Pratik Naik is a professional digital artist and owner of Solstice Retouch. He is very famous and respected in the photography industry. He has edited photos for such magazines as Vogue, Marie Claire, Elle, Zink, and FHM and worked with many popular photographers, like Lara Jade, Joey L, Bill Jones, and others.
Before becoming a retoucher, he was going to continue his family business and work in hotel management and marketing. However, his family sold their business and Pratik Naik decided to devote his life to post processing. At that time, it was only his hobby.
When he tried photographing people and editing for the first time, he realized that this was what he really wanted to do. He enjoyed taking and enhancing photos.
These days, he doesn’t take photos as often as before as he mostly works in the beauty industry. He prefers working in a studio.
When he began working in the photography industry, it was difficult for Pratik Naik to establish a name and get popular. He didn’t know that it takes so much time and effort to get clients and become well-known. First 3 years, he worked without a day off.
He used his knowledge in marketing and advertised his highend retouching on social networks. Then, the Fstoppers team noticed him and offered him his first teaching job with CreativeLive. Since then, he has been teaching other photographers and retouchers to create stunning photos.
Pratik Naik believes that to become successful you need to have skills in different areas, such as business, accounting, photography marketing, social networking, client relations.
He often takes photos of celebrities or fashion photos of models in unique outfits. Also, he travels all over the world to shoot in different locations.
Pratik Naik also works on fitness and commercial campaigns, but he enjoys working in the fashion industry the most.
When working on skin retouching, he tends to focus on what distracts him more. He zooms in and looks for the elements that draw attention. He can spend from 15 minutes to a couple of hours on one picture depending on what he needs to do.
Sometimes, his vision differs from what everyone might expect. For example, he prefers to maintain the original skin structure instead of smoothing it out.
Also, he removes everything odd and distracting. Usually, he decides how to do it by himself or follows the wishes of a photographer.
Besides, he often uses the same poses or facial expressions. He can use the same clothes, accessories, or hairstyle. In addition, Pratik Naik pays attention to makeup retouch and avoids making it too bright.
He doesn’t retouch corporate headshots because it takes too much of his time. He loves fashion and beauty, so he works mainly in these areas.
Richard Avedon and Irving Penn are among the most inspiring photographers that Pratik Naik looks up to.
Pratik believes that the most significant part of photo-editing gear is a monitor. He works with the NEC MultiSync line monitor and likes IPS displays.
He recommends using a good laptop, such as Apple Macbook Pro. You can connect it to an external monitor if you have to travel a lot. This will help you work on it both at home and on the go.
When selecting a monitor for photo editing, you have to check whether it comes with a fast video card, a solid-state drive (SSD), and a minimum of 8 GB of RAM (better if 16 GB). He says that you can find a good monitor even if you don’t have much money.
As for tablets for photo editing, he uses the Wacom tablet. He says that these tablets are quite reliable and durable. He likes to work with the Intuos Pro line. Besides, he believes that even budget models deliver a good performance. You can also buy a used product and test it before buying a new one.
Pratik is an experienced teacher and offers courses to share his knowledge. With him, you can enhance your editing skills and create stunning photos. He will teach you how to do portraits photoshopping and achieve nice results without much effort. He has many Photoshop tutorials on YouTube that you can check out. Besides, he is a teacher at the Retouching YouTube Series and creator of the Infinite Color Panel. He often goes to different countries and gives workshops and seminars.