6 Reasons NOT to go Overseas for Retouching

Many photographers and creative agencies these days are sending their retouching overseas for many good reasons!

Retouching cost per hour for Australian lcan be prohibitive for small businesses, the processing time is wicked fast, and its easy and simple process  to manage.

But thats where it stops. You get paid per shot or shoot. The more you can shoot in a day, the more $$ comes in at the end of the month. But at what literal price?

Aside from the moral reasons of paying pennies on the dollar for services, we have learned FROM experienced creatives why they are choosing to bring it back home:Consistency in quality – Generally you are going to a large overseas agency with many retouchers on hand who although they know how to merge, edit, clip and colour correct, they do NOT know your style and there can be a huge difference between images and final product. The over sharpened – over saturated HDR real estate image which is soooo 2011, the clipping path that doesn’t feather enough or too much, inconsistent white balance in a series of image, window pulls that are too daylight blue or done with such sharp edges it looks totally fake. We’ve all seen it

  1. No customisation for your style – You use filters presets, grain, warm tones, peach baby skin, and subtle tones. But your images come back to warm, skin tones are orange or purple for babies, and you have to do more editing once you get them back and wasting even more time at the midnight desk.

    Real Estate image
    Real Estate
  2. Customer Service Is Useless – There is no customer service with these companies. You are one job in thousands and it can take you longer to get a single revised edit than the whole job did in general. day gone. Customer that was promised files overnight is upset. Time wasted.
  3. It takes AGES for them to build trust with your particular style – They might understand the basics of your retouching needs but do they understand your style or how you tell a story when they’re culling?
  4. They’re not using legitimate software – Many companies use one license for many computers or have ripped off downloaded software. It’s illegal. FULL STOP.
  5. Copyright – We’ve seen images used all over the world that have been ripped off straight from overseas companies. Its Illegal Full stop.

Beyond the horror stories of going offshore, paying for inconsistent product, its just great to know that we are supporting small local businesses that can pick up the phone 24/7 for problems, issues and knowing that our clients would always prefer us hiring locally for great quality product.

 

5 Reasons NOT To Send Your Retouching Overseas

Commercial Krylon White Geisha

Whether to offshore Retouching work or not sounds like a simple straight forward question. But it isn’t. The answer – whether it is a yes or a no – has wide-ranging consequences affecting everything we do – internal processes, software, technology and of course HR. If we stay, how do we compete with other studio and photographers who offshore?

Here is why we believe in offering a competitive retouching service in Australia

# 1   FORCING  INNOVATION

Conducting all work in Australia, rather than offshoring to lower wage countries, has the challenge of higher wage costs, higher rent and other overheads. To ensure fees remain competitive under this higher cost structure, innovation becomes important.

Retouching services tend to look for ways of leveraging smaller, higher costs teams and build more scalable systems that are not primarily dependent on a large pool of low wage workers. Technology enables this innovation  incorporating better workflows in people.

# 2   ADDING VALUE

The most common justification for going offshore we hear is that it is “cheap”. Based on our experience, pricing is a hygiene factor only. When you dig deeper it turns out that it is not about being cheap. It’s all about providing value.

Because of the perceived higher cost structure of an entirely Australian based provider, the focus needs to be on providing value rather than a cheaply priced product.

For example, value adds might include:

  • Access to high quality technical expertise and solution at no additional cost
  • Being able to speak to the vendor who actually does the work to customise for clients
  • Ideas/Solutions focused on helping grow your business.
Beauty/Fashion Retouching
Beauty/Fashion Retouching

# 3  LESS FRICTION FOR CLIENTS

Providing retouching work out of Australia is simply easier. If there are any issues, the retoucher working on the job is only a phone call away. No issues with time zones, language barriers or having your instructions misinterpreted. Conducting the entirety of your retouching work in Australia is simply quicker and easier when it comes to delivery.

Less friction. Better results.

# 4  DATA SECURITY

Beauty Retouching
Beauty Retouching

Many clients prefer all data to remain in Australia with only Australian based team members accessing it.

The power of cloud technology overall is a good thing. The flipside however, is

that it adds security issues. Dealing with breaches regarding data offshore is significantly more complex than having all data in Australia.

 

# 5  CLIENTS PREFER AUSTRALIA

More and more companies are turning to offshore solutions. Smaller regional and suburban photographers as well. Neither tend to notify their clients or referral partners.

A recent survey of customers across many industries found that the overwhelming majority of them are uncomfortable with their creative IP being processed and stored offshore. Overall 84% of respondents were extremely or very likely to switch providers if they started sending their services offshore. They stated that they’d rather keep their services data in Australia than pay lower fees and go offshore.

Creatives need to decide what is better for them and their clients: Outsource and offshore or stay in Australia and innovate.

HeadHunters offers wedding and real estate retouching services in Australia that wont break your budget.

Spammy Sales Emails and the Lingering Odour…

yelling man image

I’m willing to bet both of my eye teeth, that if you are a small business owner you get about a dozen of these sales emails a week. The might not be for photo editing specifically but you get the gist. On the odd occasion I’m actually at my desk plunking away I will return the odd response. Is anyone listening? Not likely. But it sure feels smug to be able to hit SEND.

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 9.36.12 AM

The real point that hit me was WHY would I not care about a POSSIBLY great service to use? It’s the angle of attack of course.

BUY MY STUFF. USE ME I’M THE BEST. WE GIVE GOOD QUALITY WORK.

Am I shouting too loud? Exactly.

First off – If you can’t even find someone to correct your grammar I’M OUT. This kind of poor quality attention to detail has me running for the door.

Second – I want you to learn about MY business. Ask ME questions, learn about what my needs in business are THEN pitch me the services I need.

Third – Blanket emails that you can’t even put a NAME to (and all that would take is checking on my ABOUT PAGE) to personalise. You would get so many more opens to this email if you personalised it with Dear XXX”

A well formatted sales email will ask questions, will hit on pain points, identify  problems, and provide solutions. And only THEN will they go in for the Sale.

Build the relationship first, learn, and then GO FOR THE JUGULAR.

(In case you were curious)

My response:

This type of blank solicitation email does not work to get sales.  We Australians do not like spammy unsolicited sales emails. Why don’t you ask me what I NEED instead of PUSHING your company all over me like a bad smell. I can bet you haven’t received even 1 positive response back?

Understand your customers, and what they want and MAYBE you will be able to offer me something I would buy into.
Your Sales Tip of the Day from Someone Who Would Actually Consider Using You If I Thought you Might Actually Care About My Business.
Erin Pimm
www.head-hunters.com.au

Get your LinkedIn – Social Media House in Good Order!

Head-Hunters photography headshot image

 

Head-Hunters Photography Headshot ImagesIf you are the average Australian you’ve just spent on average 3 hours on your mobile cruising social media APPS today. Facebook is the obvious, and I know you’re looking on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and maybe even *gasps* Tinder! So you’ve seen some stuff… I can tell.

So how does your profile stack up to all the others?

I get it. you’re busy. We all are. Up and at ’em in the morning to work, a full 40 hours a week, the gym, social, laundry…who has time to update their profile picture right?

WRONG. Who DOESN’T have the time to get their profiles all spiffied up. You are probably part of the 75% of employees who are currently employed but looking to make that next leap up the ladder. Time to get your social media house in order.

And don’t be fooled…Employers are searching for you on social media. They want to see a balanced life…not too many party pictures of you munted at last weekends Rainbow Serpent Music Festival or your besties birthday at Miss Collins. So lets scrub or at the VERY least change the privacy settings on those more dubious images.  Do a Google image search for your name and make sure you scrub those images off the net as well. Here is a great resource for removing images from the web

Now I’m sure the thought of getting new headshots taken for your LinkedIn Profile and you other social media send shudders up your spine?Head-Hunters Photography Headshots

Well it doesn’t need to be painful! You don’t need to book time off work either! HeadHunters is offering a great new weekday $99 special where WE will come right to YOUR door.  We’ll use some of the great architecture and storefronts of your business hood and take a great environmental portrait for you. We’ll walk far enough away that the boss doesn’t need to see what we’re up to (unless of course you are going for major brownie point with him.

Quick and easy. 30 minutes from start to finish, and you’ll even have time to apply for that new job you saw on LinkedIn this morning.

So what are you waiting for?

Head-Hunters Photography Image
Head-Hunters LinkedIn Headshots

Bullet proof your profile.

First impressions are absolutely everything.

GO win the job, the contract, the GIRL. And call me to get your $99 Lunchtime LinkedIn Headshot! 

iPhone Photography Tips for Small Business

Flat Lay Fashion

iPhone Photography Tips for Small Business

EVERY business owner has one of these smart gadgets they’re virtually tethered to …and yet most of us brick and mortar businesses could be doing so much more with these little devices every day to help out in our marketing. And guess what…these ideas won’t cost you a dime…

Special of the week/Feature Wedding of the week – Say you are a florist shop and you want to keep you clients in front of you. Do up your bouquet of the week with your feature flower, or wedding theme and take pictures of the sets…these go HOG wild on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook!

Wedding bouquet

POS and In Store Displays – Fresh fruit stands have fodder galore, but you know what makes them really great? Vibrant Colour and lots of Pattern (think of how lovingly they are stacked every day). Use that to your advantage in any storefront of business window.Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 12.12.22 PM

 

Coffee Shops – yes of course you are going to feature your shi-shi coffee and poached eggs on Feta and bespoke multigrain…but how about your PATRONS! Get them to check in with a review and photo on Google+, or YELP and give them their next coffee ON THE HOUSE and feature THEM on your favourite Social media…everyone deserves their 15 minutes!

Shoe/Podiatrists Shop – Engage a sporty “customer of the month’ and have her try on several different shoes. (GIve them a loss leader freebie as a thank you). You could also do a greaHappy Employeet little flat lay every week with a new outfit and pairing.

 

Tax Store/Accountant – So not sexy – I know, I know…BUT…Feature your clients with a big return on your Facebook page. You won’t need to coax them to have their picture taken when you save them money this year.

Book Store Special

Book Store – Featured books of the month are obviously the low hanging fruit but why not try a Kids Reading Corner – ask THEM to suggest a book! (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr)

 

flatlay

 

 

Clothing – Flat lays are hot! Try doing one up on the counter or bench – pair up your feature or specials with all the accessories…or better yet get the customers to try them on and model!(Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest)

 

 

Before and AfterHairdressers/Make-Up Artists – THIS business is the CREME de la CREME for Before & After Marketing. The key here is for images to be similar to each other in angle, distance and lighting. Toss those into a collage APP and that’s an INSTANT seller!

 

Best practices for Social Media.

Now in order to get the best out of your pictures – here are a few ideas on how to engage your customers at the right time and place with your social media postings…

  1. Try and post every day on Instagram and Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Pinterest (wherever your clients are). At the very LEAST once a week.
  2. Run monthly contests for engagement.
  3. Offer freebies for check-ins and reviews.
  4. Spend a few moments on the image using some great APPs with filters(most social media have them built in now)
  5. Post at the top of the hour, just before work, lunch hour (12:30-1:00)

 

Try a few of these APPS on your smartphone for fun…

And a  few more thoughts about your images:

  • Make sure the image is in focus.
  • Make sure the image doesnt have too much clutter around it or too busy
  • Use lots of colour and pattern
  • Use the square orientation if you are planning on Instagram, so its properly framed right in camera
  • Try and get an even consistent light from side to side.
  • Watch out for the overhead lighting…and it’s EVIL shadows!

 

Enjoy your creative time, use these iphone photography tips, and when you’re ready to get some incredible business images for your business –  call HeadHunters Photography!