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Author Topic: Outsourcing image retouching  (Read 8469 times)
Derryck
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« on: July 17, 2012, 04:27:12 AM »
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I was wondering if any commercial photographers here had any experience outsourcing their image retouching to places like India?

Normally my assistant and I take care of retouching but this year we've been very busy we don't have the time. It's really only for product photography on a white background. I'm mainly thinking about just uploading full size jpgs for them to add clipping paths which is the most time consuming part and transferring those paths to the Hi Res Files we are working on. If it works it'd save a truckload of time and money.

Are there any suppliers that you'd recommend? What kind of turn around time is the norm? How do they calculate their pricing?

Thanks,

Derryck.









« Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 06:59:40 AM by Derryck » Logged

Craig Lamson
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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2012, 09:54:10 AM »
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I was wondering if any commercial photographers here had any experience outsourcing their image retouching to places like India?

Normally my assistant and I take care of retouching but this year we've been very busy we don't have the time. It's really only for product photography on a white background. I'm mainly thinking about just uploading full size jpgs for them to add clipping paths which is the most time consuming part and transferring those paths to the Hi Res Files we are working on. If it works it'd save a truckload of time and money.

Are there any suppliers that you'd recommend? What kind of turn around time is the norm? How do they calculate their pricing?

Thanks,

Derryck.


One of  my clients had a bad experience with the out sourced clipping paths from India.  The photographer they were using sent the product shots out for the paths.  Price was decent but the quality was hit and miss.  Many shots required intervention by the client as the photographer failed to do a quality check himself.  It was enough of a problem that ,in part, it was the reason for a change of photographers.

YMMV
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usathyan
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« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2012, 10:08:37 AM »
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I suggest you look at http://retouchpro.com/ - Check out their forums. There are plenty of folks out there for outsourcing these things....
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Umesh Bhatt
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SecondFocus
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2012, 07:10:38 PM »
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Be careful about Retouchpro in my opinion. I put out a request about retouchers and was besieged by e-mail and telephone calls from India and Pakistan about services. Some even became verbally abusive when I told them I did not want to use their service. I also contacted some retouchers I found there and found them to be routinely unprofessional at best.

I suggest you look at http://retouchpro.com/ - Check out their forums. There are plenty of folks out there for outsourcing these things....
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Ian L. Sitren
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Derryck
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« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2012, 08:18:27 PM »
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Thanks for all the input. I'll keep doing my research. I definitely don't want to get images back that require loads of work correcting the paths. Below are two examples of the typical work that need paths.




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gubaguba
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« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2012, 08:01:35 AM »
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I have sent literally thousands of images for clipping paths in India.  I have had very little issue.  Some services are better then others and typical turn around time for images is 24 hours. I have not used them for anything more then clipping paths.  Sometimes they get backed up and service takes longer, and sometimes they get sloppy and miss stuff but no more than average.  Payment was after completion via paypal.  If you have a ton of images to process you can negotiate a better deal.  Send a selection of images easy to difficult as a test.

Paul

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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2012, 10:35:19 PM »
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I retouch all my own images, but contract out for paths and some masking.

I used a clipping path service out of Bangladesh for 5 years. For paths, their work was incredibly fast with about 2% of the image paths needing to be corrected. All work was paid via PayPal, with the most complex path costing US$4. The typhoon of 2007 wiped them out. There was no email contact ever again.

I suggest you try out whichever path/masking services interest you. All the decent services offer a trial of several images.
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Derryck
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« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2012, 08:07:58 PM »
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Thanks Paul and Chris,

good to hear that some people have had good experiences with this type of work.

I've now got a couple of contacts and will send out a few test images and see how we go.

Cheers,

Derryck.

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amsp
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« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2012, 06:37:42 PM »
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My own experience unfortunately is pretty bad, they're usually very sloppy and badly trained, expect to waste a lot of time going back and forth over corrections or just giving up and correcting them yourself in the end. I also found that getting samples is often very unreliable as they most likely will have a large staff and it's unlikely you'll get the same guy working on your pictures from one time to another. Let's just say quality control is not exactly their strong point. Communication is often hindered by distance, language problems or just plain incompetence. I even had to go as far as to produce a "how-to" video once, just to show them how things are done. Not exactly something I think you should have to do if you're buying a professional service from someone. I guess if you still want to go the cheap third world route my advice would be do your research well or be ready for a whole lot of frustration coming your way.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 06:46:46 PM by amsp » Logged
nduell
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« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2012, 08:26:39 PM »
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Hi Derryck,

I usually don't do this (Promoting myself), but I saw this post while working at a client's site and I thought I could provide you with another option.

I run a cost per unit retouching website out of Melbourne, www.retouchinfantry.com. We am dirt not as cheap as the India services, but we do quality post production and we have a phone number that you can call when needed. If you would like to talk about certain requirements or if you have any questions please dont hesitate me via the contact form on the website and I could give you a call. ( I just don't want to give out me number here.)

Cheers,

Nicholas
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