Get Started with Lifestyle Family Photography

Lesson 27/32 - My Editing Strategy


Get Started with Lifestyle Family Photography


Lesson Info

My Editing Strategy

So, this is another one that just kind of always blows people's minds. I, this year, it's been, next month will be one year that I started outsourcing my editing. (gasps) And, it has changed my life. So I'm gonna tell you how I got to this decision. I'm gonna tell you why I think it's amazing. And I'm gonna tell you that I think it's funny that family photographers don't do it very much. So wedding photographers outsource all the time. A lot of my friends are wedding photographers, and they've been doing this for years, they've been outsourcing their editing. And, so what I will say, I'm gonna back step a little bit. If you're new to this, you do need to know how to edit. So, I edited my own stuff for nine years, okay? So you do need to know what you're doing with editing. You have to be able to grab an image and edit it, whether you use Photoshop or Lightroom or what not. So I was editing my own stuff, and I'm a very fast editor. Anyone that sees me edit is usually very surprised. I d...

o a lot of batch editing, and I don't do any retouching unless there's like, something super obvious. I'm not real picky about that. I like it to happen in camera. Where I create my art, is with that connection, use of light. Editing is not where it's at for me. I have a good friend who spends, like, six hours per image. That's because she does this like, really high end boudoir photography, and she is selling that one image, almost like a painting. Very different than what I'm doing. And she loves it. So if you like editing, and you want to do that, super. Me, hate it. And editing was starting to suck that passion out of it for me. I was getting to this point, so it was last year in April, and I was pretty much booked for the year. I was booked comfortably for the year. And I was drowning in editing. I had a really busy month for newborn photography and I was like, oh my gosh, I have nine, I was talking to a friend of mine. Get your photographer besties, they will save your life. And I was one the phone with her, and I was like, I have nine shoots in my queue right now. I am like, gonna lose my mind. And she's like, have you tried the image salon? This is who I use for weddings. And they're friends of Creative Live, which was really cool. I got to meet them last week, but she's like I been outsourcing my family work too, and it's blowing my mind. And I was like, no way. I can't afford that. That's gonna take a huge cut out of my profit. I don't think I wanna do it. Well, I looked into it and realized that it was only gonna cost me like 30 to 50 dollars per session, just depending on how many they charge you per image. Depending on how many images you give them. And so what I did, being business minded, and thinking about like, how much I'm gonna make per year, is, I said, okay, and I was at a point where I was turning away sessions for the year. I said, if I book, I don't remember what the number was at the time, but I was like, if I book five more sessions, I can make up, it will make sense, because that will pay for the editing for you know, 20 sessions, or whatever. It was like, a ton of sessions, right? And, I ended up booking, being able to book way more sessions, because I was no longer editing them. I had my biggest year of profits last year, because I actually took more sessions because I had the time to do it. It changed my business. It was like, it changed my life. I don't like editing. So some people do, like I said, if that's your thing, great. Like, there are some talented editors out there. Now, I got my girl, so the image salon, I'm gonna tell you how they do it. I feel like maybe I'm gonna.. So the reason that I outsource is A, I don't like editing. Okay, I don't like it, there's no secret. I know how to, I know how to edit, I know how to use all the stuff but I'm a super simple editor as well and my work is very clean. So I'm not putting a lot of stuff on there. It has given me my life back. It literally has given me my life back. And, it has given me the opportunity to explore other things in my business. So I am able now to work on other projects, more teaching, more photography retreats, lots of different stuff because I have time. The amount of time that you spend editing when you're a digital photographer is, it's big. It's a lot, okay? So, the image salon is fabulous. I just upload my images. You get one editor, so you work with the same person all the time. They learn your style. If she does something that I'm like, this is a little warm, she sends it back, and they fix them. They blow my mind. And they're probably better at editing than I am. So, as a businesswoman, and when you get to that point in your business, if there's something that someone can do better than you, and you can make more money doing something else, outsource, okay? And like I said, I took more sessions last year than I thought I was going to, ended up making a ton more money, because I started outsourcing.

Class Description

Stop making excuses for why you’re not calling yourself a photographer and get the tools needed to put yourself out there. Elena Blair is a lifestyle photographer with a six-figure business who started as your “mom with a camera.” With a knack for capturing authentic moments, posing for any age group, and running a business that continues to grow, Elena joins CreativeLive to give you a quick start into building your family photography business. In this jam-packed course you’ll learn:

  • What lifestyle photography is
  • Basics of gear and camera settings
  • Lighting and composition techniques
  • How to shoot with intention
  • Tips for finding your market and connecting with families
  • Posing techniques for a variety of families and age groups
  • Pricing your photo sessions
  • How to work with a 3rd party to help edit your imagery

If you have a love of photography and are tossing around the idea of turning your hobby into a business, this course will give you the confidence to take a chance, believe in yourself, and have the tools needed to be successful.


Sandra Kay Hayes

I am totally in tears watching this, and think that every person going into Photography should watch these. She is a great teacher, and helps us to understand our "why" so much better. I also LOVE that she helps one feel confident with the non-perfect, (or so called) shots, Thank you so much for giving me more confidence to shot what I love and not worry about "rules!!". Best class I've taken I will recommend her to every group I am in!!!

Julia Khris

Elena is a great presenter. Delivers information in a very fun and engaging way. This course would be good for a beginner photographer. She shares the basics, but unfortunately doesn't quite provide advice on the more tricky questions. She shares a lot about her current state of business (10 years in and making enough profit to afford hiring staff). This is great to know what to aim for, however, it would be more beneficial to hear more about HOW to get to this stage. The main idea that I took from this course is: outsource as many processes as you can. Elena doesn't have a very distinctive style (no offence, but there is a huge competition in the style and editing that she works with), I would love to hear her advice on how to win in such high competition, how to convince clients to choose you and pay higher price tag for an equal quality of work. This is a fairly inexpensive class, so I would recommend it to the beginners, but not to the more experienced photographers.

a Creativelive Student

There was so much that impressed me about Elena's approach to family photography. I have always had difficulty making my clients choose which images to purchase and which would be left behind because their budget didn't allow for more. Thank you for providing me with a different perspective. Elena's methods not only simplify and streamline the entire process but also increase the opportunity to exceed our clients' expectations. This was a fast moving, information rich, and inspiring class that I would highly recommend to anyone considering family photography. Thank you Elena and thank you Creative Live for making it possible for a photographer in NC to have access to such talent!