Why and When You Should Outsource Photo Editing

I’m sure you’ve heard it before, probably let yourself say the word once or twice but the idea that YOU should outsource photo editing, well that just seems crazy. I mean how could you be a photographer and outsource your work, is it even your work anymore???

I think the concept to outsource photo editing is one that is very hard for most photographers to tell themselves that it is the right choice, but I’m here to tell you, that at a certain point in your career, it most certainly is the right choice.

*This post contains affiliate links, thanks for supporting us!

Outsource photo editing via Click it Up a Notch

If you’ve ever read the E-Myth (and if you haven’t go pick it up now!) it talks about how the death of a business is when the technician is always in control, that you need the manager and entrepreneur to play equal roles. When you, the photographer spend all your time sitting at a computer editing your sessions, the technician is in control and consumes the time you could be doing management or entrepreneur work.

The time would be much better spent putting your face out in the public, booking more clients, shooting additional sessions, or collaborating with other members of your community. Your time has value, and there comes a point that you are actually holding your business back by doing that type of work. There will become a point when your time holds a much higher value than the cost of paying to have your edits done by somebody else, you will in fact be saving your business money!

So when is a good time to consider it?


4 things to consider if you outsource photo editing

1. You need to know your style. 
You need to have it nailed because if you’re going to be outsourcing that job, you need to be able to tell the company or person how to get the job done. And being able to describe your editing style is also something that you should feel comfortable doing and if you don’t know how to answer that, then take a step back and evaluate your work some.

2. Have your SOOC pretty consistent and streamlined. 
This goes along with the above. But I do think it’s worth mentioning, that it has been my experience, that even when you feel pretty good about your SOOC shots, once you start to outsource, I can almost promise you that they will get even better, consistent if you will. It just kind of happens that way.

3. Evaluate your time. 
This next piece is up to interpretation as each of our lives are filled very differently. But you need to evaluate how much of your time is consumed and if that’s at a level that you’re wanting it to be, maybe you’d like another hour per day to spend with your family. Have you run out of hours in your day?  It’s time to asses when the number of sessions is a) consistent and b) at a point where you have run out of time to ‘do-it-all.’


4. Maybe you don’t enjoy editing! 
Well this one may throw you off, but if you’ve got your style figured out and you’re rocking your SOOC; maybe you’re not a ‘professional’ maybe you’re shooting for YOU! But just like that other photographer, your time is precious and maybe, just maybe, you don’t enjoy the editing. Yes, I think even as a hobbyist, choosing to outsource is totally reasonable and ok!


Now do you need all four steps checked off the list to decide to outsource? Absolutely not. I think 1 & 2 are essential to make the switch but then I think you either fall in category 3 or 4, not necessarily both.

Outsourcing shouldn’t be a big scary word that you avoid, and it shouldn’t be something you take lightly either, but it is something that should make you happy. At the end of the day you should feel good about your choice, own it and start doing all those other things you could be doing with your time and business.

Mentor – Trisha Hughes

As we get closer to releasing more information about the Ultimate Intro to Photography: The only beginner workshop you’ll ever need, I wanted to start introducing you to the mentors who will be helping with the workshop. These 5 fabulous ladies will be available to answer questions as well as give video critiques each week of your work. That means you get a personal video critique from me AND one of the mentors each week!

I’d love to introduce you to Trisha Hughes. Trisha and I first met in a hotel when we both moved to Okinawa, Japan 5 years ago. We became instant friends and have shared some amazing experiences together. If you remember my post on birth photography then you already know Trisha because that is her giving birth to her 4th child. She is the owner of Eat Your Beets which is a website to help you eat better and help you feel great on the inside and out. She is about to launch her first ebook on food photography which you will want to get your hands on as well. She is such a talented photographer!

Trisha Hughes of Eat Your Beets

1. Why did you start photography?
Initially I started because I wanted to take better pictures of my kids. Courtney & I had just met in Japan & she convinced me shooting with a DSLR wasn’t as intimidating as I thought it was. Knowing I had a friend who could basically hold my hand & teach me everything I needed to know sealed the deal to buy my first DSLR camera.

2. What were your early goals for your photography?
Honestly, I just wanted good pictures of my kids that I could hang in my home or give to our family. And I definitely wanted to be proficient at manual mode, custom white balance & my editing software.

Ulitmate Intro to Photography 3

3. What surprised you the most about photography?
That I was actually better at shooting food than I was my kids.

Ultimate Intro to Photography 1

4. Your most embarrassing photography related moment.
Probably when I started my blog, Eat Your Beets. I really had no idea what I was doing with food photography but I just started shooting & putting it out there. In my heart, I knew my images weren’t very good but I had to start somewhere. In hindsight it was the best thing because it totally pushed me to learn more & improve my skills.

5. Please show us a photo from the beginning of your journey and one now.
Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 10.36.41 AM

Ultimate Intro to Photography 6

6. What is your favorite picture right now?
First, because unfortunately, I rarely shoot my kids. Second, because don’t we all love pancakes like a 3 year old loves pancakes?
Ultimate Intro to Photography 7

7. What is your favorite part about photography?
I really get excited when my image comes out in camera the way I envisioned it in my mind. When I’m shooting food I’m constantly getting to create something new because it’s a new dish every single time. I love surprising myself, letting the food guide & influence the way I shoot & I truly feel like it’s a way I can create art for other people. I remember when I started taking myself seriously as a food photographer I explained it to my kids by telling them just like they would make a drawing or painting & give it to us, I was creating art to give to other people.

8. What one piece of advice would you give yourself when you were just starting out?
Keep learning. Keep shooting. Keep studying other people’s work. Don’t compare yourself to better photographers. Instead, embrace them. Find out what it is about their work that intrigues you & discover how that can inspire your own work.

Ultimate Intro to Photography 5

9. What was your biggest light bulb moment?
I’ve feel like I’ve had so many! I’m constantly seeing things finally click (no pun intended)! If I could pinpoint only one light bulb moment it would be when I finally realized how to manipulate natural light under any conditions. I don’t feel confined to using light in one singular way now. I know that I can use back lighting, dramatic lighting or full sun & still achieve a great shot.

Ultimate Intro to Photography 2

10. What other photographers inspire you?
I’m super inspired by Jenni Hulet of The Urban Poser.

Her use of natural light & her consistently beautiful images were a big inspiration to me when I first started. I remember thinking, if my images could look anything like Jenni’s I will have succeeded. I also love how she incorporates her whole family & you often see her sons & husband in her shots. She definitely pushed me to further investigate dramatic lighting.

Another huge inspiration for me is Sonali from Sugar et al.

Sonali has her personal photography style on lock down. I can spot one of her images from a mile away & every time I see one I say, Yep, that’s Sonali. Her images are like looking at a dream world. Everything is consistently gorgeous & her use of light + color blow me away every time.

11. What do you consider your biggest success as a photographer? Failure?
Biggest success? I think finally feeling confident enough in my own skills to be able to help other people learn more. I love the feeling of helping people get the shot they wanted or explain a concept they felt confused about. Writing my ebook, Eat Pretty Things, is honestly something I wanted to do for so long so I definitely consider that a success as well.

Failure? That’s honestly not a word I use. I don’t even consider something poor that comes out of my camera as a failure. Everything is a learning process & every shot I take is getting me closer to some goal. To me, learning isn’t failure. Bad shots, poor lighting, those aren’t even failures. They are simply tools I use to make myself better. The only actual ‘failure’ I can think of would be when I neglected to back up my hard drive & desktop. I dropped my external hard drive & lost over a year’s worth of images I’ll never be able to recover. That was certainly a failure but not reflective of my photography. It was reflective of my poor managerial skills.

Ultimate Intro to Photography 4

12. Favorite place you’ve ever lived or visited?
Hard to choose. I would make a top 5 list of England, Morocco, Prague, Ireland & Omaha. The first & last places I lived in, the middle 3 I just visited. Each hold a special place in my heart.

13. If you could go on a photography vacation and photograph anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Who’s paying for this vacation? Seriously, though, I’ve often regretted the fact I wasn’t into photography when I was younger & traveling the globe. I would pretty much go anywhere I could photograph people in their natural environment whether that be a market in Mauritius or a small homestead in Iowa. I love meeting the people who inhabit a place. They make up the best parts of the story.

Ultimate Intro to Photography

14. 3 words to describe you.
Funny, empathetic, intense.

beginner photography workshop

Have You Met Monica Henderson


1. Tell us a little about yourself and your photography journey. I’ve always enjoyed photography as a hobby, and am animal obsessed; I’ve worked in veterinary medicine for 16 years, and am also a certified dog training instructor at a local positive reinforcement facility. The human-animal bond is such a vital part of my job […]

Photography Project – One subject, 30 days


It started with a shooting prompt, “Shoot the same thing for thirty consecutive days”. I had been documenting my oldest daughter’s love for her stuffed chicken for a few months on Instagram, complete with it’s own #thingschickenslove hashtag. Her favorite book series, Tilly and Friends by Polly Dunbar is built around a little girl and several […]

Instagram: Tips and Printing Ideas


As a professional photographer, I am naturally drawn to Instagram as my social media of choice. I feel more connected there and find people in general have to be more deliberate about what they post because they need a photo to go with it. Plus, it inspires people to take more photos which is always […]