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Get Started with Lifestyle Family Photography

Lesson 29 of 32

Outsourcing Post Production

Elena S Blair

Get Started with Lifestyle Family Photography

Elena S Blair

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Lesson Info

29. Outsourcing Post Production

Lesson Info

Outsourcing Post Production

When I cull the images, I get them all together and The Image Salon has this really awesome software that it's a downloadable desktop thing. And you upload them to them. And I send them off, and I say I'll see you in five days! And it's like Christmas when they bring 'em back to me. It is so fabulous. So you can have The Image Salon give, do black and white actions on your work as well. I have them do all color. And then my process from here, is to run a batch black and white action on all of the images in Photoshop. So I do deliver, and here's another one that people are always like what? I deliver all of my images in black and white as well. Why? Because my clients frickin' love it. And because if I don't, they're gonna convert them themselves. And that is one of those things that, and I don't care about where they print them, but I don't really want them to convert 'em at Walgreens, you know. I don't want 'em to change it to black and white with a weird action. So I just give them a...

ll of 'em in black and white. And I run a batch black and white action. Do you guys know how to use batch? I'm gonna show you okay? I'm gonna batch a black and white really quick here. Alright back to the computer. And I'll admit my computer is in a weird state currently. Okay. So I use Photoshop and Bridge, I don't use Lightroom at all. And the way that you batch, this is magic. If you haven't been batching, you need to start batching, okay? I feel like anytime I teach someone this who hasn't learned it, they're like what? Alright so I go to File, and you go to Scripts. And you go to Image Processor. So I'm gonna come in and I am gonna find that family's shoot. And these are my final edits, I am editing the edited pictures. So I'm putting the black and white action on the ones The Image Salon sent to me. I'm gonna have it save as JPEG, I want quality 10, I shot in raw so you don't need to be higher than because if you go to 11 or then the file is just ginormous. Convert to sRGB. And then here I have a black and white action that I love. And then I hit run. And my computer is gonna do the work for me. And it's gonna change them all to black and white. Just like that. It's kind of amazing. Do you guys knew about this? Everyone in here? Okay no? Alright, it's good stuff. I'm all about efficiency in business. I'm all about efficiency in editing. For me, like I said, it's all about the shoot. It's about that connection. This isn't where it happens for me. I want them to have beautiful images, I don't wanna spend a lot of time doing it. I will look through after they edit them, just like I kinda did showing you and make sure that there isn't anything weird. Like sometimes my foot's in it, they don't do that. I'll have to crop that out. Or sometimes the crop isn't quite right. They do crop for you, they do creative cropping if they feel like, and you can choose that or not. And so I have them do that. But yeah, that's it. So my whole, the time that I spend on editing is very minimal. I do my shoots on the weekend, we do 'em all on the weekend, and on Mondays I upload my cards, I go through and I cull them, takes me about half an hour, I upload them and I don't see them again for about five to seven days. They come back, I run this action, I upload them to ShootProof and I'm done. It's glorious. So if you haven't considered outsourcing as a family photographer, you should do it. And you can do my little trick and be like well maybe I'll just take a couple extra sessions to make up for this cost. And you'll probably end up making more money. So I explained why I give all the black and white. I actually, I just like it. I like the option. And I do think a lot about myself as the consumer. I really appreciate being able to see them in both black and white and color. There are some photographers that really feel very strongly about needing to be the one that knows which one gets converted. You guys, the client is gonna do whatever they want with their images if you're giving them the digitals. So I go ahead and convert them myself. Even though I tell them, even though their print release says that they are not allowed to edit them, they'll still edit them if they want to. You have to let that go with digital. We have to just know that when you let your digital files into the universe, things are gonna happen to them. Okay does anyone have any questions? That was a lot of, a lot of a lot. Outsourcing your editing, I'm super excited right now. Yeah it's mind-blowing. So when you send it out to them, do they do a sort of batch? Or will they, you know, if you have a bunch of forest pictures and then you are taking the family to the beach and the sky needs some work? So they are magical creatures that live in Canada. And they will, what's really great is when you first establish a relationship with an editor, you do a Skype call with them. And they talk to and they look through your portfolio and they get an idea of what you like. So they have an idea. Then they make presets, I think, I'm pretty sure they make presets that are yours alone. When you send them a particular gallery, there's like, in the software, there's parts where you can say what's going on. So I'll just be like hey just so you know, I had to really under-expose the ones at the end because I wanted the sky to stay in tact. And they will fix that for you. And it's not more. So they have different tiers. You can do just clean, I do the one that's in the middle where they will do a little bit more of that, and then there's one that's called Deluxe, it's something like that, I've never done that one, I don't even know exactly what it is. But the one in the middle has been perfect for me. And yes, they will do particular things like that for you. And I've had a few times where the gallery came back and I'm like oo that didn't work and she'll fix it. So and they fix it like immediately. 'Cause this is their job. They're sitting there in their studio space, you're working, they're working and this is what they're doing. So yeah. It's pretty cool. I see faces like what! You don't edit out little guy had maybe a runny nose and some little owies. They're inevitably gonna have those, you just leave. Do parents ever ask can you fix this for me? Or they just roll with it? I really don't ever have anyone ask me to do extra editing. Yeah that would be, I mean if somebody had like if the kid had a major booger situation, I might go in and fix it. But usually what I try to do is fix it at the session. So if you see a runny nose, grab some tissue and fix it there. I'm always thinking about not editing. This is when I used to edit my own stuff. But I never edit out a little scratch or anything like that at all. Recently I had a family, who is like a beloved, a family that I've been with for a long time. The dad had just, he works in construction, and he had this giant gash. And the mom was like I am so sorry, of course I edited those out for him. We did try to turn him the other way, but generally speaking I don't do a lot of retouching. And I don't like super smooth skin, so I don't use anything like, any of the skin smoothing things. I want it to look real, I want them to look real. Are you going to talk about the actual delivery and how you deliver them but also the resolution and such? People are asking if you're giving them both high-res and low-res? I am. But I give them high-res, full high-res. So here's the thing. There was a time, guys I've made all the mistakes. I'm up here talking about this like this is what I've been doing since I came out of the gate. It's not. I've stumbled along like all of us do. And so there was a time that I was like I'm only gonna give them, because somebody told me by the way, a lot of it is that. Like you hear this chatter in the industry. And somebody was like well you should never allow them to have the full resolution, you should only give them enough to print a 5x7. Well you know what's gonna happen? They're gonna print a 16x20 with a low resolution picture. So I just give them the full resolution. No problems. No questions asked. So yes they take the full-res from me. I personally think if you're gonna give them digital files you should just give them the full resolution. Because I had that happen, where they were like it's really fuzzy. I'm all yeah, you purchased the 5x7, and this is when I had one client a year. Like I mean it was the one client that was complaining about it, but yeah. So be careful with that. Cool. Okay so David W asks what do you do about copyright in photos, especially the client prints? And I think I heard you mention a print release, is that something that you include? So I have a print release. And I can show it because I'm gonna get into ShootProof and show you the print release that I send out. And it says that I own the copyright to the images. And that they can print for personal use only. That they can't use it for competitions and what not and that kind of thing. I've never seen any of my stuff in a weird place, I'm sure it has ended up that way. But I think that with that, again you have to let it go. When you're putting your work onto the internet, it's gonna maybe get taken. And I know that sounds like wow, how can you be okay with that? But I just feel like it's kind of where we are. And if you find someone using your stuff illegally, well then obviously you're gonna contact them and say something. Clients, I mean really what are they gonna do? They're just gonna give it to grandma. They're just gonna use it for their family. They're gonna use it on Facebook. Worst thing they're gonna do is put a horrible Instagram filter on it, which happens even though I tell them not to. So I'll show, I can show that print release. Remind me when I get in there. And then this is from Shawn, are you ever putting your studio name on the images? I guess, do you watermark? Yeah, no. For the clients, no. What I say is they're their images now. This is something that they purchased. This is something that they invested in. So no, I don't watermark. I actually don't watermark online anymore either. I do try to change the meta data. I'm not gonna go super into that. But you can do that in Bridge and you can do that in Lightroom, where you get into the back end of your picture and you change the meta data to make sure that your studio name is on there so that it's copyrighted. So if it does end up in the wrong hands, it's embedded in the actual digital file. You can do that. Question from Lindsey is if you're having somebody else cull the images, are you ever concerned or how do you give direction on what types of images they should be looking for? Is there a concern that they would be picking different ones that aren't your style? Or aren't that word or emotion that you're looking for? So that's why I don't let them cull my images. Just speaking from friends that I know who do that for weddings, they feel pretty confident because there's so many pictures, but from what I understand, the cullers at The Image Salon are incredible because they look at your, they're not just blindly doing it. They go in and they look at your website and they figure out what it is that you're probably looking for. And then they also, I think what they're really looking for is technically correct stuff. So they're not gonna pick, they're trying to get rid of the ones that are, 'cause with weddings, it's you know, this much bigger situation. So I don't let them cull them. So I wouldn't trust that they would maybe necessarily know. Have you ever used any of your photos and run ads, either Facebook or Instagram and is your release any different for that than it is with the clients? I don't know exactly what you mean. Have you run ads with any of your photos on Instagram or Facebook? Yes, so you mean like what? My release to the client, like model release are you talking about? Well I guess is there just that? Or is there that and additional kind of stuff you need to do if you're doing an ad versus just a post? So my model release is very inclusive. It includes things that I'm never gonna do. Like I says I can use their photos for stock, it says I can use their photos for commercial purposes, it says I can use their photos for my teaching and education. So my model release is very inclusive, which is probably why about half don't sign it. And I respect that whole-heartedly. Because I know what it's like not to want your kids on the internet. I actually rarely post my own kids. So I think that you just have to make sure to include all of the things in it. And don't ever use someone's picture if you don't have a model release. It could get you in a lot of trouble. Yeah. Can I ask at what price point did you start at when you decided to give what you give now? The full gallery with black and whites. Of course, yeah. So I was much lower than I am now. I was at about, I think that when I really made the jump and kind of figured out that lifestyle, or that all-inclusive was for me, and that I wasn't gonna be selling products and all that stuff, I was only charging about $350. I learned very fast that that wasn't enough to make it worth my time. This was also when I was starting to think about transitioning into this as a full time career, and so I quickly went up to close to where I am right now. And I feel like what I've found, and this is just a total general statement, is if someone can spend $400 on a family session, they can spend $1,000. When you get past a couple hundred bucks, when you make the jump it's scary. But you still book clients. It' kinda amazing. It's hard to do though, I get it.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

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.


Armstrong Su

is super knowledgable, yet down-to-earth and relatable. I love how he explains the exact gear he uses but also describes ways to accomplish the same look using DIY and less expensive alternatives. The segment where he demos a live shoot in multiple, difficult lighting situations is worth the cost of the class alone! Bonus: He's super funny. He could probably double as a comedian on the side, but I digress. This class was informative, funny, and very practical for any photographer that wants to increase their profit and expand their business into the professional world. He gives all his prices and workflows so you can get up and running in 2 days! :) Awesome class overall, and it's a great sequel to his professional headshot class (which I also bought and loved.)

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.