One of the reasons I left photo retouching was the completely unrealistic time expectations from clients and employers. I worked at a weekly entertainment magazine for over 5 years so I know how to work under deadlines and tight schedules. But the business has just gotten completely out of hand. People with accounting backgrounds, who know absolutely nothing about photography and retouching are often setting the schedules.
Case in point, here's a job post I came across from The Gilt Groupe ( [link]
"Job Description: The Retoucher works within a team that produces all images used in a sale, including women and men's fashion, accessories, and jewelry. The successful candidate will work closely with their colleagues to produce, on average, five sales per week (approximately 150 images per day) in this deadline-driven and high-volume production environment".
Retouch and color correct 150 images per day? Exqueeze me? OK kids.... let's do the math: 8 hour workday = 480 minutes, 480 ÷ 150 = 3.2 minutes per image. Oh....did you want lunch or bathroom breaks? That cuts the time down to 2.8 minutes per image. They actually had the balls to list one of the job qualifications as "Ability to work very quickly without sacrificing overall image quality". F*** YOU!
Obviously nobody consulted an actually retoucher about the turn around times.
Funny thing is, I actually know the CEO of this company and she's one of the only executives I respect. But it sounds like the place is run by two sorority girls named "Alexis and Alexandra" [link]
I wonder what these two have been smoking?
So for entertainment purposes only.... based on my years of experience working in fashion and retail, here's a dramatic re-enactment what a typical day working for Alexis and Alexandra is like (Susan if you read this, it's totally not a reflection on you
9:00 am: Begin work, open job. Paperwork including instructions are missing. Look for images on the server, also missing.
9:30 am: Finally find the work files buried 15 folders deep and the folder has the wrong name.
11:00 am: Alexis and Alexandra arrive at the office via town car. They're both hung over and carrying Big Gulp sized cups from Starbuck's [link]
11:01 am: Still wearing their sunglasses, Alexis and Alexandra make the first ridiculous work request of the day. Refusing to put down their cell phones, they provide you with vague and convoluted instructions. As they speak, you smell Clinique, cigarettes and vodka. You discreetly take a step back.
11:02 am: Open the job and discover everything Alexis and Alexandra told you was wrong. You inform them and they reply: "I don't understand, [insert name of the person who recently quit] never had a problem with this".
11:03 am: Sit down at desk, elbows on the desk and your face in your hands thinking "maybe I made a mistake taking this job". You look up and see Alexis and Alexandra still on their cells while they try on new shoes. Then Alexis knocks over her coffee and ruins Alexandra's shoes. You look up at heaven and smile.
11:15 am: Still wearing sunglasses, Alexis and Alexandra inform you they are leaving for lunch and will be gone for hours. They giggle as they leave the office and fall back into the town car. You secretly hope the driver is drunk. Look at the clock, look at the pile of work in front of you. Time for Advil.
2:30 - 3:00 pm: Alexis and Alexandra roll back into the office. Now they smell like Mojitos and they're carrying 15 shopping bags.
3:01 pm: Alexis and Alexandra ask if you are finished. You tell them they didn't give you the proper instructions and there's no way to complete the job that quickly. They get snippy and say something like "this is why we have to do everything ourselves". They again attempt to explain the job only now the info. is Mojito filtered.
4:00 pm: Alexis and Alexandra announce they have to leave for the rest of the day "to attend a meeting" A.K.A. a manny - peddy. They'll check the job they absolutely needed hours ago.... tomorrow afternoon. They wobble out of the office shopping bags in tow.
4:01 pm: Close Photoshop, open Word. Update your resume.
4:30 pm: Search "retouching" on Jobster.com
4:35 pm: Just for shits and giggles, you Google search Alexis and Alexandra. Top results all contain the words "socialite", "party" and "sex tape". All images link back to Gawker.com.
4:36 pm: Take Alexis and Alexandra voodoo dolls out of your draw and repeatedly stab them in the eyes and crotch. Suddenly your headache vanishes.
5:00 pm. Take the work you didn't finish home to complete.
5:15 pm: Stop at bar for a drink. The woman sitting next to you is drinking a Mojito. The smell makes you gag. Put your elbows on the bar, your face in your hands and shake your head.