Here's an article written by expert image retoucher Rob Boud; 
If you'd like to contribute an article you think would be useful for photographers and videographers please send it through and I'll be happy to take a look. 

If you're a photographer then you'll know that when it comes to running your business the actual photography is often a small part of your weekly routine.  Outside of taking photos for your clients, you'll probably find yourself doing any number of the following:

  • Blogging and posting on social media
  • Working on your website and SEO
  • Networking with other businesses
  • Sorting your accounts
  • Meeting with clients

...and perhaps the most time consuming of them all is retouching your images. In fact, retouching can take up your entire week, especially in peak seasons, leaving you with little time to focus on those other equally important areas of your work.

 

Some people love sitting at a computer editing and retouching which is fine if you've factored that time as a cost, if however you haven't it may be more cost effective to freelance your editing out to a specialist and use your time to further your business such as; 

  • Spending time on marketing your business
  • Interact with your potential clients more
  • Research new ideas to implement in your business

You may think using a freelancer to edit your images doesn't meet your vision and they're your images and you know exactly what needs doing to them. What if someone else isn't able to produce the results you need? What if they simply aren't as good as you are? After all, you've carefully produced a style that works for you.

The truth is any freelance retoucher worth their weight will be able to match your style and produce some fantastic results for you. But you have to look in the right places.

There's an abundance of freelance service websites and companies out there. The trouble with those is that once you post your job out there to the large pool of freelancers available you're likely to receive 50+ applications for your work each telling you why you should choose them and look at their portfolio. You may strike gold and find the perfect retoucher, but you risk being sent endless proposals, receive late responses, or find some retouchers that don't meet your standards. With that being said you can still have success with those sites.

The best way to get in touch with a freelance retoucher you really want to work with long-term is to keep an eye who is contacting you. Is it a cold email? A phone call? Brochure maybe? These retouchers are proactively looking for your work and not relying on you to find them which is a great first sign.

Test the waters, most retouchers will be happy to for you to provide a set of sample images to work on for free and see where it can take you. There may be an adjustment period whilst they familiarise themselves with the style you have produced but once things come together the benefits are limitless and will completely change the way you work. By the way if you do ask for some free samples make sure you really are doing just that, don't view it as an opportunity to get some free retouching, these people, just like you deserve respect. Imagine doing a free test shoot for someone and they use your images and never come back to you.

One of the down sides of using a freelancer found through an agency is that you're never able to actually speak to the person directly, you can only communicate via messages through the freelance website which can be annoying and not very efficient, however that shouldn't put you off from trying to find the right person.

Some photographers are able to free up 20-30 hours or even more each week by outsourcing their retouching. If that sounds like some time you'd like back then it will be time well spent finding the right retoucher.

If you'd like to have a chat about outsourcing your retouching contact me here;
robert-boud

Or you're welcome to contact Kam and he can put you in touch with me.