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Archive 2013 · Feedback about associates...
  
 
morby
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Feedback about associates...


I know that some of you out there are associates and some have associates. I've been doing a lot of research about the benefits and drawbacks of having an associate, and wanted to get some input. In January I received about 30 inquiries that I had to turn down because I was already booked for those dates. It's slowed down in February, but I'm still getting a couple a week that I can't take. So, obviously my thought is, "do I bring in an associate?" I've been shooting for over ten years, but my business has only really taken off in the past 3 years. Because things are still fairly new for me I wonder if I should continue to develop a solid brand prior to looking into bringing on someone else. Thoughts?


Feb 17, 2013 at 05:46 AM
Tony Hoffer
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Feedback about associates...


I spent a good 2 or 3 years mulling that decision before taking on an associate... The problem with it is that as soon as you bring someone on, you need to make the decision between if you want to become a volume studio or a boutique studio. Having someone else shoot under your name has big repercussions for your brand and for responsibilities.

In short, I found that it's a decent amount of work and risk to have an associate photographer. So I simply wasn't going to do it unless I found someone who was perfect and who was happy establish a working relationship long term. Our business could still handle a few more people, but I just haven't found the right people and I'm not willing to compromise for somewhat small increase in both income and workload.



Feb 17, 2013 at 08:59 PM
morby
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Feedback about associates...


Tony Hoffer wrote:
I spent a good 2 or 3 years mulling that decision before taking on an associate... The problem with it is that as soon as you bring someone on, you need to make the decision between if you want to become a volume studio or a boutique studio. Having someone else shoot under your name has big repercussions for your brand and for responsibilities.

In short, I found that it's a decent amount of work and risk to have an associate photographer. So I simply wasn't going to do it unless I found someone who was perfect and who was
...Show more

It's probably something I'll keep thinking about for a while. My wife and I had a planning/vision day in January and it was one of the topics of discussion. It seems like there are a few strategies for having an associate. One that I thought was interesting was creating a sister company under another name and hiring lead photographers rather than associates. It's low risk to your brand and empowers the photographers more. Also, many people said it's important to get someone that isn't looking to have their own business, but is a great photographer.

At the core of it I hate turning down so much business and want to find a way to still take those inquiries. For now I partner with Mike Landis and Jim Heine, and give them any business I can't take. It's worked well so far. 3 of my weddings this year are for couples that originally reached out to Jim. Mike and I just started referring each other about two months ago and he's sent a few my way.

Thanks for your feedback! As of now it's not something I'm ready to move forward with, but I know it's a possible avenue for growing my business in the future.



Feb 18, 2013 at 03:46 PM





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