Anyone know if there is any money to be made in the photography editing business? Specifically in high end portrait/wedding/fashion?
I currently work as a photographer, but my wife is Chinese and we are considering a move back to China, my Mandarin is not fluent enough to run a business and deal with clients and I am not particularly fond of teaching.
I was thinking about brushing up on my portrait retouching skills and offering my services in my home country and just working from home in China.
I do realize that there Indians will do it cheap as fuck.. But I also know a family member of mine (a successful wedding photographer) pays an editor about $1600 to edit every wedding he shoots.
I also remember that trip from ages ago Photoshopr that apparently worked as an editor?
Anyway, honestly curious if this could be a worthwhile business.
Theoretically, I'm sure there is money somewhere in editing. Probably not as much as you hope.
Like with photography and other unqualified jobs that amateurs at least partly can do (often adequately), never mind all the art school people, it's probably an over-saturated market.
You probably need people & business skills as well as luck, and some hard work with editing, to get and keep getting jobs.
Photo editing =/= photo retouching.
Now that we have that out of the way, yes there is money to be made in retouching. It is my sole source of income. I do it in the U.S. though. I have no idea what the market is like in China. Yes, there are retouching houses in India as well as China that churn out basic work for pennies but they are generally not used for anything beyond basic masking prep so that we can do the hard work that requires color correction and art direction.
You need connections and a portfolio of work. You need to be highly skilled if you want to make a real living doing retouching, I mean a minimum of 2,000 hours experience doing professional work.
What sort of income do you earn doing this full time?
My market would be the Australian market (and I guess somewhat international being online) as I do not have level of Mandarin fluency to operate in China.
We are not planning on leaving right away, my idea was to build this slowly while still keeping my current job.. If it is something I could develop we could then think about the move to China.
I make $65-95k US per year depending on steadiness of the work (usually 32-hours/week).
You will want to establish clients before you leave Australia as it easier to get remote work if you've done on-site for them previously. Try looking for a job doing in-house retouching for clothing or cosmetics companies. You'll also learn whether you actually have the skills to do the work once you're thrown in the mix with other retouchers.