What Do Professional Photographers Outsource?

Most photographers work alone. Being able to progress usually means letting go of control over certain aspects of our careers. In this video, I look at the key tasks that I have started to outsource over the past few years.

When I started out in photography, I did everything. I carried the bags, set up, shot, packed down, backed up the work, and then began the editing, retouching, and delivery process. I quickly realized that I didn't have enough hours in the day to learn how to be good at each task and I also didn't have the time to be able to actually perform them if I wanted a profitable business. The problem at the beginning was that although rich in time, I was poor in pocket and skills. 

After a while, when things started to begin to pick up, I began to hire freelancers to help me out building sets, helping assist me, and generally doing some grunt work in order to help me be more efficient for my clients. Then, in the past few years, I realized that as well as lacking in time that I was also lacking in skills for some of the key jobs, so I slowly started to outsource these areas too. What I wasn't aware of was just how much other photographers who I look up to outsource too. Some of the crew I was hiring said they worked with various other pros doing their lighting, retouching, or digital tech work. 

In this video, I discuss the key areas of my business and creative process that I outsource and give my rationale for each one, starting with what most photographers give me a lot of stick for outsourcing. 

What do you outsource?

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2 Comments

Andrew Urban's picture

great video! yes, a bunch of aspects of photography should be outsourced as you move up the ladder. the less you have to worry about trivial crap the more you can focus on being in the zone and creating what it is your client needs. +1 on the color grading too, i think that’s very important. if i can, i will set some curves and adjustments in capture and have the digi tech match for the rest of the job, as well as fine tuning the color on the selects after the fact.

Andrew Eaton's picture

Great video.. A good digital tech is the best thing ever, someone who can point out the f*ckups before its too late.. I do location shooting, so to many people can add to the problems. Finding good people can be the fun bit.. :-)