Top 5 Photo Editing Services for Outsourcing your Photography Editing

When it comes to showcasing your photography and selling images, you will need different levels of editing. Culling and color correction are not cutting it for an established photography studio anymore. You must show it to sell it and what I mean by that is offering higher end edits for your client reveal or preview.  

1. Premium Edits $4/image
This service includes skin softening, dodge and burn techniques, one of our custom toning applications and optional texture overlay. Our editors will look at your image and make the best decisions to give you and your imagery that special something that stands out from the crowd. 

Premium edits are best when added to your IPS or In Person Sales order for an event. Photographers will typically add 5-10 per order as a way of really making their images stand out in a cost-effective way.

Image by Gronde Photography

2. Signature Edits – $150/image

Signature Edits have come a long way from their origins with Sal Cincotta. From the start, this service has been there to create impactful showpieces to help create sellable fine art prints and to elevate portfolios. From selection to art direction and the post-production itself, Evolve can be your trusted partner to create Signature edits that get the most out of your images.

These large-scale edits are positioned for IMPACT as the single image to tell the story of the day. This is the most powerful image to show during your sales session. Photographers will typically add 1-3 per order and show these on a large screen for scale. 

3. Hybrid – $100/image

The Hybrid Edit is intended to fill the gap in creative services between our Premium and Signature Edit services. We set out to create a service that would elevate a Premium Edit to new heights using retouching, while also taking the pressure of art directing off your shoulders.

Hybrid Edits are best used for 1-3 big impact images mixed in with your order. With skin smoothing, blemish removal, minor distraction removal, a sky swap, straightening, skew fixes, faux HDR, dodging & burning, premium toning and a texture overlay all included, Hybrid edits are sure to make a big impact with your clients.

Image by Gronde Photography

4. Retouching – $100/hour
Our Retouching Services are performed by some of the most talented editors in the world. Everyone’s description of what “retouching” of an image means is slightly different. From boudoir to commercial images, we work behind the scenes to ensure the extent to which images are retouched is individually managed and quoted, either per body of work or per image.

Photographers usually order this service following their sales session or once the album has been designed. Your client will have custom requests, and this is your opportunity to upsell them. Simply gather your client’s requirements, get a quote from the team, charge 3x the quote and pass along the costs to your client. 

5. Batch Services – $25 to $50/order

Tight timelines demand a “plug and play” environment to receive files that are ready to go versus wasting valuable time in the tedious and time-consuming step of prepping files. This is a problem regardless of personal workflow and can help save hours. Eliminate wasted time by utilizing Evolve’s Batch Services. 

Whether it is ordering our Batch Services to simply render a job to .jpg for proofing, giving your proofs an extra something special with skin smoothing, or having the team upload your files directly to your client’s gallery, we are here to help you save time. Many customers request full service custom Premier plans to keep costs down for every job. 

These are the top 5 editing services as we offer many custom options with our premier plans. Here is how one of our current clients Brandy & Chris Gronde, owners of Gronde Photography choose the right services for their business. 

Images by Gronde Photography

Q: What editing services do you typically order, and do you mix it up per shoot?

Answer: For every single session we do (whether that’s wedding, seniors, families), we cull our images ourselves and then order full color correction of all our culled images, 1 signature edit and 10 Premium Edits as a default standard process. Sometimes if a client lets us know they love black and white images, we may also order around 5 Deluxe Edits and specifically ask for B&W edits. If a wedding has more than 1 location, we think could be a signature we might order 2 Signatures, but we always get at least 1. When we first started with Evolve our clients didn’t always buy a big print of their signature edit, BUT we slowly but surely swapped out 90% of the images on our website with signature edits and now clients come to us SPECIFICALLY to get that style of image because it’s so unlike every other photographer in our area. When we plan our sessions and scout locations for this specifically, we base a lot of those around locations where we know we can take an image worthy of a signature edit (i.e. strong secondary element).

Q: What do you see as the biggest value ordering services as a Premier unlimited member? 

Answer: The biggest value of being a Premier Member for us is the fact that it keeps our brand style consistent.  Before we used Evolve and we were editing our own shoots, our editing style was all over the place.  Our wedding style didn’t match our senior style, our editing would change depending on whose work I was admiring at the time, and we just couldn’t lock in a style for our own brand.  Using Evolve for every session took our hands out of the cookie jar, so to speak, after the Evolve team worked with us to find an editing style that resonated with us, our brand vision, and our shooting style.  Now, when clients come to our website, they see a consistent style throughout our entire portfolio regardless of the genre/niche, which makes it easier for us to cross genres.  We have had clients come to us for maternity sessions even though we do not have maternity on our website but because our weddings, seniors, and families all have that same style they feel comfortable knowing their maternity images will have that same style of edits.  Being a Premier member allows us to send even our personal projects and styled content shoots through evolve knowing we can at least have them color corrected and save myself the time of having to do that which allows us more content to post to our social media.  On the flip side, we also loved that we didn’t always have to be Premier members.  When we started using Evolve, we didn’t shoot enough volume for the price of membership to make sense.  We weren’t shooting enough weddings to even use all the free color corrections, so our business was able to grow WITH Evolve to the point where now I couldn’t imagine not being a Premier member.  

It's time to let go! Try Premier today & get 2 months free.

Enter “Other” in the “How did you hear about us?” field, then enter the code PREMIER2FREE.

How To Choose The Right Photo Editing Service For Your Business

Now that you are ready to let go of editing, you need to find a trusted team of professionals to depend on. Keywords are depend on. You have a business to run and can’t be wasting time to micro-manage editors you pay. Once you have the right team in place it’s time to leverage their editing services to generate more revenue. Many studios start out offloading image selection or more commonly known as culling and color correction. These are the tasks that take hours to deliver on. The question is, what other editing services could you be making more money on?

Creative services are where you stand out and make more money during the client preview. Services like premium, hybrid, signature edits and custom retouching are for your select 1-5% of images that stand out from the rest of the shoot. Each service has a use like premium edit for example are great to show multiple outfits on a senior shoot or showcase the highlights of a wedding day. These edits run $4 each and are handpicked by your editors to include the following: color correction, dodge & burn, skin smoothing, creative toning, and textures. Need more editing like a sky swap, distractions removed from the background, beauty retouching? This would be a hybrid edit priced at $100/image. This allows you to pick the image and the team will do the rest. This edit deserves to be on the cover of a photo album or a 20×30 in your client’s home. 

Image by Jack Adams Photography

For our highest level edit we offer Signature edits, where the team hand picks 1 image to take it to that next level. Think about image comp and the difference between a meriting image and one that is just average. This is where details matter and we custom art direct images just for you. Nothing better than having an art piece to sell to your client in 3-5 business days. After you have your sales session or deliver your client images, they will likely want custom requests. This is where our retouching service shines, priced at $100/hour. Upselling your client by offering custom retouching is a no brainer. Start by gathering your client’s requirements, get a quote from the team, pass along the cost to your client before placing your order.

End of the day, you want to walk into your sales or preview session with assets ready to buy. Not showing creative edits from your client’s sessions is a huge miss for sales. Keep in mind, if they don’t buy these same images from the preview who cares. Use them for marketing, refresh your website, post to social media, etc. You’ll book 3-5 clients with this content and end of the day; don’t let the images your customer buys control your brand. 

Image by Jack Adams Photography

Let’s face it, images your clients pick make you wonder why they booked your studio right?  Don’t depend on them to love the same images you do. Instead position your work to attract more customers, be your brand’s ambassador. End of the day, you should show high end edits to make a bigger sale. 

We offer many custom options and with our premier plans, we’re here to help prepare you for making more money. Here is how one of our current clients Jack Adams, owner of Jack Adams Photography chooses the right services services for his business. 

Images by Jack Adams Photography

Q: How do you make more money showing clients creative edits?

Answer: Showing clients creative edits makes me more money by showing them that these aren’t just images, they are works of art that deserve to be center pieces in their homes.

Q: How does Evolve save you time and money with a Custom Premier plan?

Answer: Evolve saves me time and money with my custom plan as I can spend time I would otherwise spend editing on marketing, shooting, and working to get more clients. Not to mention the extra time I get to spend with my family as well

It's time to let go! Try Premier today & get 2 months free.

Enter “Other” in the “How did you hear about us?” field, then enter the code PREMIER2FREE.

Sal Cincotta talks about How to determine if outsourcing your post-production is right for you?


Sal Cincotta talks about How to determine if outsourcing your post-production is right for you?

Is outsourcing right for you? In this post, Sal Cincotta, co-founder and co-owner explores some of the things you should consider before outsourcing your post-production work.

Outsourcing your post-production is one of the toughest things any photographer will ever consider. How can anyone possibly edit your images the way you can? Well, I got some news for you. It’s not that complicated. Sure, no one will ever edit your images EXACTLY the way you will, but then again, is that really necessary? Can your clients really notice that subtle difference of 2% more magenta? Or, is it tied to how neurotic we are as artists? I think we both know the answer. 

Here is the reality. Color correction is no different than other mission critical business tasks, for example, accounting, legal services, etc. There is no reason for you to do it all. You can’t scale and you can’t grow your business this way. It’s a recipe for burnout and customer service disasters as they wait and wait for you to edit their images. Instead, outsourcing your post-production allows you to focus your time and energy on the business tasks that will help you grow and make more money – marketing and shooting. Unless you are going to offer color correction as a service for other photographers, this is a non-revenue generating task and should be delegated.

Is it really any different than the days of film? Sure, it was nice to know how to work in the dark room, but most photographers sent their development off to the lab. Why? Because of the time, effort and expertise required to develop their own film. The only thing that has changed is the medium. Today, we are digital.

Here are some things to consider before you outsource.

  1. Be patient. No one is you. No one is going to edit exactly like you. However, a partner will learn your style and deliver a consistent set of images that is within 90% or more of your style. Think of what you can do with all that extra time.
  2. Maximize your time. Once you start letting go, you will wonder how you ever did without it. Great, now you have all this free time. What are you going to do with it? Focus on the things that matter. Family? Marketing? Shooting? Growing your business? The choice is yours, but do something.
  3. Increase turn time for your clients. Imagine a world where your client images are ready in less than a week? How happy would your clients be? In fact, you should be using your turn around times as part of your marketing and competitive advantage. People want to see their images almost immediately. Give them what they want.
  4. Beyond color correction. Something Evolve is known for are their creative edits. It can be as simple as a stylized black and white image, Premium Edits, to something much more involved and creative like their Signature Edits. Give your business and your clients that extra something to really make your images stand out.
  5. Unlimited. There are a lot of options out there for color correction services, but one thing to consider is a program that offers unlimited color correction. Plans like this allow you to grow your business and give you maximum scale with your business. Best of all, it allows you to properly budget your costs. The more you shoot, your cost per job goes down. Check out our unlimited program – Premier
  6. Stop making excuses. There will always be a reason to not do it. Think you are not busy enough? That’s one of the most common excuses we hear. People are constantly shocked when they realize that even a moderate shooting schedule or busy season can bog you down. Evolve is here to help you grow. It’s a chicken and egg situation. How can you ever get “busy enough” when you are spending your time on things that don’t help you grow? How can you ever focus on the tasks that will help you grow when you are stuck doing monkey work like color correction?

Interested in getting started? Well, getting started is easy. We have a 30 trial to see if we are a fit for one another and a proven onboarding process that gets our team dialed into your style quickly and efficiently. Learn more.  

Sal Cincotta is a professional wedding and portrait photographer based in O’Fallon, IL to see some of his work visit his site here

Creative Editing: Getting the most out of Leading Lines

Leading Lines

Creative Editing: Getting the most out of Leading Lines with Payton Hediger

Leading lines are an important aspect of any image. They give flow, create movement and even give us direction as to where to look. Straight, hard lines are usually what we think of first such as horizon lines, the hard lines that make up archways and door frames or maybe even the railings of a walking bridge that lead right to the subject. But not all lines in an image are obvious. There are soft lines that are created in cloudscapes, water or rolling hills. There are even invisible (implied) lines. These lines are a bit trickier because they are often created from the eyes of the subject. The direction the subject is looking can often create these implied lines that lead the viewer around the image or right out of the frame. Identifying which lines are helping to draw the viewer to the subject and which lines may become distractions will make or break the image. In wedding photography, this can be especially difficult to implement with the fast pace of the event. However, take the time with the creative artistic edits as these will be your portfolio and leading sales images.

Leading lines flow to and from your subject and giving the visual effect of pointing the viewer toward the subject. Generally speaking, leading lines are more effective when they are symmetrical. Think of placing the subject in the middle of a path with the subject centered in the image. The sides of the path serve as the leading lines pointing towards the subject. However, leading lines do not always have to be straight hard lines. Soft natural lines of clouds, water or hills can often become leading lines as well.

There are also invisible leading lines that are created from implied direction. Most prominently these are created by the direction the subjects are looking in the image. Between two subjects these lines can help reinforce a connection between them. But if a couple is looking in opposite directions, positioned slightly up or down, you can create some amazing implied leading lines. See images 26a & 26b below as examples.

Vertical and horizontal lines are not necessarily leading lines. These lines do set the building blocks for your composition though. Following traditional composition rules such as the rule of thirds will dramatically strengthen the image. However, if these lines are placed in the wrong location they can easily become distracting elements.

Horizon lines are especially guilty of becoming a problem in an image. Photographing someone of the same height as the shooter often puts the horizon line right through the head of the subject. But this is not limited to just horizon lines. Any line that cuts through the head, neck or joints can easily become a distracting issue. The head is especially important because it is a focal point. So even if the viewer gets to the focal point they are driven away by the line(s) cutting through it. Lines through joints can often create optical illusions that the adjoining limb has been separated.

Lines do not always have to point to the subject to assist the subject. In many cases simply framing the subject in an entryway or window can help keep the viewer stay focused on the subject of the image. However, pairing framing elements with leading lines and a strong composition with horizontal and vertical lines will truly separate a strong photograph from a simple snapshot.

Below are a few images from one of our long-time clients, award winning Portrait and Wedding Photographer: Megan McCormick, owner of McCormick Photography. We have worked with her for many years and as you will see in the images below, her work has grown through the years to truly take full advantage of what lines can do for her imagery. Throughout these images, we’ll see examples of how lines that make up the imagery can both enhance and detract from the subjects in the following Signature Edits from Evolve.

Here we have a wonderful image of an engaged couple in front of a gorgeous estate. This particular image, as well as the other examples that follow,  have all been processed through our Signature Edit service. Through our Signature Edit process, we are able to make lighting and exposure adjustments, skew adjustments and we can even replace the sky to help add drama among other things. But what becomes difficult to overcome through any kind of post production processing is fixing perspective. Had the shooter taken about two steps back and a step to the right the over all building would have made it in the frame roughly the same as it is now. However, the symmetry of the entryway would have been perfectly aligned. While most may not immediately recognize the difference in spacing between the lamp posts and the grand entrance, they become areas of tension to the trained eye. Even if the view doesn’t recognize this immediately, the areas between the lamps and the entrance will still become a distraction point that pulls the viewer’s attention away from the subjects. The other issue in this image is the placement of the couple. Had they been positioned a few steps up the hard lines of the tops and bottoms of the steps would not be cutting through their heads and ankles, respectively. Instead, the doorway would have framed the couple and the hard edge of the steps would have been appropriately placed mid-torso. These subtle faults in the image create a battle between the first and secondary subjects. Just as easily the secondary subject that is the house could have been used to showcase the primary subjects had they been slightly repositioned. As you can see in the markup below many of the leading lines point to the middle of the doorway. By framing the couple with the doorway the viewer would have been lead directly to them and the frame would have kept the viewer focused. Yes, the overall image is beautiful and we certainly want to view it as a whole, but we also need to quickly be able to identify the point of the image.

Leading Lines - Signature Edits - Evolve Edits 2

This is another example of lines that can become distracting. Both the horizon line as well as the top of the tree line in the background have been placed in such a manner as to cut through the heads and necks of the wedding couple in this image. Simply dropping down to one knee would have pushed the couple above the horizon line to have it intersect at a more appropriate placement, just below the shoulders to mid-torso. In addition, moving the horizon line down a bit and cropping our some of the foreground, would have placed the horizon line on the bottom third line. There is actually a perfect triangle created by the branches behind the couple that would have framed them nicely as well. However, these aren’t the only distracting lines in this image. As you can see in the markup below, lines in the brush, grass, and asphalt create leading lines that push the viewer out of the right side of the image. The line created from the transition between the grass and the asphalt create the biggest issue. Segmenting off the asphalt into a distracting negative space. This can be helped by the shooter moving over to the left place the couple in the right third. Paired with moving the horizon line down to the bottom third, the composition of this image becomes much stronger.

Leading Lines - Signature Edits - Evolve Edits 1

Image 26a

This is a great example of how a few key lines paired with the subjects posing can really draw the viewer to the subjects. This is a strong image with a cute couple and a really poignant secondary element. The building in the background is very intricate and demands attention. However, the placement of the couple in this engagement image couldn’t be better. The curb on either side of them create some great leading lines to the subject which are then framed by the archway of the building. Just using the secondary element to showcase the subjects helps to draw attentions away from the secondary element, redistributing the attention back to the couple. This is because the building serves a purpose, to frame the couple. It is then a tool of the image rather than becoming a subject. In addition, they are facing away from each other looking slightly upward. This creates two nearly symmetrical leading lines to the couple that pairs nicely with the leading lines of the curbs.

Leading Lines - Signature Edit - Evolve Edits 2
Image 26b

Leading Lines - Signature Edits - Evolve Edits 3

This is a spectacular image that represents everything we have covering in this article. You’ll notice in the markup image below just how well all the lines work together in the image to frame and draw the viewer to the subject. The horizon line and vertical line created from the clock tower intersect perfectly at the chests of the engaged couple. The bush just above the couple frames them nicely breaking them away from the secondary element and showcasing them nicely. All the lines of the bushes and the trees in the background point right to the couple. Even the clouds create a soft arcing line to help keep the viewer in the bottom portion of the frame. Lastly, the sidewalk helps to keep the viewer from straying too far to the bottom of the frame and because the sidewalk isn’t cut off at the edges of the frame; the viewer can follow the sidewalk around the frame and still be lead right back to the subjects. There is only one minor point of contention with any of the lines of this image. If the couple had been moved a step closer to the shooter, placed in the center of the sidewalk, the far sidewalk line would not intersect at their ankles.

Leading Lines - Signature Edits - Evolve Edits 4

There are many kinds of lines that make up an image; hard, soft and implied lines. There are lines that build structure for the composition and there are lines that provide direction for the viewer. However, lines are not the pure and simple answer to create a “beautiful” image. Instead, think of these lines as tools to showcase your subject matter. Let them provide structure, flow and focus in your image. In other words, lines should provide the foundation for your composition and instruction for how to view the image.

Advanced Editing | 5 Part Workflow with Lightroom CC

Part 4 Advanced Editing

Advanced Editing

You are done with the monkey work and ready for the next steps before delivering files to your clients. Bring on the creativity of advanced editing. Lightroom CC offers quite a wide range of editing capabilities, as I have covered in previous articles. Now we are ready to see these in action. Let’s look at how to streamline your advanced editing at a proofing level. – See more at Behind the Shutter