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This is a perfect time for photographers to start considering ways to improve their workflow. Wedding busy season is in full swing, so wedding photographers are realizing just how much work they’re doing on a daily basis, and holiday season is right around the corner so family portrait photographers are trying to put strategies in place to make that as easy as possible. One of the best ways to streamline your photography business is by hiring an assistant! Hiring an assistant can be scary, so we’re here to help! We invited Jennifer Dery on the show this week & she’s worked with many assistants, second shooters, retouchers, etc… so she’s the perfect person to chat with about this topic! Enjoy!
- Watch for good composition right off the bat. This tip applies to second shooters. Jennifer mentions that you can totally teach technical things like exposure, posing, etc… but you typically can’t teach good composition. People tend to either have an eye for photography or not. You want to make sure you find someone who you don’t have to sink a TON of time into training. There will of course be a learning curve for them, and plan on spending some time teaching & helping them help you, especially in the beginning, but the less time you have to spend on that the better!
- Find an assistant who shares your communication style with clients. One of the biggest concerns when hiring an assistant for client communication is that they will have a completely different “voice” than you do when speaking to clients. If you find someone who writes emails in a similar style AND chats with clients over the phone in a similar style, you’re golden! You want to make sure you’re not missing out on your ideal clients because your assistant isn’t properly representing YOU. You also want to empower employees to make decisions, while also making sure they defer to you for client questions. They shouldn’t take over the client relationship, they should add to it. This will help clients still feel connected to YOU and not just your assistant.
- Be honest and upfront with your job description. Not only do you want to make sure you find someone who is open to constructive criticism, you also have to make sure you find someone who is willing to do all the jobs you want to ask of them! Take some time before hiring an assistant to figure out exactly what you want them to do for you. Are they coming to your home? Working remotely? Are they expected to pick up your kids from time to time or are they ONLY doing photography related tasks? Will they be shooting during photoshoots or just holding equipment? All of these things are things to consider and should be included on paper in your assistant’s job description. It’s better to think of everything you need help with ahead of time, so you know they’re up for the task!
We hope you enjoyed this episode about hiring an assistant! Ashley’s new assistant starts soon, so she’s definitely going to be sharing about the process in future episodes and keeping us posted on how everything’s going! Have you hired an assistant? Do you have any tips to add? Drop us a line on our Facebook page!