Tia Jai had high hopes of becoming a model in the early
90s, trekking to NYC only to be told she was not skinny enough or tall enough
or basically just did not have the look for the industry at that time.My, how times have changed! Tia says "
I hung up the stilettos and found my way around the comedy circuit in sneakers
Now a reformed comic, she began her retouching career
easily enough, by designing my own fliers.After a few years she began to cross over into the actual
retouching aspect of photo shop.
Maddy: How did you get involved in the photography
Tia: I was introduced to the photography world by my best
friend of 20 plus years turned photographer.
Maddy: We met when PLUS first started to work with
photographer Inez Lewis. Was this your first entry into the plus size industry?
Tia: That it was! Speak of Inez, she's the best friend
turned photographer I was referring to. Being a plus woman herself, she's
always strived to get images of plus women that were edgy and high fashion; less
commercial, if you will.
Maddy: Most photographers prefer to retouch their own work;
"retouchers" have a lot of pressure in working for their clients. How did you
get into the re-touching industry?
Tia: I began retouching full time about the same year you
had first started working with Inez. I had since given up corporate life and
wanted to do something more creative. When she offered me to work as her
assistant, setting up lights, assisting new models with posing and the like... I
jumped at the opportunity.
Maddy: Coming from the photography and modeling industry,
how important is it for models and photographers to tweak their pictures before
Tia: I like the work you used... tweak. Most images that come
across my desk are in need of just that.Blemish removal, dark circles, ridding images of stray hairs and
smoothing out the skin is pretty standard for even actor's head shots these
days. The trick however is to make them look as if nothing has been done.
Maddy: Generally speaking, what can models expect when they
approach you for retouching?
Tia: QUALITY would be first.... I was trained by one of the
best retouchers around (Inez) and she taught me everything I needed to know
about keeping a picture as close to the original as possible. I pride myself on
doing the best job imaginable, often times going above and beyond to ensure the
client is happy with the final outcome.RATES would be a close second.... Taking into consideration all the $ that
can go into a shoot; I pride myself on being affordable, charging anywhere from
$10-20 per image based on the complexity of the retouch. PROMPT would be third....
Depending on my current workload, I typically have a 48-72 hour turnaround.
PLUS Model Magazine inspires the style-savvy, fashion-forward, full-figured woman to embrace her curves.
PMM has become a thought-leader shaping the plus size industry and providing a barometer for the season’s latest style trends for curvy women. With a monthly magazine featuring stunning editorials showcasing plus models, as well as ‘How-to-wear’ columns and shopping guides at all price-points, PMM reports on style, beauty and topical news, all while engaging our reader in lively and meaningful conversation on our daily blog and social media.
Developed, designed and written by plus women, for plus women, PMM understands and speaks directly to the heart of our reader, because we are our reader.
Online since 2006, PMM is the #1 plus size fashion & beauty magazine, blog and social media outlet.