FEATURING GARRETT DELPH, CEO and CoFounder of ShootDotEdit
Maybe it was just a few years ago that you realized your calling in wedding photography. Or maybe you’ve been in it longer than that. You decided to make your passion your business and grow with it both personally and professionally.
You’ve spent years making a place for yourself in the wedding photography industry and now you’re flooded with work from all corners. You’re happy, but also dealing with the chaos of running a business.
And we get it! Running a business can be super difficult — and making a photography business decisions like handling the shoots, post-production, client communications, networking, branding, advertising, logistics, and whatnot, can be overwhelming! At the end of the day, you’re just trying to keep your head above water…
If this all sounds familiar, DON’T PANIC! You’re not alone.
20 years ago, this was the life of Garrett Delph, the co-founder and CEO of ShootDotEdit.
He was the owner of a thriving wedding photography business — but it was a struggle. After years of stress and anguish, Garrett finally found his solution…
Photography Business Decisions: The Challenges of Running a Wedding Photography Business
“I started shooting in 1999, back when film was alive. That was really cool,” Garrett says. “You pick up a camera, you start shooting friends and family, and people start going — ‘Hey, I really like that!’ They start referring to you. That’s kind of how it happened. You’re like — ‘Oh my gosh! there might be a business here.’”
Garrett Delph, a husband and father of four, started his wedding photography business soon thereafter. But he was met with a huge unforeseen challenge for photographers — the transition from film to digital photography.
“I transitioned to digital and what I never saw coming was the moment I switched from film to digital, I became the photography lab overnight.”
As he was struggling with the transition and client expectations, Garrett realized many wedding photography businesses had gone under. Still, there were many others who were frustrated just like him.
Editing had taken on a life of its own, but not just for Garrett. His peers were also spending so much time editing that it was a challenge to focus on other parts of their business.
Garrett had had enough and soon discovered the power of leaving behind the Do It Yourself lifestyle.
Photography Business Decisions: The Solution
Lee Kuan Yew, the former Prime Minister of Singapore once said, “If you deprive yourself of outsourcing and your competitors do not, you’re putting yourself out of business.” Garrett knows this all too well.
“In six months we built a digital processing lab. We got together with a couple of buddies — one of them Jared Bauman, and we co-founded ShootDotEdit in March of 2007.”
Garrett said it had been a crazy ride building the company. “I think at the end of the day, it’s the vision. We were committed to solving a giant problem to empower pro wedding photographers to succeed — specifically in post-production,” he says. “Managing your own post-production is a big cost center in both finance, time, and emotional happiness. And so that was our big driver.”
It took constant commitment for continuous improvement so ShootDotEdit could succeed. Garrett and the team worked to understand their target market — professional wedding photographers. They knew they needed to meet and exceed customer needs and expectations.
By understanding their market’s needs, they were able to build products and services within post-production that empowered photographers. This allowed their customers to truly grow their businesses.
The Impact of ShootDotEdit on the Photography Community
Garrett has read many customer emails over the years. They’ve told him how letting go of their editing work has made a huge difference to their revenues, their mental health, and their personal life.
“I think the biggest benefit is freedom,” Garrett says. “Our first company email was ‘My Life Back at ShootDotEdit’ back in 2007 and we have built lots of content and campaigns around getting your life back.”
When it comes to making use of ShootDotEdit, some customers spend more time with their families — some travel. Others use their time to book more gigs and grow and refine their brand.
“Some clients spend their time editing the website they haven’t touched in five years,” Garrett says. “There’s a whole host of returns on their investment (ROIs) when they let a company like ShootDotEdit step in and handle the editing”.
Garrett says, “Post-production is the most time-consuming part of every job. If you add up all of those tasks and all of the brain RAM required to do them all in synchronicity for a dependable, consistent outcome in a timely manner, that becomes really heavy for most wedding photographers — unbearably heavy.”
The best Photography Business Decision you can make? Outsource. Here’s Garrett’s top 5 reasons to Outsource
In Garrett’s words, choosing to outsource is the right photography business decision, but it’s a double-edged sword. “We get it. As creatives, that image is your baby. It’s your work. That’s your portrait. It’s your drawing. It’s your painting.” But he says choosing not to outsource all that uninspiring editing work, which brings no revenue to your business, is a GRAVE MISTAKE.
Garrett has given us not 1 but 5 reasons to outsource your editing with ShootDotEdit.
- Outsourcing allows you to Still Make Your Work Yours — only with the select images that truly matter. It’s no secret that most photographers want to edit the fun shots, the curated selection of inspiring and amazing images that they get. They want to Photoshop those and do the artistic, creative editing on them. And that’s perfect! Photographers still need to have brand identity. But if they choose only the best of the best to make their own, and leave the rest of the editing “grunt work” to ShootDotEdit, they’ll spend far less time behind the computer.
- Outsourcing Makes Your Bride Happier. With a turnaround time of 5 business days or less, your brides will ADORE you! Who hasn’t been in this scenario: You shoot a wedding. Then weeks (or sometimes months) go by before you ever look at it. Now all of a sudden, your bride is knocking down your door — flustered and upset. She wants to know where her wedding photos are! Outsourcing saves you time and makes for a happier client! And ShootDotEdit’s average turnaround time is 2.8 days from the day that we receive our customer’s job worldwide. Now that’s fast!
- If You Invest in Outsourcing, You’ll Save Time. And Time is Money. ShootDotEdit brings all of our excellence in workflow and editing to the table and does it in a way that you truly can afford. By continuing to find out what our clients need and want, and providing it to them fast, at a fair, reasonable price — we continue to help wedding photographers get their time (and their life) back.
- Outsource Beyond Editing. “Our mission is to build an integrated platform so that when you show up for post-production, you have a multitude of other services at your fingertips as well — like blogging. Yes, we literally can do it all for you.” Another service we provide, “EXTRA is perhaps our best-kept secret. It’s an image hosting gallery that comes free for every ShootDotEdit customer. We upload your edited wedding images to an EXTRA gallery, you set the product prices, we send you the link, and when you share the link with your bride, we begin selling for you. We send targeted emails to the bride and anyone she shares the gallery with, everyone who visits can order a free 8×10 (at no cost to the photographer) and are then encouraged (via those emails) to make additional print orders. Photographers who participate get a check every 3 months for any print sales that occur, and they don’t have to do a thing. If you haven’t tried EXTRA out, you should!
- Outsource with a Company that Cares — and is Cutting Edge. “ShootDotEdit remains innovative and ahead of the game — it’s a byproduct of our core values. It’s evolving in an ever-changing industry” If you’ve been with us for a while, you’ve seen we are continuously improving and changing, and are always planning for the next great thing that will help our photographers succeed. That includes content! We are committed to providing content that inspires, motivates, and educates photographers in areas of business, lighting, posing, and shooting. We also share our customer’s images (with permission!) and stories — bringing inspirational material that showcases photographers, just like you, who are industry leaders and making BIG waves.
Garrett’s Message to Wedding Photographers
Garrett feels ShootDotEdit can save a lot of new photographers by guiding them towards the right path of outsourcing. Photographers who are shooting professionally for the first time in the wedding and portrait space can be saved from a lot of stress and unhappiness by learning from people that have already gone through the growing pains, figured it out, and come out better and stronger on the other side!
If you’re struggling to find time for editing. Or if you’re editing so much that you’re struggling to find time for anything else, then maybe it’s time to give outsourcing a shot. Try ShootDotEdit today and get your life back!