Where to look for professional image editing work?

dakkon76

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Don't worry, this isn't a "I'm ready to open up shop" thread! :)

So, my wife is a professional graphic artist (college educated, not the mom-with-a-camera equivelent like most "graphic artists" are). She does some amazing things with the photos she edits for magazines, corporate ads, etc. and the more photo editing she does, the more she loves it. Aside from trying to meet a few photographers who might need such a service, do you all have any ideas where she might be able to drum up some business? I've seen a few sites that specialize in photo editing/retouching and she's got the skills and experience to do everything they're doing... just not sure how to break into the biz.

Thanks for any suggestions!
 

Joey_Ricard

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Unfortunately graphics and editing is not the type of business that you can open up a store and advertise like a shop selling consumer products - so from experience I can tell you that it is a big challenge if there is not a specific market for a particular kind of work. At least initially, it will help greatly.

If you speciallize within your group of friends or peers initially, the word of mouth will help.

My example is: I used to own a racecar and race operation way back when. I was also a hobbyist photographer at the time and took images of all the cars and hosted them on my personal website and sold prints to the racers. Word got around and next thing you know, a friend wanted a website for his operation, then another and another and so on. I no longer do complete websites, but still do the graphics and specialty work. It has also helped the photography side of my business
 

CCericola

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Does she want to offer retouching services and get out of the graphic design business? You have 2 markets. Commercial and Retail. With both it is all about WHO you know.

Take for instance, commercial art. You want to airbrush the cover model of Cosmopolitan. You are either a staff production artist or freelance and know the creative director, or photographer. Who did your wife intern with in college? There maybe some industry connections available through them.

Graphic designers some times need the help of a graphic artist (two different disciplines.) Again, it is all about who you know. What can she offer that stock images cannot provide? She will have to hit the pavement and start contacting designers. The hard part of this is the market is VERY saturated with fine artists that can do their own art and work as a graphic designer so they don't starve.

Then you have photographers. There are a lot out there that cannot retouch a photo to save their lives. However, can your wife make any money when a photographer can send their images to China, India and Taiwan for $1 an image with a 24 hour turn around?
 
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dakkon76

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A lot of her clients like to use their own images. By the time they get to her, they've already got the image and just want it re-touched. So, for example, she just worked for one of the larger paper/lumber companies in the northwest. They had a great picture of a mountain range they owned, but a couple hillsides had been logged - so they came to her and she re-touched it to look like it was completely untouched. It's this kind of thing she'd like to do... where a client would just send her 2 or 3 files and she could bust them out at night after the girls go to bed. She's not looking to change her day job, and we both knock the industry for how they retouch all the women in ads and constantly try to convince our girls that this isn't what "real" people look like - she refuses to do that kind of work ;)

So I guess I'm just wondering who she should target, other than photographers... Maybe photo restoration? But then I'm guessing lots of those use a very high end scanner?
 

CCericola

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I'm thinking she should contact as many creative directors and art directors as she can. They are the ones coming up with the concepts and would look for someone that can do some photo manipulation so the images they have fit their design. Has she looked into her local AIGA? It is more of a networking, social club for designers. May be a good place to start. Just to warn her though, she is competeing globally for this kind of work.
 

DiskoJoe

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Don't worry, this isn't a "I'm ready to open up shop" thread! :)

So, my wife is a professional graphic artist (college educated, not the mom-with-a-camera equivelent like most "graphic artists" are). She does some amazing things with the photos she edits for magazines, corporate ads, etc. and the more photo editing she does, the more she loves it. Aside from trying to meet a few photographers who might need such a service, do you all have any ideas where she might be able to drum up some business? I've seen a few sites that specialize in photo editing/retouching and she's got the skills and experience to do everything they're doing... just not sure how to break into the biz.

Thanks for any suggestions!

Tell her to set up her own business and get contract work. Otherwise its internet searching looking for companies.
 

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