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Video 1 of 5: WGAN-TV Live: PhotoUp VP/Marketing Devon Higgins chats with We Get Around Network Founder Dan Smigrod and Members (7:44)
Video 2 of 5: WGAN-TV Live: PhotoUp VP/Marketing Devon Higgins chats with We Get Around Network Founder Dan Smigrod and Members (9:25)
Video 3 of 5: WGAN-TV Live: PhotoUp VP/Marketing Devon Higgins chats with We Get Around Network Founder Dan Smigrod and Members (9:05)
Video 4 of 5: WGAN-TV Live: PhotoUp VP/Marketing Devon Higgins chats with We Get Around Network Founder Dan Smigrod and Members (11:38)
Video 5 of 5: WGAN-TV Live: PhotoUp VP/Marketing Devon Higgins chats with We Get Around Network Founder Dan Smigrod and Members (7:33)
PhotoUp: Real Estate Photo Editing to Help You Scale Your Business
Do you want to scale your real estate photography service business, but find editing images either time-consuming or not your thing (or both)?
PhotoUp helps you scale and grow your real estate photography business by offering photo editing services.
PhotoUp VP of Marketing PhotoUp Devon Higgins chats with me - and Members of the Forum earlier today (19 April 2017).
Is outsourcing real estate photo editing right for you? Find out in this video chat with Devon at PhotoUp ...
Related We Get Around Network Forum Discussions
✓ PhotoUp: Real Estate Photo Editing Service
✓ Thumbs up to PhotoUp!
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|After watching Part 1 of 5, I can definitely see the big need for this service!
I have been using Photoshop Professionally ever since the mid 90's and I am extremely comfortable with most of the Adobe Stable of products, however, it was just last year that I began to explore Lightroom and it's use for Real Estate Photography.
I took on the role of photo processor/editor for another member of the forum a few months back who was shooting 2-3 properties a day. It was extremely exhausting trying to keep up with the demand, juggle my own business, and family commitments. That gig lasted for a few months (which are all a caffeinated blur and a big pile of HDR files and Lightroom catalogs now) but I finally had to bow out and ask him to look for another person to handle the edits because trying to keep up with Realtor's expectations and provide the right quality were just too much for me to handle with that kind of volume.
It sounds like PhotoUp has discovered a very real pain in this industry and it appears that they are offering a wonderful solution that creates a win/win situation.
Any tool that will allow your business the opportunity to scale without sacrificing quality is definitely a tool worth checking out!
Keep up the great work @DevonHiggins! And thank you, @DanSmigrod for sharing this in depth coverage of this resource as well! I look forward to parts 2-5!!!
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I edited the post (above) to include all five videos. Glad you found the first video helpful.
Thank you for joining us for WGAN-TV Live: PhotoUp
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|Here's the set of photos I submitted during the chat -
I woke up this morning -WELL RESETED- and just billed my client! I've requested revisions to the exteriors -- a bit more vibrance and sky replacement and I have a hunch that when I come home from today's shoot, they will be done!
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|@ArtisticConcepts I appreciate you telling your story and the kind words of affirmation. We have clients coming to us every single day who are just getting too busy to be able to juggle their shoots, editing and family/personal time.
Our goal is to help photographers shoot more, edit less, and spend more time doing what they love (growing their business and/or spending time with family).
We look forward to working with you in the near future and we appreciate @DanSmigrod and the rest of the We Get Around community for their positivity and willingness to use PhotoUp to help them scale and grow.
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Here's a transcript of Video 1 of 5
Dan Smigrod: [00:00:02] Hi, this is Dan Smigrod, Founder of the We Get Around Network Forum. This is WGAN-TV Live. Today, we're going to visit with Devon Higgins with PhotoUp. But, before we get started, why don't we go around the room ... our virtual room ... and do introductions. Chris?
Chris Hickman: [00:00:21] Hey, I am Chris Hickman. I run Metroplex360.com. I have been on the Forum for a couple of years. And I'm a PhotoUp user.
Dan Smigrod: [00:00:29] Cool. And Doug, how about you? What city are you in? How's it going? I am Doug Tse with the Enviroscan3D. I'm from San Francisco. I'm interested to learn more about PhotoUp. I think it's incredible tool. And, Kathy ... How about you?
Kathy Oman: [00:00:45] I am owner of Big Camera Productions in Seattle, Washington.
[00:00:48] Can you hear me? Yes. OK. I'm interested in what PhotoUp has to offer.
Dan Smigrod: [00:00:56] OK great. So that's Kathy with Big Camera Productions in Seattle I know she will hold up her microphone a little bit.. So Devon, how about introducing yourself?
Devon Higgins: [00:01:08] Yes. My name is Devon Higgins. I'm up here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I'm Vice President of Sales and Marketing for PhotoUp. ...
Dan Smigrod: [00:01:21] Terrific. Thanks for joining us, Devon. Thanks to our virtual guests from the We Get Around Network Forum as well. So Devon, an opening question. What is PhotoUp?
Devon Higgins: [00:01:33] PhotoUp is a editing platform for real estate photographers to be able scale and grow their business. The biggest thing that we found is a deterrent for photographers - specialty real estate - to be able to scale and grow - is that editing at night. So you hit that certain glass ceiling during any given day where you're only able to shoot maybe two to three homes and that you're spending the entire evening editing. What we've done, is kind of built a whole culture and a company around editing itself. We have a team of 250 people now and over in Cebu, Philippines that is able to do the editing around the clock - 24 hours a day six days a week - so that whenever you need an editing team that's available, their there to do the processing at night. And, frankly we're growing your business.
Dan Smigrod: [00:02:32] Great. I'm hearing that two key points first. This is real estate photography editing. You don't edit anything else. Just real estate photography editing. And, that second part on scaling the business. I think that's you know if you don't mind it will even just go to Chris Hickman who's been giving PhotoOp a test drive.
Dan Smigrod: [00:02:52] Chris, I think you are at the point where you think you were thinking about scaling your business. Can you talk a little bit about that experience?
Chris Hickman: [00:03:00] Love to. PhotoUp came at a great time for me. I've been resisting getting help from anybody. I want to do all my own Matterport tours. I want to do all my own photos. I want to do all my photo processing. It's all mine. I'm the artist here. And, the problem is that I've been picking up momentum.
Chris Hickman: [00:03:17] I have so many days, where I'm double-booked for Matterport shoots. I got Realtors saying do you do photography? And, I've been working a lot in different industries. And, I've been so hesitant about offering Realtor photography because the demands there ... the 24 hour turnaround; the expectations we need to list on Thursday. It's a headache. And when you're shooting Matterport tours and you actually got a schedule ... and you think I did I can't do anything on time. You tend to turn away the business. PhotoUp: it has changed that for me. I can I can easily say, "yes ... I'll get turned in for you the next day." I have to worry about it. I don't have to think. It's instant. Yes, it's an instant sale on my confidence: through the roof. It's great.
Dan Smigrod: [00:04:01] Yeah. So this kind of speaks to the PhotoUp, I think second piece was about scaling the business. ... I would imagine as a VERY creative person ... it was really hard to let go. Did you have some hesitancy about...? I mean imagine you're an excellent editor. Your pictures are probably phenomenal. The thought of giving that up ... that control away ... did you had some angst about that?
Chris Hickman: [00:04:26] I did. My photography ... my editing skills are consistent. I've had consistency of good price points. My clients know what to expect. So turning them to someone else ...???!!!
Chris Hickman: [00:04:40] I've had so many little scammy emails that I've seen over the years. "We'll do your editing for you. Bad grammar. Bad grammar."
Chris Hickman: [00:04:48] I just didn't really think there was a legitimate service that would really do it. Letting go of control...? PhotoUp had a great trial period where there was barely any investment. I did it as a lark. Sure. Here are some photos that need done. You do your worst. And they came back great. And, I had a button - one button - to hit to say, "Hey, I kind of didn't like this I want to revise." They came back perfect. Every decision they made ... the decisions I would have made: maybe if I was fully awake. So, it was awesome!
Dan Smigrod: [00:05:18] So, thank you Chris. And, Devon. ... Do you view your services for someone who is super-busy and that's ... the sweet spot for this? Or, is this for anyone that has real estate photography editing and lots of pictures to edit? .
Devon Higgins: [00:05:41] ... Exactly. Is just for anyone spending too much time at night editing photos. It's an issue. ... PhotoUp allows you - as Chris says - to take on that additional work and not have to worry about the editing ... all those ... potentially until 7:00 or 8:00 at night. ... Do a nice twilight. Send everything to us even a couple photographers who upload all of their jobs on the go. 4G hotspots bring their computers with them in the car uploading throughout the day. That's probably the number one photographer that comes to us. Somebody is just grown to the point where they're so big that they can't manage themselves and they need to get rid of that. The other kind of photographer that comes to us is just somebody you might not like and editing. Just thinks their time, and rightfully so, their time is just more valuable spent at night with friends and with family instead of sitting behind the computer.
Dan Smigrod: [00:06:43] Let's talk a little bit more about the time shifting. ... Maybe, Chris we go back to you for a second here. You're in Texas. I believe you're on Central time ... so maybe your day ends ... and maybe your day never ends ... but let's say your day ends at five or six o'clock at night. Devon, pick it up in terms of what are your different services in terms of how quickly ... with normal turnaround time and what options are there for super-fast?
Devon Higgins: [00:07:15] ... So what we've been able to do is actually create three shifts on our end. That give you 24-hours-editing ... six days a week. So, no matter when you upload photos... Monday through Friday you're going to get 24 hours turnaround, in-fact if you're actually able to upload images to our system and complete them by 2:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. You're going to get 24 hour turnaround.
Dan Smigrod: [00:07:40] ..Let's take a break there. Devon, we'll be back in a moment.
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Here's the transcript of Video 2 of 5.
Dan Smigrod: [00:00:01] And we're back.
Dan Smigrod: [00:00:03] So, Devon we were talking a little bit about the work workflow in our in our first segment. So if I do get my pictures in by five o'clock Houston time, what's normal turnaround?
Devon Higgins: [00:00:17] Yes. So standard turnaround is going to be 24 hours. We also have options to rush your batches so to get them back in either 12 hours ... 15 hours ... or 18 hours and those all cost just a little bit extra to be able to bump them to the top of your team's que.
Dan Smigrod: [00:00:36] Okay, well before we actually talk about money, ... let's go back a little bit in terms of quality. Chris, when you did a test ... and you've done a number of tests and you've shared them in the We Get Around Network Forum ... Was it good as...? better than...? Not as good as ...? What would you call the quality of the PhotoUp editing from your perspective?
Chris Hickman: [00:01:01] In full disclosure, Devon is not paying me to say this. I've not been paid off. I'm not going to get a kick back. I'd love a kick back ... because I'm sending so many photos their way, but it's way better ... way better than I expected?
Dan Smigrod: [00:01:17] Is it way better than expected? Or way better than how you edit?
Chris Hickman: [00:01:24] It's better than how I how I edit. I've been editing for a long time and ... I've got a little bit of a piece of humble pie. I do a lot of editing and a lot of techniques. I'm very happy with my editing but PhotoUp ... I feel as if ... I don't know... that this is effortlessness that I'm feeling because I'm not the one doing it. I'm not staying up late at night. I'm not drinking coffee at 3 o'clock in the morning the deadline is tomorrow. There's no blood sweat and tears. The photos come back perfect. Also, I'm shocked sometimes ... that the quality is as high as it is. It came out. ... I shoot HDR. And I submit HDR PhotoUp and how PhotoUp uses that dynamic range. I didn't realize my photos could be pulled as much as they pulled like the blown-out windows. I don't know how they're pulling them in as much as they are. I'm using Lightroom and the same things as the rest ... It's a mystery.
Dan Smigrod: [00:02:26] Kathy and Doug, be thinking of some questions we are going to be coming back to you in a moment. Devon, I want to drill down a little bit deeper in terms of editing ... because I think there are some things you do just as part of standard ... even before you start adjusting the image file.
Devon Higgins: [00:02:44] Yes, so in terms of our editing ... every single Editor that comes in to PhotoUp is put through kind of an editing bootcamp and then we do a minimum of two weeks of pure training with every single Editor that comes in. And then, as soon as they hop onto an actual live team and start editing our clients' photos ... they're going through another process of learning that specific client's style and techniques of editing. Those are some of the questions that we ask you right off the bat as you sign up for PhotoUp. You can either give us all of your processing techniques and styles and preferences in the sign-up process or you can actually just go ahead and choose to use the PhotoUp master process ... is what we call it. And that's just our generic PhotoUp process that we teach every single Editor on our team. And, that's kind of just a baseline standard of editing that we've kind of set ourselves up ...
Dan Smigrod: [00:03:42] Help me understand some of the basics. Though I seem to recall if there's cable TV wires ... If the sky doesn't have any clouds. We must have a list of things that you think about or that just without any direction you automatically do?
Devon Higgins: [00:03:56] Exactly. So, included with every single edit would be things like sky replacements ... would be things like cord re-moveals behind TVs or behind computers would be things like fires added into fireplaces. TV screen images added into those blank TV screens. All of that stuff would be included with just that one single credit.
Dan Smigrod: [00:04:21] And, you mentioned it a little bit earlier about workflow, so am I emailing you the pictures? Or ... content management system ... ?what's that experience like of how pictures get to you and then how pictures come back to the photographer?
Devon Higgins: [00:04:35] So we actually have about a 10-person development team that had built our system from the ground up. So if you see our website ... what you'd actually do is log in to the back-end of that website. You'd be given an account where you can actually send the photos directly to us through our website. During that process, you'd be able to give us things like individual image notes ... batch notes. You'd be able to attach the images to your batches for free if you like a specific image added into the TV screen. Or if you have additional notes or additional presets that you'd like us to use on your specific batch. Then from there you simply press a button and then uploads directly to our team. You get an e-mail notification letting you know when those images will be delivered back to you. And then as soon as your images are done processing, you're given another e-mail that says they're done with a link directly to your batched, so you can review. And as Chris said earlier, if something comes back that you don't really like anything that maybe we just need to adjust it a little bit. You can send those images back to us for revisions and those are absolutely free.
Dan Smigrod: [00:05:47] Great. Doug, were there some questions that you wanted to ask Devon?
Doug Tse: [00:05:51] Yeah. I do actually. So with photos in mind. What are some limitations, because I think people have different equipment. Some people ... even using an iPhone. Some people go is as a professional or was using a Canon 5D camera. Can you take some of those? ...
Devon Higgins: [00:06:21] Yeah. So our mission as a company is really to serve photographers and the photography community. We have had a couple of Realtors only come in and tried to use our system and send us those iPhone photos that you're talking about. What we do at that point is just tell them, "hey unless you're willing to go ahead and invest in a nice DSL camera, or have a photographer that is one of our verified photographers use you to shoot your homes, we're unfortunately not going to be able to work with you." We do have a level of quality that we recommend that you send us. We recommend sending us RAW images; either a single RAW image or bracketed shots that we can blend together using that HDR software ... in order to go ahead and get the best possible quality of your images.
Dan Smigrod: [00:07:07] Doug, do you have a follow-up? ... Do you have a follow-up question at the moment?
Doug Tse: [00:07:16] No. No.
Dan Smigrod: [00:07:17] OK. And, Kathy is there question you were thinking about for Devon? ...
Kathy Oman: [00:07:26] No. I'm just here to listen and see ... I'm one of those who kind of likes the control. So, I am kind of curious about giving it up and letting somebody else do this.
Dan Smigrod: [00:07:39] Yeah. I think that's a really great question Kathy. ... Devon, is that your single hardest thing to overcome is creative people letting go of creativity?
Devon Higgins: [00:07:53] Absolutely. I think we get to a point within your business that we have a lot of people come to us just like Chris talked about. He is probably maybe a control freak back in the day and wanted to keep everything to himself and that's completely fine. But I think if you're really wanting to scale and to grow your business and take it to that next level, you have to start getting rid of some of the things that maybe are not as valuable to you time wise as shooting another home is. Or is getting more business would be. So we take that piece away from you in order for you to get out there and make more sales to Realtors ... to shoot or photos during the day. So really what it comes down to is you working with us to be able to learn your specific editing style - and that is something that we pride ourselves in very greatly. We were not going to just give you a generic editing output. We're constantly learning with you. You're actually given a dedicated team of six individual Editors that are dedicated to your account that are going to learn all the ins and outs about your style that you give them. Your kind of ceiling in terms of editing, is just the amount of feedback that you get back to your team in terms of revision notes; or batch notes; in terms of example images; in terms of actual email feedback that you want to give them ... The more information that you give your team ... the better off their edits are going to be... and, the happier you're going to be with the final result.
Dan Smigrod: [00:09:20] So cool. Stay with us. We'll be back in a moment after the break.
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Here's the transcript for video 3 of 5.
Dan Smigrod: [00:00:02] So, welcome back. Chris. During the break you were telling me about ... you started actually offering a service you wouldn't normally offer because all of a sudden you were able to use PhotoUp. Can you ... do you mind retelling the story about today?
Chris Hickman: [00:00:21] Yeah. Yeah. I lot of people on We Get Around offer REALTOR photography. I got a Matterport Camera because I did a lot of multi-family photography. A got a Matterport camera because I had home-builders and I discovered Realtors as clients for the first time because Realtors, there was a demand for Matterport. Now, as I began serving Realtors, I considered should I offer Realtor photography as well? I mean in my area of town - I think across the nation - the price for Realtor photography is hyper-competitive.
Chris Hickman: [00:00:50] Maybe 150 bucks Realtors can pay and they can get a great set of photos, or at least they can think that they're getting a great set of photos.
Chris Hickman: [00:00:59] It's difficult to sell your quality: at that price point. So I really have been turning people away. I've been telling Realtors, "you know I do photography but maybe there's a couple of people around town that have a passion for this ... that you might want to call instead. Well after using PhotoUp a couple times and realizing that it's cost effective - that I can go I can shoot the photography - I can offer both services and I can actually make the 24 hour turn around that Realtors demand. Oh, I'm selling it now. I feel confident to do it and I feel excited.
Dan Smigrod: [00:01:33] So it's kind of interesting is ... at first maybe some hesitancy about letting up on the creativity to let someone else take over the editing has actually been ... sounds like a freeing experience for you. Perhaps more time back with your family in the same time enabling you to scale your your business - in terms of offering additional services.
Doug Tse: [00:01:58] ... I'd like to share ... even add to what Chris is saying because I have the inverse affect how my business started. It started off with Realtors and I couldn't believe that the way that they wanted with pricing was just ridiculous for the kind of work. And. I ... at the time I just said I just don't know how to give you that type of ... price for the worth of the work. And so over time it kind of evolved .more and more you know working with bigger clients. You know in the commercial side. But then I still look back at it ... with the limitations with some of the Realtors that I worked in the past .... You know, hearing from Chris right now and learning from Devon, you know how's the business built with their platform's like. I am very eager to give it [a try]. .... Implement this into my business and have the confidence just be able to say, "we can actually take care of that."
Dan Smigrod: [00:03:06] Thanks for adding that, Doug. Let's talk a little bit about pricing. Devon, I'm going to over-simplify for a moment, then I'll ask you to maybe just jump in. My sense is depending on how busy you are ... how much business you're doing with PhotoUp; it's kind of like between a dollar and $2 a picture. You do that based on credits maybe you jump in and ... talk a little bit about pricing.
Devon Higgins: [00:03:38] Absolutely. So we're set up as a subscription editing service. So Dan as you said what we do is we actually set up different levels of plans where you can buy a certain allotment of credits at the beginning of the month. Those credits are then used to edit your photos throughout the month. We also have a 20 percent rollover policy. So you're able to roll over some of your unused credits month-to-month. And there's no overage charge for going over your allotment of credits for the month. So, the price is then determined based on whatever plan level you choose at the beginning of that month. So our smallest pricing level is going to be ... it's called the Starter Plan - that gives you 50 credits for the month and it costs $99. So it comes out to being right around $2 a credit. Now to edit your images we typically say that one credit equals one edited photo for anything like a single RAW image or a single JPEG image that you're sending us or anything HDR bracketed that you're sending us - those images are going to be just one credit per final image. And again all of that includes verticals straightens. It includes your basic editing and it also includes things like Sky replacement replacements; core removals; fire in fireplace; TV images on TV screen. The only additional cost would be things like rushing your batches; so 12, 15 or 18 hour turnaround.
Devon Higgins: [00:05:13] We also offer things such as day-to-dusk shots. So say you're shooting a home during the day and you actually want to go and ahead and process that as if it were shot at night or during that twilight hour. We can actually do that for five additional credits. There are other things that we offer like lawn replacement or lawn removal. If somebody wants a lawn to be placed into a home that maybe there wasn't a lawn in there to begin with. Maybe it's a new home. We will actually do that for you for a couple of additional credits. One of the cool things for specifically for HDR photographers is that we offer something called HDR window masking; where we actually clip out the best exposure of that view through your window and we'll put it into the final image. We charge an additional half of a credit for that service, but we know a lot of our clients really love those views through the window especially if you are in a scenic area. Doug like San Francisco and seeing those views out the window can be what's selling the home at the end of the day. ...
Dan Smigrod: [00:06:20] Cool. Chris can we come back to you for a moment on pricing. You feel comfortable going through what you are describing in the Forum? .... Yeah I want to say that you bought maybe 200 credits 210 credits ...put you at maybe a dollar a quarter picture. You really want to put PhotoUp through the test. You did a batch. You did another batch. Did another batch. And by the time you got home, I think maybe even one sitting or two sittings you actually blew through what might have been for a normal person ... 10 jobs a month of 25 pictures or something. And I think you did that all in one night.
Chris Hickman: [00:07:11] I was out about 500 credits ... I felt like I was gambling. I felt like just another just ... another batch. Because every time I got back ... I was so impressed and of course I sending back some revisions here-there but it was actually addicting; to feel as if I was working with a team and stuff was actually getting done and things were getting moved off of my [to do list]. I guess I had a week planned of catching up late nights.
Chris Hickman: [00:07:39] This is so addicting that interaction back ... I blew through all these credits really fast. ... I want to make certain you know I put those credits fast because I submitted a lot of pictures ...
Dan Smigrod: [00:07:57] So Devon, if I if I understand the pricing that I'm going to pick a tier to begin the month .. one credit equals X number of dollars anywhere from a dollar essentially to $2 depending on how many I am pre-buying for the month. So, maybe in Chris's case where he was at a level where he bought his credits for a dollar 25 each was sort of kind of editing pictures at a $1.25. And if he went over his allotment he didn't get the benefit of that but he didn't get the benefit of the discount, but he got additional credits at the dollar 25. ...
Devon Higgins: [00:08:35] So, there is no kind of overage penalty for going over the number of credits in your plan at the beginning of the month. You'll simply be charged for any credits that you used at that same price rate at the beginning of the next month. So Chris kind of like you said blew through his credits because he was liking the service. And then I'll just go ahead and he'll pay for any of his overage credits on his next month's bill.
Dan Smigrod: [00:09:01] Great ... We'll be back after the break.
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