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How to Come Back from Mistakes

Lesson 49 from: The Business of Professional Photo Retouching

Lisa Carney, Simon Peter Raible

How to Come Back from Mistakes

Lesson 49 from: The Business of Professional Photo Retouching

Lisa Carney, Simon Peter Raible

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Lesson Info

49. How to Come Back from Mistakes


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Who Should Be a Retoucher?


Genres of Retouching


Comp vs Finish


Lisa's Path to Retouching


Simon's Path to Retouching


Establishing a Look


Who is The Client?


Lesson Info

How to Come Back from Mistakes

Jobs go wrong, things happen. You know, we're not a hundred percent all the time. We make mistakes, we're human, things happen and I find it's to cover up, not the crime that gets you in trouble. Without question, and what do I mean by that? I mean own up to it, I am so sorry, I missed the deadline. I have actually missed a few deadlines in my life. It's happened, it's rare but it has happened. You need to own up on it and you need to make good, because if you can acknowledge to the client, I've done you wrong, I've put you in a bad position, I'm sorry, what can I do to make up for this? I will say half the heat comes off it, right then and there. Half the heat comes off just by admission of the problem. You may not salvage it, I've lost some jobs. I've lost some reputations. I had a situation once where I was doing finishing while comping, you have just eluded to that. Finishing while comping is the kiss of death. What that means is a client has started the process of the finish, we'r...

e retouching really good, and they're still making design changes. Kiss of death, it always is, and so I was proceeding with a very kind of electrical, flowy, vibe-y lighting over some actors and I got approval, yeah, this is exactly what we're looking for. It was a big quantity job and I kept going. It turns out it wasn't what they liked and I got yanked from the job. We were both on the job, he didn't get yanked from the job. I got yanked from the job and unfortunately, with that agency, I now have a reputation as someone who doesn't perform. It wasn't my fault, I did what I was told. It was looking good, and you know what? Too bad and you have to get over it. I could agonize over this, I could be angry about it. I could be mad, I could feel wronged, why? Eventually, the good thing is, there's turnover at agencies and those folks will be gone and someone else will be there and we can start anew. First of all, don't give yourself an ulcer, do not. It's not worth it, I'm gonna say something terrible, are you ready? Lay it on me. We make landfill for a living, I am not curing cancer. I work hard, I do the best I can, but I am not saving lives here and I'm refusing anymore to kill myself internally over a mistake, it's not worth it. Do the best you can, make good, and you might get a bad reputation for a while, you might. You might not and it's generally how you handle it afterwards that's gonna cause the reputation problem. The other thing is eat the bill. If you made a mistake, do not bill the job, period, paragraph, it's bad form. It may mean you have to borrow money from your momma to make your rent that month but so be it. Don't bill for the job. I've gotten bad reputations and lost clients and I don't know if I blew it. I try not to blow it, or I try to own up to something. But sometimes, I've taken the heat. They'll throw me under the bus. I'm the last guy in there and I'm disposable. That's happened so you get, it's just a stinky job from the get-go and you're like, "Ugh" and it's gonna be painful and everyone's at their wit's end and they money's gone and the time's gone and it's just a horrible situation. Then, something else goes wrong and they're all sittin' around and who can take the blame on this? How about the guy that ain't here? You're like, "What the heck happened, man? "I did the best I could there." But they just piled it on you as you walked out the door. Then you find out from other re-touchers. You're not getting those calls and it's like, "Dude, I thought I did a bang up job for y'all." You're not getting called, not getting called, and then you talk to a re-toucher friend and they're like, "Dude, boy, they are just thrashing you down there." Like, oh great, it's one of those? That's part of it so stiff up a little. Thicken the skin, thicken the skin, yeah, good. Alright, I don't know if there's any other questions about-- I got into it, you know how folks are always like we're giving folks a bad complex by over re-touching women and making women look too perfect and they're like, and they put it on the re-toucher like, "Oh, you're a re-toucher man, you're one of those dudes "that over re-touches and gives everyone a hard time." This person was a chef, they were a cook for a living. I was like okay, let me put a little different scenario on it. You're a chef in your restaurant, you're very good at what you do and you get the best ingredients you can. You get a steak, Wagyu beef steak, the thing costs $ and the client comes in, they're paying ya, and they want that steak well done, what are you gonna do? He goes, "I'm gonna cry, but I'm gonna "serve that to them well done." I was like, "Alright, you do what you do, "'cause you're told what to do by the folks that hire ya." I kinda feel about the same way. Hmm, that's an interesting analogy. If it's up to me, I'll cheat it back. I have a comfort zone where I'll go but it ain't up to me, I'm being told what to do. Interesting.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

File Naming Convention Sample
Estimate Worksheet Form
Finishing Delivery Example
File Naming Convention Explanation
Worksheet & Billing Checklist
Solar Curves Action

Bonus Materials

Adobe Stock Contributor
Alien Skin Software Discount Code

Ratings and Reviews

Bill Buckley

I'm a photographer who wants to be as good at Photoshop as possible. In my field few retouchers get hired, so it's all on me. Plus my creative vision cannot be accomplished by photography alone. Not to mention that in the field, as a photographer I can't always be perfect. Photoshop to the rescue. This is possibly THE best class I've purchased on Creative Live, and they've all been good. Great insight, entertaining, well taught Lisa and Simon were awesome. Bought more LC tutorials based on this course.

Kari A. Youkey

This course just opened my world. I started ( back in the Jurassic era) as an illustrator/drafter ( pen and ink), then CAD programmer, then GIS analyst with photoshop just coming onto the scene pregnant and unplugged focusing on parenting and my inner artist. I was gifted an IPad 6 years ago in the mist of my Taxi Mom years. My favorite ‘hobby’ became manipulating images and an addiction to Adobe apps. Now, In my new empty nest status, I have been trying to figure out my next direction in life....and CreativeLive has been a wonderful resource to explore different creative opportunities, feeling somewhere between photography and graphic design, I wanted to ‘paint’ photos with my tool of choice the tablet, not the camera. ...but it wasn’t until this course that I clicked with an Aha! I don’t have to become an photographer? I could get paid to retouch? Other people’s photos?.....and, I have a work history skill set that backs it up! Thank you so much for this course! Loved the instructors and how they shared their experiences and knowledge. You two have just provided a wonderful map and whole new path to explore and inspired a much needed creative spark to get back to work❤️. Thank You!

a Creativelive Student

Lisa knocked it out of the ball park again! Amazing work Lisa and Simon! I just can't find the many words that express how much I gain with each and every course she teaches. Once again, a wealth of information that was given in a down to earth manner. I absolutely love her teaching style! Amazing course Lisa and Simon, awesome job!

Student Work