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What is an Associate Photographer?

Wedding Planning

July 26, 2020

Recently due to COVID-19 a lot of engaged couples are having to postpone their weddings. Unfortunately, this has meant that a lot of couples have had to reschedule wedding dates with their chosen photographers and videographers.  

In some cases, engaged couples who have had to postpone their wedding due to COVID-19 have been able to move the dates to next year quite easily and their photographers and videographers have had the dates available however other couples have had to move their wedding dates and then find out that left chosen photographer or videographer is unavailable. This is a horrible circumstance and one that none of us never thought would happen, however a lot of photographers and videographers have a network of suppliers who we can call upon to take over bookings on our behalf, these are most commonly known as associate photographers. 

Associate photographers or videographers may not be a term that you’ve had before and may not be something that you ever considered. Due to the coronavirus, the majority of us as wedding suppliers have had to move an entire year’s worth of wedding bookings to 2021. 

As a result, associate photographers/videographers are becoming more and more common in the wedding industry. 

An associate photographer is something that I’ve offered for quite a while (long before COVDI-19 hit) and I even work as an associate photographer myself for other wedding photographers, so I wanted to create a little blog to run you through “What is an associate photographer” or “Should we hire an associate wedding photographer?” and give you a little insight on how associate photographers work in general and in my business.

luxury bride and groom cuddling at tenby beach

WHAT IS AN ASSOCIATE PHOTOGRAPHER?

First off, you are probably wondering what an associate wedding photographer?  

Put simply, an associate wedding photographer is an alternative professional photographer who is taking over the role of photographing a wedding date for another photographer.  

There are many different reasons why photographers offer associate photographers. Sometimes they shoot for the main photographer on a regular basis or sometimes they are drafted in to cover the photographer in an emergency/or that we are no longer able to cover a date (such as sickness or a postponement due to Coronavirus) but ultimately they are a professional wedding photographer, usually with their own wedding photography business, and are skilled and shoots in a similar style to the main photographer.

bride and groom smile at each other outside of wedding venue
FUN RELAXED WEDDING DECOURCEYS CARDIFF 108

TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAMWORK

For me personally I started offering associate photographers about a year ago. During the busier wedding months (May-Sept) I’m often booked for weddings up to 2 years in advance and I only shoot approximately 15 weddings per year! This sadly meant that I had to turn down lots of engaged couples. I hated the idea of sending couples away, especially knowing that there’s very few photographers doing what I do, so after a lot of thinking, I decided to get together a team of wedding photographers who I know well and who are taught to shoot in my signature style. This way I’ve enabled so many more couples to have the Leesha Williams Wedding Photography experience!

Normally I only offer associate photography’s on date that I’m booked on however if there’s a couple that really wants my style of photography and can’t afford to have me personally then I’d always recommend them having one of my associates. Although they are less expensive it is in no way a reflection on their skill or ability. 

bride having her make up done on her wedding day

ABILITY AND CONNECTION

All of my associates are people that I know and have worked with before so they are fully aware of my shooting style and how I work on a wedding day. Usually we’ve shot together on weddings with me before becoming associates and they also have their own equipment, backup equipment and insurance. I only use professional photographers who I know and trust. 

The idea of having someone you don’t know turning up to your wedding day to photograph it is often a bit of a weird one or one that can make you feel a little bit uncomfortable BUT usually I found that chatting to the associate before the wedding date is a great way to put yourself at ease, I like to arrange these Skype calls for a couple of months before your wedding date, so that we can all catch up and go through the important wedding day details. 

I choose my associates based on the couple and their wedding day plans, you’re always more than welcome to ask for a male/female photographer but ultimately I try to pair up the two of you with the associates who I feel is the best match for your personalities, but don’t worry, all of my  associates are really friendly and approachable so you’re never missing out on a wedding day. 

Depending on where/when you’re getting married, the associate can also attend your engagement session with me if you would like or alternatively we can all grab a coffee together to run through your wedding details.

smiling bride and groom embrace in an autumn woodland setting

TO END…

Obviously I know this situation is nothing that anyone wants but ultimately I think it’s important to take some solace in the fact that if your photographer is booked and they can offer an associate photographer it means that you can still have their style and their experience even if it’s not them on the day. 

 If your wedding photographer has offered you the option to have an associate, a couple of questions you may want to ask them is….

Who will be handling the pre and post wedding events?

Is there a price difference?

Will it be a professional photographer? (Not a new starter/assistant)

Can we chat with them before the day?

If you’re looking for an alternative wedding photography team get in touch!

all photos in this blog were taking while shooting for other photographers

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