Top 5 Ways to Find An Affordable Wedding Photography Assistant
As a wedding photographer, you know that weddings can be a lot of work, and full of surprises! Having a reliable and trustworthy assistant to help you with all of the little things might just save the day (and your sanity). Unfortunately, especially when you are just starting out, it can be hard to know where to begin in the search for finding an assistant, let alone one you can afford. Luckily, it can be a lot easier than you think! Now keep in mind, this article says “ways to find a CHEAP assistant” not “FREE”. Even if your assistant is there solely to carry your bags, move a car, or find people, they still are giving up their time and energy, and it is important that you pay them for their time. Without further ado, here are our top five tips!
1. Utilize Local Schools
This upcoming generation is one of the most creative and innovative generations to date. So many young adults out there are desperate for their way in to the world of photography, but have no idea where to begin or what to do! Here in Savannah, we are blessed to have the Savannah College of Art and Design right at our disposal, which is filled to the brim with artistic students, many of which are actually majoring in photography. Now of course, you do not need to limit your search to only photography majors, but I can assure you, there will be more than enough volunteers to get a glimpse of working a wedding. I highly recommend looking for sophomores in college as your ideal candidates. Juniors and Seniors tend to be extremely busy in their studies, and Freshman aren’t typically at the level you want them to be at to help in a fast paced environment. Sophomores have that perfect balance of maturity and flexibility, and still have enough energy to make it the whole day without being too exhausted.
2. Reach Out via Social Media
In this day and age, technology can get you connected with just about anyone, anywhere, at any time. Especially with Facebook, you can really narrow down a search and get yourself connected to groups of people that you need or want to work with. Do some research and look around Facebook for local groups, specifically for beginner photographers. Make a post asking for anyone who would be interested in helping, being sure to add the date, time, and general location of the wedding, and see who messages you! You never know who you might find, and you might just find your newest go to assistant for all of your shoots. Just be sure to do your research and make sure that they are who they say they are, so you don’t end up getting scammed in the long run.
3. Use Someone You Already Know
When it comes to hiring an assistant, the biggest factor in the process is making sure they are somebody you can trust and will be there when you need them. As an assistant, most of the time the tasks are pretty trivial: carrying bags around, helping to move your car, finding certain people for photos, and just helping you to stay on track. If you know someone who is super organized and will be responsible, then ask them to help! It can be as easy as asking your girlfriend or boyfriend, sibling, friend, a cousin, or even just someone you know who loves to help people. Just as long as you make sure to pay them just as you would for any other assistant, then using someone you know as your wedding assistant can end up being very beneficial.
4. Ask Around for Referrals
If you don’t have anyone you know personally that would be able to help you on the date of the big event, that’s okay! Asking other photographers who they use has proven to be extremely helpful and reliable. Check with other people in your field and see who they recommend: not only does this ensure that you are getting someone experienced, but that they will be reliable and familiar with what you need from them. Like I mentioned before, there are so many art students out there who are dying for their shot to see what a real wedding shoot looks like, and using referrals can help narrow down your choices.
5. Don’t Forget About Craigslist
Last but not least, when all else fails, there’s always Craigslist. If all you need is someone to help you with basic skills, it’s perfectly acceptable to dig around Craigslist and see if you can find someone to help you for the day. We’ve all heard the horror stories of Craigslist, so of course, be very careful in your search and make sure to do research on each potential candidate. But there’s a lot of hidden potential in Craigslist, and you could very well find your perfect assistant just by looking in unexpected places. Again, this is really only recommended if you need a basic assistant. I wouldn’t recommend looking for someone who is a skilled photographer on this site.
Weddings are some of the most rewarding gigs you can have as a photographer, and it’s incredible to get to be a part of a couple’s big day. Having an assistant will really help your day go by much smoother and kink free. We’ve all had those moments where we wish we had three hands just so we can get everything done, and an assistant can make that possible. As I mentioned before, no matter what route you decide to take, please pay your assistant accordingly. They will have to put up with a lot from you, I’m sure, and they deserve pay just as much as any other vendor at the event.
Thanks for reading Top 5 Ways to Find An Affordable Wedding Photography Assistant blog post! Check out my other articles for photographers like Why Photographers Need A PDF Pricing Guide, Contax 645 Tutorial #3 | Camera Settings, Film Choices, Metering, and Posing, Contax 645 Tutorial #2 | Camera Accessories, Film Loading and More, Contax 645 Tutorial #1 | Hybrid Wedding Photography Equipment, and many more in our Journal page.
Check out some of my wedding photos at The Market At Grelen Wedding | Virginia Wedding Photos, Delta Plantation Wedding Photos, Belmond Maroma Cancun Wedding among others. And some engagement photos as well like Wormsloe Engagement Photos and Savannah Engagement Photo Session | Forsyth Park to name a couple. Also, go to our General Wedding FAQ and our Engagement Session FAQ posts for information about how to prepare for your photo sessions. We have other posts that can help you in your wedding preparations in our Journal Page. Don’t forget to check out my homepage for my newest wedding photography work.
As always, feel free to contact me with any questions, and be sure to follow us on social media for the latest shoots and blog updates!