Here at ShootDotEdit, we provide outsource photography editing services for professional wedding photographers. Wedding photo editing outsourcing is a way to streamline your post-wedding workflow and free up your time, so you can focus on more important tasks for your photography business.
Outsource Photography Editing
“Do what you do best and outsource the rest.” – Peter Drucker
We believe wholeheartedly in this quote by Peter Drucker. When you outsource the things that hold you back, you can do what you do best and watch your business thrive.
Think back to why you got into photography in the first place. Is it because you wanted to spend your time sitting behind a computer, editing images from a past wedding shoot? Chances are, you got into photography and started a business so you could follow your passion and do what you love: capturing moments for your wedding clients.
ShootDotEdit Wedding Pro, Roberto Valenzuela, said it best:
“I think photographers who choose to edit themselves are on a dangerous path…”
Editing is one of the most time-consuming aspects of your post-wedding workflow. Every minute you spend editing is too much time you aren’t spending growing your photography business. And anything that takes too much time and holds you back from your goals is detrimental to your success.
Picture this… you get back from shooting yet another amazing wedding, one that rocked your world. Just like the multiple weddings you have already had this year, now starts the work. The real work (not the fun part). Don’t you hate it when you spend 20 hours editing that very same wedding, and you realize in the 19th hour that, instead of editing, you could have been shooting more the entire time?
Taking the leap to trust a specialist with your wedding photo edits can be a big step. Though, freeing yourself from the editing trap can make all the difference in your business. Throughout this blog post, we discuss the reasons you need to outsource photography editing.
1. You Shouldn’t Do It All
Steve Jobs once said:
“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.”
The reality is there just is not enough time to take on every single task necessary to run, grow, and sustain your wedding photography business. The task list you have as a photographer and a business owner is endless, and there are not enough hours to accomplish it all alone.
Compare it to your personal life. You likely have a to-do list of all the things you need to accomplish. Though, with everything on your plate, you likely reach out to loved ones or friends to help you achieve your goals. Examples of this can be household tasks, taking care of your kids, or picking up dry cleaning. Technically, all those items could be achieved by you, but it would not get done in the timeframe you desire and could cause stress.
Sure, you can work all day, every day. But there are still tasks that will be missed or pushed to the side. And even though you are a wedding photographer and business owner, you still have a life to live outside of your work.
Even if you could keep up with your never-ending task list, working on too many things at once can leave room for error, and can put a pause on your growth.
Think about it like this: if you take on your entire task list, you only dedicate the bare minimum of time to each task or project. This means you never really get to look at your business, see what is working or what isn’t, and make necessary changes to help you grow.
The E-Myth Revisited, by Michael Gerber, states that most new businesses are not started by entrepreneurs who set out to build a strong business, but rather, by technicians who enjoy the hands-on work themselves.
As a wedding photographer, you are a technician who is passionate about the work and your clients. Because of this, you may tend to focus on working IN your business rather than working ON your business.
As the CEO of your business, you take on 3 unique roles:
- Entrepreneur. You have the vision and the passion to implement ideas that will help to grow your business.
- Artist. You have the vision and passion to create beautiful art with your images.
- Manager. You are in charge of creating a vision to ensure success for your business.
Within all three of your roles, it is necessary to implement systems that will keep you and your business organized at all times. Organization is key to running a smooth and productive business.
Some of our favorite quotes from Michael Gerber are below:
“If everybody’s doing everything, then who’s accountable for anything?”
“Organize around business functions, not people. Build systems within each business function. Let systems run the business and people run the systems. People come and go but the systems remain constant.”
“If your business requires your presence you don’t have a business, you have a job.”
“Most entrepreneurs fail because they are working IN their business rather than ON their business.”
2. Specialists are Experts
As a wedding photographer, you have a unique photography style all your own. That style is what helps you book clients and it helps describe who you are as a photographer.
Here at ShootDotEdit, we believe your style matters. And we celebrate the fact that you are one of a kind. That is why we know it can be challenging to trust a specialist with the editing needs for your photography.
“Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.” – Steve Jobs
But when you outsource your wedding photography editing to a specialist, you partner with an expert. Rather than hiring an in-house editor, who you will need to spend hours on end training how to edit, you trust your photo edit to a company who specializes in photography editing.
“Find the smartest people you can and surround yourself with them.” – Marissa Meyer
As the artist and creative vision behind your photography business, you can focus on shooting, lighting, posing, and everything that goes into capturing gorgeous images. A specialist can focus on the science behind color correction, allowing you to have consistent images to deliver to your wedding clients.
Also, here at ShootDotEdit, we work with you to match your unique photography style. ShootDotEdit Customers receive a personal Style Consultant and Editor, who works with them to match their style so it can be consistently applied to every image from every wedding.
3. There Is So Much to Do
Every wedding shoot differs, bringing you various lighting scenarios and situations that can affect your photography. Editing is a necessary part of your job of delivering unforgettable images to your wedding clients. But, there are so many parts to editing wedding images. And as a photographer, you may understand exactly how to achieve the result you desire. Though, the time spent on the edits necessary can take a long time and become very overwhelming.
There are several edits and actions that need to be and can be done, depending on your unique photography style, including:
- White balance
- Black points
- White points
- Skin retouching
- Compressing images
- Teeth whitening
- Aspect ratios
- Removing unwanted elements
- Converting file types
- Stylistic additions (vignetting, blurring, bokeh, etc.)
- Research and development
- Process improvements
- Upgrades and replacements
In addition to the regular editing that needs to be done to your wedding images, have you thought about the tasks you have to maintain to ensure your workflow is streamlined and prepared for editing? Or, if you have an in-house editor, have you thought about the various fees and tasks that are on your plate, including:
- Quality control
- Accurate benchmarks
- OS Configuration
- New employee training and education
- Workflow expertise
- Standard Operating Procedures
- Speed and accuracy testing
- Workman’s comp
- Hiring processes
- Employee on-ramping
- Vacation pay
- Employee churn
- Part vs. Full Time
Of these costs, there are major improvements to focus on, as well as minor ones. Some of the minor items include calibrating your monitor and updating your equipment, and ensuring you have the most up to date editing programs and software. If there are updates to programs such as Lightroom and Photoshop, and it requires you to learn new processes, you have to take the time to practice.
Rather than spending your time worrying about the list above, or sitting in front of your computer editing, your time would be better spent on other aspects that help grow your photography business. You are the most valuable part of your business. When you are not working on things that help you grow, you are holding yourself back from true growth.
Image by ShootDotEdit Wedding Pro Nightingale Photography
4. Wedding Clients Want Their Images
As a wedding photographer, your couples are excited to see their wedding images. They will be the first who will give you permission for outsourcing photo editing.
There are a few reasons for this, including:
Faster turnaround time
When you lean into outsourcing your wedding photo editing to a photography editing company, like ShootDotEdit, your turnaround time is faster. Your clients will be thrilled about the faster turnaround time because they will receive their images sooner after the wedding. The excitement will still be there for them. The happier your clients are, the more likely they will be to share the photos with their loved ones through social media.
Time is only one of the benefits your clients see first-hand when you partner with a specialist for photo editing outsourcing. Think about it this way: your clients trust you to be their photography specialist. It only makes sense to be able to trust others to help you with the most time-consuming aspects of your post-wedding workflow, like editing. Keep in mind that a specialist is an expert in the tasks you outsource to them, so this will ensure quality and consistency for your wedding photos.
5. Loved Ones Want Your Time
Every hour you spend on your business is time spent away from the personal things you love to do, with the ones you love. No matter how much you love what you do, your health and well-being require you to take time away from your business and its responsibilities. If you are stuck at your computer for countless hours working on images from every wedding, you risk missing out on events in your life – soccer games, concerts, vacations with your family, and dinners with your significant other.
It is up to you to get a long-term plan for managing the demands of running your business, while still living a life you love outside of work. Trust us, your personal life and loved ones will thank you and absolutely give you permission to trust a specialist.
6. You’re Missing Out
“People don’t take opportunities because the timing is bad, the financial side unsecure. Too many people are over analyzing. Sometimes you just have to go for it.” – Michelle Zatlyn
Chances are, you are saying no to opportunities left and right (some of which you may not even know about, including:
Taking a vacation
In many professions, vacation is an item that can often be pushed aside to a never-ending to-do list. This is especially true when it comes to your wedding photography business. When your workload is piling, there is no good time to take a vacation, enjoy yourself, or even take a breath. Taking a vacation is a great way for you to de-stress and spend time outside of your business. But, it can be difficult to do so without trusting another with your post production needs.
Working on your brand
As your business grows, you may want to elevate your brand to attract a specific type of client. How can you take the time to elevate your brand, create the proper messaging, and attract those clients if you are the only one doing everything? You barely have the time to shoot the wedding day and deliver final products to your clients. You have to have that time back in your day, so you can elevate your brand and reach your ideal clients.
Taking on new business opportunities
What are some of the projects you would love to work on in your business, or even outside of it? Perhaps you want to bring on associate photographers or start a business that will help other creatives. When you take steps to eliminate time-consuming tasks from your workflow, you can have the chance to start and work on new business ventures. This helps grow your business and keeps you motivated.
Using personal time
Do you have time for yourself with the current business structure you have? Chances are, if you are staying up all night editing your photos (rather than sending them to a wedding photo editing company), you do not have a lot of personal time. Personal time is something everyone needs (business owner or not). Whether you are spending time with your family, taking day trips, or catching up on some reading, this is the time you can spend away from your business.
Marketing to ideal clients
Marketing is a huge part of your photography business, but it requires much of your attention and focus. These campaigns can include email marketing, as well as social media marketing. How can you run a marketing or social media campaign if you are taking care of everything else in your business?
Providing relevant resources
Are you at the point where you are interested in sharing relevant resources with your clients (such as a how-to guide for the wedding day)? Or maybe, you are interested in educating other photographers on what you’ve learned. When tasks are off your plate, you can focus on providing clients and fellow photographers with relevant resources (and inspire yourself to be your most creative).
Even if blogging isn’t your favorite thing to do, it is an essential part of your success as a photographer. The great news about blogging? You can actually outsource that too. But if you are swamped with work, chances are high you are not thinking about setting up a partnership with a blog.
Photography can be a hobby, especially if you take the time to shoot outside of weddings (passion projects or practice). But, how often do you do things outside of your photo business you would classify a hobby? When you have more time in your week, month, and even year, this is the perfect time to get back to having hobbies you enjoy or even start new ones. You can worry less about your photography business, and begin to enjoy things you used to.
As you start to grow or optimize your business, you may look into ways to increase your income, such as booking mini sessions, hiring associate photographers, or starting an educational business. When your workload is piling, it may be difficult look into ways to achieve this. When you take items off your list, you can spend more time finding ways to increase income.
Creating unforgettable client experiences
Your clients are the reason you are in business. You work so hard to find clients who are compatible to you and your business. If you are too busy because your items are not outsourced, how can you focus on your current clients and their overall happiness? When you have more free time, you can send them helpful resources, deliver their images, as well as their final products, faster. When you make the experience positive for them, they will remember you and be more likely to refer you to their family and friends.
“As the owner of a company, you should be working on things that benefit your business as a whole and push it forward. Don’t get lost in the minutia of tasks that happen every day.” – Vanessa Joy
7. Decrease Post-Wedding Workflow Time
We have mentioned this quite a bit throughout this post, but your post-wedding workflow has many time-consuming aspects. And, it’s no secret that editing takes up a majority of your post-wedding workflow.
Another reason why you should outsource photo editing to a specialist is to decrease the time you spend in your post-wedding workflow. Instead of using your time to edit wedding photos from every shoot, you can deliver your images to a specialist (which cuts your time drastically).
Also, instead of spending your time sitting at your computer, you can use that time to go out and meet new clients, connect with vendors, or build future plans for your business.
8. Increase Turnaround Time
Turnaround time is an important part of your client’s happiness. The faster they receive your images, they happier they will be. If you are editing every wedding, you could get backed up on work. And with that backup comes missed deadlines and broken promises on your end.
Plus, the longer you wait to deliver images to your clients, the less excited they will be. If you have a streamlined process in place with a specialist, you can easily deliver images to clients and meet (and even exceed) their expectations.
“Super fast turnaround times translates into super-happy clients!” – Melissa Jill
You will also benefit from a fast turnaround time. Think about what happens when your workload increases; you fall behind. Then you have a pile of work sitting in front of you and the stress begins to rise. Having a fast turnaround time with help from an expert, you can eliminate your stress and maintain a fast and efficient workflow.
9. Focus on What’s Important
When you outsource photo editing, you can focus on the most important tasks that will help your photography business grow.
You might be asking yourself what is most important for your photography business. Think about your ROI – your Return on Investment. In an article by Cal Newport, the company references Warren Buffet and his advice to an employee:
“Your highest priority goals return significantly more value per unit time invested than your lower priority goals.In addition, your time and attention are limited. It follows that effort invested on your lower priority goals steals effort from your higher priority goals. If you spend time on the lower priority goals, therefore, your total quantity of value produced is reduced.” – Warren Buffet
When you spend time on things that do not provide ROI, you rob yourself of the 80/20 – 80% of the value, 20% of the work. If you are unsure where you are receiving value in the efforts you put forth (marketing, blogging, networking, etc), you risk continuing to put time and money into areas that are not actually doing anything for you.
When you know where you receive the most ROI, you can then reallocate your time into tasks that will generate additional income and help you grow.
“Do everything yourself, that’s how you fail. If you don’t pay attention to your bottom line, and you seek perfection and not profit, you will fail.” – Jared Platt, a part of our ShootDotEdit Customer Community
As a business owner, everything you do should provide you ROI. Editing wedding images does not do that for your business. Think about time as money. Your time is so valuable, so it must be treated that way in your business plan.
Even though outsourcing your wedding edits to a specialist will cost you money, think about how much your time as the business owner is worth. Look at the time it takes you to edit an entire wedding and how much it would cost to outsource it.
Chances are, your time is worth more than the outsourcing fee that you pay to outsource your images. Also, think about it like this: when editing is off your plate, you can focus on other tasks that help you make more money, which helps pay for a wedding photo editing service.
10. Work on Profit-Generating Tasks
One of the biggest benefits of outsourcing your photo editing needs is that you can work on profit-generating tasks. These are the tasks that are most important in your business and will help you to reach your overall goals.
For us to get an idea of what are the most important tasks, we reached out to a few wedding pros to find out what they can focus on (when they aren’t editing):
Sarah Roshan, a ShootDotEdit Wedding Pro, is a proponent of networking with vendors through valuable and meaningful relationships. Because the editing is off her plate, she spends her time investing in vendors and getting to know them. She even makes it a habit to meet with a new vendor each week to connect and find out how she can help their business.
Word of mouth is a powerful way to gain new bookings for your photography business. Though, you do need time to create happy clients who are invested in your business and can’t wait to share with their loved ones. Take the time to build a business that provides an unforgettable experience, including having fast turnaround time, clear and concise communication, and a strong brand message. Work to create relationships with your current clients to help find your next clients.
Maximize social media
ShootDotEdit Wedding Pro, Jessica Claire, utilizes social media, specifically Instagram, to book wedding clients. With her editing taken care of, she can build a strong social media presence that attracts and books the clients who are perfect for her. The strategies she uses for her Instagram business account allow her to reach ideal clients, share her images, and even showcase a bit of who she is as a photographer and person.
Interact with your target market to share your message frequently, encourage shares from followers, and incorporate SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tactics. Blogging-as-a-service companies, such as Fotoskribe, take care of these tasks for photographers. Lennon Photo, Fotoskribe Customer, has increased his ranking on search engines and therefore, added more bookings to his calendar, based on the SEO-specific services Fotoskribe provides. Blogging is key to help you reach new clients.
Build new revenue streams
When you have more free time in your photography business, you can focus on building new revenue streams to increase your overall profits. You can do this through portrait sessions, albums, and print sales. If you are currently editing every single wedding, these may be things that you have thought about in the past but have yet to get the time to focus on them. Finding ways to increase your bottom line throughout the year can get you closer to your current and future goals.
These 5 items may not necessarily be your most important but are tasks which help you get your images in front of ideal clients. They are tasks that also allow you to book more weddings. To make sure you focus on the best tasks for your business, think back to what you receive in ROI from each to make your decisions.
Things You Can Do with More Time
In your business
- Create a marketing campaign
- Build Instagram Stories
- Host Facebook Lives
- Send images to vendors
- Submit images to publications
- Start a Pinterest account
- Practice shooting techniques
- Attend photography conferences (online and in-person)
- Take a business course
- Update your website
- Post to your blog
- Take a new headshot
- Book more clients
- Shoot more weddings
- Create more albums and books
- Sell and upsell
- Practice in-person sales
- Add associate photographers
- Create a new business model
- Network with vendors
- Host retreats with past brides
And that’s not even all of what you can do with more time in your business.
In your personal life
- Work fewer hours
- Watch your favorite TV show
- Go to the gym
- Visit a museum
- Attend your kid’s soccer game
- Join your friends for happy hour
- Take a road trip
- Spend time with loved ones
- Take up a new hobby
- Shoot for fun
- Go on a vacation
- …. the list goes on and on
You are in control of how you spend your time. When you outsource photo editing to a specialist, you have an exponential amount of time back, meaning you can do with it what you want. Free time means you can have more of a work/life balance, which is something that keeps you healthy and happy about what you do in your business.
Photographer Benefits of Outsourcing
Here at ShootDotEdit, we chat with wedding photographers worldwide about their success stories after outsourcing photo editing for their photography business. Take a look below to learn more about how these photographers have had a positive impact on their businesses after a partnership with a photo editing outsourcing company (ShootDotEdit):
Jared Wilson was one of the first photographers to take part in our Style Match service, where you receive a personal Style Consultant and editor and saw the results:
“This is the FIRST time I feel like I could upload to a gallery immediately and my clients would be getting the high quality processing I want to provide them.” – Jared Wilson
The benefit of having images that are gallery-ready? That’s more time that can be used in other parts of the business.
Sara France built France Photographers with the free time she had from making the decision to outsource photo editing. Without a photo editor helping Sara and her associate photographers with their editing, she would not be able to expand to multiple associates in multiple locations.
“There is a lot of business structure that comes into my time. I spend a lot of time doing numbers and putting together ideas. We just launched a new location, so we’re now in Austin, Texas. [Outsourcing allows me to] continue to build and grow the business.” – Sara France
“I don’t even wonder what my images are going to come back looking like.” – Sara France
Jared Platt is the Lightroom expert in the photography industry but is an avid proponent of ShootDotEdit. Why is one of the most efficient people in color correction using and advocating for a company that does the same thing? Here’s why:
When Jared sent his first job to ShootDotEdit, he took the time to write an article for a magazine and made an additional profit. He could have edited his own photos, but the time he spent writing the article paid him more than editing his own images would (which is $0). He made a decision based on ROI, knowing what to say yes to and what to say no to.
Leeann Marie and ShootDotEdit
As a new business owner, you spend a lot of time thinking about what success looks like. What you don’t often think about, though, is what happens when you reach that point. Photographing 32 weddings a year, along with engagement and boudoir sessions, was becoming overwhelming for Leeann Marie. Extended hours in the office, no time to spend on marketing and sales, and not spending quality time with her husband were not Leeann’s intentions when starting her photography business. She needed an out – she found ShootDotEdit as an option for outsourcing photo editing.Image by ShootDotEdit Wedding Pro, Leeann Marie
When she began, Leeann knew that her business would be a full-time job, but she didn’t know that it would slowly begin to consume all her time. Rather than spending her office hours on album sales, marketing, and creating relationships with clients, which are the tasks she wanted to focus on to help grow her business, she was working long hours editing.
She knew all the time she spent by herself at her computer was time that could be better spent doing other things – things that added value to her business and allowed it to grow. Every hour she spent editing, while it was an essential task, was not supporting the things that allowed her business to profit.
In addition, the time she had for social activities with family, friends, and her husband was dwindling. She was ready to get her life back and build a profitable company she was proud to put her name on.
She had 2 options: An in-house editor or hire a Specialist
When Leeann realized she needed to outsource her editing to help grow her business in the best possible way, she felt had two options to consider: hire an in-house editor or partner with a specialist to help with her post-production. If she hired an in-house editor, she would have to spend time and resources training, and she was hesitant on how reliable one person truly would be.
Plus, what would happen if this person, after all the time and training, decided to leave and pursue a different job? What if it happened in the middle of her busiest season of shooting?
If she chose to partner with a specialized company like ShootDotEdit, she knew all the editors would be trained the same way on how to deliver a uniform product. This way, if one editor is unavailable, she would still receive consistent edits and a fast turnaround time.
She knew would save time and money with outsourcing, so for Leeann, the choice was simple. In order to focus on the areas of her business that mattered to her, she needed to partner with a company that specialized in post-processing.
What Leeann spent her time on:
- Every day in the office
- Worked long hours editing images
What Leeann wanted to spend time on:
- Creating relationships with clients
- Spending time with her family
Photo Editing Companies
As Leeann researched companies, she found two options that intrigued her, one of them being ShootDotEdit. In order to compare equally, she submitted the same wedding to both businesses. She found that throughout the submission process with ShootDotEdit, the Customer Success Team kept her informed of the status of her event and she knew exactly when to expect its arrival.
When she received and reviewed the changes, she loved ShootDotEdit’s corrections. That process reiterated the fact that she wanted a company instead of an individual to partner with. The quality of ShootDotEdit’s edits and the function of the Customer Experience Team helped to make her see that ShootDotEdit was that company.
A Partnership That Works
Since teaming up with ShootDotEdit, Leeann has been able to focus more on social media marketing, resulting in 40% more “Likes” on her Facebook Fan Page. The additional buzz she generated with her increased marketing eorts allowed her to expand her business to add an additional two photographers.
With multiple weddings per weekend, she can send out all the weddings to ShootDotEdit at once and know that every event is taken care of at the same time. Instead of spending hours color correcting, she and her associate photographers can focus on building relationships with each couple while simultaneously delivering an awesome product in less than two weeks. At times, Leeann can return a completed event to her clients before they are even back from their honeymoon, which absolutely thrills them.
In her busiest season, Leeann traveled to 23 cities in one year and still had all her weddings and engagements edited and completed on time. With the amount of money Leeann saves by using ShootDotEdit, she was able to photograph fewer weddings than her previous year, have her income remain the same, and have more time for things like business travel, sales, and marketing. The increased buzz from a fast turnaround time and more marketing time keep her wedding calendar full.
Fast Turnaround Time
Today, Leeann spends less time in her office and more time out meeting with clients. More importantly, she is able to deliver images to clients in less than two weeks. Not only are they ecstatic (which they show by sharing on Facebook and referring friends), but Leeann is too.
She gained valuable time to focus on areas of her business that are important to her, as well as spending more time with her husband. She has built the company she wanted when she began. Deciding to partner with ShootDotEdit was one of the best decisions Leeann made for herself and her business.
The result of outsourcing her wedding photo editing:
- Spends 60% less time in the office.
- Photographed 37% fewer weddings and her income remained the same. She also had more time for sales and marketing.
- Turnaround time is now less than 2 weeks.
Let us ask you this… What are some of the things you would do for your business if you had the time? Those are the things you can focus on when you outsource your wedding photo editing needs to a specialist.
Integrate Your Wedding Workflow with ShootDotEdit
Going back to the beginning of this post: do what you do best and outsource the rest. This quote represents successful business owners and the path they took to reach their goals in their business. Discover more about our wedding photo editing services for professional photographers and how we can help take the editing (and headache) off your plate, ultimately allowing you to grow and achieve your goals.