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How Do You Choose a Post-Processor to Use?

May 28th, 2018

filesharingDawn asks the question:

I have been using xxx on your outsourcing page for a while, but feel their work has been lacking lately. Anyone worked with them previously and have found a better option?

Dawn, first I would read Brandon Cooper’s post where he describes how he chose the outsourcing company he uses. Notice that he says he went through 5 companies before he found the one he now uses. Specifically, he says:

I decided to reach out to a few outsourcing companies to see what they had to offer. I went through about five editors before I found one that I thought had potential. I created some videos to explain my workflow and started training the editor on how to process my raw files. In the beginning, it was painful! There was a ton of back and forth with plenty of disappointing results and reliability issues. After a few months, it got to the point where I almost couldn’t tell the difference between their edits and my own. This is when I finally felt comfortable enough to hand over my editing.

I think it is unrealistic to expect to just pick one of the outsourcing companies at random or even have someone tell you which one to use. Everyone is likely to have very different expectations and different editing requirements. Better to do as Brandon did and try out several and put time into communicating exactly what you want and expect. They are more likely to meet your expectations if they clearly understand your needs.

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19 Responses to “How Do You Choose a Post-Processor to Use?”

  • I too sent the same 6 raw brackets and 1 raw flash images to at least 6 editors in the USA, India, Australia, and 3 in Vietnam with zero instructions. BeePec sent images that were better then I can do. We have been a team for almost a year. They listen and respond to any requests. They have a 12 hour turnaround and are working to shorten that time.

  • Be sure to give feedback to whosever you use, both positive and negative. If your processor’s quality has been falling behind, politely let them know. They might think that all is good if they aren’t hearing anything back. They could have a new person that isn’t as good and an inquiry might cause them to funnel this new person’s work through some QC to make sure it’s up to scratch before it’s sent back to you.

  • Hi Dawn,

    Many people experience the pain of finding a good outsourcing company. I have lived in Florida since 1990 and have been in a the Real Estate Business for 10 years as well as in the Photography/Tour Business for 12 years so I know both sides of the coin. 8 years ago, I was a one of the pioneers in the outsourcing of my editing for my Photography/Tour business. Knowing all of the pit falls of outsourcing as I experienced them too, I opened PhotosAndVideoEdits.com so that it would take the pains of finding a good outsourcer away from people like you. PhotoAndVideoEdits.com is American Owned and Managed by me. Try us for free with 50 free credits on sign up (no credit card required) and email me and I will add another 50 credits to your account. When creating your account, upload some of your photos so that our editors can see how you like your photos edited.

    Thanks,
    Colin

  • Re: …….and started training the editor – Isn’t that like keeping monkeys and eating the peanuts yourself? If outsourcing companies claim they can do the work then it certainly is NOT my job to train them. Looking at my CODB such an adventure would cost me a fortune. Furthermore to outsourcing. I would never let any of my images outside my office – can such companies be trusted?

    Perhaps the following is worth an extra posting?

    As I live in Europe, I would have legal problems due to the possible infringement of the new DSGVO regulations which came into force on the 25th of this month.
    In fact this platform is actually infringing the regulations as I haven’t received any notification as to exactly how my personal data is/will be handled. Yes I know I did sign up but since then the DSGVO regulations have come into place. ALL companies outside Europe dealing with European businesses must also adhere to the DSGVO regulations.
    I know this is a headache, believe me for us photographers it is even a bigger one having to make sure one doesn’t infringe any of the abundant paragraphs of the DSGVO. I even have to inform a model when they sign a release of the DSGVO regs and ensure he/she understands with their signature what is going to happen to their data. I am/we are also compelled by EU law to have a copy of the DSGVO regs on the websites.
    Infringing the regulation can cause a fine to be imposed, being 1% of the worldwide business turnover. The maximum fine the EU can impose could be up to 20 million Euro………
    I think we can thank Facebook for this due to their recent carelessness with handling peoples personal data.
    Do these regs apply to all photographers? If you are a business, yes. On the other hand, if you just take pictures for fun then the DSGVO doesn’t apply.
    I would recommend everyone who carries out photography as a business get a copy of the DSGVO and read it themselves. Do I understand the regs? I find them confusing, I had to go to my attorney for him to explain to me in layman’s terms what this new law means. Another unnecessary expense ………..

  • I just started using an editor last week and I’ll tell you what. I’ve never been happier and haven’t been this excited about my business in YEARS. I finally have the time to focus on SO many other things that I want to get accomplished this year (offering floor plans, video services, restructuring my pricing, new website, marketing, etc.). I started working with BeatColor (didn’t even realize they were on the list here until 5 minutes) about a week ago and it’s been fantastic so far. The very first listing I mentioned a few things… verticals were slightly off on a few, lacking saturation/contrast and sharpness. One comment put on my file and the last 8 have been nearly perfect. For the price and convenience it’s very very difficult to beat. To top it off, they’re significantly better editors than I am.

    Only thing that sucks is that I just built a $2,500 PC for editing. It will now be a scheduling PC 🙂

  • Hi Daniel,
    If their work is so good, how about showing us a couple of examples?

  • Hi Daniel once again,
    I have looked at their website – the images on show are very impressive. Is this the sort of quality you have been receiving?

    I pointed out to them that if I had any dealings with them they must comply to the European DSGVO regulations. I’m very curious how they will answer this……

  • I currently use Outsource Infotech on the list here, and have done so for over 4 years. I think their work is fantastic but sometimes, I need to ask for changes and they do so without any problems. I’ve always have good communications with them, and as Ken Brown mentioned this really counts. And to add to that, I have met the team twice on their visits to Australia when they travel to visit their client base. I have sent out trials to other companies but found none come and the communication is so important too.

  • I’m currently using 1-2 ambients and 1 flash (maybe more if I need to composite for a bit room). I’ve tried a couple companies and have yet to find the one that is good with “flambient.” Those of you that like the company that’s doing your editing… are you ambient, flash, a mix?

  • I’m seriously considering sending my editing out regularly for the first time in nine years. Because I’m so fastidious with the shoot and edit, I can only do two to three homes a week. Consequently, I’m now booked up six weeks out without any days off planned. I’ve had one day off in the last two months and it’s killing me. I’m typically hand-blending 3 – 8 flashed images, another ambient layer, and often another for a window view. These are not the kind of edits that work with some sort of batch process. I don’t know whether it’s financially viable to have someone else do this for me, so could someone please give me an idea of what I should expect to be quoted per image?

  • Started looking for outside editing a couple of months ago and sent a set of the same files to each company that I thought might be a good fit. Looked at a lot of the vendors on the “Suggested Post Processing Vendors” page and found most did a good job. Some were very slow in the back and forth between us, so I tossed them out. If they are slow getting my business, then what will happen once they have it? Next I looked at the tenor of the communications between us and found some set in their ways and not adaptable. Let them go as well. I want a company that is going to work with me on what I do now and what may come up in the future. Next looked into the logistics as to the time it would take to upload several shoots a day and where and how. I prefer to use an FTP site, but ultimately I settled on getting DropBox account that seems to be working just fine.

    Bottom line, I ended up coming across some very talented people at Sculpture Crown. Based in India, the work flow works great. They are 12 hours ahead of me and when I send in my work, they are working on it while I am either sleeping or partying (yeah…right). Wake up in the morning and download all the finished images. I do upload them to LR and check them out, do a little tweaking, rename and export to the two sizes for my clients. That takes about 5-10 minutes

    So May will be the first full month that I have used them and I must say, I am so happy with their work and communications, that I would recommend them to all.

  • BTW larry, I was going to add a recommendation for Sculpture Crown on the “Recommended Post-Processing Companies” but there does not seem to be a active link to do that.

  • Hi guys,

    I shoot using flash / ambient method too.

    In term of post-processing, my works are being looked after by a small but growing photo editing team. They now ask for my help in order to grow their Business further, so I am there for them to bridge between photographers and editors.
    If you have a chance, please visit their newly created facebook, send them message and I will be there to discuss your needs.
    https://www.facebook.com/photosbox.net/
    Thanks all,
    Peter N

  • Hi Daniel,
    Re: comply to the European DSGVO regulations. I’m very curious how they will answer this……
    I wrote to your suggestion as well as infotech. Neither have bothered to answer. I presume no answer is also an answer???

    Hi Peter,
    I am not going to outsource, certainly NOT outside the European market. I am just curious how well these companies work.
    Do they have a website as I will NOT have anything to do with Facebook – no way!!! Read the small print when signing up.

    This link from a New York attorney will clarify; http://www.nyccounsel.com/business-blogs-websites/who-owns-photos-and-videos-posted-on-facebook-or-twitter/

  • To the operator of this web platform;

    Is it absolutely necessary to have to add http:// each time we enter our website? It is time wasting, nobody bothers with the http:// in 2018
    regards

  • Hi Desmond,

    Outsourcing might not be everyone ‘s cup of tea and so I respect your point of view.

    Unfortunately, many of us can not afford the time to sit on the computer to do the editing work, not to mention, the results might not as good as being done by ones who are specialised in photo editing field. On top of that, our agents would like to received the final images in certain time which can be impossible for us, example if I work full day till twilight, how would I able to edit hundreds of images and able to have some sleep before going out again on the next day ? At the same token, I also understand that the agents still need to organise many other things such as prints, board, sign, brochure, open day etc , so if we delay our work, we are actually delaying their Business schedules.

    We, as the photographers, also need to increase our volume of work, we need to shoots lots of property per month in order to bring food to the table. We also need time to get out there doing our own marketing…

    So, again I respect your point of view and I do understand the need to outsourcing too . If you are unable to outsource your work due to regulations, especially outside European market, then that is all fine. Fully understand.

  • @Desmond… Not sure what got you all worked up, but a lot of folks here are running a full time business that need options if they are to continue to grow. Outside processing is one of those options.

    Your gripe about having to train them in the way the photog wants their images done… why not? Who among us post processes exactly the same way, who likes their images a little warmer, lighter, etc. than the other? You want them done to mimic your style, then you need to train them.

    Question about who can be trusted, fair enough, but at some point you have to trust someone or you might as well live in a closet.

    As to the new regs that ERU mandated for everyone (nice, did not hear about a general vote on that….just imposed) Talking with a few photogs over in England and they don’t see a problem like you make out, they say that most of it is just common courtesy when dealing with clients. Maybe it is something to consider looking into a little more. To limit yourself to dealing with European market means you are going to be paying a lot more for probably a lot less

  • @Jerry – Hi Jerry,
    Re: Talking with a few photogs over in England and they don’t see a problem …..

    I think you will find, my fellow countrymen in the UK are more concerned with the implications BREXIT will bring.
    That is why there is lttle concern on this subject.

  • Hi Everyone,

    just a quick shout out for photosbox which Peter Nguyen mentioned above. I got in touch with them and they did a brilliant job for me that same night. There wasn’t any language difficulties as Peter (who is located Australia) did all the organising with them so I just uploaded my photos to dropbox and had them back within a few hours, very quickly. Price is reasonable too. I will definitely be using them again. Avril

    https://www.facebook.com/photosbox.net/

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