4 Objections To Outsourcing And Why They’re Crap

Every so often, I’ll get tagged in a Facebook group when people are looking for a wedding photo editor or a boudoir photography retoucher, and when I go in to reply, the comments always go something like this:

“I could never outsource my images. They are my ART.”

“I need help with this too, but I can’t afford to hire anyone.”

“I’d love to do this, but I have a signature style that no one can replicate.”

“I’m drowning in editing, but I’m worried my clients will be able to tell the difference.”

Since my tagline is “Giving a bigger shit than anyone else about your photos,” I’m here to give it to you straight on all of these objections. Because I give a shit about your photos, I also give a shit about you staying in business.

And when I hear objections like this, I know that it’s a pretty good bet that your business is suffering because of these false narratives.

“I could never outsource my images. They are my ART.”

Boo, your art is the magic you make with the camera. It’s your eye, your style, the way you capture people. That’s the art part!

Has anyone ever told you that you make nice photos because you have a nice camera? This is the same damn silly statement. The art is inside of you when you take the photo. Editing a photo for white balance of the groom’s frat brothers tearing it up on the dance floor is not art.

Maybe you do spend some time working images in Photoshop for some key images. That’s great! But you cannot tell me that every image that comes out of your studio is art. And if you can, I hope you are charging a metric shit ton of money for your services because producing good art is deserving of good money.

Choose your signature images, do your art if that’s your thing. But send those other 1500 images off to a photo editor who will make those photos look like yours, only better.

“I need help with this too, but I can’t afford to hire anyone.”

There are two scenarios at play here when I hear this. The first is that if you cannot afford to hire someone, you’ve probably not considered how much time it takes you to edit.

Let me ask you this – if it takes you 5 hours to edit a wedding, what could you be doing in that time to earn MONEY? Shooting an engagement session? Meeting with a client and booking them?

The reality is that editing and retouching photos doesn’t actually make you any money (more on this later). For clients of mine that have figured this out, they’ve made upwards of an additional $16k/month just by outsourcing.

If you’re not sure how this works, you should listen to the interview I linked above, and check out a breakdown of the math in this blog post.

The second scenario is that if you TRULY cannot hire someone to help you with this, you’re probably underpricing your services. A small price hike to cover the cost of editing services can free you up to do more marketing, more client outreach, and ultimately, to make more money.

“I’d love to do this, but I have a signature style that no one can replicate.”

This one is one I hear a lot when people have worked with big editing companies or companies that are from overseas doing “editing” for pennies on the dollar. If they can’t replicate your style, here’s the truth; they didn’t try.

These companies work on the law of attrition; for every 100 photographers who hire them to do their editing, 10 of them will drop off because they don’t like the results, and the other 90 will go “eh, good enough.” Rinse and repeat.

When you work with a dedicated editor, they get your style because they work at it until they do. When I work with clients, we start with anchor images that they send me that I replicate and Lightroom catalogs where they look over my edits.

We talk about what you like and don’t like. It’s a partnership as much as anything, and the relief my clients feel when they see that I can replicate their style is huge for them.

I wrote a whole blog post about how we work with clients to learn their editing style if you want more details.

“I’m drowning in editing, but I’m worried my clients will be able to tell the difference.”

In the 12 years I have been a photo editor, exactly no one has come to me and said their clients could tell the difference.

I mean, have you seen the photos that people post and love? Blown out highlights, crooked horizons, skin with lizard green undertones? They don’t notice, trust me.

Would you like some IPA?

Not the beer (though that is fine too), but instead by taking over your editing, what I am offering you is the ability to be doing:


Editing is passive. You’ve already earned the coin for your talent, and there are very few photographers who make the bulk of their income on print and after-sales. So, if your business model is to shoot and deliver files, then editing is not making you more MONEY.

What is making you money? Booking new clients. Shooting. Selling albums or wall art or whatever. Selling things! Shooting things!

One Last Thing

Burn out. It’s a thing, it’s a real damn thing in the photography world, and it’s a real damn shame. I see photographers killing themselves with long hours, and it takes a toll in so many ways. Mental health suffers, relationships suffer.

Because photography is so profoundly personal to photographers and the people they serve, they get wrapped up thinking they have to be in control of every stage of the process.

They believe that to do a “good job” they have to do everything from the booking to the delivery…and it’s just not sustainable unless you serve a very small, extremely high-ticket clientele.

For the average wedding photographer shooting between 20-50 weddings per year, or the average boudoir photographer shooting 20-40 images per session, doing it all means working for pennies on the dollar at an hourly rate.

All of that with no paid vacations, no matching IRA contributions, and for damn sure no health care.

So, while I understand where these objections (really, these fears) come from, the truth is that you need to set aside your mental blocks on outsourcing and begin to consider what it could do for you and your business if you tried it.

Why not start by talking to me?

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