Guest Article: Why You Should Call It Quits On Editing Your Own Images

Why You Should Call It Quits On Editing Your Own Images
by Kate Byars

Hi Photographer Friends. Want to hear something creepy? I can read your thoughts.

YES, THAT’S RIGHT. I have special “Photographer Mind Reading Spectacles,” and they SEE WHAT YOU ARE THINKING.

Want proof?


  • I know that editing your images is something you really enjoy. I know that half the fun of shooting is reviewing your shoot images and how much better it could be if those RAW files were edited!
  • I know that you think that what sets your images apart from other photographers in your town is the editing style. Your editing style. The style you are super, super careful to spend lots of time on.
  • I know that you are probably not making enough money right now to even think about hiring someone to edit your images. Besides, why would you want to?  Could another person really execute your style for you?

“How”, you may ask, “are you so knowledgeable about the insides of my brain, Kate!!?”

Well, I’ll tell you! The whole spectacles thing was just a clever way to get you to start reading this blog post. Here’s the truth:  I AM you. Well, at least I WAS you.

I started my photography business knowing absolutely nothing about business, editing, or successfully getting clients. But, I put my ear to the ground and trained myself. It was all fun and all part of growing as a photographer.  I loved editing my images, and I knew that my sense of aesthetics really came out in my editing.

Eventually, though, there came a point when I noticed the tiny speck of a Big Fat Crisis on the horizon. The BFC was fast-approaching and getting bigger by the day.

It looked like this:

  1. On Saturday and Sunday, I would shoot weddings, portraits and other jobs and have TONS of fun, but be mostly out of touch with emails, current clients and the business end. But, I had to be shooting. There was only one me, the photographer and main employee in my business. And, making photographs was how I got business.
  2. On Monday, on the heels of shooting, I would check back into emails and “the biz.” I’d be super pumped about EVERYTHING and would make GRAND plans to CONQUER my photography business! Bullet points! To-do lists! Marketing! Hooray!
  3. Fast-forward to Friday afternoon, and the ENTIRE week had disappeared into what I fondly began to call “The Editing Vortex”. I simply couldn’t get back to my marvelous list because I was uploading, laying out out albums, burning disks, making galleries, and processing in Lightroom or Photoshop.

As I became slightly more successful in my business, this cycle became much worse, not better. The more clients I got, the more editing there was to do.

But, here’s the kicker: I only got slightly more bookings because I had gotten to the point where I could barely respond to new clients because I was busy handling old clients. I was letting great opportunities go the way of the “Vortex”.

I decided to make a change. So, I outsourced all of the editing and editing-related tasks like correcting images, burning disks, uploading, laying out albums, you name it. Anything that caused my butt to remain in the Editing Seat during the week had to go.

These days, I am back to Bullet Points! To-do lists! Marketing! Hooray! And, now I actually get those done instead of simply dreaming that I will have a prettier, more awesome company one day.

Yes, I still have a ball shooting and being creative for my clients, but now that I have editors, I work more often on my business instead of in it.


Read part 2 of this 2 part series.


Kate Byars headshotKate Byars is an Atlanta-based photographer specializing in South Asian weddings and in interior-design focused family portraiture. Visit her at



  1. What a great piece Kate! For me, editing other photographers’ work is easy and quick, editing my own shoots, that is another story! I was a photo editor for a wire service for nine years and I still would prefer to have someone edit my work. I think photographers are just too close to their own work to be objective about what is good and what is not. And as you so eloquently point out, great photographers should be out shooting, not tied down to a computer.