Yesterday (19th August), we celebrate the World Photography Day and there isn't a better moment to talk a little bit about my experience as a photographer. Who doesn't know, I spent twelve years of my life shooting commercial and fashion campaigns. It was golden years, plenty of learning and amazing experiences.
Even four years after selling all my equipment, it's usual to question me if miss shooting or would like to shoot again. People have some difficulty to understand why I left an established and growing career to dedicate myself just to retouching images.
However, the act of retouching images is only a slice of the pie. Today, my daily work at Doctor Raw is to manage a big studio that handles 1.000 of images per month on average (and we're not talking about jobs of high-volume for e-commerce, for example). The routine of many management tasks, meetings, and support for other departments makes it impossible to reconcile two careers. I've had to make a choice and here I am.
Indeed, I really know and relish how all the experience earned as a photographer makes my job extremely better now. The understanding of lighting, sun positions, depth of field, zone system (thanks to unmissable Ansel Adams), and everything that happens before an image is captured by the camera makes to me all the difference to decide what to do after, on the computer.
Thus, answering the question about if I miss shooting, yes! of course, I miss. But I also understand my mission today. I really want to transmit all this knowledge to each retoucher who join the team, making the retouching service an effective extension of the photographer's work.
So, congratulations to all my friends and clients photographers, I'm so glad to have been one of you in the past, even for a time. You rock!
// Guilherme Menezes is director of Doctor Raw, the fashion retouching studio trusted by the world's best photographers.