A photographer, like any other employer, can follow simple steps to work effectively with the assistant or associate photographer that he employs. This article presents some ideas on how a professional photographer can build and maintain these teams and relationships.
1. Teach and develop your assistants and associate photographers. Let’s face it; most people enter the photography profession because they have a passion for the work. The photography profession demands as long of hours as other jobs that pay far more. Hence, if you have a dependable, reliable assistant he is likely with you to learn and do what he loves. This mentoring does not need to take a lot of time. Drive home from a wedding together and explain to your assistant your techniques and concepts. Listen to his ideas. Not only will your listening to his ideas improve his work satisfaction, you will also get a unique and useful perspective on your work.
2. As your assistants develop their abilities, look for opportunities that will all your assistants to utilize their emerging talents and improve your bottom line. For example, you may find an assistant who has an interest and talent for newborn photography. Your brand however is family portraits. You may consider creating a new line of products devoted to newborns and granting your associate photographer creative leeway for developing that new brand. If you associate is talented and dedicated, this may be just the opportunity that convinces him to stay with you. You may hear the counter argument that if I allow a photographer to develop a new brand he will just go off and start his own business and compete with me. That scenario may be true. However, he is more likely to stay with you longer if you provide him with opportunity. Keep in mind that the running of a photography business is not for everyone. Arguably, those who work for someone else have the opportunity to spend more of their time in creative pursuits than does the owner of a photography business. The owner has to spend a major portion of his time running a business. Hence there are good reasons for a talented photographer to stay with you even as you develop his talents sufficiently to own his own business.
Like any employer, a professional photographer has the opportunity to influence, in a positive, way those whom he employs. The above suggestions are simple ways to do this while not compromising the bottom line.
Vanessa and Stephen shoot portrait, senior, engagement, pet, wedding, and family photography. They are available to shoot in all Southern California locations.