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Why and When You Should Outsource Photo Editing
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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.

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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?

outsource

4 things to consider if you outsource photo editing

  • No.
    01
    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.

  • No.
    02
    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.

  • No.
    03
    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.’

    outsourcing

  • No.
    04
    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!

    outsourcing

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.

19 Comments
  • February 27, 2015 at 10:25 AM

    What are some of the top recommended websites for outsourcing–besides retouchup.com? Thanks!!

  • February 27, 2015 at 10:31 AM

    I 2nd the above comment. Any recommendations on how to find the best one or where to go?

    • February 27, 2015 at 3:32 PM

      Jiza, Mandy and I just left a couple suggestions in reply to Lisa that you could also checkout!

  • February 27, 2015 at 11:57 AM

    I would love to edit other peoples photos as a business, but I am not sure how to get started or advertise. I am an eager learner and I think that this would be an awesome way for me to learn and get to stay home with my girls which is important to me. Any tips would be appreciated! Thanks!

    • February 27, 2015 at 3:43 PM

      Hi Megan! I’d recommend getting involved in some photography communities, while you network and make new friends there is always the chance that you will stumble upon someone who has the need! If you’ve developed the skill set and have a system for taking on editing clients then you’ll be even better prepared for the day you connect with someone needing the assistance :) I think it’s important to note that not many photographers needing the assistance will want to teach their editor from the ground up, but rather educating you in their specific style of editing, that’s why understanding Lightroom and having an advanced knowledge in editing is a great foundation!

  • February 27, 2015 at 12:54 PM

    Thanks so much for the Photographer’s Edit love! Don’t hesitate to message me with any questions! :)

  • Silvina
    February 27, 2015 at 2:16 PM

    I’m starting to make my career as an editor and retoucher. I did some online courses and this year I’ll be studying with a recognized professional from my country. I would love to work editing other people photographs… that’s what I want to do for living :)
    Thank you for this post, thank you for the information in the comments. Hope to work for some of the creative photographers in this site some day… If you need someone to edit your pictures you can contact me, who knows… ;)

    • Claire McGinn
      November 30, 2015 at 7:17 PM

      Hi Silvina,

      I just read your reply above to the article about editing. I am not a professional photographer, but an amateur/hobbyist. I do, however, do some work for communions and proms etc. I have gotten overwhelmed lately as i also have a full-time job and haven’t had time to edit my photos. I was just wondering if you could let me know if you are still interested in editing or if you have time lol and also your price. My photos are not great but they definitely need editing to make them stand out. I usually use presets that I have for Lightroom. Thank you so much.

      Claire McGinn

  • Silvina
    February 27, 2015 at 2:49 PM

    Thank you for this post and the information share in the comments because since a couple of years I’m trying to make edtion for living but it’s difficult to find the first chance… I love to edit photos for others, specially family’s photographs.
    I’ve been doing some online courses and I’ll be studying with a recognized professional this year to make this my career so if you want someone to edit your pictures, here I am! ;)
    I would love to be the editor of any of the creative photographers in this site :)

    • Silvina
      February 27, 2015 at 3:52 PM

      I thought the first message had not come out. Now there are 2… sorry :/

  • March 25, 2015 at 2:05 AM

    I completely agree with you that outsource editing becomes essantial at one point of time.Although it is an time consuming process but gives you wonderful results. I am also using the help for refining the photographs I take at http://www.pitterpatterportraits.com.au/blog/baby/

  • Edmond
    March 28, 2015 at 9:10 AM

    Hello Marissa, you’re truly an awesome author. I really enjoyed reading why & when is the time to outsource photo editing. Outsource is an amazing way to finish work easily, but for that you’ve to be absolutely accountable. I’m about to outsource my photo editing task to this company: http://graphicient.com/. They’ve done good jobs to others. Hopefully my work they’ll finish properly.

  • Dallas
    May 27, 2016 at 9:25 PM

    Thanks for the article. I am at the early stages of earning a living as a photographer. Editing has never featured heavily in my work, I try hard for SOOC quality, but can see benefits in a commercial sense. I like the idea of outsourcing and will think on that. I like the point about not enjoying editing! I LOVE creating the image & engaging with my clients, am enjoying the business and marketing side, but still not loved up about editing! Thanks again!

  • Mark
    December 24, 2016 at 1:55 AM

    I am an enthusiast photographer, but most of the time I am Outsource Photo Editing Service from STATBD . They provide high-quality editing with a 24-hour turnaround. They help me to save my time and costing.

  • Kumar Saurabh
    August 6, 2017 at 2:21 PM

    Hi,
    I am a remote photo editor and working as a retoucher since 6 years..Can you please suggest me where should i get clients who want to outsource there photos to be retouched.
    It would be a great help for me.

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