PHOTOSHOP TRAINING FOR COMMERCIAL + EDITORIAL PHOTOGRAPHERS, DESIGNERS, RETOUCHERS
This is the ideal photoshop training for photographers: streamlining the workflow and achieving great image optimization and colour treatment (‘colour grading’ these days!). Learn how to get the image to pop off the page and reproduce beautifully. As a trained photographer I have a real passion for photography. I also enjoy teaching art directors, designers and all dedicated professional image-makers. I can help develop your retouching jobs in a particular style and boost your hands-on skills, such as cut-outs and comp’ing, colour techniques or brush work. Mostly we work on your images – especially those that you have worked on already but need improving or a re-think.
I also teach and consult for those whose job it is to receive images from photographers, picture editors and picture desk staff who need to brush up some photo editing skills, and I have trained picture departments at several small and large businesses. I’m available for in-house seminars in Europe.
I teach wherever and whenever it works out best. Recently I’ve found that Skype is a great channel for 1-1 training. Yes, you heard right! It’s as stable as most webinars and nothing like the crashing experience you get when using a camera.
RETOUCHING THAT COMPLEMENTS PHOTOGRAPHY
I believe that a good quality capture is the starting point for a great image. I like to keep it true to the photographic’ feel’, even when we manipulate images heavily, so we avoid making images look like illustrations. You are sure to pick up some capture tips from me if you show that you’re interested in this side of things. If you’re not, we’ll just focus fully on the Photoshop & retouching aspects.I can also write some custom Photoshop Actions and Tool presets, and instruct you on how to use them.
YOU GET EXCLUSIVE HANDOUTS
I have several Photoshop e-books under my belt, so I can provide you with some detailed handouts on the subjects covered during training. My teaching is supported by PDF extracts from my books. The advantage is that the ‘handout’ speaks just like me, and doesn’t contradict what I’ve taught you! If there’s a special workflow on your images, I take notes during the session and write you a custom handout. This will provide extra support for the more complicated aspects of what you learn – so even if a concept is hard to grasp, you can read about it in-depth, in your own time.
WHY TRAIN WITH ME?
I’M ALSO A PHOTOGRAPHER
If you’re a photographer, I speak your language! I’ve worked as a photographer through analogue and digital times, and have over 10 years of darkroom ‘alchemy’ behind me, printing BW, resin and fibre-based, Lith, split-toning, Selenium, sepia – the full works. I’ve also printed Cibachrome and lots of C-type. We can communicate easily in relation to f-stops, depth-of-field, exposure, grain vs noise and lighting qualities. If you talk to me about emulsions or Mackie lines I’ll know what you mean! I have worked as an editorial and fashion editorial photographer in London and internationally, and I know the pressures and expectations of published photographers.
REAL-WORLD RETOUCHING EXPERIENCE
I’ve been a working retoucher for a decade, with a scope ranging from the fast-turnover bulk jobs to high end retouching jobs for advertising, cosmetics and top UK music acts – often to poster sizes. I know what it takes to work with clients, and where it’s a good idea to pre-empt them.
ANALYTIC AND METHODICAL APPROACH
I’ve been writing on Photoshop and retouching since 2004. The process of writing tutorials makes me plan the retouching with tighter discipline, trying to find the most direct route to a solution. I aim for clarity and avoid messy ‘mystery’ moves in retouching. Most importantly, tutorial writing demands analysis and honesty. It forces me to weed out bad habits, so I can help you clean up your act too!
EXTENSIVE PHOTOSHOP TRAINER & CONSULTANT EXPERIENCE
I have 12 years of training and 11 versions of Photoshop under my belt. Having trained people and businesses in Photoshop and retouching since 2002, I teach what I know, and I teach what I do. I know where people tend to stumble, and the typical ‘gotchas’ of image editing. In terms of learning, I’ve figured out what’s intuitive and what isn’t! I’ve consulted and held retouching courses for staff at QVC, ASOS, Avon, The Sun Newspaper, Thomson Holidays, and many more businesses. I’ve also Photoshop-trained a number of photographers within fashion, beauty, lifestyle, portrait, music photo, architecture, food & drink, weddings, advertising. My teaching style is pretty informal, and I’m used to getting blasted with questions and problems. It keeps me on my feet!
HAIR AND FACES SPECIALIST
I have extensive experience of hair and make-up, as I started my apprenticeship in that business full time aged 15, and had a salon in Norway that is still going strong today! As a new Master I took on my first apprentice before I was 20, and if there’s anything more scary than training someone in perming and cutting hair, I’d like to know! Much easier to do it virtually!
I’m a (deliberately) lapsed Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) – I prefer to call myself a ‘Certified Blonde’! I got bored of sitting a standard exam for each version of Adobe’s software, and I find it more useful to study the areas important to photography and retouching in depth. I also like to distance myself from the Adobe company, so that I can be free to voice my opinion without being beholden to anyone.
REAL LIFE OBSERVER
Finally – and this may seem a weird thing to say, but I believe one of my main strengths as a retoucher & trainer is that I leave the computer as much as possible, and get out and live life – not just virtually! I’m passionate about colour, nature, light – and perhaps a bit too obsessed with all things aesthetic. With or without my camera, I’m a keen observer of people and the world around me, and I think that’s pretty useful for retouching!
HOW DOES IT WORK?
BEFORE AND DURING THE TRAINING
The sessions are normally 3 hours of intensive training; 1-1 in person, or 2 hours over Skype with shared screen. We decide in advance on your area of interest. I’m flexible, but I try to organize the training in the right order. It helps me prepare if you submit a ‘wish list’ by email. During the training I will usually detect gaps that you may have missed out – things you’re not aware of. In the session we cover as much as we can, and I adapt the pace to YOUR ability. We can work on your files or on my training files, but working on your files will always be more relevant to your work. I expect you to get hands-on, and I will check that you’re actually picking up what I’m teaching you!
PRACTICE AFTER THE TRAINING
Many trainers offer full-day 1-1 courses, which are a waste of money because after 3 hours you will feel saturated and in need of consolidation. What you need is practice and repetition. Instead of charging you for a whole day for looking over your shoulder, we do 3 intense hours of training, requiring you to practice straight away afterwards at home, preferably the very same afternoon. To retain knowledge and new skills, you have to stay in the ‘mode’, read the notes, and get hands-on before it starts slipping away. It’s amazing what you can retain if you do! I like to see evidence of progress between sessions, and we can always re-cap next time. It’s very rare that people have not ‘got it’ during the session, but I of course offer to clarify any doubts or mix-ups by email after training.
TRAINING IN LONDON
I offer occasional training in London, based in Bethnal Green/Bow…. See the Training Locations page for more info!
PHOTOSHOP & RETOUCHING TRAINING IN CADIZ
My studio/office is currently based in Spain, Cadiz – a small, beautiful city on Costa de la Luz. If you are in need of some inspiration read the Training Locations page for more info!
PHOTOSHOP & RETOUCHING TRAINING ON SKYPE – WORLDWIDE
More info on the dedicated page for this new Skype training.
HOW DO WE START?
Send me an email telling me a bit about yourself: Your type of work, your website URL, and what you wish to achieve. Briefly describe your retouching & photoshop background/experience and Photoshop versions. Also please tell me where and how you prefer the training. Before I can reply, I need to know who you are and what you want to achieve, and I don’t reply to general questions like how much does retouching training cost or how much time does it take to learn retouching.
HOW MANY SESSIONS?
It’s up to you. The great benefit of this kind of training is that you can be totally flexible. After one session you will have learned something new, and probably learned that there is more to it than you thought – you don’t know what you don’t know! After 2 sessions you really start getting good at the stuff you came for the first time. After 3 sessions you’re really getting into the swing of it, and feeling increasingly confident.
WHAT TO BRING?
It helps to have a couple of representative samples of your recent work, preferably in layered files. If you’re bringing a computer or drive, please have the files organised in a ‘PS TRAINING’ folder so you don’t have to search and avoid over-writing any files. I can supply training images for specific examples. You will not be taking much notes but you may need to take down a few things particular to your own workflow, so please have a pen and notepad ready.
WHAT KIND OF IMAGES ARE BEST FOR TRAINING?
You should choose images that are representative and typical of your work, at least to start with. That way we establish the NORM for your workflow, and establish where it needs tweaking. During later sessions we can progress to more difficult images, and work on the exceptions, using more extreme measures to rescue those tricky shots.
WHO IS IT NOT FOR?
I don’t train people in retouching who haven’t reached a certain level of general Photoshop proficiency, and I can’t commit myself to train anyone from scratch as a retoucher – that would be an apprenticeship! If you’re a beginner, it’s much better to go on a course, with loads of hands-on practice time. The information during a 1-1 session is too much to retain for a novice who hasn’t got the necessary Photoshop references. I reserve the right to say NO to training those I believe won’t benefit from it, as it would be a waste of your time and money, and ultimately very disappointing!
GLAMOUR and ‘LINGERIE’ PHOTOGRAPHY
I love fashion, especially with clothes on! I love beauty, when there is actual beauty captured! Personally, I dislike cliche’d pouty glamour or ‘lingerie’ images, partly because I feel they objectify women, and these kind of shots seem to be the currency of photographers who are not really into photography – just into girls – and therefor produce yawn-inducing similar imagery without much creative merit. As you can see from my own images, I have nothing against nudity but it has to be interesting and not just gratuitous! I also steer clear of any pageant photography or images that I feel are sexist or offensive to either men or women. I also avoid producing heavily liquified retouching or extreme facial modification or body modification. VERY hard words, I know, but I feel strongly about this, and I think it’s fair to warn my potential training clients about my view on it. If you disagree – that’s absolutely fine – you can just choose someone else to train with!
CAR PHOTOGRAPHY and CGI
I’m not a CGI retoucher and I tend to avoid training for areas I’m not specialised in. I don’t do any ‘fantasy’ retouching either, so if those are things you’re into, I’m not the one for you!