How Long Does It Take a Photographer to Edit Photos?

Breakdown of the Photo Editing Time Taken for Professional

If you are a business owner and you hired a photographer for editing your photos, are you sure about the time it would require to edit mass amounts of photos? 

How many photos did you send your editor for editing? Each photo can take from 20 minutes to an hour of editing. Then imagine how much time it would take to edit all the photos and if you can spare the time.

Then how long does it take to edit photos?

The editing process usually depends on category wise or the types of photos that are being edited. Normal images can take a few minutes as they require only a bit of brush ups and retouching. But if you are editing pictures for business purposes then the time duration will increase depending on the type of photos that are being edited. 

woman portrait giving pose
  1. Portrait photography. This is the most common type of photography which requires not so much editing if it is done in a studio. However, if it is done somewhere outdoors you may need to give a good 15-20 minutes for editing them to fix the colors grading and everything else.
Photojournalism photography short
  1. Photojournalism. In this photography, usually the agenda is to provide information of a certain situation or thing via photo. They don’t require too much time for editing either if a good camera is used. Usually it takes the same 5-10 minutes for editing. That is the reason you see newspaper articles being published with pictures in a matter of minutes. 
woman looks behind and giving pose for fashion photography
  1. Fashion Photography. These are usually done for business organizations to promote their products in social media and websites. Most of the time they require a model in a studio during the photoshoot or a mannequin gets the job done as well. They need quite a lot of hard work if there is not the perfect lighting in the studio. Time taken for editing these photos usually takes 15-20 minutes on good days and more than 30 minutes on the bad days.
sport photography pose
  1. Sports Photography. This time of photography is the hardest but it takes a lot less time than fashion photography. It is hard because capturing the subject in action is not something regular. It takes a lot of practice and effort to do so. But editing them is easier because all you gotta do is fix the color gradings, sharpness and fix the details. They take around 5-10 minutes to fully edit each photo.
Editorial photography model photoshoot
  1. Editorial Photography. This type of photography is also less of a hassle and takes a lot less time for editing as they are usually done in the studio. All you need to do is just a bit of retouching and you will be good to go. This usually takes 10-15 minutes at max for each image.
architectural photography
  1. Architectural Photography. One of the most difficult after sports photography comes this which is also very time consuming for both the photoshoot and editing process. It is very obvious that this type of photography would take the longest as they are for commercial purposes so have to be near perfection. Editing each of these photos will take roughly around 10-15 minutes otherwise it would be very difficult to distinguish between the objects that are present in the photos. 

What factors affect the timing of photo editing?

There are many more types of photography which have more or less the same time duration for editing as the above. But what does the editing process actually look like? What really goes on during the editing process?

  1. Technical Measurements. This part is the initial process of editing the photo that usually includes cropping, converting the image, and fixing the basic stuff. This process may not be that much of a hassle most of the time so it takes around 2 minutes at max to get it done and move to the next steps.
Fixing lighting, colours, sharpness in photo editing software

2. Fixing lighting, colors, sharpness. This is the second most important part of editing after cropping and converting the image. In this process, editors usually fix all sorts of problems that are occurring in the image. This process takes longer, starting from 5 minutes to 20 minutes depending on the category of the photo it is. Without this part of the process, the entire photo will be a complete waste. 

image with lighting showing the difference low light and good light
  1. Testing with different colors and filters. This part of the process is usually avoided by the photographers as they don’t want to waste their time here testing new things. This process may take from another 5-10 minutes.

Well, maybe this is not so important but this process helps editors to realize which filters work the best on the photos and it’s a bonus for the client if the new filters and editing suits the photos better than the previous one. 

Now, the time spans that I have mentioned above are the normal estimated time for professional photographers who know what they are doing. The timings usually vary from person to person. 

But keep this in mind that if an editor takes anything less than the above mentioned times then that editor is not so experienced. They are working just to get the job done and take their money. It is always better to avoid these types of editors as there are always better experienced people who know what to do and how to do it.