Tips for Photographers Who Outsource Their Editing

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As the owner of a photo editing business, I have learned a lot during the last 3 years. I have spent more time than one can imagine on identifying what does or does not work.

This obviously does not mean I haven’t had my share of challenges and obstacles that come in between every journey. But it has been an amazing and very fulfilling journey overall. With that said, what do you think compelled me to pen down this ‘long’ article? 

You can probably guess because it is an useful one!

I have been a member of different online forums and communities, and reading about the issues that photographers and editors have really pains me inside. So, in this article, I will be discussing some important tips for photographers that will help them outsource their work for editing.

1.    Synchronize the Camera You Use

This issue is not a single issue but just the tip of the iceberg, underneath which several others lie. This tip will be super-effective in dealing with this problem and all those that are linked to it.

Before you start shooting, catch up with your second shooter and synchronize all the cameras involved for dates and time. Your editor will be highly grateful to you for this, I swear!

Synchronizing the camera time and dates allows editors to have a catalog that is already organized. This way, you will enable your editor to quickly do their job and deliver what is expected without having to spend hours organizing and sorting out the images. And your edits will also become more consistent. Some editors charge more when they receive a catalog that Is not organized so be sure to synch your camera!

2.    Include Anchor Images

Anchor images are of high importance for photo editors. These images will help your photo editor to understand your photography style and maintain consistent quality of image edits in the final catalog. An anchor image is when the photographer color corrects an image in Lightroom, and after you send your editor the catalog, they can see your edited image AKA anchor images within your Lightroom catalog!  Provide 5% of the anchor images and post them throughout the entire catalog so your editor can best match your style! Be sure to cull your images, then make your anchor images one color and the “to edit” images another color.

3.    Ensure Fluent and Frequent Communication

Sometimes, amid all the chaos and busy schedules, photographers often forget how important it is to communicate with their photo editors. Yes, your clients come first and you literally have a lot to do every day, but that does not mean talking to your editor is any less important.

An editor’s job is to help you succeed. And it is hard for them to do this if you don’t communicate with them. It is almost impossible for editors to do what you need without hearing it from you at least once.  Be sure to communicate any special requests when submitting a new gallery for editing.

Make sure your editor knows about the events and when you will send the catalogs for editing. Let them know if something is to be finished urgently or if you are running behind schedule. They will love you for keeping them updated and that will be evident in the work they do for you. It is okay if you miss a call because you are genuinely busy with something else, but don’t forget to get back to them as soon as you can. Life happens to all of us, but balancing it is the key! For example, my clients know they can email me at any time during the day or night, but they also know to only text me during business hours if they need a STAT response.

4.    Have Realistic Expectations

Don’t you despise the clients who start calling and emailing you two hours after the event, asking about their catalog, especially when you gave them a precise turnaround time beforehand?

Everybody has a family, a few friends, and a LIFE, of course. None of us can remain focused on work 24/7, 365 days of the year. It is downright unrealistic of them to be asking you for the pictures in just two to three hours, isn’t it?

Now imagine if you start acting like the crazy client you despise. Most Editors work for 5-20 photographers at one time. Would it be reasonable to ask them about something before time or to ask them to do something in almost no time? Their turnaround time starts when they are delivered the catalog for editing and when the invoice is paid, that’s when their 3-5 business day turnaround starts! Understand these basic needs and be accommodating. Set realistic expectations. <3

Kristin Dain