I met the bride, J, while I was working a day job for a hotel back in the day. We bonded over the fact that she is from New York and actually attended high school with some of my friends. As I progressed through my photography career, J followed along. She hired me to photograph a few events for associations she volunteered for and worked for. Then the day arrived that she was going to be married and reached out to me. That was touching as hell to be kept in mind for YEARS!
Sadly, due the circumstances of the timing of this wedding, I could not be there to photograph it. Changing the date was not an option, so I offered to cancel the contract outright and they could find their own photographer... OR... I could hire someone to go in my stead and then still work the communication and photo-editing portion of the job. And that's what they chose! It's what is referred to in this industry as an "associate photographer".
*A few tips regarding associate photographers*:
Whatever rate you pay is NOT what the associate is making. The lead photographer retains X amount for their work. A typical associate photographer is paid between $100 - $300/hr, with the average being around $125/hr. So if you want to... TIP THESE PEOPLE!
**Some very large wedding photography companies pay their associate photographers something like $80/hr though**
It is very common to talk to the photographer that will be at your event once or twice before hand. In my experience they are all very willing to do that.
A lot of photography businesses make associate photographers sign gnarly contracts with barbs and thorns like "you are shooting FOR ME. you cannot promote yourself or you will be sued. You cannot use these images for yourself or your website either (sometimes they will allow them after many months)" And often they have to show up wearing a uniform.
I DID NOT DO ANY OF THESE THINGS -- But that is not the norm. I paid Alex $2000 for 8 hrs for this and I was paid an additional $1000 for the management and editing service.
If you want to know more about if an associate photographer is right for you, feel free to email me directly. I'll help you through the decision.
Anyway there were some really touching and amazing feelings during this wedding day, here are some of those now!