The Business Of Retouching

The Business Of Retouching

4 Seasons

There is greater demand for retouchers now more than ever, yet the lack of business and pricing information leaves many photographers and retouchers unsure of how to price for retouching, how to estimate and bid on commercial jobs, and how to communicate with clients and ask the right questions. This lack of confidence and understanding of the business of retouching leaves many photographers and retouchers burning themselves out, losing time and money throughout multiple rounds of unnecessary revisions.

In this comprehensive business tutorial, commercial retouchers Sef McCullough and Earth Oliver unpack their proven business workflow and strategies from client inquiry to final delivery. You will first build a foundational knowledge of the retouching industry, then follow along through a case study of a real life commercial retouching job as Sef writes emails to clients and assesses, estimates, prices, and bids on a project from start to finish.

Then take your knowledge of the business of retouching and join Sef and Earth as they talk with other working pros of the industry including professional retouchers Lisa Carney, Jordan Hartley, and Peter Hunner, and photographers Clay Cook and Rob Grimm. We’ve never put so many industry pros in one tutorial!

Throughout the tutorial you will learn:

The Retouching Industry and Retoucher Personas
How To Start A Business and What It Takes To Be A Retoucher
What Gear You Need To Be A Retoucher
The Industry Language and Standards of Commercial Retouchers
How To Communicate with Commercial Clients
How To Price for Retouching
How To Bid on Commercial Jobs
How To Create Formal Bids and Work Agreements
Business Strategies to Maximize Profits and Minimize Revisions
And Much More
Included Documents:

Retoucher's Gear List
Everything retouchers need to get started and stay competitive
Business Workflow Guide
A start-to-finish roadmap for communicating, pricing, bidding, and producing commercial jobs
Client Questionnaire
Everything you need to ask clients to accurately price and bid jobs
Job Calculation Worksheet
A tried and true formula for pricing ANY retouching job
Sample Formal Work Agreement
A working template to use for commercial retouching jobs

The Business Of Retouching
  • Client Inquiry

    Episode 1

    It’s time to get more specific. Dive into a case study to examine the process of winning work, to final project completion. Follow high end retoucher, Sef McCullough as he examines a potential client project via an e-mail inquiry. Learn how to examine the inquiry, assess client needs, and positio...

  • Gathering Primary Information

    Episode 2

    Client management is not an easy task. Learning to master creative and technical skills takes time, patience, talent, and a willingness to never stop learning. Business interactions are no different. Learning to communicate with your clients is essential. It’s not just about winning work. Managin...

  • Client Response

    Episode 3

    After sending a first email response to the client inquiry, learn how to evaluate a client response. Take a detailed look at how to assess the information a potential client gives you and measure your response. Evaluate project parameters and continue to refine your questions to get as much infor...

  • Project Assessment

    Episode 4

    With a good base of information, you can begin to develop a sound estimation for a bid. Follow Sef as he uses a custom job calculation worksheet. Implement a solid and tested method of calculating your time and cost to price your work with confidence. Learn how to build an accurate pricing model ...

  • Gathering Secondary Information

    Episode 5

    Having a built a solid bid estimate, learn the process of responding to the client and continue to ask key questions to create clear project expectations. Clarify asset quality, project timing, legal considerations, and establish the primary points of contact for the review process. Learn to ask ...

  • Preliminary Bid

    Episode 6

    Evaluate the client’s response to your questions for secondary information. At this stage, identify the project look, deliverable assets, finalize legal parameters, and learn the main points of contact for the project review. Also, identify the client’s target budget to assess if that matches you...

  • Formal Work Agreement

    Episode 7

    Congratulations! You’ve won the client. But just like details matter in any retouching workflow, the same is true for business interactions and agreements. At this stage, learn how to finalize the formal work agreement. Define the importance of having this type of agreement, what it contains, and...