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Associate Elopement Photographers: What Are They?

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“Associate photographers:” what are they and how do they work? In this blog post, I’m going to talk about what associate elopement photographers are, the benefits of them, & why you should consider having one for your elopement.

So: maybe you want to have me as your elopement photographer or for your couple’s shoot, but your date isn’t available on my calendar, or I’m unable to travel to your destination location. Don’t stress: we can make that happen through an associate photographer! I’m so blessed to have grown my business greatly this past year or so, and I’ve been able to expand my team because of it. I’m now able to utilize associate photographers for dates that I’m not available for, and for destination work.

Most engaged couples aren’t familiar with the term “associate photographer.”  That’s why I’m going to answer all of my most frequently asked questions about associate shooters in this article. Hopefully, it helps you understand what they are + why you’d consider working with an associate, and reassures any reservations you may have.

First, what even is an “associate photographer/shooter”?

Associate shooters are photographers that take on the job of photographing your elopement day or couple’s shoot, without me there. This could be because I have another elopement already booked on your date, or am unavailable for travel- but you still really want the experience I provide – and I really want to work with you! So instead of turning you down because I’m unavailable, I provide you with an associate photographer for your elopement day.

I hand-select all of my associates and am very confident in their ability to capture my couples in a similar way that I would. I will be there with you every step of the way like I normally would: assisting with the planning, timeline creation, styling if you’re looking for guidance, etc. I’ll be there for everything but the actual shooting on the day. 

The associate shooter will deliver me the RAW (unedited, straight out of the camera) images, and I will edit and deliver them so that they are all consistent with my style. No need to worry about another photographer editing differently – I will still personally edit all of your photos like I would if I were the photographer for the day-of!

 

couple kissing on grass

 

When do you use associate shooters?

So far, I have been using associate shooters for:

  • Dates that I am already booked on
  • Elopements that take place during busier months so I can accommodate more couples
  • Elopements during my maternity leave
  • All destination work – anything not on the island of Oahu

Pre-pandemic, I would frequently travel to outer islands for elopements and shoots. However, I am opting to not travel during this season to protect my young little ones and older family members. Thanks COVID! Instead, I hand-select really talented local photographers to associate for me.

 

couple running

 

Is it the same as working with you?

It’s as close as it can be without having me photograph the day! I will still be there with you for all of the planning: location selection, timeline assistance, outfit guidance, and the editing afterward. I promise I am really selective in the associates I choose to work with. My couples have all had amazing experiences with them!

 

couple standing by water

 

Can we see who the associate is before we book?

Unfortunately at this stage, no. I don’t have a dedicated team at the moment, though I do use the same shooters frequently. The associate I assign you depends on their availability and the location of your elopement, so I book the associate I think will be the best fit once you book with me. 

The gallery included in this blog post is a sample gallery from an associate shooter, and you are more than welcome to ask me to view more before you book. I understand how big of an investment an elopement photographer is, and I want to reassure you that you’re in great hands! The work that my associates have been doing has all been beautiful, and my couples all have had wonderful experiences & loved their images and overall experience.

 

Here’s a recent set of photos I posted on Instagram that an associate took for me!

 

couple kissing by lake

 

What do you look for when you choose your associate shooters?

I am really selective with who I work with because of the high-quality experience I want all of my couples to get, even if I’m not the photographer the day-of. The associates I work with have:

  • Beautiful composition in their images
  • Similar posing styles
  • Confidence working with & photographing clients of their own

Their editing style may be completely different than mine, but since they are delivering their RAW images to me, the editing style doesn’t matter. (RAW images are images that have a lot of data in each one to be able to manipulate through editing afterward.) What’s important is that they are confident with their gear and photographing clients, have a similar shooting style, and are kind, reliable and professional!

 

couple sitting on rocks

 

How do we know we’ll get along with our associate photographer?

As I’ve mentioned throughout this blog post, I carefully pick out my associate photographers because I know how important it is for them to have similarities to me. Since you have looked through my website and social media, and decide to inquire with me for a reason, I make sure my associates have warm personalities and are professional, so that they will provide a wonderful experience in the shooting part to my couples! 

Any associate I select will also be a professional photographer and very personable, so they will be able to get along with anybody. I will always pick out an associate that I feel will best fit you once I get to know you and your personalities, as well!

 

couple looking out at lake

 

We want to book you (and an associate shooter) at {______} location. Is this possible?

Generally, yes! As long as it is a destination within the US, and someplace accessible by a two-wheel drive vehicle, I am confident I can find an amazing associate photographer to team up with for you. Especially if there’s a good amount of time leading up to your big day at the time of your inquiry – so inquire now and let’s start talking!

 

couple leaning in for a kiss

Now that I’ve answered my most commonly asked questions about associate photographers, here’s a recap of who holds what responsibilities when an associate works your elopement for me!

Me:

  • All communication with you when you inquire, before your elopement, and after the day
  • Planning assistance – timeline, outfits, locations, etc.
  • Editing & delivering your photos

Associate:

  • Photographing you on your elopement day or couple’s shoot – and that’s it!

 

Reach out to me if you have any further questions, or if you want to see more associate galleries – I am more than happy to do everything I can to reassure you!

 

couple walking by rocks

couple walking holding hands engagement session outfits couple holding hands couple holding hands and dancing couple walking couple walking down hill couple walking up a hill couple snuggling on grass couple laying on grass couple cuddling on grass couple walking together couple looking over mountains couple kissing on mountain couple walking on mountain couple walking on hill man picking up woman couple running

See more free elopement resources + recent beautiful galleries below!

How to Plan Your Hiking Adventure Elopement

Adventurous Oahu Tidepool Elopement

A Guide to Buying Your Dream Elopement Dress

Where to Elope in Hawaii

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Hey friend!

I’m Emily! Your fellow adventure junkie here to document you and your amazing babe of a human. I am based on Oahu and shoot adventurous couples, elopements, and tiny weddings!

YesI will take beautiful photos for you to perfectly preserve your day, but guess what else? I’m also here to help you: find the perfect location, plan out the best time of day, choose the best outfits, and pump you up on our adventure together.