A real estate photographer’s job doesn’t end after snapping a few photos of a property. In fact, taking photos is only one aspect of our job.
After each shoot, a real estate photographer typically refines and edits photos in post-processing. During this editing stage, we make sure each photo works to attract a buyer’s attention and help sell homes faster and for more money.
But editing comes with a trade-off: our time. Quality editing can be time-consuming, which reduces a photographer’s ability to photograph more properties in a given day. So, should real estate photographers edit their own photos or outsource to a dedicated editing professional?
The Benefits of Editing Real Estate Photos
Why should real estate photographers edit their photos at all? After all, if you’re trying to entice people to visit or buy your home, shouldn’t it look as authentic as possible in the photos?
But even the best photos can be speckled with impurities and imperfections:
- The camera’s flash might be reflected in an object
- The sky through a window may be somber and unappealing
- The photo could benefit from color correction
Editing a photo makes a scene appear the best it can be, as if potential homebuyers were there in person themselves.
How Much Time Does a Photographer Spend in Post-Processing?
Time spent in the editing process varies from photographer to photographer and shoot to shoot. In general, I spend between two to three hours editing photos, which is also about the time it takes to shoot a property.
There are many techniques that can be employed to process a single shot in 10 to 20 minutes, but that technique then needs to be replicated for multiple shots.
That means, in total, almost an entire workday is devoted to a single shoot.
The Benefits of Outsourcing Real Estate Photo Editing
Some real estate photographers choose to outsource their photo editing.
Finding a reliable and trustworthy editor can free up a photographer’s time to shoot even more properties.
Because a photographer can take on more jobs by outsourcing the editing work, he or she is making more money and is free to offer more affordable prices to clients.
And photo quality isn’t sacrificed, either. In fact, it might even be increased. If a photographer hires the right editor, it’s likely someone with substantial knowledge of editing software and techniques. While photographers are naturally familiar with editing, a dedicated editor focuses primarily on that singular task — and excels at it.
An editor’s expertise, then, translates directly to the final shots, which are then handed to a client and used to sell their property.
To Self-Edit or Outsource: That is the Question
There’s no right answer for whether or not a photographer should edit their own photos or outsource to a professional. Instead, the best solution depends entirely on the photographer and his or her workload.
A photographer may choose to self-edit a small shoot or when time permits — or may simply choose to do so from pure preference. On the other hand, outsourcing the editing process can help a photographer grow his or her business, book a full schedule, or meet plenty of close deadlines.
Whatever the choice, what’s paramount to every photographer is handing clients a set of the best possible photos — photos that will help a property sell for the most money.