Market rate for backup/2nd photographers


waderbreak

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Feb 2, 2009
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#1
Hi,

Would just like to get an estimate on how much or what percent a main wedding/event photographer should pay his/her 2nd photographer?

Does it depend on what the scope the backup photographer is covering? Or is there a more or less average rate. Hope to get some insights. Do PM me if it is inconvenient to mention in the thread, thanks!

Wade
 

snowspeeder

Senior Member
Feb 16, 2004
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#2
I think it depends largely on the main photographer on how much he wants to pay the 2nd photographer; essentially it comes down to what was offered and what was agreed upon.
 

pokiemon

Senior Member
Mar 5, 2005
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#3
Hi,

Would just like to get an estimate on how much or what percent a main wedding/event photographer should pay his/her 2nd photographer?

Does it depend on what the scope the backup photographer is covering? Or is there a more or less average rate. Hope to get some insights. Do PM me if it is inconvenient to mention in the thread, thanks!

Wade
i would pay $20-$50 per hour for a 3-hour job. but seriously it depends on your experience and the quality u deliver.
 

sjackal

Senior Member
Jul 9, 2008
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#4
Depends on the main photog, depend on the job itself, depend on the client's purchase, and depend on your skill/experience level too.

Many variables.
 

hori

New Member
Jun 22, 2003
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#5
Hi,

Would just like to get an estimate on how much or what percent a main wedding/event photographer should pay his/her 2nd photographer?

Does it depend on what the scope the backup photographer is covering? Or is there a more or less average rate. Hope to get some insights. Do PM me if it is inconvenient to mention in the thread, thanks!

Wade
A ballpark figure is 20-50% of the main photographer's rate. But it really depends not only the competency of the backup shooter, but also on the overall fee of the gig.
 

Lumiere

Senior Member
Sep 15, 2006
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#6
A ballpark figure is 20-50% of the main photographer's rate. But it really depends not only the competency of the backup shooter, but also on the overall fee of the gig.
I never seen or heard a 2nd photographer getting paid up to 50% of the main photographers rate.

When I started out a few years ago as the 2nd photographer for events, and furthermore my service wasn't really needed but the main photographer simply was willing enough to bring an extra baggage(me) along. I was paid between $50 - $100 for about a full day's work.

I thought it was really great to learn, get paid and get portfolio (not always the case) at the same time.

It was only when I gotten more skilful, I started shooting weddings as a 2nd photographer, I was paid between $30-$50/hr, which I must make sure I get what the main photographer could not, assist in making the main photographer gets what he needs and make life easier for him too. This goes on to the retouching of my images which I needed to deliver to the main photog. Then once again, its not always the case that the photos can be used as portfolio.

I believe that as long as an apprentice is willing to learn, not too greedy, loyal and willing go an extra mile, the main photographer will definitely be willing to share his skills and techniques and even pay well as the apprentice progress on. Its the same case in most jobs and not just photography.

There are once too many where I use a new 2nd photographer, and he was simply over aggressive in getting the shots he wants and wasn't so bothered with those needed to be covered by the 2nd photographer. After I paid these 2nd photogs, I would never use them again.
 

hori

New Member
Jun 22, 2003
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#7
I never seen or heard a 2nd photographer getting paid up to 50% of the main photographers rate.
Now you know/seen/heard it from one - me. I pay up to 50% for a second shooter if I need him/her. ;)
 

sinned79

Senior Member
Jun 18, 2009
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#10
Anyone (experienced pros) willing to take me in as a protege? :embrass:

I dun mind shoot for free... just let me tag along. I will not obstruct you and will just stay behind you while you shoot. :embrass:

This is a serious offer cos i want to learn something. But I can only give up my sats though...
 

pokiemon

Senior Member
Mar 5, 2005
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#11
this question has been asked many times on this forum! it will be quicker if you just do a search.
 

David

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Mar 21, 2002
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#12
How do you all try to get a reliable and helpful assistant for wedding photography, especially when you're just starting out without a big budget?

As what Bryan (Lumiere) experienced, it's easy for a stranger to come and then ruin it by wanting to do his or her own things....
 

snowspeeder

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Feb 16, 2004
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#13
How do you all try to get a reliable and helpful assistant for wedding photography, especially when you're just starting out without a big budget?

As what Bryan (Lumiere) experienced, it's easy for a stranger to come and then ruin it by wanting to do his or her own things....
If you're referring to wedding day photography, why would u need an assistant if your client got no budget?
 

JasonB

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Jun 2, 2009
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#14
As what Bryan (Lumiere) experienced, it's easy for a stranger to come and then ruin it by wanting to do his or her own things....
+1

Too many hobbyists with a new toy sporting the wedding photographer of the year mindset.
 

gglankie

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Mar 20, 2008
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In my eyes
www.nextlightonly.com
#15
Hi, usually the 2nd PG is paid 20-30% of the main PG is getting. and also depends on what are the tasks and experience of the 2nd PG.

if u are offered at low rates and want to increase ur AD portfolio, just do ur best to shoot, naturally, u will have an increase of clientele if your creativity is there.

From what i know, clients dont mind paying more for quality and creative shots.

Above suggestions and comments are made from my point of views.

Moreover, nowadays DLSR are cheap, more hobbyist are trying to carve a career in AD. :think:

Goodluck to you.
 

David

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#16
If you're referring to wedding day photography, why would u need an assistant if your client got no budget?
Not so much that the client has no budget. But rather, the phootgrapher is just starting out in this field and can't charge a lot. He has high standards and want to give his best by having an assistant.
 

Lumiere

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Sep 15, 2006
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#17
+1

Too many hobbyists with a new toy sporting the wedding photographer of the year mindset.
Hi, usually the 2nd PG is paid 20-30% of the main PG is getting. and also depends on what are the tasks and experience of the 2nd PG.

if u are offered at low rates and want to increase ur AD portfolio, just do ur best to shoot, naturally, u will have an increase of clientele if your creativity is there.

From what i know, clients dont mind paying more for quality and creative shots.

Above suggestions and comments are made from my point of views.

Moreover, nowadays DLSR are cheap, more hobbyist are trying to carve a career in AD. :think:

Goodluck to you.

Yes the industry is saturated with wedding photographers with most trying to boost their day job income. However easy the entry to this industry is, the exit is easy as well. some new players who started out freelancing are becoming more favored by consumers, because of creativity, skills, marketing methods or whatsoever. We should encourage them instead of trying to beat them back to zero. While the rest who can't make the cut eventually will simply go back to their day job, or pick up something else and try to strike another business opportunity.

However I believe that, any couple's wedding images are as important as your own. And if anyone is going to start doing weddings knowing you can't deliver images close to what you or your wife would love to own, then start off as an assistant and perhaps negotiate a reasonable pay from your main photographer.

Most importantly, put aside the ego of "Aiyah, like that only, I also can shoot." Because its easy to copy, but not easy being the ones who first created it. After probably a year of assisting and you know that its very unlikely you'd screw up at a wedding, then you consider perhaps of going professional.
 

sinned79

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Jun 18, 2009
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#18
However I believe that, any couple's wedding images are as important as your own. And if anyone is going to start doing weddings knowing you can't deliver images close to what you or your wife would love to own, then start off as an assistant and perhaps negotiate a reasonable pay from your main photographer.

Most importantly, put aside the ego of "Aiyah, like that only, I also can shoot." Because its easy to copy, but not easy being the ones who first created it. After probably a year of assisting and you know that its very unlikely you'd screw up at a wedding, then you consider perhaps of going professional.
Good advise! :thumbsup:
 

gglankie

New Member
Mar 20, 2008
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In my eyes
www.nextlightonly.com
#19
Yes the industry is saturated with wedding photographers with most trying to boost their day job income. However easy the entry to this industry is, the exit is easy as well. some new players who started out freelancing are becoming more favored by consumers, because of creativity, skills, marketing methods or whatsoever. We should encourage them instead of trying to beat them back to zero. While the rest who can't make the cut eventually will simply go back to their day job, or pick up something else and try to strike another business opportunity.

However I believe that, any couple's wedding images are as important as your own. And if anyone is going to start doing weddings knowing you can't deliver images close to what you or your wife would love to own, then start off as an assistant and perhaps negotiate a reasonable pay from your main photographer.

Most importantly, put aside the ego of "Aiyah, like that only, I also can shoot." Because its easy to copy, but not easy being the ones who first created it. After probably a year of assisting and you know that its very unlikely you'd screw up at a wedding, then you consider perhaps of going professional.
:thumbsup:
 

hori

New Member
Jun 22, 2003
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Singapore
#20
Not so much that the client has no budget. But rather, the phootgrapher is just starting out in this field and can't charge a lot. He has high standards and want to give his best by having an assistant.
I think having an assistant and having high standards are not really correlated. If I may presume, high standard is about capturing good quality pictures (though quality may be subjective) for the client. Having an assistant may provide more coverage in terms of angles and lens perspective, but may not add to high quality.
 

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