October 25th, 2010
Several months ago I did a post on real estate post processing as a business opportunity. As a result of that post I established a list of people doing post processing in the PFRE community. The list is on the right side-bar just below the flickr graphic.
Mike Gardner, a Malibu Realtor and photographer has been telling me about the great results that he’s getting from having his post-processing done in India. I don’t want to promote having your post done overnight in India. I’d rather do everything I can to promote having your post processing done by one of those four folks listed on the right side-bar that are in the PFRE community. However, since in the post-processing business the world is clearly flat I thought a discussion of Mike’s experiences would be useful. That is, the Internet gives everyone on the planet an equal opportunity to compete for your post-processing business. Anyone in the retouching business has to complete with India. So I asked Mike some questions about the post processing he is having done in India so everyone knows what they have to do to compete with the folks in India.
Update 10/26/2010 8:30 AM Pacific: I’ve updated the link for the retouching service that Mike uses below. Also I’ve added the image above which is an example of the results Mike’s retouching people do. It’s a hand window blend from two images.
Here are my questions and Mike’s answers:
- How many photos per job do they process? I send any where from 50 to 150 depending on how many HDR’s I’ve shot but there’s no limit as to what they’ll take. I’ve sent a little as little as 2 before!
- What you pay US per job? Most images run $2.00 but can be more if there is extensive work. A 7 frame HDR is still $2.00
- What are your processing requirements? They”ll do whatever I ask. I mainly shoot beach houses so a lot on my work can be done in two images. One exposure for the interior with flash, then one exposure for the exterior view. The exteriors are mainly 5 to 7 shot HDR and they wil run it thru the HDR program of your choice. Right now I use Photomatix, but they all have Adobe products, Capture One, and do 360′s and panoramic stitching too.
- What turn around are you getting? They set up an FTP server for me to upload to. I usually get the images to them by 8pm and night and when I wake up I have an email with a link to a download the images at Yousendit.com They even did one low res set at 72 dpi for the MLS and a high res set for print so I dont have to resize when I send them to the agents.
- What is the name of the company you are using? The company is called Overnight Retouching PVT LMT and the website is www.photosretouchingservices.com. They’ll do a few free ones with your workflow instructions before setting up an FTP account.
- Are they meeting your expectations 100% or what is your level of
satisfaction? Once you explain your workflow they do a great job. It took a few times to get it dialed in.
Mike summarizes as follows: I get the whole argument about keeping jobs in the USA but lets face it, most of us drive foreign cars and buy stuff made overseas. I wouldn’t opt for this service in the US because it would be too expensive. I have a 17 month old son and family time has become very important. I used to come home and play with images for 2 plus hours but now I can just send them out and spend more quality time at home. That’s worth every Rupee!
So my points are:
- Anyone doing a post processing service needs to compete with this level of service and cost.
- Having someone else do you post-processing may help you do more shoots and still have a life.