Graduate Jobs: A typical Day as a Digital Image Retoucher

A Typical Day as a Digital Image Retoucher

Wayfair is an online retailer of homeware. It’s currently the number one online home retailer in the USA and is rapidly expanding into Europe.

ultanUltan McAvinue studied ‘Fine Art – Printmaking and Contemporary Practice’ at Limerick School of Art and Design in Ireland. He began working at Wayfair in September 2014. Here’s an insight into what it’s like to work in a creative role in a large e-commerce company:

What is your role?

I currently work as a Digital Image Retoucher in the Wayfair creative team. But I’m in the process of transitioning to a new role within the Wayfair photo studio as a Logistic Coordinator, which is more of a hands-on job and closer to the kind of work I did during my time at college.

What is your typical day like?

My typical working hours are 9am – 6pm, Monday to Friday, but this is quite flexible meaning if I start 30 minutes later it’s no big deal as long as my work is completed on time, and I’m readily available to deal with any urgent creative issues within a reasonable timeframe. This also means that late evenings working are a strong possibility especially during busier times of the year.

The office is great! It’s a busy and productive environment, but retains a strong emphasis on having a life outside of work. There are regular events such as ‘Beer Fridays’ (an after work event, not the entirety of Friday unfortunately) and ‘Pod Outings’ (a monthly occurrence for you and your team to engage in an event, costs covered by Wayfair).

The Creative Design team consists of many different types of role with people from many different backgrounds. Between the 10 Designers, Copywriters, Retouchers, Art Directors and Traffic Managers, we have an Italian, a Portuguese, a Swede, an Irishman and a handful of Germans. It’s great to work in such an international environment.

My job is to retouch the photo imagery to whatever extent is required by the various teams throughout Wayfair. This might involve slight fixes in shadows and lighting in an image, changing the colour of a wall within a lifestyle image to suit the time of year for a holiday sale better, or completely changing a product selection in an image from our US photo studio to match products that we actually sell in Europe. Due to the fact that Wayfair is an online company, I deal with many people from various teams on a day to day basis in an attempt to portray their ideas and promotions through visual means on our site.

The office atmosphere is great here! The fun of an online retail company is that the doors to the store never close, so it’s quite a busy and active office—there’s always a sense of productivity throughout.

What’s the best thing about your job?

The best thing about my job is the wide knowledge base available within Wayfair. With so many diverse opportunities available within the company, there are always new skills to learn. If you ever feel like you’ve reached your potential within a job, there are always plenty more areas throughout Wayfair offering new challenges and people to offer new perspectives and insights.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

The most challenging aspect of my job is keeping track of and organising the many ongoing projects. Some of the retouched images are created weeks or even months in advance but they must all be kept active in your mind until you go beyond the ‘live’ date.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue a similar career?

In this field it’s important to remember that it’s okay to start off at the bottom.  Money is great and all, but what’s far more valuable is the experience to be gained from working with a wide variety of people from varying backgrounds. You should always be learning new techniques and practicing with the tools at your disposal while you can. It you’re 100% qualified for your job, you’re in the wrong job. There should always be something new to learn and progress towards!
To find out more about Wayfair and check out their job opportunities, please visit

Content by Florence Edwards from the Content Team at Wayfair’