Mountains of unedited wedding and sessions piling up on your hard drive? Maybe you’ve decided that you want to find an editor to assist you with the workload but where do you even start? First, I’m proud of you for taking this step and looking for someone to step in and help. Outsourcing is a powerful way to grow your business and focus on the things only you can do. There are a lot of options when it comes to outsourcing your editing and finding a private editor that will work well with your business can feel overwhelming. How do you choose who to trust with such a critical piece of your business? In today’s post, I’m giving you my best tips on finding the perfect editor for your business, as well as several questions I highly recommend asking on your consultation call. Let’s dig in…
Private Editor Vs. Big Box Company
First, if you haven’t yet decided whether you want to use a private editor or a big box company, I recommend heading over to this post before you read any further. Let’s say you’ve narrowed down your options to knowing that you want to work with a one-on-one private editor. Great! Now I want you to put together a list of 3-5 editors who you think might be a great fit and schedule consultations with them. To create this list, I recommend that you look in a few places. First, ask any other photog friends if they use an editor and if they recommend who they currently use. Next, head to a few photography FB groups like the KJ Education group and do a search for “editor” or “outsource editing.” You’ll likely be shown several posts where others have been on the same search you are on and will be able to click through the various websites to add a few names to your list.
Ask The Right Questions
Once you have your list, fill out the contact forms for 3-5 of the best candidates. They’ll likely respond to set up an initial consultation. This is where you’ll learn their process and get all of your questions answered. (Don’t worry if you can never remember your questions on these types of calls – I have a list of printable list of questions at the end of this post.) Asking the right questions is crucial in making sure you don’t run into problems down the road and in making sure everyone is on the same page. Here are questions I suggest asking:
Question 1 – What is your turnaround time?
This can range from 5 days to 2 weeks, but you need to make sure you will receive your images back in a time frame that makes sense for your delivery workflow. For example, if you aim to deliver your weddings 2 weeks after you shoot them, you’ll need to find an editor who has a pretty quick turnaround time to leave you time to prep the catalog and check it before you deliver it.
Questions 2 – How do you ensure consistency?
This is by far the most important question, in my opinion. The number one concern I hear from photographers is that their editor won’t match the images to their unique style. Learning how an editing company has built consistency into the process is crucial. There need to be safeguards in place to ensure that every catalog you receive is hand-edited in your specific style.
Questions 3 – How do you handle revisions?
Let’s pretend you just got your third catalog back from your editor and though the first two were edited consistently in your style, this one seems to have been rushed and is going to require a lot of work to be complete. If this were to happen, what is the editing company’s policy for revisions or refunds?
Question 4 – Do you have any minimums?
Some editing companies have a certain amount of images you must send per month or year, and others have monetary catalog minimums. For example, we have a $50 catalog minimum, which means you would need to send around 125 images or more to avoid paying more than our standard ‘per image’ rate. We recommend that our portrait photography clients send us multiple sessions per catalog to avoid paying extra.
While these are the most important pieces of information to ask about, I have a list of 12 questions that you’ll want to ask on your consultation calls. You can download that list HERE to have in front of you when you’re on the phone with various editors.
Once you’ve had your consultation calls with each editing company, the decision comes down to who you feel will be the best fit for your business. Who has the best process for ensuring consistency? Who has a pricing structure that fits with your current package prices and will still allow for profitability? While it can feel daunting to go through this process and hand off your editing, it will be so worth it in the long run. Imagine shooting a wedding or portrait session, editing a few anchor images and receiving a ready-to-deliver gallery just a few days later. This is what it will be like when you find your ‘right fit’ private editor.
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