Having a strong and diverse photography team is invaluable. Teams can be built from second shooters, a spouse who is a business partner, co-shooters, trusted pro photographer friends you can rely on in a pinch and, yes, associate photographers. In this blog post, we break down the top benefits of having an associate shooter on your team for maximum business growth, and maybe even maximum fun!
Benefits of Having an Associate Photographer
There are many benefits to having an associate photographer. He or she is your second in command, the person you have trained and trust on your team, someone who knows your brand and your style. From a business growth perspective, an associate expands your ability to book more weddings, thus bringing more income to your business. In some cases, he or she can have an entirely different perspective than you and you can also use that to market your business, appealing to different clients. But the primary and most important benefit of an associate wedding photographer is that he or she can function as the primary shooter instead of you in the event you cannot photograph a wedding. Let’s dive into each of these!
1. Opportunity for Business Growth and Expansion
Many people become associate photographers because they want to photograph without being in charge of running their own business, so this makes them a great partner if you want to shoot less and grow your business more. If you want to focus more on running your business, you can hire out your associate photographer for a different rate in place of you at most weddings and only photograph the ones you really want to. But if you want to keep photographing weddings, having an associate allows you the flexibility to shoot when and what you want but also have him or her cover events or weddings that happen on the same day you are booked, thus maximizing your ability to earn income. You can also use your associate as a second photographer when you really need one.
2. A Different Perspective
If you have an associate photographer on your team, you can market him or her as having a different perspective than you and thus appeal to a variety of couples who you might not otherwise reach. Your associate could be more of a photojournalist, or specialize in film photography, or have skills in areas you don’t. You could create a price list that values them for all of these points and allows your couples to choose which photographer they think will work best for them. If you use your associate photographer to second shoot, you can use their skillset or uniqueness to add value to your packages. For example, you could have a package that comes with a standard second shooter, or the couple can book your higher priced package that comes with you and your associate, getting two unique perspectives.
3. A Valued Team Member
Working with an associate photographer as part of your team, especially when it is someone you know, like and trust, is a huge benefit. It can be much less stressful for you to have someone on your team who is guaranteed to be there for you, and who you know you can rely on. Having an associate is like having a built in sounding board when it comes to working through the stressors you might face with challenging clients or difficult decisions. But bonus – having an associate on the team can also make photographing (and running your own business) less lonely and more fun!
Related read: Top 5 Tips: Building A Strong Photography Team
4. A Benefactor of Your Business
Even though many associate photographers join the team because they don’t want to run their own business, after many years working under your guidance they may decide they are ready to call their own shots. What if this transition came at a time when you were ready to move on to other things as well? An associate photographer could become the benefactor of your business, either through selling the business to the associate or working out an agreement that suits both of you. If leaving a legacy in the way of your photography business is something you have thought about, this could be one way to achieve your goal.
5. Your Backup Plan
One of the most important benefits to having an associate photographer on your team is that he or she can be your backup plan in case you cannot cover a wedding you are contracted for. Let’s face it – no matter how well-prepared you are for a wedding, an unforeseen problem could lead to a situation where you can no longer photograph. Or, even more timely, you might be double booked because of COVID reschedules. Whatever the reason, having a backup plan in the form of an associate photographer on your team could save the day.
Suggested read: Navigating Wedding Cancellations and Refunds During the Pandemic
The Team Mentality
Building a photography team isn’t for everyone. Some wedding photographers are more comfortable being solo shooters. But if you have ever considered building your team, we hope this article has tipped the scale for you by helping you see the many benefits of doing so by adding an associate photographer.
At ShootDotEdit, we aim to help wedding photographers grow their business, whether through building a team or lessening your post-production workload by handling your editing work for you. To learn more about how we can help your wedding photography business, check out our price plans.