Name:
Justin Main

Location:
Toronto

Years working in photo-manipulation:
16

Website and social media accounts:
@photified (IG)

Current employer/freelance:
Viral Nation (Ad Agency where I am the Head Content Creator) and @photified (freelance)

What’s your artistic background?
It has always been Photoshop!

How did you get started in photo-manipulation and compositing?
I started Photoshopping in 2001 for my xbox live clan website. I would create wallpapers and clan tags for each member.

Are you self-taught or did you study?
I was self taught for the first 5 years, then I decided to go to college and pursue digital imaging as a career.

Is photo-manipulation a hobby or full-time job?
Photo-manipulation is my full time job. I spend on average 10 hours a day in Photoshop. I create content for a wide variety of businesses including Google, Crayola, Timberland, Club Med, CBS and Scotiabank.

For paid work, how do you keep your personality in your creations when working from a brief?
I instill confidence in the decision makers that giving me creative freedom is the smartest plan of action. I use analytics to reinforce this, and convince the client that it will ensure the greatest return on investment.

When you start a manipulation do you have the end result in mind? Or does it evolve as you progress?
Every design is different. Sometimes it stays the same, sometimes it evolves as I edit.

What’s the best advice you can give someone starting out in photo-manipulation?
Pay attention to lighting direction. Nothing throws off an edit like inconsistent lighting.

What software could you not live without?
If Photoshop didn’t exist I would not be happy.

What advice would you give someone for making manipulation a full-time job?
Target your audience. If you are freelancing, find a niche. If you are trying to attain a content creation job, make images that suit advertising.

Can you show us your workspace? What are the most important features of it?
I have worked in dingy basements in France, hot beaches in Mexico, and caves in Cuba. It doesn’t matter where I am or what desk is near. As long as I have my laptop I am good to go.

What’s your favourite photo-manipulation you’ve created and why?
I don’t really have a favorite.

Who’s your favourite photo-manipulator?
Erik Johansson

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