Preparing for outsourcing your editing, Jennifer Kaiser
Outsource like a pro
Outsourcing your editing isn't just for the big time photographers. By having the right workflows in place, any photographer can add an editor to their team.
Jennifer Kaiser is a private editor who is sharing her tips for getting ready to outsource regardless of how many weddings you shoot. There's a good bit of work to do on the front end, but once you start outsourcing, you won't likely go back!
Jennifer grew up in rural Ohio and didn't dream of becoming a photographer. In fact, her love was music! As a nurse on night shift, Jennifer met her husband and they eventually moved to another part of Ohio to raise their daughter and live on their own land. She picked up a camera to take pictures of her sweet baby and the dogs her husband was training for competitions. Jennifer began second shooting, and even did some of her own, and realized she loved being in the wedding industry but maybe not as a lead photographer.
In December of 2016, Jennifer edited her first wedding for another photographer. Around this same time she moved to day shift and was able to pursue photography and editing a little more. By May 2017, Jennifer had reduced her hours at the hospital even more and has been editing ever since.
Getting ready to outsource
When it comes to outsourcing, Jennifer has three key areas for photographers to work through before you hire your first editor.
Knowing your shooting and editing style
You need to have your consistency down when it comes to shooting. Jennifer doesn’t think you have to be perfect when it comes to shooting, but you need to understand lighting and lenses. Getting to the point where you aren’t constantly switching lenses or settings is a great place to be before you hand off your images. When your shooting is consistent, your editing will become easier for you and for your editor.
Creating your workflow
Many photographers aren’t as knowledgeable with the backend of Lightroom, but Jessica recommends having a workflow in place in dealing with your images. How are you culling and saving them, how do you choose your favorites? Create a process and workflow for everything so your editor can jump right in (including which presets you love!)
Balancing your workload
Before Jennifer begins to work with a photographer, she has them work through the why behind their overwhelmed feelings. Is it because they are taking on all the clients because they need the money or is because there are too many steps and tasks that aren’t streamlined in their business?
Picking your presets
Speaking of your workflow and workload, we know it is so easy to rack up the presets you purchase, but in the end this isn’t doing you many favors. Jennifer recommends picking one or two that you love (one for indoor and one for outdoor), and tweaking them to your liking before sending them to the editor. This goes back to her point about knowing your shooting style and learning to take photos in camera that don't need much editing after.
Finding your editor
There are editing companies out there that you can use to edit your photos. The main thing to note here is there may be different people who edit your photos each time. With a private editor, you’re working one-on-one with the same editor each time. If you’re looking to be an editor, look for photographers whose work looks similar to your own and reach out to them to ask if you can help edit their photos. On the other hand, if you’re looking for an editor be open with your style and let them know what you’re looking for editing wise. Determine what you’re looking for and then find an editor that matches your criteria. It takes time to get into a good workflow with an editor and neither Jennifer nor Cinnamon personally offer trial periods because of this longer process. Each gallery you send to your editor allows you to strengthen your process and relationship with them (and again, be honest with what you’re looking for!)
Preparing to transition your editing
Set expectations and provide education to the editor. Jennifer starts her consults with a video chat and then has the photographer do a screen-share to go over how they edit. If you can’t describe your workflow and style, it will be harder for your editor to deliver what you want. Once you get those first few weddings back, provide clear feedback to your editor on what you like and don’t like for those albums. Again, it takes time on the front end to set those expectations and communications, but the more you do, the better it will get. Also, be aware of the time of year you are starting this process. In the middle of busy season, it might take longer to get the groove going. You may want to consider sending smaller galleries during the off-season in order to make the next busy season to be a breeze.
An editor’s pain points
Giving feedback to your editor is huge to getting results you want. This has to start from the beginning in order to build that long term relationship.
Be mindful of the editor’s schedule when waiting on your galleries. This should be discussed during the on-boarding process (when you need to drop the photos, when you can expect them to be returned). Your editor may be working with several photographers, so any delay may impact their schedule as well. Another thing to remember is that editors are still human. On occasion, they may have an off session, but remember they want your business to be successful and they will work hard to make sure editing goes well.
Three things before you get started
- Know your numbers (can you afford this and are you ready)
- Hone your shooting and your editing skills
- Have patience
More About Jennifer
Jennifer Kaiser is a private photo editor for professional wedding photographers. She helps creative women get back to the life they life by outsourcing their editing and managing their day-to-day systems in business and life. Based in Ohio, Jennifer is a registered nurse turned entrepreneur who pivoted her business from photography to editing and her mindset from hustle to health. She believes life is best lived offline.
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