Photo retouching is becoming more popular and important with the rise of social media and the growing demand for high-quality digital images. Today, almost every image we see in magazines, advertisements, and online has been retouched to some degree. But it is impossible to talk about retouching and its growth, especially in the US, without mentioning Nick Leadlay.
The name Nick Leadlay is synonymous with the art of retouching. Nick built his brand from the ground up, working with A-list celebrities and big companies in advertising campaigns and movie/TV posters. His journey to the top is a testament to his talent, hard work, and dedication.
Nick was born in England but raised in the small, government-focused city of Ottawa, Ontario in Eastern Canada, where the closest thing they had to Hollywood was a local movie theatre. But Nick didn’t give up on his passion for creation. He always knew he wanted to do something in the entertainment or film industries, and with no formal education, he started photography and retouching.
Undeterred, Nick began looking into photo retouching. He invested in research. He taught himself how to use various photo editing software programs such as Photoshop and Capture One Pro and honed his skills by working on personal projects. Nick then started getting small gigs, and he later launched his business.
After spending three years in Toronto building his portfolio, he had enough highend work to apply for an O-1 US work visa. He took the risk and moved from Toronto, Canada, to Los Angeles. Unlike his small town, the US offers more opportunities in the entertainment industry, and launching his career in Hollywood was the goal.
Nick has worked at Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, The Oscars, The Golden Globes, The SAG Awards, The Critics’ Choice Awards, The BAFTA Awards, and more. He was invited to retouch for top brands in the country with his skills, making him one of the most sought-photo retouchers.
In the coming years, Nick says he would like to push more into motion and colorist work while maintaining his stills work. He has also been working on a lot more automobile advertising campaigns, an area he would like to further pursue.
Nick encourages other young dreamers to invest in their goals and network, as this will highly determine success. He also stresses the importance of taking risks. Move to where the action is and devise a plan to help you stand out from the crowd, and work on building your client connections.
Nick Leadlay’s journey to the top is a testament to his talent, hard work, and dedication. He has shown that it is possible to achieve great success in any field with the right combination of passion, skill, and perseverance. His story is an inspiration to everyone striving to achieve their dreams, no matter how big or small.
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