Photo editing and research are time-consuming and detail-oriented. The work requires multiple emails per image as permissions, fees, and usage are negotiated. Captions and credits are unique to each image and must be tracked as well. Take the number of images you’d like for a project and imagine the number of interactions you’d need to secure usage. It adds up quickly. Authors are interested in getting the content of their projects correct. They don’t need the added complexity of securing image permissions.
Why Hire a Photo Editor and Researcher?
Photo editors know the sizes, resolutions, and orientations that will work the best for your project. They know how to find the best pictures fast for the best prices. They often already have connections to image repositories and relationships with vendors that can offer them considerable discounts. They have also worked on both print and online projects and know where image needs can differ depending on the project.
Here's some knowledge I've gained from working on image management and photo editing projects over the years:
Know the budget. If the photo editor knows how much money to spend, she’ll be able to prioritize what to focus on and what to purchase.
Sometimes buying an image outright is less expensive in the long run than spending time looking for a free or low cost option.
Most photo projects follow the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of the images are easy to retrieve, but they require time for research and paperwork. Twenty percent are complicated, requiring more effort and lots of back and forth to get the image. The complexity rises if a specific image is required, rather than when you have similar options to choose from.
Image banks are usually not a solution. Most stock photography lacks personality or is expensive, or both. Getty Images, for example, offer superb images, but the prices and usage limitations are outrageous; a single photograph costs over $500. Over time, I’ve developed relationships with some overlooked image banks that offer unique photographic takes and affordable prices.
Look to museums and archives. Using images from heritage institutions highlights treasures from their collections, promotes them, and supports their work through usage fees. The project gains access to amazing visuals and nonprofit organizations benefit.
Hire an Expert
For your next project, invest in a photo editor who can get the best images for the best values. Contact me to begin a conversation about your photo editing and research needs.
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