Meet Mika Laujin, a creative retoucher like no other

Photographers, painters, sculptors, filmmakers, designers and architects are all known for their creative work. But what would their latest artwork look like without the collaboration of other artists?

Let me introduce you to photographers’ most valuable ally: colorists and retouchers.

Mickael “Mika” Laujin is one of the most sought after colorist retouchers in the field, and a true artist and creative who shared with me his journey and what his work entails

Before we delve deeper into his career and work, let’s take a look at what it actually entails, as it largely happens behind the scenes.

Despite the fact that viewers may not immediately notice these details, the most talented artists are able to discern the tiniest details in images, and the job of the digital retoucher is to make those images look their best without the draw attention to the fact that they have been touched.

Retouchers use software and can spend several hours perfecting every detail of the photo. Every image you see in your daily life (magazines, advertisements, cosmetics, real estate, websites, etc.) has probably been retouched.

In addition to respecting the integrity of the models in the photos and taking into account someone else’s work, retouchers must decide what type of retouching will be performed and ensure that the interpretation of reality is preserved.

The position requires a high degree of artistic sensitivity and an attentive ear to understand the culture and identity of the brand. Effort and efficiency are essential in the work. Any photo or image is the result of the collaboration of light and color, and the management of these elements is best left to professionals.

An international career built on travel, learning and creativity

Originally from France, Mika Laujin received a Bachelor of Arts degree in photography from the ICART International School in Paris in 2010, graduating in both the diploma and the yearbook. During this time, he also studied video colorimetry and retouched his personal photos as a hobby.

“When I posted my work online, people started asking me if I could work on their images. That’s how it all started. Through practice I developed my retouching skills. Because I understand light and color, I can work with photographers with whom I share a sense of symbiosis: we share the same language and have the same passion for images.”

The extensive knowledge of photography Mika Laujin what he has at his disposal has enabled him to become an expert retoucher, and he has quickly established himself as a true professional and expert in the field. He started his career as a freelancer in Paris and has been working as a digital colorist and retoucher ever since.

He now works for a post-production company in Los Angeles, where he is also expanding his scope to include computer-generated imagery (CGI), which is quickly becoming an important part of professional photography.

To stay creative, Mika still practices photography“It’s important because we often work on images that are not our own. It is also crucial to know how to develop our own work in order to bring our creativity to the disposal of photographers, clients and art directors.”

During his extensive career, Mika Laujin has won multiple awards, exhibited his work internationally, gave master classes, is the author of a book and has seen his work in prestigious magazines, catalogs, billboards and many other media.

In particular, his many years of international travel and professional experiences have led him to work as an a creative auto retoucher.

“I like car design and concept cars. I don’t have a great passion for cars, but it’s a field I like to work in because there are many challenges to increase the work of designers and photographers. †

Build a successful career in the automotive sector”

A combination of his technical and photographic background led him to pursue this particular field of activity; Along with the challenge of complementing the creative endeavors of others, this was and continues to be his primary motivation.

in his work, Mika Laujin does not design cars; instead, he takes new designs and adapts them to make them look their best by editing promotional photos of cars, usually high-end models from brands (such as Cadillac, Hyundai, Toyota, Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche and more), in a way to make them look even better.

Mika Laujin distinguishes himself by being very active during the photo shoots: he works as a post-production assistant to the photographers and collaborates on the images.

“Working on the production floor allows me to communicate directly with the client and the photographer. This allows me to better understand the project and be proactive about post-production issues. Being there during the shoot reduces the chance of frictions/issues in the It’s good for the client, who has fewer things to do, and it’s good for the photographer, who can do the post-production on set.”

Uniqueness and a deep understanding of colors are the keys to his success

The concepts of light and color are one, and when artists like Mika Laujin work on a project, they don’t think about the scientific details. There are many different emotions that can be expressed with color palettes, including those that are difficult to express in words.

“The harmony of colors and their depth give me an emotional response, like a painter’s painting or a musician’s composition. Once an emotion is created, a relationship is created. It is this creative and emotional aspect that is interesting in retouching and assessment.”

Mika Laujin describes his style as:unexpected colors“I try to shock the sensibility of the viewer with unusual colors that occur in nature. As a result, viewers are often surprised by what they see and will naturally spend more time looking at the images.”

Thanks to Laujin’s observations of natural color combinations in nature, his retouching work produces highly polished promotional photos of vehicles with great associative and interpretive weight.

An immaculate car, with vibrant colors and just the right lighting, not only reflects the basic features of a car, such as tires, windows, badges, etc.; it conveys the emotion that cars can evoke.

If his work and experience inspire you to take a similar path, you can follow Mika Laujin on Instagram: @mika.laujin

By Fanny Jacob
Images provided by Mika Laujin

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