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ADVERTISING INDUSTRY

ADVERTISING INDUSTRY
Possibilities for Work Retouching in the Advertising Industry

by: Alex Southcombe/Freelance Retoucher

Retouching can be found in many industries across advertising. The primary industry people might associate retouching with could be beauty and fashion, although, it can be found in any area of advertising that involves imagery.

Through the years we have been lucky to work in many of these areas and thought it would be good to share with you the diversity of areas that it is possible to find work in as a retoucher.

Beauty and Fashion
Beauty retouching normally involves refining and perfecting skin, primarily for the cosmetics industry. Fashion retouching usually involves making clothes and accessories look their best through ensuring the photography pushes the quality of the fabrics and removing unwanted distractions such as wrinkles. This area allows for creativity in the colour grading depending on the brief assigned to the project and the look the photographer might be trying to achieve.

Alex Southcombe Article

Photo by: Joseph Chen

An example of fashion retouch from photography

Ecommerce
This industry is most often linked to fashion and with the rise of internet shopping there are increasing numbers of online retailers that need imagery to show their wears and accessories. These images usually require less time per image but you can expect to work on a large number of images in a day. Some of the most common tasks in this job will involve getting backgrounds for products to a neutral tone and ensuring they are symmetrical and correctly cropped to give a catalogue a clean and uniform look.

Multi-composite advertising
A retoucher can be working in elaborate ‘above the line’ advertising for a wide variety of different products and services. These projects can often involve a mixture of photography and CG imagery that is brought together by compositing them into  a single image.  Above the line projects primarily involves imagery that is used for billboard advertising that is normally envisaged to be impactful to catch the audience’s eye and can therefore be an exciting area to work in.

Alex Southcombe Article

Photo by: Dan Escobar

An example of a multi-composite advertising piece that involved a combination of CG imagery and photography

Automotive
The automotive industry has always been known for pushing the boundaries of imagery and retouching plays a major part in this process. Many of the vehicles are produced in CG imagery to avoid the need to take the vehicle on location and avoid the latest models being seen before their release.  Retouching is then used for getting most out of the final renders.  Some manufactures may still opt for traditional photography, perhaps for a preference of realism that they might consider cannot be delivered through CG imagery. In this case the retoucher will normally be working to bring together various assets from a photo shoot with lighting applied to the vehicle in different ways  (a process known as bracketing) to create one final image through compositing.

Alex Southcombe Article

Client: Creative Lighting Maxwell

An example of an automotive piece that involved compositing in the CG vehicle with various elements of photography to create the scene

There can often be overlap between the areas I have described here and there are also many more areas that involve retouching that I haven’t mentioned including movie posters for the film industry, architecture, food, jewelry and watches to name a few more. There are many possibilities for work across a huge variety of different kinds of businesses and products and with the advertising industry growing year on year retouchers can find themselves in high demand.

ALEX SOUTHCOMBE/FREELANCE RETOUCHER
Retoucher


www.freelanceretoucher.co.uk

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