Back in 2001 I’d just been made redundant from Chromagene where I had worked as a Large Format printer for a few months. I needed a job and luckily someone mentioned my name to Graham at Trafalgar Photographic Studios as at the time they were looking for someone to help with their rapidly expanding digital assets.
Thankfully I got the job and worked there for 4-5 years and had a great time working on literally thousands (and thousands) of images, I learnt an awful lot working there about work-flow and how to manage lots and lots of Photographers and all their images.
When I decided to leave Trafalgar I’d gone from being a retoucher sat in the corner of a dark studio to running the IT Department, part of the management team and responsible for all of the studios digital assets and all of the retouching. I continued to work with them for a few years after I left on a freelance basis.
Trafalgar Photographic Studios is now Set Visions Ltd and they are still creating incredible set photography for many large Home Décor Clients such as B&Q and Mearway.
I learnt an incredible about about retouching during those years of working in Bradford, most of the work was day to day retouching of dust spots and perfecting the image for the client, but over the years I worked on some very complex images.
Below I’ve added a selection of images that I worked on while working at Trafalgar Photographic Studios.
Before & After
Sadly I don’t have as many Before and Afters as I would like from my years at Trafalgar, but here are a few to show you the extent of some of the retouching work I’ve undertaken.
Using this and quite a few different other images of this building site I was able to create an image for the client that they could use to show customers what their development would look like when it was finished.
This was an image for a B&Q Kitchen Brochure (I think…) one of the few “before” images I have from my time at Trafalgar, shows the extent of the retouching work that is needed to make a raw room-set shot ready for the designer to drop into their Brochure for printing.
Often in Brochures the client wants to try to show movement and the function of a softly closing draw, here are a few examples that I worked on, most of them use multiple exposures blended together to create a bit of movement.
The bulk of the most intensive retouching work I undertook while working at Trafalgar was working on what were our unique selling point at the time (and still is), the big room-sets. I remember when I fist started working there I couldn’t believe what the talented builders and stylists could do in the studio, I was blown away to see what was possible. I always liked to think that I was the one who put the extra little finishing touches on a shot, giving it a thorough once over before it when to print, making sure there were no errors, with the building, the styling or the Photography.
Sadly I don’t have any of the “before” retouching shots for these images but you can see the quality and diversity of the projects I worked on while at Trafalgar.
When your working on a brochure there are many hero shots the more complex room sets and insets. There are also in most brochures a host of cutout product images and I was responsible for cutting out many of these in Photoshop. Many people complain about doing tasks like cutouts, I quite like doing them, I find it quite therapeutic. Here are a selection of images I cut out at my time at Trafalgar.
I loved working at Trafalgar and still to this day keep in touch with many of the people I worked with. I’m glad I left when I did, it was important for me to become self employed, but I look back now and I do miss the people and the work, it was good fun being part of something big.