Training An Associate Photographer

Well, it happened again tonight, the same thing that happens to me multiple times each year. I have an interested bride contact me, but I’m already booked for her day. I love seeing that I have a new inquiry, but it makes me so sad when I find out that I can’t help her out. Yes, I know I should be happy that I’m already booked, but I just wish that all the brides would ask about open dates or there were two of me; I love photographing weddings that much. I’m to the point where I’m going to actively purse someone and work on training an associate photographer.

Training An Associate Photographer

I think I will always be the head photographer; I mean, it is my name in the company, but I am interested in getting one, maybe two photographers that can work for me pretty regularly. Right now I have a few people that second shoot for me and a few photographers that will step in when I need help. I’ve trusted a few photographers to shoot weddings for me, and they do an amazing job, but they all have their own businesses and their own weddings. I want someone that I can start fresh with and train to do things my way. I want someone that isn’t actively pursing a ton of weddings, so they will be available to shoot for me.

There are a lot of professional photography studios out there that do this, so I know it’s a pretty common practice. My biggest issue is finding the right person. If I’m going to trust someone to shoot multiple weddings for me, he or she has to be awesome. I can’t risk my reputation on someone that’s just ok. That’s the issue. Where do I find someone who fits all my requirements?

There are a few places where I’m going to start my search. The first place that makes sense is the local universities. I know John Brown has some photography classes, so it would seem that there would be some students coming out of that program that would be interested in wedding photography. I’m going to look up the professor and see if they have any recommendations. I could possibly look at the high schools as well for graduating seniors, but I don’t think any of them will be on the level that I’m looking for. If schools don’t work, there’s a Facebook group for second photographers. That’s how I found my main second photographer, so it would possible to find someone in there wanting to do more. If all of this doesn’t work, I’ll try contacting other photographers and see if they know anyone. One of these should work.

The big thing that I have learned is not to settle. If I’m going to go ahead with Training An Associate Photographer, I have to find the right person. There’s no reason dedicating my time and energy into someone that I don’t think can represent my business. I have high expectations for myself and my business, so my associate photographer will have to meet the same requirements. With that said, if you know anyone interested, have them contact me.

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