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From Photoshop Novice to One Of The Largest Online Retouching Channels| An Interview With RetutPro

By Paul Faecks on June 17th 2014

As photographers, one of our important tools, besides the camera, of course, is Photoshop. It’s been overused and underused, but use it correctly, and you can create some pretty amazing results. If you know how to use it properly and there are many resources available to you online to teach you how to do so.

RetutPro is one of the most successful resources for online education worldwide. You can learn photography and Photoshop in numerous premium tutorials or take a look and the free YouTube tutorials. I had the opportunity to interview one of the instructors of the site, Manni, who tells us how he learned Photoshop and proceeded to build the biggest photography and retouching channel in Africa.

[REWIND: MAGICALLY BIZARRE PHOTOSHOP MANIPULATIONS]

How did you get into photography and Photoshop? Where did you learn it? My love for photography started in early 2007 when I bought myself a small digicam in order to take some holiday snapshots. At first, I was happy with all my simple-looking images, but after succeeding in the first levels, I noticed that others mentioned you can do much more with Photoshop.

This also expanded really quickly into the Photoshop world and at that time I had a very bad understanding of the Adobe Photoshop software. After a lot of practice and trial & error, I decided to purchase some more in-depth training DVDs from some of the best industry leading Photoshoppers – which at that time was a German instructor named Calvin Hollywood. I had been following his training and his blog for over two years and at some point he offered me a 3-month internship.He then taught me all the ins and outs of Photoshop.

So that was really my photoshop breakthrough. But until today, I still spend about an hour every day learning new techniques and constantly searching the Internet for other great trainings & instructors!

When was the point you decided to share your knowledge? Why did you make that decision?

While I was working as a photographer, many other photographers asked me if I could host some workshops. 

After a few workshops, some students asked if they could have all the training in a video or online and that was really when the spark hit me! So I decided to start a free Photoshop channel on YouTube and also to teach more in-depth Photoshop training on my website. Fast forward three years and the training side became so big, that I spent more time teaching Photoshop than shooting! But I really do love it!

Do you have any people you look up to, that inspire you? Yes, actually a few, but not only for what they have achieved in the photography or retouching industry, but rather for what they have achieved from a business side or lifestyle perspective!  Here are a few: Scott Kelby, Calvin Hollywood, Aaron Nace, Pye Jirsa, Julia Kuzmenko, Karl Taylor, Jared Polin and many more.

What do you do to get creative? Do you have certain things that help you get creative?

Sometimes seeing a specific thing, place or person in real life sparks my creative mind… or just watching an amazing movie!

Were you facing any challenges while developing your YouTube channel?

Yes, a few actually, which I would rather like to list as some quick bullet points. But nonetheless, I still want to encourage photographers to believe in themselves and show the world how amazing they are.

  • Being respected by the YouTube community
  • Understanding how to present information while still being entertaining
  • Fighting with myself about constantly putting out information for free
  •  Constantly coming up with good and improved content
  • Sticking to a video schedule & delivering videos on a regular basis without having a big budget
  • Finding real YouTube friends & Channel partners
  • Understanding how to grow your first 10,000 subscribers
  • Learning to be patient and how to deal with rude comments
  • Understanding that skill isn’t everything… Good branding, marketing, advertising, good music, and getting people to laugh also plays a big role!

How do you deal with the huge competition of free tutorials on YouTube? What sets your paid tutorials apart?

I think there is are ton of really bad free tutorials out there and then again some really really good ones. If you can manage to place yourself in the good tutorial section you will never have to deal with a lot of competitors. You will always have some competition, but it’s for free! People will still love and watch you because it’s good and nicely presented!

Retutpro 9 What sets my paid tutorials apart from my free tutorials? It’s actually very simple, in the paid tutorials, you will receive all my work files,including the raw file, the Psd file and all included retouching lessons from start to finish, even if it’s two hours long. Plus also I have a private support group in which I personally give one on one feedback.

Thanks again for interviewing me and I personally am a big fan of SLR Lounge!

Thanks to RetutPro! If you want to learn learn more about RetutPro, you can do so at their website or their YouTube channel.

Credits: All photographs by RetutPro are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

About

Paul Faecks is a portrait- and fine art photographer, based in Berlin. If you want to check out his latest work, you can do so by following him on Instagram or by liking his Facebook Page

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Rob Kirkland

    Great! I am always looking for good tutorials.

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  2. Aaron Cheney

    So creative!

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  3. Jacob Jexmark

    I love Mannis tutorials, he has some serious skill. Also I have a soft spot for that german/SA accent. :)

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  4. Prashaunth J

    Wonderful article, It was very useful.

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  5. Stuparu Sorin

    Excellent article and great photographer, he is an ispiration source.

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  6. John Deir

    Manni is very good and he explains things in depth. I went all the way through his free Udemy course and gave me an indepth understanding how Photoshop and his Lightroom course too, works.
    I very much appreciate his givinh of himself and others on the web in providing free tutorials for us novices new to all this. THANKS MANNI!

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  7. Christopher

    There are some truly amazing images/works of art in this collection. Awesome resource for premium Photoshop tutorials.

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  8. Justin Lin

    Great resource!

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  9. Joshua Flowers

    I’ve learned sooo much from Manni’s channel. Great tutorials and great quality too. I highly recommend his channel for beginners and pro’s alike.

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    • Christopher

      How does this compare to the Phlearn tutorials?

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    • Chris

      @Christopher:
      Aaron from Phlearn has much better (simpler) techniques, his tutorials aren’t as long and he really knows his stuff – Manni is taking advice from people in the comments

      I also find Aaron’s voice, setup and attitute much more pleasing, but that’s just me :)

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