Making the Jump Toward Private Editing
Why You Should Consider It & Tips To Finding The Perfect Editor For YOU
We've been hearing a lot lately about outsourcing our work. And I've been receiving some weary emails from photographers who see this as a way of giving up! This couldn't be further from the truth.
With fall mini deadlines approaching, end of wedding season editing in full swing, and holidays right around the corner, we, as photographers, are certainly feeling the heat. In Facebook groups and on Instagram feeds, I'm seeing so many photographers just treading water. This is certainly not the way to excel your business to the next level. How could you possibly complete your tasks at an exceptional level when you're scrambling to stay afloat with the back end of your business?
When we look at the roles we play as photographers within our trade, it's very obvious to see we are stretched thin. If you could attribute a time to each sub-position within your business, what would your time breakdown look like? You might be surprised to find that I rarely spend more than 1-2 hours per week ACTUALLY being a photographer (or 8-10 hours on wedding weeks). Here's a breakdown of the other duties I must keep up with:
Editor: 15-20 hrs per wedding / 2-3 hrs per portrait session
Social Media, Blog, & Website Management: 3-5 hrs per week
Email Support/New Inquiries: 5 hrs per week
Marketing/Education: 3-4 hrs per week
Accounting/Mileage Logging: 1-2 hrs per week
And. So. Much. More.
As you can see, we spend nearly 2-3 times editing in front of a computer than we spend out doing what we love - documenting precious moments. What if I told you you could get 15-20 hours a week back to spend with your family, your husband, your friends, or even dreaming up bigger and better plans for your business? I couldn't sound more like an infomercial with that last sentence, but it's true! Private Editing is the answer to getting your life back.
3 Major Benefits To Outsourcing To A Private Editor
1) It Saves Us Time. Our Time Is Money
By the end of the season, we're burnt out, stressed, and panicked playing catch up with all the work we took on during the busy season. Imagine what you could do if you delegated just 3 hours a week (at $12/hour) to a college Marketing intern to handle your social media posting. That's one whole evening spent with your children, your significant other, or a few hours spent dreaming and doing to grow your business! A couple of hours per week is affordable. You don't need to take on a full-time employee right out of the gate. It's the same for email support, accounting, and blogging. You can hire anyone to do what anyone can do (with a little direction, of course). Imagine what outsourcing could look like for you. My clients have freed up 15-20 hours per wedding to focus on bettering their businesses. Some of my clients have taken advantage of this time to add associate photographers, some have taken on more weddings in 2017, and some just prefer to leave the work to me so they are able to spend quality time with their families!
2) Quality Over Quantity | Cohesive Matching
You might be reading this right now, rolling your eyes, and thinking, "yeah, sure, in theory this is a fabulous idea, but have you EVER ACTUALLY OUTSOURCED?!"
I've heard, seen, and stalked firsthand in social media peer group posts from photographers who are DONE with big box outsourcing. They never get a consistent edit, and they're constantly retouching images they just paid to have retouched. What's worse - they're stuck in a long-term contract, paying for services they aren't happy with! What's cool about private editing - sometimes referred to as boutique editing - is that you have 1 editor. Always. One person to consistently emulate your style, and represent your brand beautifully. You build a relationship with your editor, and begin to trust their judgement to match to your editing style.
Editing takes time. Lots of time. We beat our heads against the keyboard trying to stay focused. We sneak onto social media, distracting ourselves from the task at hand, and we binge Netflix in the background hoping that it will speed the process up. When you delegate editing to a professional editor, your weddings get turned around in record speed. Can you imagine receiving finished weddings consistently in less than 2 weeks time? My average turnaround as an editor time is around 4-5 business days - and sometimes less.
Tips To Finding The Perfect Editor For You:
Once you pair up with the perfect private editor, life will never be the same. Here are some things to look for when searching for an editor:
1) Make sure your styles are truly similar. I get SO many emails from clients claiming to be light and airy, but the truth is, our styles are on opposite ends of the light and airy spectrum. (Which is a large spectrum) Try to objectively look at your own work to see if you're in the same vicinity.
2) Be able to objectively describe your style. I tend to edit my own photos in an overexposed, soft fashion. I'm toward the brightest end of the light and airy spectrum. Some film hybrid photographers are overexposed, but prefer more contrast, darks, and shadows in their images. They may be lumped into light and airy, but they're at the most dramatic end of light and airy.
3) Send links to your most recent work. Private editing is a mutually beneficial teamwork-based industry. This means the editor is going to want to look over all of your work to ensure you're a great fit!
4) Personality is HUGE. Private editing is a long-term business solution. It only gets better with time as trust builds and editing styles are honed in. This being said, you want to make sure you and your editor fit both personality-wise AND stylistically!
Where to Start
If you think you're ready to begin outsourcing, fill out the inquiry form to get started!