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While many are familiar with lead photographers, as in me (Ash), and second shooters, the role of an associate wedding photographer often remains a mystery. This information below will hopefully help you understand what an associate wedding photographer is, and highlight the invaluable benefits they bring to your special day.

Understanding the essence of an associate wedding photographer

An associate wedding photographer is a professional photographer who collaborates with me here at Ash Hughes Photography. Unlike a second shooter who assists the lead photographer directly capturing different angles on the day, an associate wedding photographer operates as an independent contractor under the umbrella of the Ash Hughes Photography in the role of lead photographer at your wedding. They possess a similar caliber of skill, talent, and dedication as myself but operate under a slightly different structure within the business framework with my unavailability on your day.

Benefits of embracing an associate wedding photographer

  1. Expanded Availability: One of the standout advantages of engaging an associate wedding photographer is the expanded availability they offer. With a small team of associates, Ash Hughes Photography can accommodate multiple weddings on the same day, ensuring that no couple is left without expert photography coverage. This flexibility allows you to secure the services of a reputable photography business even during peak wedding seasons or on popular dates.

  2. Consistent Quality: While I set the artistic direction and style of my business, associates undergo training directly with myself at real weddings to uphold the same standards of my business - after all it is my business' reputation at stake. Whether it's capturing breathtaking portraits, those candid moments, or the intricate details, associate photographers adhere to the established aesthetic of my work, ensuring a seamless integration of styles across all wedding projects. This commitment to consistency guarantees that you receive top-notch photography regardless of which associate is assigned to your wedding.

  3. Lower Pricing For You: Another headline advantage of using an associate photographer is the cheaper rates offered as part of the the booking process. This is possible due to the economies of scale working under the one business with overheads and the like. It is also my way of giving your a little bonus as I won't personally be there with you on your actual day!

  4. Streamlined Process: Collaborating with my business that employs associate photographers streamlines the booking and planning process for your wedding day. Instead of scouring through endless portfolios and vetting individual photographers, you have the convenience of working with myself that oversees all aspects of the photography experience. We've essentially done that work for you. From initial consultations to post-production and final gallery delivery, my approach ensures a seamless and stress-free journey from start to finish.

  5. Enhanced Reliability: The presence of associate photographers enhances the reliability and scalability of Ash Hughes Photography. In the event of unforeseen circumstances such as illness or emergencies, the studio can seamlessly assign another associate to cover your wedding, ensuring continuity of service without compromising on quality. This built-in redundancy provides peace of mind knowing that your photography needs are well-protected, regardless of external factors.

  6. Everything Is Kept In-House: As I've touched on above, while the photographer on your wedding day won't be me personally, every other aspect of the process will be. From the initial booking stages, any questions you have leading up to the day, and the final consultation to finalise your day. Then following your day, the sneak peeks, the editing and final gallery delivery to you is done personally by myself. This keeps the whole process consistent for you, and me.


Some of the more common questions I get asked about associates are below..

Do we get to meet the associate photographer before our day?

I think it is important that you do. We'll schedule a Zoom chat in the week/s leading up to not only help finalise your day, but more importantly get to know each other a little rather than first meeting at your wedding. I don't lock your associate in until about ~2 months prior to your day as it gives them the opportunity to book their own weddings for their respective businesses if they're inclined.


Does every wedding photographer hire associates?

Short answer is no. It's a personal thing. A photographer's reputation is at stake, which is why I'm super critical of selecting associates that I can rely on to be professional and deliver on your wedding day. It's usually done out of necessity when their business grows that allows a photographer to say yes to more couples, rather than turning duplicate date enquiries away.

Why would a photographer become an associate rather than have their own business?

It really depends on them. Most do have their own business. Many are photographers who are more than capable but not getting the number of bookings they want at this stage, and use it as a way to continue to learn but also supplement their income. Others don't want the rigours of editing or all the initial booking communication involved. I've been an associate photographer numerous times and it is a nice change sometimes to capture the day and leave all the other non-wedding day aspects to someone else.

Will our photos be different with an associate photographer?

Of course they will. I'm not going to lie and say we're all robots. That's the beauty of photography, everybody brings their own vibe. In saying that though, every couple is also different. I could capture the same venue 7 days a week and guarantee that each of those 7 days will be different, and that's due to the couple. I allow photographers to be creative on the day based on you as a couple, they're professional enough to know what they're doing to get the best shots of you. As for editing and the final product, I edit the same style for each and every wedding. So there'll definitely be that Ash Hughes style of photos when they're delivered in your final gallery. Can you tell which photos on my Instagram or website were shot by me or my associates? I barely can tell myself!

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