Hi! We’ve probably already talked about most of this stuff, but I wanted to put it all down in writing so you can reference at your leisure and to make sure you’re good with all my policies.
You are an independent contractor. That means you need to provide all of your own equipment and be prepared to work on the tasks assigned to you without substantial direction. It also means you need to pay income taxes on the income you receive from me, and that I’m not going to give you any benefits, etc.
Photo Usage & Copyright
As you are working as an independent contractor, Amber Wilkie Photography will own the copyright in all images created for the Event. Any photographs you take will automatically be licensed to you for limited uses. You may use photographs taken at the Event in the following manner:
- One blog post with no more than 20 images from the event, to be posted no sooner than one week after my blog post from the same Event. You may mention the venue name(s) but you may not use Client’s names anywhere on your website. The reason is I don’t want my clients to find your images online and start asking about any images that weren’t delivered to them or processed differently. Summary blog posts, “best of” or year-in-review posts are also fine as long as long as you don’t go overboard – any secondary blog posts should contain no more than two images from the Event and be very limited in their scope or frequency.
- You may use photographs you took at the Event on Facebook or link to your blog post, but each photo or post must reference that you were seconding for me, with link.
- You may use images you took at the Event in an online gallery as long as those photos are not used on a splash page or the first image in a gallery.
- You may not use images you took at the Event for advertising off of your website, online or in print.
- You may not enter images you took at the Event in any contests or for submission to any blog.
- You may not give images taken at the Event to anyone, including the Clients – have anyone interested in the photography from the Event contact me.
Representing Amber Wilkie Photography and nothing else
When you are working for me at the Event, you will represent yourself as an “assistant photographer”. If someone at the Event asks for a business card or other reference to websites, you will direct them to www.amberwilkie.com or give them one of my business cards. I realize there’s all kinds of conversations that can come up at weddings – just do your best. You may not at any point friend someone you met at the Event, unless there are additional circumstances (you meet them somewhere else again, etc.) That is, don’t go friending my clients and their guests on Facebook or tagging anyone at the wedding in your photos.
My preferred method of getting your files is to borrow your cards. I’ll mail them back to you by Tuesday of the following week, unless we’ve established another arrangement. If you don’t have enough cards or that is otherwise not an acceptable arrangement, you may shoot on my cards but I won’t be able to prioritize getting your files to you – my internet connection isn’t fantastic and I hate burning CDs. It will happen, just not like me dropping cards in the mail.
Assistant photographers should wear dark colors and conservative clothes. Skirts and dresses are fine for ladies – if you think it’s maybe too short, it is. Please pay particular attention to this if we are working a South Asian wedding. Sometimes these clients and their families are much more conservative than guests at Western weddings.
If there is a second photographer at the wedding, we are getting fed (that means it’s not hourly). I always make sure we eat, don’t worry about this one.
It should certainly go without saying, but you may not drink alcohol, smoke somewhere conspicuous, take drugs or perform other illegal activities while under contract with me. If you think what you’re doing might make you an asshole, please don’t do it.
What I Expect from my Seconds
Truth be told, I don’t need a second photographer for the vast majority of the day. While a talented, bright second can add enormous value to wedding coverage, I have a second photographer at every wedding as backup and to make sure we cover the very few parts of the day when I can’t be everywhere. I also think it is just good practice. That is not to be mean, just to say that you shouldn’t stress any more than I am about “getting the shot.” Relax, look for interesting and creative angles and compositions, don’t stress. Focus on reactions, interactions, moments.
The number one thing for me is I don’t want you to overshoot. I know that is my own tendency, so I already have a lot of files to sort through. No need to “look busy” and take lots of shots – I know how it is. I certainly won’t judge you if you want to chill out during a slow time. I don’t want you to change your normal photo style but I know from my own work as a second there is a tendency to want to take photos constantly. I’m not one of those people that will think you aren’t a hustler if you sit down during dinner.
Cocktail hour. I normally ask my seconds to cover cocktail hour as I am busy doing other stuff at that time. Please grab grip-and-grin photos of guests in small bunches. Say “hi, can I take your picture” or something like that, have them line up and smile. Use an aperture of f/4 if possible, 5.6 for large groups. If you feel like you’ve hit up a lot of the guests, you can knock it off and do whatever you feel, photo-wise.
I’ll probably let you leave before my time at the wedding is over. Dancing shots in particular can accumulate at breakneck speed and it’s just not necessary to have two photographers circling the dance floor like hawks. The exception would be if there’s some big exit happening that I need help with.
So thanks so much for working with me. This all may sound sorta formal but I assure you I’m really laid-back and am cool with just about everybody. Just don’t do anything dick to my clients and don’t overshoot and we’ll get along fine.