What Wedding Photographers Are Saying About Outsourcing Their Editing

This past month I opened up a survey for professional wedding photographers across the country regarding outsourcing editing.  

I initially planned this survey just to gain some quick facts to help my business and my future clients!  Just as a photographer needs to know what her potential bride is looking for in a photographer, I couldn't wait to find out more about what my potential photographer clients are looking for in an editor.  

As a put this survey together, it occurred to me that SO many wedding photographers do not currently outsource their editing.  For those who do not outsource I wanted to know what was holding them back, and what they are interested in learning.

 
outsourcing.what wedding photographers have to say about outsourcing their editing
 

For those who DO outsource, I wanted to know who they outsource to (private editor or company) and how it was going.  Plus any additional thoughts they had to offer about their experience.

Without further ado - the results are in!

1: How many weddings do you book on average per year?
On average these photographers shoot 15-20 weddings per year.  

2: Currently, how long does it take you on average to edit a wedding gallery? (does not include culling)
The answers ranged from 2 hours to 8-10 weeks, with the average photographer taking 1-2 weeks.

3 - Do you currently outsource your edits?
36.4% of photographers currently outsource their editing while 63.6% do not

4 - How do you outsource?
Of the photographers that do outsource their editing, 75% use a private photo editor while 25% use an editing company.

5 - What do you outsource?
80% of the photographers outsource all of their weddings within a year while 20% pick and choose which weddings throughout the year.

6 - On average, how many images per wedding do you outsource? (Select all that apply)
All of the photographers who do outsource send out approximately 500-1,000 images

7 - What do currently pay for your outsourcing?
All of the photographers who outsource pay .29-.39 cents per image

8 - Are you interested in outsourcing your edits?
28% responded that they are interested in outsourcing, 28% are on the fence about it, and 9% are not interested.  The remaining 35% already outsource.

9 - In a few sentences, describe your current experience with outsourcing your edits and/or how it HAS or COULD improve your business.
Responses were mostly positive including, "We love our editor!," "It's been painless, and one of the best decisions I've made for my business," "It would definitely lighten my workload!" 

10 - Please leave any additional comments you would like to make regarding outsourcing edits below.
Additional comments made in regards to outsourcing were "I feel like I would need to know the process in more detail.." "I think quickness to respond to emails and making changes makes a big difference," and finally "using Lightroom catalog is the best!"

Takeaways

As an editor, I was so excited to put this survey out there and found the results to be so helpful!  On average, 60% of the photographers who completed the survey were NOT currently outsourcing their editing.  However, of the photographers who completed the survey they were shooting 15-20 weddings per year and are spending 1-2 weeks of editing on each wedding.  

Let's look at that again.  15-20 weddings per year is roughly 17.5 weddings per year, per photographer.  Then, each photographer is spending approximately 1.5 weeks editing each wedding.  

That means, on average, wedding photographers are spending 26.25 weeks out of a year on editing.  Obviously, each photographer may have additional tasks included in that week but that is still 26.25 weeks with some significant time spend editing a wedding.  Imagine what that time would look like dedicated to marketing, education, client experience OR even just doing something in your life OUTSIDE of your business.

I was excited to see that 75% of photographers who do outsource found value in using a private photo editor and had ALL positive comments on how outsourcing has influenced their business and life.  

For those who do not outsource, the comments were simply influenced by a lack of understanding of what outsourcing consists of and how the process works.  

I am so excited to start sharing MORE information about working with a private photo editor and how it can benefit a wedding photographer's business, workflow, and life.  To start, I would love to share with you a one minute look into the process of working with a private photo editor and would love to walk through the details of how I can help you and your business grow!