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

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The Business Of Retouching
  • Lisa Carney Part I

    Episode 1

    You should now have a firm foundation in building a business workflow for retouching. Make the transition with us, into a series of sit down interviews with some of the industry’s most tenured and exciting new faces in the world of retouching. For this first interview segment, join retouching art...

  • Lisa Carney Part II

    Episode 2

    Join photographer, Rob Grimm, and retouchers Lisa Carney, Sef McCullough and Earth Oliver as they continue to discuss industry dynamics. From communication, to fixing mistakes, to the different perspectives of production vs. post-production. Learn about how to navigate managing client expectation...

  • Lisa Carney Part III

    Episode 3

    For this final segment interview with retoucher, Lisa Carney, hear her insights about breaking into the retouching industry and winning new work. Listen as she addresses the importance of gaining a visual vocabulary of the environment you want to work in. Gain a proactive approach for effective i...

  • Peter Hunner Part I

    Episode 4

    Transition to another industry perspective with New York based agency principal, Peter Hunner. Listen as Peter discusses his industry experience from higher education, to starting as a digital tech, working his way through the personas to become an agency principal.

  • Peter Hunner Part II

    Episode 5

    Continue following industry voice, retoucher and agency principal, Peter Hunner with insights about what it takes to be a working retoucher. Hear about the value of having an eye for design. Understand the importance of both creative and technical skillsets to be an effective retoucher. And build...

  • Peter Hunner Part III

    Episode 6

    For the final segment with retoucher and agency principal Peter Hunner, listen to the ebb and flow of agency growth and contraction as the business model continues to evolve. Hear the value of finding balance in your personal life and creating fulfilling work. Learn what factors defined the decis...

  • Jordan Hartley & Clay Cooke Part I

    Episode 7

    In the final series of industry voice segments, join retoucher, Jordan Hartley and photographer Clay Cook as they discuss their professional partnership. Hear how Jordan began his career as a retoucher, developed his skillset and began winning client work. See the perspective of an entirely self ...

  • Jordan Hartley & Clay Cooke Part II

    Episode 8

    In this second segment of industry voices with retoucher, Jordan Harltey and photographer, Clay Cook hear about the prospect of working as a remote retoucher. Listen as they discuss working together across national borders, how often they can collaborate on set for a production, and how having a ...

  • Jordan Hartley & Clay Cooke Part III

    Episode 9

    n this third and final segment of industry voices with retoucher, Jordan Hartley and photographer, Clay Cook, listen to their strategies for finding new clients and work. Here how Jordan, developed a portfolio from online raw resources, and devised an initially broad but progressively more curate...

  • Closing Thoughts

    Episode 10

    Congratulations! You have completed The Business of Retouching with Sef McCullough and Earth Oliver. By now, you should have a solid foundational understanding of what it takes to work within the retouching industry. From agency personas, to business workflow, to core communications skills, to pr...