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LTR! Podcast Episode
# 018

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BOUTiQUE RETOUCHING

The Dark Sides Of The Retouching Industry

It’s been a while since the last update. Here is why and what has happened behind the curtains!
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21:59

We Need To Talk!

Hey everyone! This is more of a personal/emotional episode than any I have published before. Having debated with myself whether I should post such personal content on the blog and in the podcast over many days, I have now come to the decision to share all of this.

Boutique Retouching LTR-Podcast-image LTR!018 - What happened to Edgeworld Retouch?

Reflecting

As the end of the year, or better the new year is approaching quickly, it is time for me not so much to look back but more towards the future, making plans and re-evaluating my goals. A lot has changed for me in the past months, and I might have left you confused by moving the podcast to a new website. Therefore I want to sit down and talk about a few things that led to this decision, what I am planning and where I might take things regarding retouching.

I Normally Do Not Talk About This Stuff!

First of all, this is hard for me to speak out in public about the plans I have made which puts me under a lot of pressure to deliver results and to reach my goals. But more I fear openly talking about what did not work for me, where I failed and to be held accountable. It is not something that comes naturally to me. But I guess that is my responsibility now.

I don’t even know where to start because there are so many gears moving in my life. I just know you might have the same questions as I had.

So, let me get into all of what happened in the past 2 years, many decisions and happenings behind curtains.

Let’s talk about moving the website!

By the time this episode is out, all the traffic is being redirected from edgeworldretouch.com to boutiqueretouching.com. Some links are dead as I have tried to update content, streamline URLs and so on. It was just me missing out on planning this properly. Over time I will only discover the broken links and manually sort them out. If you know about SEO, you might now also guess that this might have already cost me quite some traffic, possibly Google penalties, too. And that definitely is the case.

How Edgeworld Retouch started

But let me start way earlier in the past to explain how Edgeworld Retouch came to be, what I was not happy with and what contributed to my decisions to let it die off.

The Website

I had started with the domain edgeworld.de. Never had I real plans with the website nor was I thinking about putting a retouching portfolio up there. I am not quite sure, maybe I had the idea to sell t-shirts with that domain. Not that I knew anything about an online business back then.

I might have briefly talked about this in one or the other podcast episode that I once took courses on web design. While taking these classes, I had to work with Photoshop and eventually noticed that I liked playing around with photos much more over editing code. So I did more of it.

The website/domain was there long before I started retouching and knowing what to do with it.

The Start In Retouching

Long story short, as I did more editing, I found this thing called high-end retouching. Fascinated by what I have seen I was captured by the perfection in images that I have never discovered before. I wanted to learn this! So so badly!

Then I started probably like everyone else: not knowing where to start!

I have spent countless nights trying to figure this out. Have watched a few tutorials here and there but mostly, being so technical and analytical, I had the need to figure things out myself, have I always compared myself to others, to find differences and to learn from it. Probably not the fastest way but I eventually got there.

Reasons Why Edgeworld Retouch Had To Go:

Anyways, I do not want to bug you with the details of how I learned. Fast forward a few years, and I have made plenty of progress in retouching. So I just put a website up. Later I had moved it to edgeworldretouch.com. Aka Edgeworld Retouch was run on a copied database from a few years back. I was continually working on the page, trying to add features, trying to build a community,…. but eventually, I ended up with a few bugs I could not get rid of. I was at a point where I had to re-work the complete website.

The Brand / Retouching Business

Considering, I initially saw retouching just as a hobby I have eventually made quite some progress with that project of mine. So let me tell you it really hurt to let go of it.

I have made quite some connections in this industry, have retouched cover stories for the most prominent fashion/beauty magazines, have done national and international campaigns – All without a team around me. A few years back I would have never thought of doing all of this or accomplishing anything in the creative field.

What always bugged me though was the name I had chosen. Even today I cannot explain why I have decided to go with it. The name was in no way connected to retouching. That said, people got familiar with it eventually.

What always bugged me though was the name I had chosen. Even today I cannot explain why I have decided to go with it. The name was in no way connected to retouching. That said, people got familiar with it eventually.

Making The Decision To Teach

But even if people became more familiar with my work…it was all about the images. When going to conventions this was kind of weird at first, knowing, many were familiar with my work but not with the person behind it. It did not really affect me until I made the conscious decision also to teach retouching. People want a personal connection to whom they chose to learn from.

And this is where my fears of becoming somewhat of a public persona came into play. From my upbringing and my mentality, I am not born to do this, I am not born to speak and to stand in front of a camera to create content. Even this podcast was something I would have never thought I could do.

Differentiation

When you make the decision to cater to multiple audiences at the same time, things quickly become confusing. I felt like building a platform for people to learn while at the same time doing retouching to a very high standard as a business just leads to such confusions. Regarding marketing, I never wanted to write about casual topics just to reach more people and to position myself as a very high-skilled professional. I have now come to a conclusion to split things up and to make a change in marketing strategy and audience targeting.

Health

Another reason why things did not progress like I wanted them to was facing depressions or herniated disc issues again and again. While you might wonder how this has anything to do with my retouching business, to me, it is another reason to seek out for change actively. The past 2.5 years were not pretty, emotionally I was at an all-time, long-lasting low that I am just climbing out of. Herniated disc issues just topped things up leaving me with not being able to do much aside from sitting home. I am not here to tell you what to do when feeling down or when suffering from clinical depression but making conscious decisions for your life again is a welcome thing to do. Even if it might create more work, cost me some money, … I instead take that than constantly hovering between reality and lumbus.

The Industry / Friends / Enemies

Over the years I have made many friends which I am still connected with but also have made enemies. Let me say, people, are not always like the image the portrait in public. In no way, I want to blame anyone here. Sometimes there are stones cast your way for you to maneuver around or sometimes they happily throw said rocks at you. I have to say though, the number of positive connections I made and still am maintaining by far outweigh the negative ones. It is just a small push towards “oh well fuck it, I’ll start all over. I am going to moving on!” But after all, it was due to said friends who pushed me towards pulling through and challenging myself while I was continually considering to give up on everything.

Reinventing Oneself

Seeking Out Change

I just knew I have to try and change the image of myself of myself and the mental state I put myself in. The feeling of not being good enough does not get you anywhere, so I started practicing. All hidden behind what was publically distributed through my regular channels. I practiced video editing, audio recording, and post-production, learned more about marketing, sales, Seo, content strategy. But more importantly, I think I am on the way of learning more about myself and what I am worth.

As so much has changed behind the curtains it was just time for me to also make public commitments to the changes I set in motion. This is my biggest takeaway of everything that has happened. To keep moving forward!

New Brand

With so many things and parts in my life are moving sign I wanted to send out to promote this change was to re-brand. It is a new start. But as I am not working all by myself anymore, I wanted to use the new brand to position my business more as a retouching agency. Another sign I intended to send out with the re-brand was pricing. Never have I wanted to work cheap it made sense to encompass high quality and high pricing with the business name. BOUTiQUE RETOUCHING is a high-priced, high-quality retouching studio

Differentiation

So, you might as, what is going to be different now? Well, BOUTiQUE RETOUCHING will mainly be a high-end retouching studio for boutique clients. Content on the website will mostly be targeted to other professionals. Whether this will include retouching services or training other professionals and advertising agencies. It will not be the place where you will be finding tons of tutorials, even less for the beginner retoucher.
However, for teaching retouching to others is a deep-rooted passion of mine, I have decided to create a platform eventually which teaches others the arts and crafts of post-production. If you want to follow what is coming on there, head over to learnpostproduction.com and subscribe to our mailing list and be one of the first to know when things are getting started over there.

Podcast And Teaching

Now, concerning the podcast, it is not going anywhere! That I can promise you guys! With all the work on my business and client work coming in, it is hard to keep a regular schedule. But I will keep doing it!
The intention was to give voice to the fantastic people working in post-production, for them often doing their magic behind closed doors and having to fight for having their work credited!

My goal is to get more of you pixel ninjas on the podcast! I have already recorded a bunch of interviews but haven’t found the time to edit them yet hoping you will continue to listen and to support the podcast!

The podcast currently has no sponsors. Therefore any support is absolutely welcome! If you like the podcast, subscribe to it and tell your friends about it. Maybe consider leaving a comment or write me a message or email and tell me how you like the show. I would really appreciate getting this kind of feedback but also to get to know people who are listening!

Until then

– Daniel

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