The notes provided by Pratik were a step in the right direction but they need more detail of what was presented, including tips and tricks, in each segment. In this way, once having watched the entire course, you could go back and review the nitty-gritty aspects of each segment quickly and efficiently. These quick 'summary' clips could make up a separate 15 minute video, recapping in detail the hard-core content of the course, without interruptions from questions. This would be extremely useful and hopefully not take the presenter too long to film. I feel this would be a wonderful 'added value' aspect of buying the course, as it would not be available for for free viewing. It would certainly encourage me to buy more of the available courses. Keep up the great work at Creative Live! I have stopped my Kelby subscription and just watch you guys now!! Well done!! Peter Bourne Australia


Pratik has been a revelation and a revolution at the same time, even kinda a benediction because of its huge generosity to show us such an efficient and powerful workflow. His genial approach turns impossible things into possible. What amazed me most, was Pratik ability to see further the shot and take the best of it to reach the perfection. The original photo is still there, very recognizable, but through a precise and meaningful workflow, it becomes eye-catching, high quality, high impact. Pratik is a wonderful person, very genuine, high talented, with a sophisticated sense of the aesthetics and arts. This course changed drastically my way to look at photoshop and at the retouching techniques. Thank you!!

user d3cdf7

I have been a retoucher since 1992 and a commercial photographer and I am amazed at the wealth of information Pratik is teaching us. Love his great sense of humor. Yes, retouching takes me way into the early part of the morning...up to 4 am. I've learned to listen to Books on DVD from the library which help my attitude much better. Several degrees behind me and I know I was meant to make a difference with portrait photography. NO ONE wants reality, especially at elder ages. So I continue to learn to retouch professionally and not use a quick retouch filter which renders a fake look. I may incorporate a light retouching filter, but I find I must always do some manual retouching first, in order to have the appearance look real. Which is the old first rule to retouching itself. In the film days, I use to make my own texture screens in order to create more beautiful faces. My photographer friends would ask for my help in using them, when they had blurred an important celebrity shot. The texture screen would help spread the dots and give the appearance of your digital noise now. The results were the image looked more focused Thank you Pratik Naik, for being so generous with your techniques. I am interested in how to price out retouching jobs, as I have been told I give my retouching away with my photography. Thanks,, Jeri Goodwin-Akari cherished moments photography in walla walla, WA

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