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 Post subject: I Need your help
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:11 pm 
Mountain Garrison
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Joined: May 9, 2006
Posts: 1422
Location: South Salt Lake
Age: 45
Many of you have known me for a few years now, and a couple of you know me fairly well. I've made some friends here and I'm hoping some of you may be able to help me out.

I lost my job a year and a half ago. At the time, the economy was in decent shape and I had plenty of savings and investments that I chose to live off of for a while. I made the conscious decision to delay getting another job for a couple of reasons, namely because I was sick and tired of working for "the Man", and because I wanted to pursue my Photography and Writing endeavors. Having plenty of money, (at the time) it seemed like the right choice to make.

Of course, last Fall, the economy took a big fat header straight into the toilet, and suddenly my nice cushion was practically worthless. Near the beginning of this year, I managed to get a job, but I was laid off shortly thereafter. Since then, I've not been able to get so much as a phone call or a tiny little bite. I can't seem to find a job anywhere.

Lots and lots of people are in this same predicament, so I don't consider myself unique, however, I have talents that I still believe are being wasted.

So this is what I'm asking. I want to start a freelancing business tailored around professional image editing. This is probably my single strongest skill, and I simply relish every opportunity I get to do it. I need to find a way to make it pay though, and that's where my friends (hopefully) can help me out.

I need to build my portfolio, and to do that, I need images that I can edit and present. I'm asking for anyone with good-quality images that maybe need a little something... perhaps brightening up, or some sharpening. Maybe the colors are off a bit, or maybe there's something just not quite right that you've always wanted fixed. Maybe you like the subjects, but want them in a different background. Maybe the subject of the photo would look better a few pounds lighter, or with a different hair color, or a few years younger. You get the idea.

Of course, in the interests of building a useful portfolio, these services would be free (at first) to anyone willing to submit a photograph. The caveat is that you would allow me the rights to publish the picture on my web site, and the possibility of the photo being used not only online, but in print medium as well. I would retain rights to the altered version of the picture and the rights to use it in whatever way necessary to the benefit of my business.

If anyone has a picture they'd like me to do, or has any questions about what I'm trying to start here, or has any advice on how to go about this, please let me know. If you think this whole thing is the stupidest idea you've ever heard and I should just go jump off the top of a tall building, let me know that too. I truthfully think I'm down to my last chance here, and I really want to make this happen.

Here is an example of what I mean: This is a picture of Erin's (ondiv) mom that I did a few months back. (I hope it's ok that I post this. I was assured that I had permission to use it). Anyway, I've manipulated the image to take a couple years off. No biggie, and it's fairly subtle, but impactful I hope. I think there's a market for this type of thing.

Image

Thanks for any comments or considerations.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:26 pm 
Timberline Garrison
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Joined: August 18, 2008
Posts: 221
Location: Billings
Age: 34
First off I bow to your ability. I took a look at your sample and I can't even begin to figure out how you can do such flawless work :D

I think there is definitely a market for this type of thing, unfortunately a lot of photographers already do similar work themselves, so that's rather limiting. Your best bet (from what I've been told by some photographer friends of mine) is to build a portfolio with a wide array of altered subjects, individuals, groups, landscapes, etc. Then (if possible) try to find a photographer who either doesn't do their own touch ups, does but has a high volume of pictures and needs an additional hand, or someone amenable to just outright offering your services to current and future clients (all potentially difficult, but possible and requiring a LOT of leg work.)

Everyone I've spoken too agrees that while it would be nice to be a freelancer/third party, you'd definitely get more stable work being an in-house worker (though if you get enough parties interested you could do just fine on your own), but it'll most likely limit your subject matter and in turn your creativity, so that's up to you in the long run.

Regardless, I most definitely think you'd have no problem maintaining a client base, its just getting your foot in the door that'll be the hardest part (since this is kind of a niche market when you really think about it.) If its alright with you (and subsequently Erin) I'd like to take your sample pic and email it off to my photographer friends and see what they think and if they have any ideas (or friends) that may benefit you.

Good luck, and sorry for my wall o'text.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:15 pm 
Mountain Garrison
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Joined: May 9, 2006
Posts: 1422
Location: South Salt Lake
Age: 45
Thanks for the compliment.

I know I'd do better in-house, but the problem is getting there. I don't have a degree, and convincing people to hire me is going to be based purely on a good portfolio, which is something I seriously lack at the moment.

Of course you may feel free to talk to anyone and show them my stuff. You can mention my photo blog too, at http://worldsindigital.com as well. There's quite a bit of post-processing done on all of those pictures as well, even if it's not apparent at first.

I appreciate any help or advice anyone can give me. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:29 am 
Timberline Garrison
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Joined: August 18, 2008
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Location: Billings
Age: 34
Very welcome!

I'll point some people in the direction of that site (fantastic pics on there!). Hopefully I'll hear something back quickly.

One thing that a friend of mine who runs her own photography business did (and I really liked the overall idea behind it) was to put some of her photos onto her business cards. If you could find a picture that's before and after and noticeably different even at first glance and pop it onto a business card, it'll be very memorable (and not too expensive of an investment depending on where you go through) and would be a quick and easy way to put what you do out there immediately (as opposed to say just a standard business card with a text descriptor.)

As it is, if you'd like pics to work with involving crowds and whatnot, I can give you the link to my flickr photostream and you can pull whatever you'd like to use (most are of my armor progress, but I have a few from when I hit Wizard World last summer.)


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:56 am 
Alpine Garrison Member
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Joined: June 30, 2007
Posts: 1054
Location: Spanish Fork, Utah
Age: 35
Having worked as a photo editor for over 5 years, and having gotten to know and talk to many professional photographers, I can honestly tell you most of them won't care about you having a degree or not. They want someone who has the skill and some one who knows what too much post processing looks like. When I worked at Mackley's in Logan, that was the number one thing that turned my boss off as to if he would look at a portfolio or not.

Things that would be good to show on a portfolio would be color correction, image editing (such as blemish removal, head swaps that look real, etc), various effects before and afters (such as sepia tones that aren't the ugly Photoshop defaults, b&ws, hand coloring, etc). Something that seems so simple, but will make you stand out is if you know how to use layer masks and their various uses. Many people don't know what a layer mask even is.

Pick up your phonebook and start calling photo studios and ask them if they are hiring. While photographers are a struggling breed in Utah, you'll most likely be able to find someone who is hiring or thinking about hiring, and you'll have the jump on anybody else.

Image


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:07 am 
Timberline Garrison
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Joined: August 18, 2008
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Location: Billings
Age: 34
BrianTheSith wrote:
I can honestly tell you most of them won't care about you having a degree or not. They want someone who has the skill and some one who knows what too much post processing looks like.


Pretty much my sentiments exactly, though I had no basis for my opinion other than speculation ;)


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 Post subject: Re: I Need your help
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:37 am 
Timberline Garrison
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Joined: September 22, 2004
Posts: 10453
Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
Age: 36
SovereignKnight wrote:
Image


Hey!! That's my Mommy (on the left) and my Mommy 30 years ago (on the right)!!
Seriously.... when Nic gave me the finished product of the edit my jaw hit the floor because she looks EXACTLY like how she did in college. I can't figure out how he reverse aged her so accurately without seeing an old photo.


bobdoleman wrote:
If its alright with you (and subsequently Erin) I'd like to take your sample pic and email it off to my photographer friends and see what they think and if they have any ideas (or friends) that may benefit you.


Anything that helps Nic out I'll gladly sign off on!! Send that sample out!

True 501st Spirit : CELEBRATE - PROMOTE - CONTRIBUTE
Proudly serving the Empire since 2004
DS-3900 / ID-3900 / TI-3900 / TK-3900


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:15 pm 
Timberline Garrison
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Joined: February 25, 2006
Posts: 959
Location: Depends when you ask.
Brian's post covers the main stuff, a degree might be important to some, but a quality portfolio is better. His suggestions about what to have in such a portfolio would work well for you. Good luck.

Image
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” —Plato


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:15 pm 
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Joined: May 12, 2009
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Kacey and I will be heading out when we can to go and take pics for you to use. We will try to get it done as soon as possible.

Jaina: "Jag, do you even know how to use a lightsaber?"
Jag: "I know Lesson One. Don't grab the glowy end."


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:40 am 
Inactive Alpine Garrison Member
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Joined: December 11, 2008
Posts: 1007
Location: Draper
Age: 42
'm always happy to snap crappy shots for you to doctor! ;)

Seriously, I'd be more than happy to help. Let me know what catagories of photos you're wanting to round out your port' and I'll see what I can send you. Anything you already have from me is open for your artistic talents as well. Best of luck man. Keep us posted.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:54 am 
Alpine Garrison Member
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Joined: September 15, 2004
Posts: 1501
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Nic, are you still looking for pictures? I have a couple that need some background fixing. If you'd like I could dig them up and e-mail them.

~Christy


There's no trooping like snowtrooping!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:58 am 
Mountain Garrison
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Joined: May 9, 2006
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Location: South Salt Lake
Age: 45
Sure. Send them over and I'll take a look.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:19 pm 
Alpine Garrison Member
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Joined: September 15, 2004
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Righto. I 'll round them up and send them over. Give me a day or two. :D

~Christy


There's no trooping like snowtrooping!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:26 pm 
Alpine Garrison Member
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Joined: February 14, 2003
Posts: 2013
Location: West Haven, Utah
Nic,

I got all kinds of pics that could use a touch up here and there. There are quite a bunch that could use a new background just for the sake of looking more professional in my own portfolio. I'll see which ones I can get to you soon. (What image size do you want, or do you plan to resize in the process?)

Shawn, aka Darth Maul proud member of the 501st

Image


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