Let’s be clear: I’m not an editor.
I was never trained to be an editor and I only know what I’ve picked up through various workshops, manuals, and online training.
But, like many photographers, I tried to be for awhile!
My editing style was somewhat consistent, but always based on “what looked good that day.” I was falling into the never-ending pitfall of purchasing the latest and greatest actions to “play” with my photos. While it sounds like fun (and sometimes was), the images on my blog and my website were starting to look very inconsistent. Plus, I had no idea whether an image was bright because it was a sunny day in my office or because I had done something wrong in post-production.
In order to maintain a sustainable and profitable business, I knew I needed to produce work that was always consistent and beautiful! So, I started considering outsourcing editing. Once I learned that I could pay a marginal amount to have someone else edit my work consistently, according to my own personal style, I knew I had to give it a try!
Plus, there’s the time factor.
Last year I photographed 28 weddings and lots of engagement and portrait sessions in between. I was spending a ridiculous amount of time in my office editing, and soon my friends and family were ignored. My business will always be my “baby,” but I was losing sight of the truly important things in my life. Additionally, I was losing time to learn new shooting techniques that would serve my clients.
I was in the dangerous process of shooting junk and then editing it for hours! I needed to change to get better images straight out of the camera, and leave the mundane work to someone else. My clients pay me to shoot and work with them, not for sitting in my office tweaking images for hours and hours. I knew something had to change, and I needed time back to network, blog, and work with my clients.
I made the jump, and haven’t looked back.
Outsourcing my color correction has allowed me to gain countless hours in my day back, while still feeling comfortable accepting more weddings to my workload. I can now finish editing in under an hour after receiving my job back, even with my “personal touches” added to my images. Don’t get me wrong – I love Lightroom and new Photoshop tricks, but they are not what make me happy. My clients and photography do.
Now my clients are amazingly pleased with a quick turnaround time, and my business has continued to grow. The cost of outsourcing is far offset by the word of mouth I receive from happy clients. My work is consistent, and my photography out-of-camera has continued to improve. Last, but most important, my family is pretty happy now too.
I didn’t want to become a professional editor. I wanted to become a professional photographer.
Meet Leeann and the Shoot Dot Edit team in person at PartnerCon in just a few weeks! Shoot Dot Edit has been working with Pictage to make your workflow even simpler than before- check out what they have to offer.
Written by Leeann Marie
Leeann is a Pittsburgh-based wedding, engagement, and boudoir photographer. An avid blogger, she loves connecting with her clients, friends, and other photographers around the world. She holds an engineering background from the University of Pittsburgh, which has led to a love of technology and teaching. She loves Lady Gaga, champagne, and kettle-cooked chips. She has travelled the world to places such as Russia, South Korea, China, Vietnam, and Panama, and believes in living the life you have dreamed.