It might sound like a strange concept at first to outsource such an important aspect of your photography business.
If you have tried outsourcing before and been frustrated, you might be thinking it’s just too difficult to find an editor who gets your style and has a system that is easy to follow.
It can be confusing to set up a work flow if your editor doesn’t have a good system set up for onboarding and editing consistantly for you.
But outsourcing can be a wonderful answer to your time issues if you find the right editor.
Know your style before your hire and editor
Before you hire a photo editor it’s important that you ask yourself what your style is so you can give clear directions as to what you want your photo editor to focus on.
Thinking about outsourcing is a great opportunity to anylize your style and direction for the look, mood and message of your photography. When you have to give clear directions it forces you to become clear in your own mind about your editing style.
Reasons to outsource your photo editing
Once you have established your editing style, a private photo editor can really dig in and learn exactly what you want and help build consistency for your brand.
Anchor images help your editor learn your style
By supplying your editor with a few key anchor images that you have edited you can help reinforce the quality of your edits.
Anchor images are images you create in lightroom classic for any drastic scene or lighting changes in your catalogs. An editor needs a few anchor images for each wedding shoot so they can match your style.
Could you use a few extra hours in your week?
Outsourcing your editing can free up your time for booking more weddings per season or spending more time with your family.
Having your own boutique photo editor can also give you the freedom to branch out into offering photography workshops, building and marketing your own line of presets or other business projects you would enjoy more than being stuck at your computer editing photos.
The bottom line is that if you want to grow your income there comes a time when you might need to outsource so you can create more lucrative and enjoyable ways to spend your time.
Can you afford to outsource?
If you budget ahead of time and increase your fees slightly it can be surprisingly easy to cover your editing fees.
Outsourcing your basic lightroom edits costs between .22 and .32 cents per photo depending on your photo editor. At an average of 1000 shots per wedding it would cost you an around $250 per wedding.
Add in culling at the cost of another .05 to .10 cents per image and would need to add another $50 to $100 to your budget for each shoot.
So you do need to budget this into your pricing packages for customers, or adding one or two weddings to your season.
A small increase in your pricing can free up many hours of your time.
How to choose a photo editor
It is important to find someone who has an organized workflow and a system for getting your valuable feedback so they can edit with consistency to help you build your brand.
A private photo editor will take the time to learn your style, but this can take a few shoots. So once you “break them in” it can make your wedding season a lot less stressful.
The best time to hire a new photo editor is during your off season when you can slowly get to know the workflow and give feedback while you have time.
Do you need to choose someone who’s portfolio matches your editing style exactly?
Every photographer is different, so rather than worrying about finding someone who edits in your exact style, find someone who’s samples and style resonate with you even if they are a bit different then the way you would edit.
For instance the samples on my site are varied and from many different photographers, but they are all within a fairly bold and colorful genre using a lot of outdoor shots and natural lighting as much as possible. Many of them use similar presets for instance: Dirty Boots and Messy Hair or Maston presets.
I am comfortable editing clean and classic, dark and moody, and bright and bold styles. I would probably not be a good editor for you if your style is light and airy because I have not edited those styles as much.
Photo editing is a crucial part of your business. It can take a while to get used to the idea of outsourcing your photo-editing, but it can help build your consistency and reputation when happy customers receive their photos fast.
Want to get a feel for how my photo editing works? Sign up for a phone consult and a complimentary 100-photo edit with me.