When you decided to start your own wedding photography business handling the workload and getting into a rhythm seemed easy. As your business grows and you see more requests coming in, remaining a solo photographer in your business might not be the best idea if you want to continue to grow. It is not uncommon for photographers to add team members to help manage all the daily tasks of running a business but also to assist on shoots.
Building a team isn’t something you want to rush through. You will want to ensure that those you hire, especially if you are adding photographers, not only match your style but also your personality. Who all should you consider adding to your team? How can you ensure the transition is as seamless as possible? There are some key people you should consider and tips for establishing your team to utilize. Let’s take a look at some of the keys components of building your wedding photography team.
Who to Hire?
1. Main Photographer
Adding one or two lead photographers can benefit your photography business in a number of ways.
- This ensures that all the details of the wedding day are covered and that there are multiple angles. Do you recall all those times you had to jump from the groom getting ready to the bride getting ready? Not only is this often impossible to do but you end up missing out on some great moments. It is hard for one photographer to be in two places at once but with multiple lead photographers, you have all the important aspects of the day fully covered.
- Having multiple photographers for larger weddings will also give your clients more variety and cut back on time constraints. Take the bride walking down the aisle while also being able to capture the grooms’ expression when he first sees her. Consider how much easier it would be to stay in one spot to get all your images and know there is another photographer capturing all the other perspectives? This can greatly help when you are shooting the bride and groom at one angle while the other photographer focuses on capturing them from further or way or a completely different angle. You get more variety form the same setting.
- Another photographer is also helpful when you have limited natural lighting and want to get the most out of the scenery. Multiple photographers can be positioned to capture various perspectives without stressing over the sun setting.
- Aside from the added coverage on the wedding day, having more than one main photographer can also allow you to book more events. While for larger weddings you will want more than one photographer there to cover the shooting, much smaller weddings can typically be done with one main photographer and a second shooter. You will be able to book more of these smaller weddings or even consider booking different events when there is more than one photographer available to cover your clients’ request.
2. Second Shooters
After establishing yourself as a wedding photographer one of the first things you will begin to question is whether you need a second shooter or not. If you are not ready to bring on more main photographers than a second shooter can be an ideal alternative. Second shooters can provide you with many of the same benefits as a main photographer but might not have the experience. Most 2nd or 3rd shooters are still learning and you should help to train them in your shooting style. They can help cover more details of the day and also assist you with lighting needs, posing group shots, and more. Keep in mind that while second shooters can assist you with your wedding day shots they are not actually assistants.
Since we are on the topic. Hiring an office or personal assistant can help tackle many of the daily duties that will keep your business running smoothly. Office assistants can respond to emails, send out contracts, set up appointments and ensure you have all your gear ready to go, just to name a few things. Once your business has grown to a certain point having an assistant can allow you to put more focus on important business activities like marketing and meeting new clients.
Being able to add a videographer to your wedding package can be a major up-selling point. You will want to consider carefully if this is the direction you want your business to go. Adding on a videographer can be great for business but you will have to take the time to carefully select one. Often times you will be working closely with your videographers so you need to ensure that you can get along really well and that they can meet the expectations and deadlines laid out.
5. Photo Retouchers.
It is no secret that not every photographer is an expert editor. While you may do a fantastic job this probably isn’t where you want to spend all your time. When you start booking bigger weddings consistently it might be time to hire a photo retoucher or editor. They can quickly edit your images to your set guidelines and your time gets freed up to enjoy the parts of your business you love which is shooting.
Leading a Successful Team
Adding more people to your team can, however, result in more stress and headaches. To ensure you keep your business running smoothly you want to take the extra steps to properly develop and lead your team.
- Ensure everyone knows their role as well as the tasks they are responsible for. When you have more than one main shooter each photographer should know exactly what they will be responsible for covering. This allows everyone to fully understand what is expected of them and what their responsibilities will be.
- Keep communication open. Communication is essential to maintain a happy and cohesive team. Be sure you properly address and give attention to any concerns your team may have. Be open to try new things as well and flexible with everyone’s own creative process.
- Properly train photographers, especially 2nd and 3rd shooters, on your style of shooting but allow them to also utilize their strengths as a photographer themselves. One of your main photographers may be a master manipulator when it comes to flash lighting. Another may specialize in breathtaking landscape portraits. While you want all your images to be cohesive and exhibit that same style you can give your photographers a little freedom to apply their expertise on the day of the soot as well.
Hopefully this article has helped you to get a better idea on how to start building your team! Just remember, finding the right people that you can work with well is just as important as finding someone who can do the job well.