Companies that provide photo retouching for professional photographers draw out strong and conflicting opinions in the photography world. Many purist photographers feel that they impart a piece of their soul into their work; by handing the raw photos over to a professional photo editing service, they’re sacrificing the personal aspect that they put into their art. Others feel that using a service that provides retouching for professional photographers is akin to Michelangelo using apprentices while painting the Sistine Chapel. It gave him the freedom to focus on his art instead of being bogged down mixing shades of paint and filling in details.
If you subtract the emotions from the scenario and just look at the facts, you can make a better judgement call on if utilizing photo retouching for professional photographers is a good move for your photography business:
The Pros of Outsourcing Photo Retouching
- Lower Upfront Costs to Start Your Photography Business
The investment it takes to acquire professional editing software equals thousands of dollars. If the photographer does the editing in-house, the software purchase might be at the sacrifice equipment that could really improve the quality of the raw photos themselves. If a photographer outsources the editing, there is no extra cost until they have paying clients who cover it.
- More Resources to Grow the Business
Handing the post-shutter work off to a retouching service gives you the availability to make new clients and schedule more photo sessions, which increases your revenue, and makes your business successful.
- Dedicate Your Energy to Doing What You Love
You became a photographer because you love capturing the magic of a single moment in time. You probably didn’t do it for the hours you have to spend in front of a computer, tediously editing power lines out of landscapes. By outsourcing the mind-numbing part of your work, you keep your passion alive and avoid creative-burnout, the most common reason photographers leave the trade.
The Cons of Outsourcing Photo Retouching
- Compromising Intellectual Property and Privacy
It was your artistic eye that captured the piece of art with your camera, you don’t want the editor who tinkers with it to have any claim to it. Your intellectual property will be protected if your outsourced editing company agrees to a non-disclosure agreement before you do business together.
- Losing Absolute Control Over Your Artwork
Many photographers are hesitant to entrust their brainchild to someone else to produce the final product. If you outsource, you have final say in the photos that are given to the client, it’s important to review closely and speak-up if your artistic vision is lost.
- Having to Wait On a Third Party to Turnaround Your Work
Working with a third party can mean that the time it takes to deliver the pictures to your client is extended. Many photo editing companies have estimated turnaround times depending on the volume of photos in your project. If you are dissatisfied with the estimated times or they are not reliable, you should look for a new company with better response rates.
Do you use a professional retouching service? Do you prefer to edit your photos in house? Please share your feelings on it in the comment section below.