How to Outsource Image Editing to a Professional Photo Editing Company
Businesses all over the world require good quality edited images for different uses. These businesses could be: real estate companies, eCommerce and retail companies, photo editing studios and professional photographers, printing presses, educational institutions, advertising agencies, graphic design studios, media and publication companies, manufacturers and catalog companies, and others.
Time and resources are two criteria of digital photo editing that may pose a challenge for businesses. Good photo editing not only requires the expert touch and in-depth knowledge of photo editing softwares, but also calls for the investment of a lot of time, especially when a large volume of raw images needs to be enhanced.
Outsourcing digital photo editing is one solution which thousands of businesses across the globe are choosing in order to get top-notch edited photos that suit their business requirement. For businesses that have never outsourced professional image editing, here is a step-by-step guide to ensure that the best digital photo retouching outsourcing service provider is selected.
Perform an extensive Google research and add the names of likely outsourcing companies that fit the bill in an Excel sheet. Next, visit each website and find out the services offered by these companies, their experience in the domain, and what makes them stand out from the other companies. Narrow down to the professional photo editing companies that offer services that match the retouching requirements and have the experience to prove it.
- Check credentials:
After narrowing down the list of professional photo editing companies to about five, it becomes easier to select the company that best provides services as per the required specification. Check the credentials and credibility of each shortlisted company.
- Customer feedback:
It is always important to read what other customers have to say about a professional photo editing company in terms of service delivery, quality and reliability. Existing customers' feedback can help in the decision making process. Once these have been thoroughly checked, contact the photo editing service provider that best matches the business requirement.
- Provide sample images:
Ideally, a photo editing service provider should offer to demonstrate their capability by retouching sample images. Mail them 2 to 4 sample images that need to be edited to see the quality of work done by the photo editing company. Mention the appropriate changes that need to be done to the sample photos.
- Check retouched sample image quality:
The edited sample images should satisfy the quality parameters required for the business requirement, be it in terms of color, contrast, background, object removal, blemish removal or others. The work on all the sample images should also be consistent in terms of the service rendered. This also reflects how well the digital photo editing company listened to instructions and specifications, which is integral for outsourcing collaborations.
- Check on turnaround time:
If the sample images are successfully retouched and delivered, the next question to ask would be regarding the turnaround time (TAT) for the volume of work. Specify your requirements in detail. Also check the TAT in case the volume of images increases, for instance, during peak sales periods.
Check the pricing model offered by the photo editing company and the modes of payment options available. A digital photo editing service provider that offers the choice of per hour, per image or per resource billing should be preferred. Select the pricing model and mode of payment option that best suits the budget.
- Image security:
Data security is a top priority for all businesses looking to outsource. Ensure that there is a secure FTP or cloud based application provided by the photo editing company where images can be uploaded for retouching. The ISO 27001 certification would be an added qualification for a potential professional photo editing outsourcing partner.
- Signing of Non-disclosure Agreement (NDA):
The signing of an NDA creates a legal bond between the client and the outsourcing company. The digital photo editing company would then be legally obligated to keep all photos, client information, and other critical information in a secure location and not share these with anyone. Ask for an NDA if the business requirement calls for it.
- Check quality certifications:
Before outsourcing images to a professional photo editing company, it is essential to verify that they are ISO 9001: 2008 certified. This ISO certification gives the quality assurance of the digital photo editing work.
- Transparency in communication:
Transparent communication is of the essence in an outsourcing partnership. Specify the expectation when it comes to any communication regarding the project. Check if frequent review meetings can be set up via video conferencing or voice calls to monitor progress or address challenges. Also ensure the photo retouching outsourcing company offers 24/7 support in case of any urgent requirement.
- Decide to outsource:
Once a photo editing company that offers all the required services is identified, go ahead and start the outsourcing process. Ensure that timelines are set for when the raw images will be uploaded for the work to begin. Check that SLAs are met and internal systems are in place to optimize the operational front.
- Check internet bandwidth:
Internet bandwidth is essential for data going to and from computers. A faster internet bandwidth such as 4 MBPS or higher helps in transferring high resolution images to the outsourcing company's online server.
- Keep a personal record:
It is better to keep a personal record of all the photos that have been sent across to the photo editing company for modifications. This helps in ensuring that there is no billing discrepancy at the time of payment.
By observing the points in this checklist, businesses will be able to identify the right digital photo editing outsourcing partner and can enter into long-term partnership. Businesses that choose to outsource image editing save valuable time and resource costs and can focus on their core capability for growth.
Invensis Digital Photo Editing Services has more than 10 years of experience in delivering professional image retouching and restoration services to clients across the world. Contact us today with your business requirement and benefit from world-class digital photo editing outsourcing services.