Outsourcing. At first thought it seems scary, right? How am I going to send files? How long does it take? How much does it cost?
And the biggie…What if my artistic vision is compromised??
I’ll admit, as a photographer myself, I thought that way as well at first. Until I thought of how much easier it would be to look at evenly edited images returned to me rather than images with uneven shutter speeds and blown out highlights. Don’t be shy – outsource the things you don’t want to do…the things you don’t have time to do.
The thing is – when you partner with a post-processing company two things happen:
- You can redirect the time you used to spend on editing by doing something else like spend it with family, friends, or focusing on another aspect on your business.
- You will be able to better serve your clients.
Questions to ask and why they matter
What is your preferred method of file transfers?
Each company will have different options. Dropbox is common because the files are uploaded to the web. Google Drive also works well. And some companies will have you upload them directly to their website.
The newest technology has been made available with the upgrades in Lightroom 5. Lightroom 5 will build editable Smart Previews, which are saved within a catalog. By saving your catalog with Smart Previews generated, you can email your catalog to your post-processing company and NEVER HAVE TO SEND A FILE! It is a great feature and one that might be a deal-breaker in the company you use. They will be able to edit your images, send your catalog back, and you will open the catalog and apply all their changes to your actual files and then Export!
No company is going to make this hard. Whatever their method, they will make it accessible. It is only an issue if you feel adverse to change! Lol! You may have to open up to a new process!
What is the expected lead time?
This might be the most important question. Every company will have different turnaround times. Most will offer 1-2 day rush orders for a fee. Common delivery is to 1 – 2 weeks for weddings, 3 days to a week for portrait. Also note most of these return times are based on business days only. Please check with your company to see if they offer weekend return times.
What are the costs?
Every company will have there different ranges in price per image…a couple of things to ask if not noted in their pricing guide:
- Do you charge more to edit and JPEG file versus a RAW image?
- Is there a minimum order?
- Is there a per job order fee added to each job?
- Is there any fee if I don’t use the your preferred upload choices?
Cost is important to everyone, but don’t forget about the relationship. Service. And make sure that you have a contract and that all costs are spelled out with no surprises.
Do you have a trial?
Most companies will offer a trial. If they don’t have it listed on their website, ask for one. This is a great way to see how different companies will edit your images based upon your preferences.
Do you offer a clean edit?
It is pretty important that your processing company offer a clean edit. You always want clean, properly exposed and white-balanced images delivered to you. Make sure that your company will give you your images back clean. Then, if you want your photos edited artistically to match your style…
Do you offer artistic edits based on my style?
There are companies that offer artistic edits, matching your style. This will be a harder fit, so be sure and get your “trial” images done before you invest.
All of these are common questions that post-processing companies hear every day. And they should be able to answer all of those questions for you. Check with a few of them and see what is right for you and your business. Shop around. There are tons out there and you need to find the right fit for you!
Go for it!
Nobody can do it all! The best business people delegate and outsource, and you should too if you want to grow your business. You can’t clone yourself, so know your strengths and weaknesses, and outsource your weaknesses! It will double your strengths because you can spend more time on them. And it will polish up your weak points to make you look your best!
Eclectic Pixels is a husband & wife team who offer full service post processing for your Outsourcing needs. Find them on their website, or any of their social media pages listed below!