Much of the time, a wedding is shot using only one photographer. Sometimes, however, the bride and groom ask for a second photographer (usually hired by you, the main dude). This may happen if the wedding is big, or they just want to cover all angles. Likewise, the photographer may choose to sub-contract to another professional, to take the pressure off their shoulders a little.
Hiring a secondary photographer comes with a certain amount of etiquette. Below, I’ve listed a few things that I believe should be taken into consideration- details that need to be hammered out, in writing, before the wedding even takes place.
Get a Contract, Man!
Just as you have a contract drawn up between yourself and the bride and groom, you will also need a contract if you plan on working with another photographer. The details of this contract should include things like: compensation, the rights to the photos, who does the post-production, who delivers the final product to the bride and groom, and so on. Every little working detail that could possibly cause a conflict needs to be covered, and it should be absolutely clear to both parties.
Who’s the Main Guy?
If you are hiring another photographer, you need to be clear to them about which of you is the lead photographer. It will usually be you, but it can also be them. Hammer it out as soon as possible, so that you or the other person can make a wedding-day plan accordingly.
Give Credit Where it’s Due!
This is probably the simplest thing to do, but it’s the one thing that can cause the biggest amount of friction between two working professionals. If you’ve booked someone to help you with a wedding shoot, courtesy dictates that you credit them on the photos they provided for your final product. This may come in the form of verbal or written credit (if you’re displaying them online, for example), or by agreeing to let them put their own watermark on the photos they provide to you. It’s bad form to act as though someone else’s work belongs to you, but sadly it happens all too often.
Shooting a wedding can be stressful enough on its own. When you hire someone else to help you, you are leaving the door open for all kinds of mischief, so you need to be careful. Not only do you need to cover your own butt, legally speaking, but you also need to treat the other individual with respect and professional courtesy. So, when you are looking to hire a secondary photographer, it pays to consider the points I’ve listed above.