Back Up Wedding Photographer

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by AprilRamone, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. AprilRamone

    AprilRamone TPF Noob!

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    How do you guys find this person? What sort of agreement do you have in place? It seems to me that you'd almost have to find someone who doesn't normally do weddings because how could they guarantee that they wouldn't be booked themselves?
    Do you just rely on a network of people and pray that at least one of them would be available in an emergency?
     
  2. ScottS

    ScottS TPF Noob!

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    Yup Pretty much. If you include something about this in your contract, make sure that it says that you will TRY to find another photographer for that date, not that you absolutely will, because then if you dont, you are in breech of contract...:(
     
  3. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You offer them enough to make it worth their while to work for you then make them sigh a contract for the even you need them for.
     
  4. jols

    jols TPF Noob!

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    i have written in my contract

    'THERE IS NO SECOND PHOTOGRAPHER'

    SO THEY KNOW IF IM SICK IN HOSPITAL ECT

    they will have to make other arrangements and had a couple sign tonight and they didnt bat an eyelid.
     
  5. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    One couple?
     
  6. jols

    jols TPF Noob!

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    one couple tonight yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!

    im pretty booked up



    if you write you will try your hardest to find another tog that means nothing cause you still might not come up with anybody.
     
  7. ScottS

    ScottS TPF Noob!

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    True, but at least you can try. That way you dont have to leave them high and dry, or having to find another photographer on their own in a week. ( or whatever the time may be)
     
  8. jols

    jols TPF Noob!

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    but thats my point if you dont find anybody [and most togs would be booked up in the busy season]
    you would be leaving them high and dry.

    you are not covering them any more than i am you are just saying you might
     
  9. astrostu

    astrostu Guest

    In the case where you're "in business for yourself" and don't actually have employees who can act as a second photographer, then I think one of the fairest ways to the couple would be the following:

    1. Ask them up-front if they expect/want a second photographer.
    2. If they say "yes," then tell them that you have a few different people you use (assuming this is the case; if you only have one person, then say so ...) and that you will contact those people / that person immediately to verify their availability.
    3. Do that - call your backup several of your backups to make sure they're available for that date. If they're not another wedding photographer, then it's much more likely they'll be free and remain relatively free within the time it may take you to get the couple to book you.
    4. Inform the couple that either (a) yes, you have one or several different people who can help you for their event, or (b) be honest and say that everyone you know is already booked. If (b), then you can try to push the sale by explaining your experience with large weddings, etc., but be honest and fair to them and say that if they really want two people, you won't be able to help them.

    Those steps may seem like a little extra leg work, and you could emphasize to the couple at the first meeting that you've always been able to get a backup (assuming this is true), but I think it's more ethical to do it that way than to tell the couple that you absolutely can get someone when you haven't spoken to backups yet.

    Another possibility, assuming that before you meet the couple you have the basic information like the date of the event, then you could call your backup(s) before the meeting so that you can go into the initial meeting and say something to the effect of, "If you want there to be two of us, I already have someone who can act as a backup and I've ensured they're free on [date]."


    Assuming then that you do have a backup, let them know as soon as possible that the couple has booked. If the backup is "on your list" as someone you've spoken with before (which they should be if they're on your list), then you probably already have some sub-contract worked out with them.

    I would think that the terms of the sub-contract would be fairly universal with only the monetary split being most highly variable. That should probably be based upon your backup's level of experience.


    Good luck figuring out what you want to do here, and I hope I didn't shoot myself in the foot (being someone who's contacted you about being a backup ;) ).
     
  10. ScottS

    ScottS TPF Noob!

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    Thats true, but it looks like you care more... see?:D
     
  11. jols

    jols TPF Noob!

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    true but if they wanted a back up just waiting in the wings they would have to pay a darn site more to keep him or her available
     
  12. rachlynn17

    rachlynn17 TPF Noob!

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    I have contacted a handful of photographers in my city to work as backups for each other.
    So far I havn't had to use one yet, & no one has had to use me yet.
    I did go photograph a wedding the day after getting out of the hosipital. I had a friend stand in as my assistant. I was still pretty drugged up, but it went okay. I'm glad my "assistant" was there because I misplaced about everything that I came in contact with.
    Actually, when we started to drive off at the end of the night, I stopped and said, "I left my camera!!", and she had it on her lap :)
     

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