This last Saturday was the start of a 5 week streak of weddings. This is awesome and I love it, but it does mean that I will be really, really busy and have plenty of photos to edit. I’ve already got several weddings from earlier in the year that need to be taken care of. Today I got a phone call from a company about outsourcing editing for wedding photographers. I talked to the guy for a good 30 minutes about their company and the whole concept, and I’m still unsure about what I’m going to do.
Outsourcing Editing for Wedding Photographers
My first concern is with having someone else handling my photos. I know what I like and I know how to get my photos there. I just don’t know if someone else can do that. About a year and a half ago, I bought into an editing company and I spent around $2,400 a year. That wouldn’t be too expensive if I had been happy with the service. In the end, I ended up having to tweak the photos I got back, wasting my time. I never really liked what they did, and even after several attempts to explain what I didn’t like, they never really figured it out. I felt like I wasted that money, and it has made me hesitant about trusting other companies.
If I felt like the company could produce great images for me, the next issue cost. The company that contacted me today was even more expensive than the previous one; it’s $3,600 a year. The thing I tried to calculate is how much time would this save me, and what would that make it worth per hour. Is the money worth the amount of time I would be saving or would it just be better for me to do it myself and save the money? Let’s say it saves me 1000 hours in a year. That would mean it’s only costing me $3.60 per hour, but if they are only saving me 50 hours, it’s now up to $72 an hour. The question then becomes, how many hours do I think they will save me. Let’s say they save me 5 hours per wedding. If I shoot 20 weddings per year, that’s 100 hours. Then if it saves me 1 hour per portrait session, and I shoot 50 sessions in a year, that’s another 50 hours. I wish I knew exactly how many hours I would be saving, then I could make a better decision.
Besides the cost, there’s also other things to consider. With more free time, comes less stress, which probably means happiness and more time for my family. If I had more free time from editing, I could pursue marketing and making connections. Most likely then, I would book one or two more weddings and several more portrait sessions, which would make up for the cost. Also, think how happy all of my clients will be if I can turn a wedding around in a week.
When I think about Outsourcing Editing for Wedding Photographers, I keep going back and forth in my mind. When I write it all down, it really does make sense to go for it. The upfront cost is pretty high but the rewards would be higher. I’ll be making my final decision in the next few days and write an update at some point. If anyone has any opinions or experiences with such things, I’d love to hear it.