Should you Outsource to a Private Photo Editor? Part I

photo editing at computer desk

Dear lovely photographers, you don’t know how awesome outsourcing is until you try. Seriously.  Outsourcing financial, social media, or other work is perfect if you don’t want to do those tasks, but when you are a photographer, what do you really spend most of your time on? I would argue that as a single task, editing sucks the most time from your business.  You are going to gain some serious time back when you outsource.

Let’s dig into some numbers.

I polled a group of wedding photographers asking how long it takes them to cull, edit, and touch up a wedding. I was honestly quite surprised! Numbers are always fun so here are the results.

43% said 5-10 hours

33% said 10-15 hours

16% said 20+ hours

6% said 15-20 hours

2% said less than 5 hours

How does your time compare to these results? 

Let’s take it one step further so you can see how this would affect you. Since 76% said between 5-15 hours, I’m going to split the difference and give you an example of 10 hours. If you shoot 10 weddings x 10 hours of editing, you are spending 100 hours of purely editing time. That’s essentially 2.5 weeks of a full-time desk job. 30 weddings at 10 hours is 300 editing hours or 2 MONTHS of a full-time 40 hours a week job. 

Did you let that sink in? That’s pretty crazy! If you have a smaller amount of bookings, so maybe less than 10, you might think you can handle 100 hours of editing no problem. BUT if you are really trying to book more, grow, and level up your business there are soooo many other opportunities you can take advantage of if you dump all of those hours on an editor. Can you imagine 100 hours of networking with vendors and clients, getting work published, creating print and album sales to run, shooting personal or styled shoots, updating your website portfolio, creating gorgeous welcome packets, etc.? Or 300 hours to do this? And this is only the time taken from your editing, not all of your other work hours!

When I tell you that it will probably cost 1-2 weddings in outsourcing fees (depending on your price point), you can’t argue that you won’t be able to book at least 1 or 2 weddings from that 100+ new free hours you gained! It is absolutely possible when you use those hours with intention.

Ok I’ve thrown a lot of numbers at you! When you research about outsourcing you definitely want to know the numbers and hopefully this really helps clarify some pretty cool benefits. 

In PART TWO I want to talk about how you can decide if you are ready to outsource. There is one super important element to help you know whether you are ready. Hint- it is not how busy you are…

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