Associate Photographers: Expect the Unexpected

Hello, everyone! Today, I wanted to talk a little bit about associate shooting. You might have read Jo’s post about second shooters, so this is kind of a continuation of that, a little peek into what it’s like being a wedding photographer. Jo and I were the associate photographers for a colleague recently, which was a really interesting opportunity for us.

Associate shooting is kind of like what substitute teachers are to the school system. If a photographer can’t make it out to an event they planned on shooting, they’ll often work with an associate photographer to send out in their place. In our case, someone in the original photographer’s household tested positive for COVID-19, so she decided to keep everyone safe and quarantine until everyone in her home was healthy again. (Don’t worry–everyone’s a-ok!)

Like with second shooting, being an associate photographer helps stimulate our creativity. The adrenaline of preparing for an elopement in just two days forces us to be ready for anything. It pushes us to our limit and reminds us to always be prepared for the unexpected, and it’s a reminder that even in an industry like this where everything is planned in advance, things can still go awry. This was our first time as associate photographers, and it was an experience we’re ridiculously glad we had. Take a look at the photos at the end of the post–how do you think we did?

In other businesses, people will talk a lot about networking. For photography, that’s huge. It’s not just so you get to know people and maybe get tips from them when you run into them at expos or styled shoots–there’s a lot more to it than that. We photographers have our own community. We have to have each other’s backs. Sure, it’s partially because this can be stressful sometimes, just like any industry, but our whole existence is to serve the couples we work with.

Without a community, our couples suffer, and that’s exactly what we don’t want. By keeping our community strong, we’re able to make sure that nobody is going to be stranded without a photographer for their big day. If someone has a family emergency, if they get sick or injured, if something else gets in the way of a planned shoot, someone needs to step in: we have to help one another. Life has a way of throwing a wrench in even the most meticulous of plans, you know?

That’s why we photographers talk to each other. It’s why we maintain relationships with one another. Finding like-minded people that we get along with doesn’t just help us feel comfortable in big events or make new friends; it makes sure that no matter what, we have support. If we want to have your back, we have to have our own! 

And that’s what this is all about: you.

We love you guys.


P.S. Thank you, Amanda Karis Photography, for trusting us to have your back!

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