I couldn't be happier to have your talented self join me at Victoria Heer Photography. I am excited to put your creative mind to work and I know we will both learn something new from each other!
General Day of Guidelines
1) DRESS CODE / Dress simply and professionally in all black and appropriately for the wedding's dress code. If you wear a blazer, your undershirt can either be white or black - no patterns. Please have your clothes freshly washed and pressed, or dry cleaned. Light amounts of metal jewelry only - no brightly colored bib necklaces or excessive bracelets. No heeled shoes. Nothing that makes noise when you walk (clicking heels, jangling jewelry, etc). You must wear a non-digital watch on your wrist. You must leave your cell phone in the car for the entirety of your shift. I'm very strict on personal appearance. If you aren't sure what to wear, bring a back-up outfit or FaceTime with me the day before so I can okay your outfit before you arrive.
2) DEMEANOR / Take note of my demeanor with guests and the client. Mirror and do not exceed the energy of how I interact on the day to make sure the client knows you are an assistant and not the main photographer. Do your best to impress me as the primary shooter, not to impress the client. Do not show them the back of your camera or direct them without me telling you to. (I let you direct the couple several times during the day and may need you to take over if I need to take a step back and gather my thoughts).
3) GEAR / Travel light - I only need you to bring bring one camera body with you as we work, a 50mm lens and long lens (70-200mm or 135mm) if you have one or both of those, a reliable flash & batteries, and plenty of flash cards in a CASE - I highly suggest that you purchase a pelican case for your cards if you haven't already. You will be using your personal flash cards. You will be responsible for your all of your gear and keeping an eye on mine, so traveling light will help you out. I recommend you bring back up equipment including an extra camera body, but please leave that in the car. Bring a small, lightweight bag for your extra lens, flash cards, batteries, wallet, etc.
4) FRAMING & SETTINGS / In order to match the style of photos I take, I have some key rules for your camera settings:
- APERTURE / Keep track of your aperture at all times. Stay between f/1.8 and f/2.8. All group photos with more than 3 people must be at f/2.5 or greater.
- ISO / Do not go above 400 ISO unless I instruct you to.
- FLASH / You must use a reliable flash at 1/10 - 1/18 power for all reception shots unless I tell you not to.
- FRAMING / Leave a good amount of room around the edge of the frame whenever possible, especially for family photos. Do not cut off feet or the bottom of the dress in full length shots (pet peeve!) and always place heads in the upper third of the frame when taking close up portraits, eyes in line with the upper third line for headshots. Do not cut the body at the knee - always at mid-thigh.
- ANGLES / NO dutch angles or skewed framing. All vertical and horizontal lines should be properly aligned and square. The perspective should either be from the front, side, or top, never from the bottom looking up.
Here's a great example of a full wedding so you can see these rules in action: http://victoriaheerphotography.pixieset.com/liz-and-charles-wedding/
5) PERSPECTIVE / Cover the wedding from a different viewpoint of the main photographer in order to ensure complete coverage of the client's wedding day. I expect you to capture the following:
- Bridesmaids getting ready and hanging out while I'm shooting details. Be at ear's length just in case I want your assistance.
- Groom & Groomsmen preparations (on your own).
- Photos of the Bride with each Bridesmaid, Groom with each Groomsman.
- Be at the back of the aisle getting photos of each person entering the ceremony and a close shot and wide shot of the back of the bride and her dad walking up the aisle.
- Photos of the crowd / reactions. Try and get all sections of the crowd, especially front rows / parents.
- If you bring a long lens, you will be responsible for any tight shots of the bride and groom as they deliver their vows.
- Be right next to me as the bride and groom walk down the aisle after the ceremony, stay at the end of the aisle to capture bridal party and parents / grandparents processing while I follow the bride and groom away from the ceremony.
- Cocktail Hour:
- Head directly to cocktail hour after the ceremony, capture as many guests and family as you can, any trays of food or drinks being passed around, all the details you can. Sneak into the reception area for some details shots.
- Depending on the couple, you may join us for the newlyweds portraits, but I will let you know on the day.
- Capture the entrances and first dances from a different spot in the room without getting in the background of my shots.
- Focus on crowd reactions during toasts.
- Get as many table shots as you can.
- Focus on guests and family interactions rather than dancing.
- Be available to take requests for group photos.
6) BRAND / You are a representation of the Victoria Heer brand physically and creatively. Be professional, polite, and upbeat when interacting with the clients and guests. Keep your conversations brief, but I don't mind if you have a chat with the guests so they feel more comfortable with you. Please do not talk about your own business because you are a contracted employee of Victoria Heer. If anyone asks for a business card, you are to hand them one of mine (I'll give you a stack at the beginning of the day) and not yours. But that's pretty self explanatory. Please also approach the day from a stylistic perspective of my brand aesthetic. Take a look at my "on brand" pinterest board to get a feel for the images I love. I'm all about natural textures, movement, and romance. I prefer soft, even natural lighting and absolutely no crazy angles.
7) KEEP ME SANE & THE CLIENTS SECURE / I want you there AND the client wants you there. You make everything better and I can't thank you enough. Having an assistant on the day reduces so much stress. It's also super important that you're there just in case the worst happens and I lose any photos -- you're my backup. That's why it's important for you to treat second shooting like you're the main photographer. Take care in your shots and keep track of your "film." Even though I will load your photos to my external hard drive during the reception, it's important that you back them up to your own system when you get home. Just in case.
8) BE CREATIVE & HAVE FUN WITH IT / Have a blast and seize this as a learning opportunity. If it's obvious that you're having a blast and soaking in the experience, that immediately makes your appearance, experience, and professionalism skyrocket. You will notice that you grow creatively, professionally, and personally. The discipline and interpersonal skills you will learn as an assistant to a wedding are invaluable and can be applied to all aspects of your life and your business.
1) OWNERSHIP / As a contracted extension of Victoria Heer Photography, Victoria Heer will maintain the copyright and usage of all photos produced on the day by the Assistant Photographer. Victoria will have full rights to use and edit the Assistant Photographer's photos as she sees fit and does not have to disclose to the public or the client which photos are hers and which are the Assistant Photographer's. Victoria will credit the Assistant Photographer along with the other vendors at the wedding at the bottom of the blog post if she chooses to create one for that wedding. The credit will read "Assistant Photographer / First & Last Name" (not business name) and may or may not link to the Assistant's website.
2) IMAGE USAGE GUIDELINES / The Assistant Photographer may personally edit and use the photos they have taken to support their business ONLY if the photo is approved by Victoria Heer. The photos may not be posted on social media websites where the Assistant can use tagging because if the Assistant tags the client, the client will get confused about where their photos are coming from. Victoria Heer will be the only link between the client and the photos. Once the photo(s) are approved, they may ONLY be used and promoted in the following circumstances:
- Mixed in with other photos from different weddings in the Assistant's wedding portfolio on their website url. The Assistant may not create an album of photos on their portfolio that are only or mostly of the wedding or weddings they've shot with Victoria Heer.
- In a blog post on their website url ONLY if:
a) Victoria blogs the wedding on her website.
b) The Assistant clearly states at the beginning of the post that they were the Assistant, not the main shooter of the wedding, and link to Victoria Heer's blog post of that wedding.
c) The Assistant can announce their blog post on Facebook only and must link to Victoria Heer's blog in the posting.
3) PHOTO HAND OFF / During the reception, the Assistant Photographer will download their cards to Victoria's hard drive. The Assistant will not be permitted to leave until all photos are transferred.
4) PAYMENT / In 2017 all assistants will be paid $50 per hour. Each wedding has different Assistant hours and will be listed in the wedding info for the client. Payment will be mailed by check to the Assistant's mailing address provided below several days before the wedding date. If the Assistant is paid a total of $600 or more in the 2017 calendar year, they will need to declare their payment on their taxes, and fill out the proper tax documents when requested to by Victoria.
5) TRANSPORTATION & ACCOMMODATION COVERAGE AND STIPENDS / Depending on the location of the wedding, transportation and accommodation will be provided in the following manner:
- Less than 2 Hour Commute for Assistant / The Assistant has the option of either driving themselves to and from the wedding or riding with Victoria. The Assistant must meet Victoria wherever she may be the morning of for a ride to the wedding. No compensation will be made for gas costs.
- Greater than 2 Hour Commute for Assistant / Victoria will provide transportation to and from the event and will pick up the Assistant or meet the Assistant at a convenient rendezvous point. No compensation will be made for gas costs.
- 3+ Hour Commute for Assistant / Victoria will pick up the Assistant the day BEFORE the wedding as per >2 Hour Commute guidelines and bring the Assistant with her to the ceremony rehearsal. Victoria will provide the Assistant a bed for the night before and night of the wedding in a shared hotel room or airbnb. Victoria will drive the Assistant home or to their rendezvous point the morning after the wedding. A $50 stipend will be included for any transportation costs and meals that weekend on top of their agreed on hourly payment.
- Flight Required / Victoria will cover the cost of the flight and personally book the tickets for the Assistant. Victoria will either provide a ride to the airport and fly with the Assistant or meet the Assistant at a rendezvous point at the destination. Hotel / airbnb will be provided along with a $75 stipend for food and any transportation costs and meals that weekend on top of their agreed on hourly payment*.
*Depending on the destination, the Assistant Photographer may only be offered the coverage of their flight as payment for second shooting.