5 Tips for Working with a Private Photo Editor - Catie Ronquillo

5 Tips for Working with a Private Photo Editor


5 Tips for Working with a Private Editor

You’re ready to work with a private photo editor to get you through your busy wedding season. Here are five tips for working with a private photo editor.

1. Provide Anchor Images

Anchor images are the photos that you edit before sending your photo shoot or wedding to your private photo editor. Providing these pre-edits are essential to your editor to reference your editing preferences.

Without any anchor images, any editor would be lost, and the photographer would be disappointed because the editing style is not on point.

I recommend providing between 10-15% of anchor images for a wedding. If you’re outsourcing 1000 images to your private photo editor, that’s 100-150 images.

2. Follow the Workflow

If you’re working with a private photo editor, it’s likely that they have a specific workflow in place. Follow the workflow for the smoothest experience.

A typical workflow with a private photo editor looks like this:

  • Photographer:
    • Cull images
    • Import into Lightroom
    • Edit for sneak peeks and blog images
    • Export catalog
    • Upload to Dropbox
    • Email editor
    • Leave files until edit is complete
  • Editor:
    • Receives catalog
    • Edits remainder of catalog
    • Exports edited catalog
    • Upload to Dropbox
    • Email photographer
  • Photographer
    • Receive edited catalog
    • Import/sync edits to Lightroom
    • Export for final delivery
    • Copy files to backup

Since there are “moving parts” to the process, it’s best to stick to the workflow. If you were to move or rename your files before the edit was completed by your editor, it would create issues.

3. Ask for Help

This is a huge benefit of a private photo editor: personalized help. The first project working with a private photo editor has a learning curve. I’ve experienced it with every single one of my clients. Once they have the workflow in place, it because easy and second nature for them.

It’s vital to ask for help if you get stuck, have tech issues, don’t understand how to do something, or whatever the case may be. Your private photo editor is there to help you!

For my clients who may be experiencing technical difficulties, I will do a screen-share call with them so I can see what’s happening and find the cause of the issue. It’s so much more efficient than trying to describe a problem over email (I learned this the hard way!)

For all new clients, I do screen-share on-boarding calls with new clients. In addition to providing clients a PDF with written instructions, I also will walk them through exporting a catalog, uploading to Dropbox, and importing finished edits. This ensures the photographer understands the process in full and has the opportunity to ask questions.

4. Give Timely Feedback

If you’re just starting to work with a private photo editor, feedback is super important, especially at the beginning. Be sure to provide feedback as soon as you can so that your private photo editor can turnaround your wedding or photo shoot within their promised timeline.

Even if the edits look great, it’s appreciated if you take the time to say that it looks great, rather than saying nothing at all. If you have concerns or comments about the edits, this is the time to voice them. Your private editor will not take offense – we want to get your edits right – and while we wish we could read minds… we can’t, so feedback is the best way to help each other.

5. Pay Invoice on Time

When working with a private editor, be sure to talk about how invoicing and payment works. Some private photo editors will deliver the wedding catalog and then invoice. Others will invoice, then deliver the wedding catalog once paid. Some will invoice photographers at the end of the month. Be sure to know which method your private photo editor uses.

It’s super important to pay your invoice on time. Now, that may sound obvious, but I know some private editors who have struggled with clients to pay their invoices (up to 4 weeks late!). Imagine if your photo client didn’t pay their invoice or remaining balance and how annoyed you would be.

If you have any issues with paying your invoice, be sure to be open and communicate with your private photo editor. Perhaps you had a family emergency or you are waiting for a client payment to come in. It’s always best to communicate upfront, rather than ghosting, leaving everyone wondering what happened.

6. *BONUS* Promise & Deliver

What does that mean? It means that if you’ve told your private photo editor that you would send them twenty weddings, that you deliver twenty weddings to them.

Private photo editors make their living by editing. We can project our income for the month or the year based on the number of weddings our clients have told us they plan to have us edit. However, if a client has told us that they would send twenty weddings, but decide to send only ten, that cuts our income in half, unexpectedly.

If you want to start out slow with a private editor, that’s totally fine, but it’s imperative to set expectations. If you have twenty weddings on the books, but only want to outsource ten, let your private photo editor know. Once the ten are complete, you may decide to outsource the rest. Instead of cutting your private photo editor’s income in half, you’re doubling it.

The same goes for the number of images that you send off to your private photo editor. During your consultation, I ask potential clients how many images they typically deliver to a client. Based on that, I can get a rough estimate of how many images I will be editing, which allows me to project my income.

However, if you send a wedding to your private editor and have edited 70% of the wedding, that cuts into our expected income. While you have complete control over the number of images that you send, it’s recommended that you pre-edit no more than 30% and have your private photo editor edit at least 70% of the project. (that’s the whole point of outsourcing, right?)

Ready to explore outsourcing with a private photo editor? Click here to schedule your FREE consultation!

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