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Oversee's Photo Editor in Real Estate Photography - Are They Worth It

In short - Yes. 10/10 I would highly recommend finding an oversees photo editor. The trick is finding a good & consistent editor.


Here’s the deal – at the end of a long workday shooting 4-6 properties in a day, the last thing you want to do is sit at your computer and edit the photos you shot earlier that day. Sure, there is going to be that rare breed that loves to edit 100’s of photos after multiple houses in a day, but truthfully that’s not sustainable long-term. Take it from someone who did this for MONTHS.



Typical Day At Work as Photo Editor in Real Estate Photography


During a typical real estate shoot day, you will have been driving around the metro area for hours from city-to-city to house-to-house, shooting real estate, dealing with homeowners (who always seem to be in the way lol), Realtors, cleaning up the clutter that the homeowners were supposed to take care of, and by the time you’re done & home you still haven’t even eaten yet, but you still have to somehow manage to grind out and edit each photo to keep your clients happy and deliver the photos on time. A few short months of this will lead to tiredness which can ultimately result in bad edits (unhappy clients), resentment, and eventual burnout. Take it from me – hire an oversees editor ASAP to take off the unnecessary workload so you can maintain some sort of work-life balance. When you eventually get consistently busy you are not going to be able to keep up with editing all your shoots in the same day for an extended period of time even if you’re the rare-breed that I mentioned earlier. Below I explain the 2 solutions that you can feel free to use. I personally use option 2.


Before we get into any solutions let me acknowledge the big fat elephant in the room. I get that many photographers see themselves as “artists” first. Trust me, I do the same, actually. And with that being said, many of you want to maintain some sort of control in the creative process when it comes to the edit which is natural. Don’t worry, both my solutions you have full control of how the photos turn out.



Solution 1:


Hire someone local and train them how to edit the way you do. This option is going to be expensive & risky and will cost anywhere from $15/hr+ for a least 25 hours/week. Honestly, I am being VERY conservative with these estimations. If you run a team, then your editor (s) will be working much more than 25 hours a week.

You’re probably wondering, “How is this risky?” Consider this: when your editor in a real estate photography company needs time off (which they should as they’re human) you will be on the hook for editing those photos unless you have backup systems or another editor in place. If you’re not careful, you could also easily be training your next competitor. Contracts to prevent this are essential, but make sure you have a blue pencil doctrine in the contract because it can't be too prohibitive otherwise, it's not valid. I have seen a Photography company get burned by their new trainees more often than you would imagine. You will also be on the hook for their salary even if you have a few slow weeks or months. I could go on, but you get the point.



Solution 2:


Hire an oversees editor on a per photo basis. This will cost you roughly .70/per photo if you are shooting bracketed photos and even less if you’re shooting over 40 houses per/week because most editing companies give "volume discounts."

This is the best solution I have found – mainly because you don’t have to manage any additional employees. Their cost isn’t fixed like an employee's wages, so you’re not stuck with a costly bill each week even during the slow months.

I have genuinely found MANY of these oversees editors to be much better editors than I am, actually, so don't be scared like I was. I understand that it can be scary letting go of such an integral part of the process. But truth be told, the second you can start delegating and outsourcing processes in your business you will see it flourish because you will finally have the time you need to work on your business rather than in your business. Your time is valuable as a business owner, so act like it. It's literally .7/photo - your time is worth WAY more than that.

Some of you are probably wondering how you can still maintain control of the creative process in this solution. Easy. All you have to do is train your oversees editor to edit just like you. Simply screen-record yourself editing some photos and explaining your workflow using software such as OBS. Go through each step of the process THOROUGHLY. I personally use Photoshop and blend each photo in separate layers because I can get a closer “flambient” look with this method VS using a merge software such as Enfuse in Lightroom.


In my case, I would explain to the editor how to edit HDR photos in Photoshop, my twilight style, my blending process, how I stack my layers, what tools I use, how I color correct, add fire to the fireplaces, TV screen replacements, sky swaps, where and when to use desaturation brushes, how to properly export the photos to my standard, etc. I would then send the tutorial along with a folder of raw files for a test shoot. If they pass the test I would hire them asap. Below are a few quick tips that I thought I should pass along to you while you're on your voyage.



Final Real Estate Photography Editing Services Considerations
Real Estate Photography

Editor in a Real Estate Photography Services Considerations:


-Fast turnaround time (6-12 hours)

-In a time zone where you can dump the images at the end of your work day so when you wake up

-They have a team of editors. This is partially important for me because I guarantee a 24-hour turnaround time for all my photos. Working with a single freelancer has landed me in hot water in the past and I don't recommend it.

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Final Consideration:


You're creative, right? Well... your newest creative masterpiece that will never be finished (or abandoned, hopefully), is your photo/video business that you’re working on. The creativity is endless - the infrastructure, systems, sales, communication channels, content creation, and the technical side such as shooting, audio, and lighting (which you should eventually outsource to other professionals, as well). Entrepreneurship is the most creative endeavour in the world. It's creative problem-solving at the highest level. With the lack of fresh, creative ideas you will forever be a starving artist, which is exactly what I don't want. So for me and your future self, learn to let go of certain processes in your business you can get to business, lo entiendes?




creative masterpiece
Real Estate Photography

If you get even one pearl of wisdom then I have done my job.


Have a great day and God bless you and the journey you’re on.


And if you're struggling to find an oversees editor, you're more than welcome to shoot me an email at my PERSONAL email info@julianlundgren.com. Put "oversees, please" as the subject line and I will get you hooked up.




-Jules

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