You might have heard the term “associate” or “team” photographer thrown around here on this page or on our website. And that might have you wondering…
So…what is an associate photographer?
Specifically speaking, the term means different things for different businesses in how they hire and assign their associates. The general definition of an associate photographer is a photographer who is either a subcontractor or an employee of a photography company who is not the owner of the business.
Now some businesses hire their associates with little to no research or background into their skills, equipment or experience level. Some photographers double book events and then look for an associate to cover one of those events even if the associate name wasn’t specifically reserved for that date when the clients booked.
I’ve actually worked for some of these businesses when they needed to hire someone last minute. If I’m being honest, a lot of the way I have seen other companies run their associate part of the business just feels incredibly…ICKY.
So here’s how we’re defining “ASSOCIATE PHOTOGRAPHER” to make things that much better for our couples!
Our associates are employees of Megan Helm Photography. This means YOU know exactly who will be shooting your wedding when you book with us. It also means you get to choose who shoots your wedding! We’ll share galleries from our team and you get to see who has a style you vibe with.
And me? I’m still there for you! I’m in your inbox helping plan your engagement session, coordinating your wedding day timeline and editing all the beautiful photos.
My team is also vetted; I know what to expect with both Stephanie and Ashley. I know their skills, their gear and, if I were to get married again (don’t tell Trevor), but they would BOTH be shooting our wedding. Seriously!
Why even hire associates though? Leading up to 2019, I found myself sending this message to a lot of inquiries;
“…unfortunately I am already booked on your requested event/session date”
UGH! That e-mail is LITERALLY the worst. And to top it off, I’d run into people and they’d tell me they never inquired because they assumed I too booked.
Well hard pass on that! I’ve worked hard to cultivate an amazing experience for our clients and turning people down is not a part of that experience. Which led me to hiring talented photographers to join my team! This was the best way I knew how to offer the same experience to more couples. Plus we get to continue filling our hearts with joy as we photograph your love stories.
So what happens if you choose to hire Stephanie or Ashley as your associate photographer?
Basically, everything is the same as before. You’ll still funnel the inquiry through our joint contact page. Based on your wedding date and budget we’ll know if working with me or my team is a better fit. But don’t just take my word for it; our clients love working with our team!
“We had Stephanie as our second shooter and she was so comfortable to be around as well. There were some mishaps with other vendors and both of them stepped up to help make sure our day ran seamlessly. We are so thankful they were there with us!”
Stephanie and her team were a dream on the day of. I really couldn’t have asked for a better team of photographers. She captured our personalities in every photo and there’s literally not one photo I don’t like.
Megan and Stephanie were amazing they were very accommodating and very professional. I loved the communication and how fast they would respond to any questions I had. And my photos came out amazing! Absolutely loved them!
Vi & Jeremy Wong; October 2021
Hiring associate photographers to join the MHP Team has been one of the most challenging and rewarding things I’ve done as a business owner.
As I said earlier in this post, watching these two ladies grow in their skills fills me with so much joy! I love teaching and mentoring! And I have the opportunity to do that with Stephanie & Ashley while allowing them to learn and grow and serve our clients. It really is the best of both worlds for us all!