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Thread started 05 Jul 2012 (Thursday) 22:17
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Average pay for wedding photo assistant?

 
rodddy
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Jul 05, 2012 22:17 |  #1

I'm thinking about looking for an assistant for shooting weddings. Not sure what i should offer for compensation. Any one care to comment on a reasonable $ rate?




  
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charro ­ callado
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Jul 05, 2012 22:46 |  #2

Really depends on a ton of factors. Are they second shooting (if so, what kind of equipment are they bringing to the table)? Arey the rounding up and posing guests during formals? Do they know how to light portraits/work OCF without instruction? Or are they just a mule that carries gear?

I would expect a range from $100/day for generally unskilled labor (equipment grunt) to $500+ for an experienced second shooter.

joe




  
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GerryDavid
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Jul 06, 2012 23:56 |  #3

$100 is pretty generous for unskilled, min wage for 5 hours is only $35 or $45 or something?

When I started out assisting I got paid what I considered was well, it was something like $10 an hour when min wage was $7 or so. I didnt get rich but I learned a lot and that was worth more to me. :)

But if you want a reliable person that is also trustworthy for the long haul, you may have to pay them decently :D


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charro ­ callado
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Jul 07, 2012 05:45 |  #4

GerryDavid wrote in post #14682162 (external link)
$100 is pretty generous for unskilled, min wage for 5 hours is only $35 or $45 or something?

When I started out assisting I got paid what I considered was well, it was something like $10 an hour when min wage was $7 or so. I didnt get rich but I learned a lot and that was worth more to me. :)

But if you want a reliable person that is also trustworthy for the long haul, you may have to pay them decently :D

I was assuming a full day - usually 8-10 hours.




  
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GerryDavid
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Jul 07, 2012 20:14 |  #5

The weddings my boss worked on only required him to be there between 4 and 8 hours, most of the time not that long. an hour before the wedding to get some bridal and prepping pics, alot of the time he would get the bride/groom shots before the wedding to *he would ask them and they would go for it since they are distracted after*, an hour for the ceremony, an hour for some group shots, and then an hour at the reception, he only stayed long enough to get the shots he needed. Thats 4 hours, and he is considered one of the more higher thoght of photographers in that part of Ontario.


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GothamImage
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Jul 08, 2012 17:04 as a reply to  @ GerryDavid's post |  #6

Shot 2nd cam for a wedding yesterday; worked from 2pm-1030pm and the assistant got paid ~150 dollars. Although I think much of that was because the "head photographer" didn't know wtf was going on and we arrived on site at 11am (left for the site at 930 am). Absolutely ridiculous /rant.


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markd61
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Jul 08, 2012 20:25 |  #7

charro callado wrote in post #14676815 (external link)
Really depends on a ton of factors. Are they second shooting (if so, what kind of equipment are they bringing to the table)? Arey the rounding up and posing guests during formals? Do they know how to light portraits/work OCF without instruction? Or are they just a mule that carries gear?

I would expect a range from $100/day for generally unskilled labor (equipment grunt) to $500+ for an experienced second shooter.

joe

+1 on this advice. A good assistant is worth a lot more than a mule in a tux.




  
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ssim
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Jul 10, 2012 10:12 |  #8

charro callado wrote in post #14676815 (external link)
Really depends on a ton of factors. Are they second shooting (if so, what kind of equipment are they bringing to the table)? Arey the rounding up and posing guests during formals? Do they know how to light portraits/work OCF without instruction? Or are they just a mule that carries gear?

I would expect a range from $100/day for generally unskilled labor (equipment grunt) to $500+ for an experienced second shooter.

joe

These really are very good points and carry more significance than most will give them. Personally I like having that mule to carry lights and stuff that I don't want to to but the reality is that most of the people that you get to do this type of work also want to fit in some shooting and you have to clearly define what their roles and responsibilities are up front and stick to them. I have had some really crappy experiences with some where they took the job that was supposed to be entirely an assistant with no shooting required and they always had their camera out. There are alot of people out there that will take on a job of this sort simply to try and build their own portfolio on my nickel.

I now have a few people that I use regularly as they know what they are doing and will do as they are directed. If all you want is a mule then you don't need anyone with much in the way of photographic experience and you are better off choosing this kind of person. If I am looking for a second shooter I have a contract that they must agree to before the shoot. I provide all the gear and I do all the post work. They can take some of the shots they did for the purpose of self promotion and building their portfolio but they cannot approach the client for anything else such as getting a signed release so that they can try and sell it. It is set up as a work for hire situation.

Adding that second person can sometimes be adding expense without adding revenue so I always do a cost benefit analysis to make sure that what I will be paying the person is adding to my bottom line. There is value in this person if you want the help hauling your stuff around and that is an expense that I eat if I am in that situation. In southern Alberta I pay second shooters about 45.00 per hour and an assistant that is simply hauling gear around gets 30.00 per hour. The reality of the workplace is that there are a ton of wanna-be's out there that will work for next to nothing for the experience. Choosing the right person is important. I don't mind teaching during the day but I have had a couple that were firing questions at me all day long and it can become distracting and downright irritating after awhile. I don't take on anyone as a second shooter that doesn't have some sort of portfolio. I realize that they have to get a start somewhere but I am not going to pay good money for someone with zero experience working a commercial or wedding event. I would think that there are plenty of people to choose from given your geographic location. It also depends on what you local economy is like. The Alberta economy is still very good given that it is generally driven by the oil industry. From what I read the economy in southern Ontario is not quite as robust so you might be able to get away with paying less.

I wish you luck and whatever you end up doing, put it all in writing to the person that you are hiring.


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kenwood33
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Jul 10, 2012 20:18 |  #9

I think this is primarily depending on the market rate at your location. In Toronto, Ontario, I have seen the rate ranges from 10 to 50/hr. You have to ask yourself, when hiring an assistant, what value is he/she bringing to the table. Also when you do decide to hire an assistant, please treat him/her with respect - I have seen on so many occasions, especially with these so called 'big name' studios/photographers, that treat their assistants like slaves.


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Nmcgrew
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Jul 10, 2012 21:49 |  #10

$300 for 9 hours plus first pass filtering of the RAWs the next day and supply a DVD with the selected shots within X amount of time.




  
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SMP_Homer
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Jul 11, 2012 07:46 |  #11

I give my assistant/2nd photographer $400 per wedding.... rarely less than 8 hours work, more often than not it's closer to 12
He has his own equipment, but he does dip into my bag too - I'm OK with that, I can't use everything all at once anyways, and whatever helps him get the shots is OK by me
I give him 2 memory cards for each wedding, and he gives them back at the end of the night - he does no editing, but he sometimes does come around asking for some of his shots, either to see or have something he can play/work/experiment with

He does everything from carrying sandbags, setting up/taking down lights, holding lights for group shots, fetching drinks, and taking a crapload of pictures...

He also comes to most engagement sessions too - I don't pay him for those, but I do buy him lunch/dinner or pay for gas whenever that's needed - he likes getting to know the couples before their wedding day


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rodddy
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Jul 11, 2012 22:33 |  #12

Lot's of good points. I'm thinking around the $80 - $100 range for about 6hrs of helping carry equipment, holding flash and a second shooter for certain points in the day. I'm looking for someone with just a basic knowlege level of photography but wanting to learn.




  
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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Jul 11, 2012 23:18 |  #13

I think that is probably in line for an unskilled assistant that isn't shooting.


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Average pay for wedding photo assistant?
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