How to Outsource Photo Editing in 2024

photo editing outsourcing

The best way to outsource photo editing is to use online photo editing services or hire a photo retouching freelancer.

It will help you to save time, edit a large volume of photos and improve the quality if you don’t have the expertise while allowing you to focus on more important activities.

In this guide, I’ll discuss everything you need to know about outsourcing photo editing, including exact services and how you can benefit from them.

How Much Does it Cost?

Here are the costs of a few most popular types of photo editing services:

  • High-end retouching: High-end skin and body retouching for portraits can cost anywhere from $5 to $50 per image, depending on the complexity.
  • Wedding photos: Editing of wedding photos can cost $0.2-$0.5 for simple edits and $1-5$ per image for more difficult edits like portraits and newlywed photoshoots.
  • Real estate photos: Editing real estate photo editing can cost anywhere from $0.50 to $5 per image.
  • Product photos for e-commerce: On average, e-commerce photo editing costs from $0.50 to $5 per image. Product photos often require image cropping and resizing, background removal, masking, shadow creation, and color correction.
  • Old photo restorations: These can cost anywhere from $10 to $50 or more per image, depending on the level of damage and the service provider. This is a more difficult type of editing since it requires removing scratches, stains, and other imperfections, and sometimes even custom coloring.

These are just estimated costs and can vary depending on many factors. If you need to create visuals for your marketing, you might want to hire a graphic designer, whose rates vary from $15 to $150 per hour.

Best Solutions to Outsource Photo Editing

There are a few ways to outsource photo editing. Here are two of the best ones:

Solution #1: Use FixThePhoto Photo Editing Services

fixthephoto before and after example

Pros

Cons

  • Pricing: On average, from $0.25 to $40 per photo.
  • Turnaround time: Around 2 days.
  • Support & Communication: Live chat and Email support, friendly and responsive team.

FixThePhoto is one of the best photo editing services out there. With years of experience and being on the market, they provide high-quality retouching services.

The photo submission process was pretty simple and straightforward. The photo I provided was very dark and flat, so I needed the service to brighten it up and increase the overall contrast. I wanted the photo to look like a professional image for LinkedIn profile, and I think the job was done great.

You can find many examples of edited images on their website, so you can check what you would be getting. I like that the platform provides all types of photo editing services – from standard retouching and photo editing to photo restorations and manipulations.

If you have many photos that you want to edit, it might be expensive. But it’s not expensive to try the service. So I would recommend trying the service, seeing if it meets your needs, and then deciding if it’s right for you.

Solution #2: Hire a Freelancer on Upwork

photo editors on upwork

Pros

Cons

  • Pricing: From $5/hr to $200/hr+ (some freelancers charge per hour, while others charge per project).
  • Turnaround time: 1-5 days on average.
  • Support & Communication: Chatbot and Live chat (for more difficult problems) on the regular plan, 24/7 live chat, and phone support if you are on the Plus membership plan.

Upwork is a freelance marketplace where you can easily find a huge pool of photo editors.

I didn’t include any before and after images since each user on Upwork is going to provide you with a different result.

I think Upwork is a great place for one-time projects. If you have a project with an upcoming deadline and you can’t keep up with it, hiring a freelancer on Upwork and providing an example of the work you need might be the solution.

However, with Upwork comes more risks and disadvantages. It may take time until you find a photo editor who you can finally trust and call the ONE. There are many beginners on the platform, so it takes time to find talent.

Why Outsource? 4 Main Benefits

Saves time. Once you have someone to edit your photos for you, you will have time to do more photoshoots. It’s extremely helpful for wedding photographers or those who take tons of pictures and need them edited in a short amount of time.

Provides quality. If you are into photography business but don’t know how to edit photos properly, by outsourcing photo editing you can provide your customers with high-quality photos without using a single brush yourself.

Creative results. Photo manipulations and other creative edits can be difficult. You will get quality results without using a creative photo editor yourself. Sometimes it’s just easier to outsource this work to professionals.

Cost-efficient for professional photographers. Once you have a proven experience in photography and lots of clients, it might be the time to start outsourcing photo editing. This would also allow you to increase the overall prices of your services.

5 Tips When Considering Outsourcing Photo Editing

Here are some tips on how to outsource photo editing smoothly:

1. Know Your Expectations

It’s important to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve through outsourcing photo editing, such as improving the quality of your photos, saving time, or reducing costs. This will help you build the right financial strategy and plan your time when outsourcing work.

Sometimes it is beneficial to get edits of only part of your images, or just the most important ones (if you are looking for better editing quality than yours), for example, magazine covers.

2. Provide Clear Briefs

To ensure that the photo editing service understands your needs, provide a detailed brief that includes your specific requirements, style preferences, and any other important details.

Sometimes it’s useful to include an example picture of the final result you expect.

3. Consider Your Budget

Before outsourcing photo editing, it’s essential to determine your financials and choose a service that offers high-quality editing at a price that fits your budget.

4. Check Portfolio & Photo Examples

Before placing an order for photo editing, always make sure to check the portfolio and examples of previous work.

This helps to ensure that they can deliver the quality you need. It will also let you stay calm knowing that you are getting a good service for the price you are paying.

5. Develop Relationships with Good Photo Editors

If you are thinking long-term, building a good relationship with reliable and talented photo editors can save you time and provide consistent results in the future.

Consider working with the same editor or service provider if you are satisfied with their work.

Who Should Outsource Photo Editing?

Outsourcing photo editing is mostly beneficial for:

  • Professional Photographers
  • Wedding Photographers
  • Airbnb, Booking & Other Real Estate Agents
  • E-commerce Owners
  • Product photographers
  • Small Businesses
  • Individuals With Personal Projects

In short, outsourcing photo editing can be beneficial for a wide range of individuals and businesses. 

By outsourcing photo editing, you can save time, enhance the quality of your photos, reduce costs, and focus on your core business activities, while achieving professional-looking results.

And If Outsourcing Is Not the Case For You…

If you decide that outsourcing photo editing is not for you, you can edit photos by yourself using these tools:

Luminar Neo

Luminar Neo can quickly become your go-to photo editing tool. It offers a wide range of editing features and tools that are easy to use even if you’re not an expert in photo editing. Plus, the software is constantly updating and improving with new features and functionality.

Adobe Photoshop

As for professional photographer, Adobe Photoshop is a must-have tool for me (and for most photographers). It has been the industry standard for photo editing for years and continues to be the choice for many professionals.

Adobe Lightroom

I love using Adobe Lightroom to organize and edit large amounts of photos. It’s a user-friendly tool that allows you to make quick and easy adjustments to my images. I enjoy the cloud-based storage, which helps to access photos from anywhere, making it a great tool for on-the-go editing.

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