*This post is strictly for photographers:)

For those fellow photographers that have had the opportunity to attend one of our LYON-SHOP classes, they can vouch for Justin and I when we claim that we are BIG believers in outsourcing! What is outsourcing?! Outsourcing is the answer to gaining more freedom in your business, more freedom with your family, more freedom for yourself, and freedom in order to keep you sane when you are bringing in more work then you can handle on your own! Outsourcing is the act of sending out tasks to another hired professional to work on so you can have more time to spend elsewhere.

One of the biggest tasks that we outsource is the post processing of our proofed images. Our company of choice is FOTOFAFA, and to say that we love them would be an understatement! Literally, we no longer have to spend countless hours filtering through thousands of images, we no longer have to spend countless hours adjusting contrast and white balance, and we no longer feel guilty taking a day off here and there to spend quality time with our children. In our book, Fotofafa equals freedom! That is one of the reasons for this post, we feel that they deserve a huge pat on the back for giving us our lives back!

When we say "proofed images" we mean that these are the images that our clients get to see online before anything goes to print and then ultimately will go through an artistic edit. For outsourcing, we'll first: go through and choose images that are our favorites for the blog (which we will process and edit ourselves...we still love working on our favorite shots), second: outsource the remaining work to Fotofafa to be filtered through and then proofed (white balance adjusted, contrast added, exposure perfected, etc....), then third: put the proofed images online for our clients to view for the purchase of prints or albums. Simple as that!

If we had one thing to suggest to each and every photographer out there who wants to have more personal time, we would say OUTSOURCE! Fotofafa is set up to process raws, jpegs, and album design.

Here are some before (raw images) and afters (proofed images) we've recently received from Fotofafa:

fotofafa_010.jpgraw (left), proofed (right).
fotofafa_011.jpgFor those of you that are remotely interested in outsourcing some of your workflow, we would highly recommend giving Fotofafa a try! Be sure to ask for Kenny! You can visit their website by clicking here. Also follow them on twitter by clicking here!

Happy Tuesday!

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Fotofafa & Freedom through outsourcing! . TrackBack URL for this entry:

anda said:
Whoa! Even at the "proof" stage -- those already look so stylized. Did you have to work with Fotofafa a while in order to pin-down this distinct proof look? Or would someone who began working with them today be able to expect a similar outcome? They just look reallllly good for only being proofs -- I am astounded! Other examples from other companies just don't look so artistic at this stage, so I never trusted outsourcing. But THIS might change my mind!
(02.09.10 03:03 PM)
amelialyon said:
Anda, Thats the best part about Fotofafa, they can cater to your specific needs (if you like your images warm or cool, contrasty or not), they can save those preferrences and make your images look how you want them to look. You should check them out!
(02.09.10 03:34 PM)
Alisa Greig said:
very nice! thanks for sharing :)
(02.09.10 03:42 PM)
Jill Brady said:
:) This might just make spending more time with the kid possible. Thank you.
(02.09.10 04:13 PM)
Anna Bonick said:
Amelia, kudos to you for being honest and open about how you run your business, but also for allowing us all to give ourselves a break. I have always sat there and thought to myself, "How do the Lyons DO this time and time again? Have all of those shoots and have every image look so fabulously processed?" I am really considering outsourcing and I feel like this is the answer (I did contact Kenny before!!!). Thank you so much for being so gracious with your workflow!!!
(02.09.10 06:04 PM)
Stacey Malleck said:
Must say, I've never thought of outsourcing. These look fab!
(02.09.10 07:48 PM)
Lyndsey said:
You had mentioned Fotofafa in an earlier post and I checked them out... I'm sold. Hook, line and sinker. Thanks for the great tip!
(02.09.10 08:13 PM)
Sarah Williams said:
Thank you for sharing your talent and "secrets" to your fellow photographers.
(02.09.10 08:14 PM)
Terrance said:
Thanks so much for sharing this! The proofs looks awesome...
(02.10.10 12:18 AM)
Debbie S said:
That's what I have been wanting to see. Before and afters!!! Yes!
(02.10.10 05:52 AM)
Jamie Lapeyrolerie said:
NICE!! I've tried out another company before and was really unimpressed, so I kinda gave up hope on outsourcing post processing. But not anymore!! Thanks for sharing!
(02.10.10 07:51 AM)
mel from whitebox said:
Thanks for this post! This might just save my life!
(02.10.10 07:57 AM)
Millie said:
Thats awesome! My question is, how many images are you giving out to non-wedding shoots. Like the ones featured in this post. Because it almost doesnt seem worth while is you are giving out on like 30 photos or so.
(02.10.10 02:53 PM)
Kat Speyer said:
Thank you for sharing. I've also had mixed experiences and I've been hesitant to give up control again... as much as I want to, I haven't been able to trust as much as I should. I really am inspired to give these guys a shot. Looks like they do a wonderful job.
(02.10.10 03:14 PM)
amelialyon said:
Hey Millie, I actually deliver 120-150 per portrait session and 700-900 per wedding. I normally shoot 500-700 per portrait session and 3,000-ish per wedding. I use Fotofafa for both portrait sessions and wedding because it saves me so much time! It is definitely worth it!
(02.10.10 05:30 PM)
amelialyon said:
Kat, I understand about giving up the control. This is definitely difficult for an artist to do, but for proofing, I feel it is a necessary thing to outsource. The upside of this is that you WILL have more time to spend elsewhere (with your family, or focus that extra time in marketing and getting your name out there, etc). I am so glad that I learned how to give up some control. And rest assured that Fotofafa will listen to your specifics and do their best to apply those preferences to all of the images you send in. Hope this helps!
(02.10.10 05:35 PM)
Peter said:
Great blog, really like the pictures!
(02.11.10 10:06 AM)
david said:
Great tip for outsourcing. I think it's finally getting to the point where it's cost effective, with a high quality.
(02.12.10 01:42 PM)
Paige + Blake said:
Beautiful images (as always), but I don't think I could relinquish that much control... though maybe I should.
(02.12.10 08:36 PM)
hili said:
does that mean that you only process the photos that you blog ? isn't that a problem , if clients expect to get from you the look that they see on the blog ?
(02.17.10 10:40 PM)
amelialyon said:
Hili, I'm always 100% honest and upfront with my clients. The images they get to see online are only "proofs"....contrast added, color corrected, white balance perfected, this is why it is called a "proof". Then I let them know that anything that goes to print (whether it be images in a wedding album, or a large print) will go through the "artistic edit" so it will look like a work of art when it's in their hands. I simply explain that not all 700-900 images from a wedding will ever go to print, so it is pointless to artistically edit all 700-900 images (the same goes for a portrait session), then after I explain this they understand the reason why the proofed images look slightly different than the ones that they see on our blog. I haven't had a complaint yet from any one of my clients because took time to educate them on the process. Hope this helps.
(02.18.10 09:13 AM)
heather said:
I actually recognized a couple of your images from their website while inquiring in the past and thought if Amelia uses them, they must be grand. Thanks for the share!
(02.18.10 09:22 AM)
Casia Fletcher said:
Thanks girl for blogging about this! Huge day when I get busy enough with our portrait sessions I'm totally going in this direction. OUTSOURCE...OUTSOURCE...OUTSOURCE!!! I'd like to have my life back...please!
(02.18.10 04:03 PM)
jenny said:
thank you for the info it's really helpful!
(02.18.10 09:17 PM)
hili said:
hi amelia, thanks for the long answer. i was wondering about that. : )
(02.19.10 04:37 AM)
courtney bowlden said:
thanks for showing these! your work is amazing, even raw!
(02.22.10 04:11 PM)
Fotograf weselny said:
Thanks so much for sharing - great job
(02.23.10 11:14 AM)
Jennifer Bullock said:
Thank you, thank you for this review!! I am currently MISERABLE with my endless late, late hours, and watching my family suffer from seeing so little of me. As a full time stay at home mom and homeschooler and trying to balance work at the same time, this is EXACTLY what I need. I always thought, "No way! No one can touch my images!" I am sooo edit picky. But Fotofafa looks very trustworthy, which I never thought I'd say about any outsource. Thanks so much for this. You (and them) have been the answer to all of my problems right now --- literally :)
(03.02.10 12:39 AM)
Amy Fenner said:
Okay, I'm sure I'm not the only one that thinks this looks too good to be true?!?!?! WOW...........this seriously may be the key to a new life (I mean A life) for me!!!
(03.02.10 08:01 PM)
Trisha Chan said:
hi amelia, just wanted to say reading your genuine, thoughtful comment replies in this blog entry has made me even more interested in hearing you teach at one of your lyon shops! however, being a sophomore in college makes that a little difficult to do. so i guess that will have to wait. hopefully you'll still be offering those in the future!! you're an inspiration for an aspiring photographer like me. God bless. :)
(04.20.10 09:10 AM)
gerad said:
hey... i really like your toning techniques just wondering how u made them... we really like to try different style this time hope you can help us. tnx :D
(06.30.10 09:33 AM)
Elizabeth Beattie said:
Love, love, love this idea! I need something that will help me spend more time with my twin girls and husband. Thanks!
(08.10.10 07:06 PM)