Freedom was founded out of frustration. See, just like you, Jake and Ryan battled through wedding seasons, put in the late nights, sacrificed time with our families and social lives, whilst still encountering barriers to their growth. What’s the reason for all of this? Quite simply, the culprit is post production.
Back in 2012 Jake & Ryan had photography businesses at different stages of growth. They decided that the skills they developed in building successful businesses from the ground up would make working together to achieve a mutual goal a powerful and exciting venture.
They both wanted to build an associate brand – a photography business where they shoot minimal weddings themselves and instead utilise a talented team that operates all across the country to deliver the same style and service they were known for. As such, Jake began to work with Ryan under his company name, with Ryan having the more established of the two businesses at the time.
After one year of hard graft and steady growth, their new company stalled. Not because they had a lack of lead, or because they didn’t deliver an excellent service, but because they physically couldn’t manage the demands of their post production workflow.
How many weddings were they shooting then? 50? 100?
In fact, it was just 20.
20 weddings and they were already struggling. They wanted so badly to hit 100 but their post production took vital time away from the marketing efforts and networking required to grow their business.
One domino fell and they watched as other dominos in their business (marketing, customer service, editing consistency) began to slowly fall with them.
Something had to change and fast.
Of photographers time is spent on post production
It was 4am on a Wednesday morning and in the height of summer when it happened. The sun was already shining through the window as they finished a batch of edits as *PING*, an email arrived in their inbox.
An email from an outsourcing company arrived just as they were discussing how they could possibly afford to hire someone.
It seemed too good to be true, a business that would edit everything for you whilst still providing the same quality you’d get from in house staff.
This was 2012 in the UK and although the outsourcing bug had already taken grip in America, the concept was still novel in other parts of the world.
Throwing caution to the wind, they started outsourcing their image edits without another seconds thought. They’ll be the first to admit that the initial feeling of reducing their backlog was one of great relief. What wasn’t evident until later down the line though was the level of work they would still need to do. They would cull, prepare the images to be sent off, download them once returned, make amendments to the edits they weren’t happy with, sequence, export, and upload them to a proofing gallery.
“We put up with this for a while until we truly noticed the lack of quality in the edits we were receiving back”.
You see, they were so blinded by the potential time saved from not needing to perform their own edits, that they forgot to check for the quality of their output. When signing up to their outsourcing company, the on boarding process was minimal, and they were instead rushed straight into placing orders.
Once they had been sold on their outsourcing package, they no longer had access to a dedicated client account handler, with only an email address to message their complaints to.
All in all, the edits they were paying for were poor, and the customer service they received even worse.
“We were told to email over our issues, and that actually speaking to someone wasn’t an option. In our opinion, editing photographs is so incredibly subjective. To communicate intricate changes and requests to your edits over an email simply isn’t practical.”
After eventually giving up on that particular outsourcing company, Jake and Ryan went from company to company to find a “miracle cure”, to which, there was none.
Their business by this point had grown and they were now shooting 85 weddings a year. With the quality of their edits still not meeting their expectations, and their work life balance again starting to falter, they considered once again bringing back their edits in house.
“We’d been put in a time machine and sent back to those 4am editing sessions when finally, this time, for the last time, we said enough was enough.”
A conversation sparked between Jake and Ryan, leading to the following questions – “how could someone outsource their image edits and get the best service possible? If it was us running the outsourcing company, how could we offer our clients an affordable price? What do people actually want from an image outsourcing company?“. Before they know it, several hours had passed and what were the bones of Freedom were fleshed out.
“We knew that the only way to find a kind of service we longed for, was to create and build the company ourselves.”
So they did.
Freedom Launched in 2016 and they instantly found that 100’s of photographers had the same issues and wanted a new solution. These 100’s quickly became 1000’s, and before they knew it their praised service, fast turnaround, quality and affordable edits, allowed a loyal client base to find their own freedom.
But what about Jake and Ryan’s photography business?
“Luckily we still have the pleasure of being photographers, not out of necessity but out of choice. We shoot a select amount of weddings per year while our team handles the rest of them nationwide. The business has taken a dramatic growth trajectory and we are now shooting just shy of 200 weddings per year.”
“We know what it’s like…
The late nights.
The relationship tension.
The barriers to growth.
Freedom was built for you, to free you from the chains around you and your desk. Freedom was built to get you back on the path of enjoying your business, allowing you to work on it, rather than in it.
We want to help. Come find Freedom.”