Some of the photo/video team at the Lin & Jirsa Studio…
The wedding industry likes to come together and party once or twice a year, it seems. (*cough* WPPI *cough*)
This is odd because much of the industry, in reality, has a kind of “lone wolf” mentality when it comes to the boutique, one-man-show business model. (Or in many cases, one-woman-show ;-) The one-person business seems to be the most common and most highly prized business model in the industry.
However as a moderator of multiple online wedding photography forums, I have noticed two things that always surprise me: Firstly, people often complain that it is extremely difficult to get 2nd shooting gigs that pay well. Secondly, beginners seeking advice from veteran pros are often advised against teaming up with another photographer or photographers in any sort of joint business effort, as if such endeavors are doomed to fail, or simply aren’t the best business model, period.
Of course these complaints are often true- it certainly isn’t easy to find 2nd shooting / team shooting opportunities. Most of the best photographers already have another “best” teammate, or of course there’s the holy grail, the husband and wife team. And due to human nature, business partnerships in all walks of life are risky endeavors! But that doesn’t mean they aren’t a good idea.
I’m a firm believer in the team business model, and more importantly in the context of this article, the team wedding shooting tactic. It is a careful, synchronized dance. You could find yourself in the background of the other photographer’s photos all day long, or you could instinctively know where to go, and silently communicate with a single glance.
Having two photographers who work as a perfectly synchronized team on a wedding day can be an amazing thing. The coverage delivered by a single photographer on a wedding day simply cannot reach the highest, most comprehensive level because of time constraints. Having two photographers of roughly equal skill, however, can ensure that you rock your family formals and couples’ portraits at sunset on the beach, …while also getting gorgeous, publishable reception venue shots. Or that you get super-cool group photos with the groomsmen while at the same time getting stunningly beautiful photos of the bride and her bridesmaids. The list goes on….
Here’s an article by Sara Frances on Pixiq.com, for those of you who are still starting out, and/or who are considering creating a photography team. Sara makes many important arguments in favor of shooting as a team, including the general concepts and those specific to the husband and wife situation.
Read Sara’s article as part of her “Going Pro” article series on Pixiq by clicking HERE.
So, fellow wedding photographers, what do YOU think about team shooting, and team business endeavors? Feel free to leave your comments below, or to start a discussion on our forums!