Free Professional Retouching! Helping me is helping you!

Connor Hibbs

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Hi there everyone! My name is Connor!

I am a graphic designer turned retoucher from Colorado. I am currently making an effort to build up my website and portfolio with high quality images. So far most of my work is on my own photography and a few local photographers, but I want and need to expand my book before I feel truly comfortable advertising my services commercially.
I have always felt much more comfortable sitting behind a computer than being behind the lens, so this is where your participation would be helpful!

I am looking for intermediate to advanced photographers to provide me with photos to retouch, though feel free to message me if you are on the beginner side of things as well. My main focus is in retouching people, but any genre of photography is welcomed.
Participants should be willing and able to allow me to use their photos for my portfolio and website in exchange for the work rendered with credits and url visible.

If you are interested please reply on this forum or privately. I am prepared to retouch between 5-10 photos for your assistance. These can be from a recent shoot or Raw files you have been sitting on for a while.
As this work is free and an open invitation I can not promise delivery of photos by any specific date other than to say they will be done in the order they are received. If you have deadline concerns please let me know and I will work with you to the best of my abilities.

As an added note, if you have a shoot in the near future and would like to schedule a specific time in advance I am happy to put you down on my schedule with a hard deadline as long as I do not have any conflicts with other work being done.


While I am new to these forums I can already see that it is a great community. Thank you in advance for your support! I look forward to working with you!
 

KmH

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Sorry, but in all honesty your 'after' edits don't look very good nor do they look professional.
To much mid-tone contrast, to much saturation or vibrance, and what looks to be the wrong kind of sharpening, and generally just over done editing.

Did you make the photos you edited?
 
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Connor Hibbs

Connor Hibbs

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Sorry, but in all honesty your 'after' edits don't look very good nor do they look professional.
To much mid-tone contrast, to much saturation or vibrance, and what looks to be the wrong kind of sharpening, and generally just over done editing.

Did you make the photos you edited?


Ouch, well I guess sometimes the truth can hurt. I guess I need some more practice before I work on building my portfolio.

I did make these ones myself, I really consider my photography more of a hobby, but find it hard to find source materials to edit without going back to the photographers I have worked with in the past.
Might you recommend a good source of well shot images I can practice on?

Feeling a bit embarrassed at this point and will probably delete the post assuming I can get a response from you on reference materials.

I am truly dedicated to improving my abilities as this is the direction I want to move in as a career, so any more advice you might be able to lend would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you so much for your honesty KmH. I'm sure it has saved me much more trouble down the line.
 

weepete

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Hi Connor,

I know it can be difficult on here and getting harsh critique on your work can be difficult to take.

I am going to refrain from commenting on your edits just now as I'm on a mobile, but if you do leave the thread up I'll look again tomorrow and see if there is anything constructive I can add looking from my desktop. I will issue you with some words that you will hopefully take as encouragement though as you seem to have a good attitude.

Bear in mind that most of the regular posters on here have been there too. I know I've had shots that I liked and my edits pulled apart on here but its dramatically improved the standard of of both my shots and my edits.

so stick around a bit and I'm sure you will benefit from the advice on here. I know I have.
 

Trever1t

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taking criticism well is a good trait. As a fairly inexperienced photo retoucher I look at the work of artists I admire and try to achieve some sort of resemblance. I do agree with the critique you received, blunt as it was, it was assuredly meant to help and I think you understand that. I can't offer you a source but you certainly can see plenty of portrait images here to inspire you.

Some things I am working on are skin smoothing techniques like "frequency separation" , smoothing the light on the skin using "dodge & burn" and a number of other things that really good artists do to create glamorous looks, all of which can be learned watching YouTube.

Don't delete your thread, don't be discouraged. If you want to succeed, work hard and keep positive. :)
 

480sparky

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Well, I really wouldn't call those images retouched. Retouched, to me, means minor flaws and blemishes are removed.
 

runnah

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The big issue here is that a "retoucher" works to improve photos that are already good and just need that extra pop. A retoucher does not try to make bad photos good.
 

MichaelHenson

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Sorry, but in all honesty your 'after' edits don't look very good nor do they look professional.
To much mid-tone contrast, to much saturation or vibrance, and what looks to be the wrong kind of sharpening, and generally just over done editing.

Did you make the photos you edited?


Ouch, well I guess sometimes the truth can hurt. I guess I need some more practice before I work on building my portfolio.

I did make these ones myself, I really consider my photography more of a hobby, but find it hard to find source materials to edit without going back to the photographers I have worked with in the past.
Might you recommend a good source of well shot images I can practice on?

Feeling a bit embarrassed at this point and will probably delete the post assuming I can get a response from you on reference materials.

I am truly dedicated to improving my abilities as this is the direction I want to move in as a career, so any more advice you might be able to lend would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you so much for your honesty KmH. I'm sure it has saved me much more trouble down the line.

Seriously, awesome response...amazing approach and attitude. I almost gave you a word of warning in your introduction thread but didn't want to "jinx" ya...The guys/gals on here are top notch (for the most part) professionals that have been involved in photography (and, as a result, retouching) for years. As such, they can pick apart images and edits like crazy. I've had several of my photos blasted and have shut my computer down in frustration a few times after posting an image for critique. I keep coming back though because I know that, despite the sometimes BRUTAL honesty, the guys and gals on here are only here because they want to help. So, keep your head up, keep working and take the advice you get from those you'll come to respect on here. They'll help you grow and learn much more quickly than you would on your own...

And, again, welcome to TPF! Where the critique is sometimes painful but the people are great! :)
 

Trever1t

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The OP stated he wasn't a photographer and was looking for good images to practice.
 
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Connor Hibbs

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To all of you writing on this thread I must say thank you very much for the honesty and encouragement! The critiques received were without question fair and incredibly helpful! I am certainly aware that I still have some seriously hard work to put in in the coming months, years, lifetime, etc.

I have actually spent the past month doing a lot of extra research to refine my processes and techniques from the ones I was using up through November when I had worked on these three and have completely overhauled my workflow just in the past few weeks to try a new approach. All this new information will take some practice and refinement to be sure!

That is not to say there aren't plenty of things I will be needing advice and brutal critiquing of, but is merely meant to explain that I am aware that I am not where I need to be as of yet and that I am taking active steps to improve. I don't want to come off as too defensive with the initial response as I am certain it was meant to be direct in aligning my expectations while giving honest feed back. I would much rather have someone be direct and honest than blow smoke until I am in a situation where it really matters, so thank you all for that very much! An honest opinion is so incredibly valuable, and I do not want any of you to feel as though I haven't taken your comments to heart!

Now, to get back to the original reason I was posting; I want to improve my skills as a retoucher and build a portfolio. A problem I'm having with this is that (as you all can see) I am not much of a photographer. I like taking photos for fun, but it isn't something I take too seriously. When it comes to working on retouching I have hit a bit of a wall in my practice; I do not have the skills as a photographer and have to constantly try to improve on an already flailing image when working on them in post. Of course there are plenty of things with my actual retouching techniques that I need great improvement in (again, we have all seen this, haha) but I feel like I need a better base to work off of than what I am able to produce with my abilities as a photographer.

As a graphic designer working in the commercial printing industry I come across a TON of images on a day to day basis, and I can see a distinct line between photos I would describe as top notch and the ones I am able to capture with my own camera. Often times I am asked by my clients to work on photos which is how my interest in this field really developed beyond a minor curiosity as I would like to provide them the best quality I possibly can. I have always been taught that the key to quality is practice. But practicing pottery with mud from the back yard won't make me the next Van Briggle.

I sincerely want to improve. I am motivated and driven to do so. I can look years of practice ahead of me in the face and say "bring it on!". But with all of that I am still left wondering; where can I go to get photos to practice on that are actually shot by someone who knows what they are doing? I would be eternally grateful to anyone who can point me in the right direction or provide me with materials to work with.

Again, thank you all for your generosity of time and effort to read this and offer me genuine critiques, advice, and help as I move forward in pursuing my dreams. I am sure I will be thankful many times over in the coming years for the wealth of knowledge you will impart on me as I grow in this field.
 

Designer

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Did you make the photos you edited?
Feeling a bit embarrassed at this point and will probably delete the post assuming I can get a response from you on reference materials.
KmH is not going to show you where to steal other photographer's images for you to practice on. TPF has a rule against posting any photograph for which the poster does not own the rights, so he was making sure you actually are the photographer for the images you posted.

Most photographers who post here are already beyond your skill level in making adjustments to their own photographs, and are not likely to require the services of a professional retoucher.

As to sourcing photographs upon which you can practice, my recommendation is to keep making your own photographs, that way at least you won't have to beg (or steal) images from anyone else. And by attempting photography on your own, you may begin to realize how difficult is is to actually come up with something good.

I wish you luck.
 

KmH

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Because of US copyright law, TPF requires you have a valid use license to post photos that you do not own copyright too.
It is OK to post a hot link to a photo that you do notr own rights to
I suspected the photos weren't yours so I did not do an edit of one as an example since to do so would require the copyright owners permission to make the derivative of the original.
A couple of good web sites to learn more about copyright is Photo Attorney or the most accurate source, the U.S. Copyright Office
http://www.photoattorney.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Excuses-excuses.pdf

Ideally we hope to get a photo as close to right as possible in the camera. Light direction and quality is very important.
Post process edits usually cause some kind of image degradation or another and fewer/less aggressive edits needed causes the least degradation.
So here are a couple of good sources for you:
Professional Portrait Retouching Techniques for Photographers Using Photoshop (Voices That Matter)
Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It: Learn Step by Step How to Go from Empty Studio to Finished Image (Voices That Matter)
Direction & Quality of Light: Your Key to Better Portrait Photography Anywhere]/url]
 
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