November 2020 // The Business Edition

Top 5 Tips For Outsourcing Your Edits | Dustin Lucas

Whether the time for outsourcing is now or never, there is no denying the fact that you cannot sustainably run your business while pulling all-nighters editing pictures. I get it, we cling onto the cathartic and almost therapeutic aspect of editing. One thing I have learned in the flaw of doing production as a senior manager of Evolve is it takes my eye off the ball. I can’t do my job if I am editing pictures, even for 15 minutes. It’s no different for an entrepreneur. You have to focus on revenue, clients, marketing, what’s ahead, etc. It’s time to stop getting in your own way and just let go of editing. I hope you see your time is more valuable than spending hours on the computer. Outsourcing your editing is not as scary as you think and in this article I am going to discuss the top five tips to being more successful. Tip 1: You can’t expect perfection right out the gate. Tip 2: Communicate, communicate, communicate. The key to any relationship is communication. Tip 3: Build a workflow that actually works with your editing partner. Tip 4: Push for full service. The goal should be you shoot, they edit from shoot to delivery. Tip 5: Be open, be teachable and be flexible in the process. Let’s jump into Tip 1!

1. DON’T EXPECT PERFECTION, FOCUS ON MEETING EXPECTATIONS

This is the toughest part of outsourcing because you want to control every aspect of your images. Control is a good thing, but direct your team to success versus trying to teach them your way of editing. They likely already have a system to get you started, learn your editing style, develop documentation and repeat per job. Let your new team onboard you their way and be receptive to their process. Listen, learn and let go! At the very least, you have to stop spending all your time perfecting images. Do you really think your clients care about 5 points of magenta or ¼ stop of exposure? My guess is they wouldn’t and you are wasting your time. Instead focus on getting the edits in range for your preview and worry about perfection when they choose images for their album and products. It’s crazy to me how many studios I start working with spend countless hours editing — my first response is, are you hiding bad photography? I’m kidding of course, but seriously, you are crazy if you think putting that much time into editing proofs makes logical sense, when it doesn’t matter to your clients. Focus on them meeting expectations you give and those given by your outsourcing team—they will set you up for success. If they don’t deliver the agreed to expectations then you have a simple task: communicate!

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