When they first start, many business owners do everything themselves and wear all the hats.
But sometimes, hiring outside companies to do specific jobs makes sense. As an example, think about editing photos of products. Instead of endless hours fighting with Photoshop or boring retouching, you could be thinking about a new product line, the artistic direction for your next shoot, or how to increase sales and grow your business. Outsourcing to a reputable online photo editing studio may be the best way to save time and money.
Outsourcing editing is what?
When you outsource product photo editing service, a third party takes care of the tasks after a photo shoot, called “post-production.” It’s best to look for outside photo editors who edit photos of products by hand instead of using an automated tool or AI program.
Even after the perfect shoot, it’s almost always necessary to do some retouching. You may need to change the product’s colour, add a model, change the shadows, or eliminate the background.
These steps, also called image editing, post-processing, Photoshopping, background removal, and ecommerce photo editing, get your images ready to be used on your website, Amazon, social media, or even printed marketing materials.
Why do organizations outsource photo editing?
Outsource product photo editing service is primarily designed to reduce costs, according to a 2020 Deloitte survey. Flexibility and speed in business operations are two more important reasons to outsource product photo editing.
Businesses that outsource product photo editing have learned that the best photo editors can match their brand look and feel like the images were retouched in-house, with a style guide and intense brief.
Who should consider outsource photo editing?
Outsource photo editors is one of photographers’ best things for their business. But it’s not just photographers. When editing photos, many other professionals look outside their company for help.
Photographers who take pictures of things for their clients
Photographer, retoucher, and photographer
These experts in photography know how to use editing software. But they would instead focus on tasks that add more value to their clients and make them more money, like coming up with a unique look for a shoot or a creative way to fix a problem with retouching, etc.
Seven good reasons to Outsource someone else to edit your product photos.
Simple photo editing should not cost much. Many professionals still have trouble with their budgets. But it’s important not to only think about the price and not consider all the other benefits of Outsource photo editing services. The experts mentioned above wouldn’t hire someone else to edit their photos if there weren’t clear benefits, right?
When you pay someone to edit your photos, these are the results:
You can put more money back into your business
This may seem strange, especially if you only consider how much money you’ll save editing your photos. When you outsource product photo editing , you don’t have to buy expensive software or spend time learning how to edit professionally.
It’s time to focus on more important things.
As a business owner, there are some jobs you can’t give to someone else, so you should focus on those. You can Give reliable partner tasks, like editing photos, that you don’t want to do yourself.
Pay attention to projects that will make a lot of money.
Learn new skills and keep an eye out for ideas to help you grow your business.
Have fewer things to do and more time to do them.
Spend more time with your friends and family. You don’t want to Outsource someone else to do that, do you?
More space to be creative
It wasn’t your intention to start your business to edit photos, was it? It sounds more like coming up with new ways to interact with your audience, solving customer problems, and making something new and unexpected. When you hire outside help, you go back to doing that.
More money made
Someone who works in the creative field may have come up with the phrase “time is money.” Talented people in this field charge by the hour. The more creative the job, the more they charge. And business owners should follow the same rule. Focusing on strategic tasks gives you the chance to create something unique that customers will pay more for.
Making things work better
Do you want your business to run like a well-oiled machine? When you Outsource someone else to do your product photo editing, you can cut down on time between taking the photo and uploading or sending it. By making your internal processes more efficient, you can take on more and different types of projects.
New ways to make money or services
Even if you aren’t the best at Photoshop, you can add professional product photo editing to your list of services as a photographer. Just ask for help from a group of editors. Yes, they charge for their services, but most basic edits aren’t too expensive, and you can add a margin to the price to make sure you make a profit.
Less stress and less chance of burnout
Photoshop is a powerful tool, but it’s hard to learn how to use it well. Even if you know how to use it, retouching photos can take a long time. This can make you miss deadlines, feel stressed, and have trouble sleeping.
When you find a reliable group of editors, you can:
Honour a tight deadline. You can send in your photos at night, which will be edited by the next day. This lets you run multiple shoots simultaneously and never miss a deadline.
Get your clients and coworkers to believe in you because it’s not very professional to tell a client or coworker that your photos will be ready by a specific date and then fail to do so.
Photo editors are there for you to use as your needs change. For example, hiring and managing in-house editors doesn’t make sense if you only need to make product photos once a season. During slow times, they will cost the company money. Also, the answer is not to hire freelancers. They are hard to find when the studio is busy, and they can’t hold as many people as a whole studio.
How happy would you be if even one of these things was added to your busy workday? This is why you will need to Outsource product photo editors.
Problems with Outsource product photo editor.
If there are so many benefits to outsourcing product photo editing for busy professionals, why don’t they all do it? Some people are discouraged by what they think are barriers to outsourcing product photo editing for products. Perceived means that they are not real but are caused by a common psychological bias.
Let’s take a closer look at these tricky traps to ensure you don’t fall for them (our minds can be sneaky sometimes!). Experts who don’t hire other people to edit their product photos:
You could save time by doing it yourself. “It’s just a small job,” they say at first, but they end up retouching for the next four hours. The real problem is that they don’t know how much longer a quick retouch takes when done on tens or hundreds of photos. Here’s the answer to the question of how long it takes to edit product photos.
You think that doing it on your own will save you money. Businesses or photographers often prefer to edit their photos because it gives them more creative freedom. This is because they are looking for a specific look or want to try different things to find it while editing the shots. But it’s almost always cheaper to hire someone else to do it for simple photo changes. So, I think you should read this guide before deciding whether to hire someone else to edit your photos or do it yourself.
Don’t trust or assume someone else will do a better job than you. Do you know anyone who is always worried but can’t ask for help? They think that no one else on the planet can do what they do. As a fix, try to get them to delegate just once to see what happens (usually, after seeing the result is up to their standards, they relax and never look back).
It will take too long or be too difficult to explain. This usually happens when retouching is very complicated. Photographers and art directors often have trouble explaining their ideas to others or worry that they won’t be understood. But they don’t realize how much the briefing process can help them by making their vision clearer and letting them try it out on their photography partners without risk.
I think the process of administration will take too long. These people often think it takes longer to find and manage a supplier than to do the retouching themselves. This is because they have never used an online platform that lets them get a quote, send their files, and download the edited images in just five easy steps.
When should you Outsource a pro to help you edit your photos?
Your current costs can help you decide if you should hire someone else to edit your photos. If you do it yourself, it must be free, right? Considering the “opportunity cost,” the answer is no.
In microeconomic theory, the “opportunity cost” is the loss or gain that could have been gained if the other option had been chosen.
Would you make more money if you did something else instead of retouching your product images?
If you’re a photographer, you should compare the following to how much you charge for editing your product photos:
- Keep photo edits in-house to make money. Take, for example, a photo shoot with 50 shots. If it takes five minutes to draw a clipping path by hand for each image, it will take more than four hours to do all of them. You want $80 per hour or a total of $320. If you take out the cost of your Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom plans on a per-month basis, the cost of your equipment and electricity, the time and money you spent learning how to edit (probably around $10), and any other expenses, you’ll be left with $310 in profit.
- Get paid to edit photos for other people. Using a photo editing service like Path to do hand-drawn clipping paths would cost you $19.5 for a photo shoot with 50 shots (no need to worry about photo editing your equipment and electricity costs here). In the above example, you change your client $320, which gives you a profit of $300.5 and four hours of free time.
- Do something with the extra time. Can you shoot another product in the four hours that are left? Assuming that your rates for photography are higher than your rates for retouching, you charge $150 per hour. After taking out your expenses ($20 for travel, equipment, etc., and $19.5 for photo edits), you have $560.5 in profit.
Now multiply the money you made by having someone else edit your photos (b) by the amount of time you saved (c). When this is more than the money you would make if you kept doing them yourself, it’s time to hire someone else to do them (a).
In the above example, (b + c) = $861, which is more than (a), which is $310.
How to Outsource someone else to edit product photos:
3 easy steps:
Now that you know this is one of the best things you can do for your business and your happiness let’s go over how to outsource product photo edits.
Figure out what kinds of edits you can hire someone else to do.
Outsourcing is a good idea for tedious edits that take a lot of time, like removing the background from a photo or doing simple photo retouching. Getting every edit right is important because shoppers use all devices with different zoom features. You want each pixel to look good. It’s not a fun way to get creative. Not only that, but these kinds of edits are usually cheap.
Here are some photo editing jobs you might want to hire someone else to do:
Clipping path. Isolate and cut out the products from the background so you can use them for your website, lifestyle composites on social media, and white background shots for Amazon.
Image masking. Image masking is more complicated and advanced than basic clipping paths. It lets you cut out things like hair or fur that don’t have clear edges.
Touching up photos. Maybe the sample came in all beat up, and there was no time to get a new one. This time, maybe your makeup artist missed the mark. No matter what it is, a good photo editor can fix scratches and spots, get rid of wrinkles and other flaws, and improve the textures in your photos.
Shadows. Shadows add depth to your photos and make your products stand out from the page. The hard part is making shadows that look like they belong. Layering, masking and changing the density and feathering take skill, patience, and a lot of time.
Ghost mannequin. Mannequins are a great alternative to real models when money and time are tight. To edit out a dummy, you have to put together multiple photos, add depth and volume, and give it just enough texture to look like a real product.
Color variants. When a single product comes in more than one color, it makes sense to shoot it once and then uses photo editing software to change the color.
Make a spending plan.
Think about the following to figure out how much you should set aside for photo editing:
What are your photos about? If your products are simple and have one color, you can usually get by with a small budget. But the cost of editing goes up for shapes or edges that are unclear or complicated.
What kinds of changes do you need? Most of the time, simple clipping path edits and photo retouching take less time than complex image masking and drop shadows. A creative or artistic edit also costs more than a regular edit.
All costs, like the time it takes to ask for an estimate, talk to the editors, send or upload the photos, etc. Your business pays for the time you spend on these tasks.
Your spread. If you’re a photographer, make sure that when you subtract the cost of photo editing and any other costs from the money you made from the job or the sale of the product, you end up with a margin you’re happy with.
Find a good partner
When looking for a studio that edits photos for other people, watch out for the following red flags:
It costs a lot. These are businesses that have both good products and quick service. As you might expect, these are nice features that cause prices to be higher than average.
Slow to get things done. These companies offer good editing services, but the only way they can stay in business is to have small teams working on many different jobs at once. By doing this, you will be able to edit your photos more quickly.
Not good enough. Everyone can find what they need on the market. Even people who want to work quickly and cheaply. But the problem is that these people end up doing jobs that aren’t as good as they could be. Don’t forget to look for strong portfolios.
When looking for the best company to do photo editing for you, look for:
Good work in the past. Check out the website and the work. Read about how the studio has helped other businesses ensure it can help yours. Look for customer reviews from people who bought similar products and took similar pictures as your business.
Expertise in your field. Do you work in fashion, fast-moving consumer goods, or high-end goods? Every industry has its visual language, and the people on your editing team need to know it.
Review of customers. Check out the reviews on Google and any customer review sites like Trustpilot profiles. Be wary of reviews that sound too good to be true.
Great communication and help when needed. You might worry that the editor won’t understand what you want when editing photos more complicated. It should be easy to talk to retouchers. Path’s editors can be reached by email around the clock, and we know how to follow instructions and figure out what our clients want. And if there’s something wrong, we’ll fix it until you’re happy with it.
Humans. AI might be useful for simple edits, but the technology is very limited, especially when it comes to creativity. AI software does standard tasks and can’t be told to do things creatively by the customer. There are times when your product photos need a touch of humanity.
Versatility. Find a company that can edit in different ways. You might get your edited photos and then realize that they need a different kind of editing to be perfect. You want a group that can do everything you need.
Turnaround time and jobs are done quickly. How quickly is your group? Can they make the clock go faster for you? You need editors who can pull out all the stops when time is of the essence.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR). The last thing you want is to find out that your editing partner doesn’t use sustainable practices that are good for society.
Fair prices. Price isn’t everything, but if you choose Path, you can get competitive prices without giving up speed or quality.
Security. Security isn’t usually one of the criteria. But if you work with a supplier who doesn’t take these things seriously, your IT infrastructure could be put at risk, costing you a lot and causing you a lot of stress. Make sure you check their licenses and ask for an NDA.
How much it costs to have someone else edit your photos?
Prices for Path photo editing services start at 25 cents for shadow edits and 39 cents for clipping path and background removal. There are no subscriptions, either monthly or yearly. Path credits can also help you save money and speed up the check-out process.
But price alone shouldn’t be the only thing you use to choose a partner
Cost is a very important factor, but it’s not the only thing to consider when figuring out how much photo editing should cost. It’s not easy to compare prices for photo editing on the websites of different companies. There are different ways to charge, such as by the hour, per image, or batch (50, 100, and so forth). Some charge you per picture, but you must pay a monthly or yearly fee to use them. Others don’t make their prices clear, so you must send a few pictures to find out. Since you’ve already put in some time, these companies hope you’ll choose them even if their price is higher than other options.
Getting the best results from photo editors who are hired from outside
If you’ve made it this far, you’re committed to getting the best photos for your business that get results. Smart move. In order to ensure a smooth working relationship with outsourced photo editors, here are a few more tips.
Think about where you want the photos to go
If you took photos for a landing page, they should be eye-catching and leave enough space on either side of the product for a headline and a few lines of text. If they’re for product pages on your online store or third-party marketplaces, you’ll want to crop them closer and show the product as accurately as possible.
Draw a crook or make a model
You can make a rough mockup of the packaging or point-of-sale item you are making to see what the final result will look like and avoid any creative problems. This will help you test your vision and figure out what kind of images to use and what services you need to hire someone else to do.
Think about how you’d like the customer to feel
What do you want the person who looks at your photo to feel? Do you want to take them to a fantasy world, or do you want them to feel energized and ready to take on a new challenge? This will help you determine what kind of look (and edits) are needed.
Pick your shots
Culling is important to save time and money and focus on the best shots. The good news is that if you follow the tips above, you will know exactly what kind of images you need, which will make the process of choosing them much faster.
Find out what kinds of changes you need
Once you’ve chosen the shots you need and know what they’re for and how they should look, it’s easy to figure out what changes you need to make. Just look at the section above to find out what kinds of edits you can hire someone else to do.
Tell people exactly what to do
When it’s time to give your editors a briefing, give them as much information as possible. Send them your brand or style guide, show them your sketches and mockups, and explain how you want the look to turn out. Spend money on this step to avoid misunderstandings and make your process better for the future.
Sort out your pictures
Make a plan for how to handle your files to make your life and the lives of your editors easier. Do you want help with that? Here’s a simple way to organize the photos of your products.
At every step of the process, it is important to ask questions. It’s how you check your editors’ communication skills and ensure they’re a good fit when you’re vetting options. When you ask for a quote, you can be sure you will get the right level of service. You and your editors can work together creatively and around the ways of working by asking direct and helpful questions from when you get the job brief to the end.
Give your opinion
Tell the editors if you like the work, especially for the first few jobs. This gives them a chance to learn how you want things done and fix any problems that might come up.
Start working on the edits you hired out.
Now you should know how to figure out if outsourcing product photo editing is right for you and the best way to do it.
Would you like some help with editing so you can work happily ever after? Try out the Clipping Path solve. We’ll take care of your image edits so you can get back to what makes you happy and makes you money.