Thinking About Outsourcing Your Editing This Year?
2017 is quickly coming to an end, and I can’t believe how fast it flew by. Seriously, where did this year go?! It’s right about now when photographers evaluate their business and decide whether or not they want to begin outsourcing their work in the new year. Outsourcing can be a wonderful thing for photographers. Don’t believe me? Just see what clients are saying!
As a private photo editor, it is my goal to help photographers take back their lives by allowing them to have more time to invest in their businesses, their families, and their personal lives. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me every time a client sends me an email letting me know how their life has changed since they started outsourcing. It’s these sentiments that make what I do so fulfilling. Time and time again, however, I see photographers convince themselves that they can’t outsource. “Maybe next year,” they say. Why wait a year to get your life back when you can start NOW?! So today, I’m covering the top 5 myths that photographers tell themselves about outsourcing their editing!
1. Myth #1: The Work is No Longer Mine
I completely understand when photographers feel this way. Surrendering control of your editing by outsourcing your work is not easy. This is especially true when you’ve worked so hard to build up a brand for your business. You know your style, and it’s hard to trust that someone will be able to do it as well as you. However, I’m here to tell you that it is possible! (Promise!)
You might disagree with me, but I believe this the idea that the work would no longer be yours is completely false. As a private photo editor, our job is to apply YOUR personal style to your images. Sure, sometimes we have to use our judgment to correct white balance and exposure for images, but every decision is based on that photographer’s style. It’s the reason you won’t find a portfolio section on my website. I can’t demonstrate how good of a fit we might be by showing you my edits for someone else. Their style might be completely different from yours! Instead, I use testimonials to show you that I am able to provide a great experience for clients no matter what the style is.
2. Myth #2: I have to Commit to Sending All of my Weddings to my Editor
This one is absolutely not true! A private photo editor will work with you whether you send them all of your weddings or a quarter of your weddings. However, it is courteous to let them know up front that you only plan on sending them a certain amount of weddings throughout the year. If you find that you want to increase the amount of weddings you send them as the year goes on, just talk to them about it. Keep an open line of communication with them throughout the entire process. A great editor will be more than happy to work with you and provide help wherever you need it!
3. Myth #3: I’ll Never Find the Perfect Match
I truly believe that there is a perfect editor for everyone, you just have to find the right person! It’s hard when we have a bad experience with someone in the past. It makes you never want to trust anyone with your work again! I have had a lot of people come to me after terrible experiences with other companies. They’re usually afraid at first, but recognize that they need to be outsourcing their work. My goal is to try to reassure them that outsourcing can be a wonderful thing for their business! Usually that switch from a big company to a private editor is what they needed.
Even if it takes a few tries to find an editor that is a perfect match for you, don’t give up! We know that we aren’t going to be perfect for everyone, and that’s okay! Just kindly let them know how you’re feeling, and keep looking. They may even have suggestion for another editor who would be a better fit for you. Our main concern is that you find someone who is going to be able to serve your business well. That’s what we’re here for! So don’t be afraid to try again if you don’t have a good experience with someone.
4. Myth #4: If I Need Help, That Must Mean I’m Failing
Just stop right there: you are NOT failing if you outsource, you are THRIVING! Outsourcing means you can focus on other areas on your business that will help you to grow. Less work behind the computer means more work behind the camera which means more income for you! We have to wear so many hats as a small business owner: social media manager, marketing executive, accountant, photographer…the list goes on and on. Do big companies like Target have one employee doing it all? Absolutely not! It requires a team of experts for a business to be successful. So think of us as just another member of the team 🙂
5. Myth #5: I Can’t Afford It
This one is the biggest myth of all. This is the most common excuse I see photographers use when deciding not to outsource, and I promise it’s just not true! However, I do understand why most people feel this way. Maybe you’re shooting weddings on the side of your full-time job and you need all of that extra income to pay your bills. Perhaps you’re shooting full-time and there are other priorities you need to invest in first. Either way, it’s totally understandable that photographers believe this lie, but would it surprise you if I told you that anyone can afford to outsource if they want to?
If you are thinking about outsourcing this year, but you’re telling yourself you can’t afford it, work it into your prices. Talk to an editor that you want to work with and get an idea of what they will charge. Editors range anywhere from $0.28-$0.39 per image, so try to find someone who works with your budget. Using their pricing structure, calculate about how much money you’ll need per wedding in order to outsource. Depending on how many images you deliver and how much you pre-edit, the cost of a wedding catalog will probably run somewhere from $100-$350. A $350 price increase for a wedding package doesn’t seem like it’s very much, does it? Besides, once you’re able to get editing off your plate, you can take on more work if you want to!
I have to admit, I’ve always shied away from outsourcing due to feeling like my work isn’t mine anymore. Thanks for giving me a new perspective!
Your points are great. I’m not photographer, but because I own my own business, I have learned early on that outsourcing is not always a bad thing. One of the best quotes I was ever taught: just because you can doesn’t mean you do. I think that your job as an editor could help a lot of different photographers.
I can’t imagine how much more time I’d have, if I outsourced. This is a great post, these fears are very real, for most of the photographers I know. Letting go of a process that has taken years to develop is a tough one! What a gift you’re giving your customers!
What a great post for a much needed service! I just came to terms myself with outsourcing and am excited to start after my next session. I can’t wait to have more time for my family and to work on marketing!
Thanks for addressing this topic about outsourcing. There are different opinions out there amongst photographers. Talking about these myths is so important. I agree with you!
Such great tips! As a photographer I only know first hand that help is always needed, especially during busy season. It is great to read about these myths and that getting a photographers time back is the most important!
Outsourcing has literally changed the game for me and my business. I wish I would have done it sooner!
I’m not in a place to be able to afford or use an editor but I’m so glad you shared these myths. They’re something that I have already been believing about doing outsourcing. Right now I enjoy editing but that’s because I have maybe one session a month!
Ive always wanted to offer other photographers my editing.. id love to help them out and this is such a great read on why its not a bad idea
I am SUCH a believer in outsourcing work (editing or otherwise)! Only do the things in your business that you are best at and have a passion for, someone else will be talented and have a passion for the rest! It definitely allows for better client relationships in the long run!
Agree! Do what you love then send out the rest! It honestly
comes back BETTER! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for this! I Really never knew anything about outsourcing! I Dont think i could ever do it but these are all good thoughts you never know for the future
You legit sold me on outsourcing some of my editing – I’m definitely working that into my pricing and working on transitioning to that. I don’t know why I was hesitating so much, but this all makes tons of sense!
Outsourching would free up so much time for other important things in my life. Definitely considering it!
Great points! I work as a photo retoucher and I depend on photographers outsourcing their editing to me. So often they feel like using me is a bad thing because they feel they should be doing it themselves. But always end up happy and far less stressed because they don’t have to worry about such a huge work load
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