How to Pay To Outsource Your Photography Editing

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While everyone keeps telling you that the return on investment (hiring a photo editor) will be high, we will say there is both a yes and no to it. There is going to be a good return, but it will take a good time to come. The only form of return you will get immediately is the return on your TIME.

This is because you will have to spend less time in front of the screen and more behind the lens. This means more time to cover events, more clients, and more earning, of course.  Outsourcing your photo editing will save you about 8 hours each wedding and 4 hours each portrait session roughly.   Now, take out your calculator and do some math. If you even save 20 hours, it means 2-3 extra weddings for you. An earning good enough, right?

This return on time will ultimately get you a financial return.  Even if the return is not financial but you have improved your mental wellbeing, it is still going to be a big one. With that said, how are so many photographers around you budgeting for this?

Here is where you can begin. Start by thinking ‘how and when should you start.”

Budgeting to Outsource Your Photo Editing

Since business budgeting is an extremely vast topic itself, we will not dig deeper than we need to. But if you really want to do something in the business like hiring an in-house assistant or outsourcing a function, you need to start with the ‘budgeting’ part.

If you are barely able to bear the business’s normal operating costs, you might not be able to go for outsourcing immediately. Re-evaluate your finances and create a solid budget to take a leap.

Planning Ahead to Outsource

1.      Start by Evaluating Your Current Position

Spend 20 minutes thinking about the current status/position of your business. Evaluate the following:

-          Finances: Take a look over your income and expenditures and how things are being run. See if each expense is only tracked or budgeted ahead of being incurred.

-          Methods and Efficiency: See if you are generally achieving everything that you need to achieve on a daily basis. Identify gaps like lack of time management or a lack of systems/methodology. Assure you don’t have too much on your plate.

-          Customer Service: Check if the customers you have are mostly satisfied and if word of mouth has become the ultimate source of marketing for you because of it.

-          Creativeness: Ask yourself if you have ample time to test and recover things in order to inspire and grow. See if stress is affecting how you used to carry out sessions before.

-          Progress: Plan your personal goals and those for the business. See if you are using this practice currently or just getting through days haphazardly.

2.      Aim and Plan to Reach Where You See Yourself

Indeed, outsourcing is an investment. Nobody would want to invest and get no benefits. Just like you plan what needs to be done when your child is at the daycare (which again is an investment), plan what you would do in the time that you would be editing your photography sessions.

3.      Set a Concrete Budget

Sit back and think about the last time you evaluated photography prices and the packages being offered. Don’t just look around at your competitors. Look at others too, and adjust your prices and packages accordingly. Incorporate your tangible and intangible costs into the total charges you offer to your clients.

Next, plan and budget to bear the outsourcing costs by considering important things that we are now going to walk you through. Read on!

-          The average cost of outsourcing

Standardly, private editors working with Lightroom usually charge 0.30 to 0.39 cents per image, the total cost will be $245 for a 700 images catalog priced at .35/image. If you give your wedding clients an average of 100 images per hour your scheduled to photograph the couple then factor in the cost of outsourcing within your wedding package. You will want to allocate roughly  $35-$50 for every hour you shoot to cover the cost of color correction for a private photo editor.

-          Saving money to pay to the editor

How does the above-given cost sit with you? Are you willing or prepared to allocate enough to pay the editor?

-          Controlling the outsourcing budget in accordance to your business model

Your budget should be a direct reflection of your time, expenses, and profits. Jot everything down and budget them. For example, if 5 hours are allocated for client communication, assign a per hour rate for yourself that you’d want to recover from the earnings. Once you have the results, see if your current wedding packages is enough to bear the additional editing expense. If it is not, simply adjust your prices. Utilize the time you are saving by outsourcing your editing by covering more events.

-          The source of money in your business

Of course, your one and only source of earning is from the events that you cover. Adjust the number of events to accommodate your direct, indirect, tangible, and intangible expenses and profits. You can save a lot of time by hiring a photo editor, and that time could be utilized to earn more. This will not only help you pay the editor but earn more for yourself. It will enable you to save up and grow the business.

-          Guaranteeing that the additional amount of money for the editor is kept aside

By now, you do understand where the money comes from and how it is managed. Treat the editor’s fee as a necessary expense. Add a margin to the total fee per client to keep a cushion for losses and unforeseen events. Keep the money that you have already provided for your services in a separate account and your advance payments in another. These small steps will help you realize your profits and costs better and manage easily.

Yes, we understand all the information given above was too much too take in at one time. But the way all these details and tips will help you will leave you surprised too. If you haven’t ever outsourced your editing, you now know what to expect. And I would love to hear from you about the changes you experience after you incorporate these details into your planning.

Kristin Dain