How to Successfully Outsource Your Photo Editing

Dec 17

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by Devon Higgins

Remote real estate photo editing is a powerful tool once you learn you know how to do it correctly.

As a real estate photographer, you’ve probably built your career by controlling every aspect of the creative process. That’s as it should be.

But as you get busier and your business grows, you should start thinking about outsourcing your photo editing so that you can start to take on more work and generate more revenue, without losing any of the professionalism that your clients have come to expect.

What Photos Can You Outsource?

Generally speaking, the more artistic or subjective types of photography don’t benefit much from outsourcing. In those cases, photographers have a particular look and feel in mind, and they are the ones who should pursue that vision all the way through. For example, fashion and art photography are very rarely outsourced for finishing.

But there are many other areas of professional photography where a more objective look is required. Those types of photographers benefit greatly from outsourcing their photo editing to editors who can deliver quickly, consistently and offer a professional finish to your work.

Let’s look at at three genres that benefit from outsourcing:

Real Estate

When you are photographing properties for realtors, there is a standard look and feel that must be achieved. Clean straight lines, bright lighting, sharp focus, correct colors – these are very important in real estate photography. Outsourcing your real estate photos can help you scale this aspect of your business. Many real estate photo editing services are located in countries such as the Philippines where there are highly skilled technicians working at affordable rates, typically starting at around $1.00 per image.

Product Photography

Shooting commercial products for marketing purposes requires a precise level of professionalism. You need to be able to place products onto white or transparent backgrounds (known as clipping) and know how to showcase products in a professional format. This is another arena where teams of professional editors can do wonders for your ability to deliver professional images at higher volumes.

Wedding Photography

This is another area where there is a generally recognized look and feel that editors can use to provide a great service. The deeper the relationship between the photographer and the editor, the more work can be trusted to the editor. Although some wedding photographers have a very specific look and feel to their work, wedding photographers who are high volume producers typically find the value in outsourcing their culling and basic photo editing to a third party editing company or individual.

There are some photography outsourcing firms like PhotoUp that specialize in areas such as real estate photo editing, but you will also find editors that are happy to work across different fields. Do your research, and find a company or editor that works best for you.

How Much Are You Willing To Pay?

There’s a timeless saying that most people understand implicitly: “In life, you get what you pay for.”

Naturally, there are photo editing services on the web that charge extremely low prices while promising everything under the sun. But most photographers quickly realize that this is not the quality of photo editing service they’re looking for. There’s no collaboration, no quality control, subpar support, and no system of software for account management.

When you start looking, you will find offers ranging from $0.20 per image, all the way up to $10 per image. In our experience, customers are better off buying a monthly bundle that offers the chance to build a relationship with their editors over time, and provides the freedom and security to hand over more of your editing work as the provider gets to better understand your style.

How To Choose the Best Photo Editing Company

The best way to go about choosing a photo editing service is to make use of their trial offerings. Select a few images that you know would benefit from a good edit and send them to a handful of suppliers that you are considering. Then wait for the results to come in.

When the results come back, consider a few things:

  • How is the final quality of the image?
  • How long did it take to get images back?
  • How painless (or painful) was the interaction with the service?
  • How much did it cost?
  • Can I sustain this cost moving forward?
  • Are there any other additional benefits that this company offers?

Software, Services, or Products to help you with your Business Needs

You should also be aware that many outsourcing companies typically use their best editors to do their trial images, in order to get new customers in the door. Don’t be surprised if they promise you top quality editing upfront, and wow you with results, before quickly slipping into very average output.

Make sure that there is a function that allows you to manage and rate the editors you work with. Having the ability to choose who you want working on your images is an invaluable tool when it comes to outsourcing your photo editing. It’s also critical that they give you the chance to ask for revisions or adjustments at no extra cost if you’re not happy with the work delivered.

At the end of the day, outsourcing your photo editing means that it may never look 100% like you would have done it, but you’ll have to decide if it’s good enough to save you the time and effort to do the editing yourself.

Choosing a photo editing service can be stressful, and it needs to be done carefully. But if you take the time and get it right, you’ll soon find yourself with an ally and partner who can transform the workflow of your business and allow you to scale up the production side of your business, allowing you to shoot more and edit less.

To find out more about what PhotoUp can offer in terms of photo editing, sign up for a trial account today.

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