Synergistic Photographic Partnerships

Posted by scott at December 7, 2008

Category: (d) News

Tags: , , , , ,

The joys of working with another photographer on a shoot.

Let me give you a short glimpse into this subject.
These are my thoughts as of now… as i’m just venturing into some of these paths.
Suffice it to say it is a whole new joyful world to working with and working well with another good photographer.

Working with another photographer & having another person assist you are different.

Both can be great things! And both pose problems
But they are different things.

Working together with a photographer side by side is the trickier of the two.
This can be very very hard and challenging, but it can also be the most rewarding of things of all.

In any relationship or friendship it’s always easier, in one light, to just not even try.
Because there is always work needed and potential of problem or even failure.

But as we all know the reward can far outweigh the cost.

Working together with another photographer can be very tricky you have to find the right one.
Just because they’re an AMAZING photographer doesn’t mean you can work well with them.

The math isn’t always consistent
Sometimes when you’re lucky 1 + 1 = 3
Sometimes it can be = 1.5
Sometimes it just remain = 2


How does 1+1=3 work?
Well if I do better work than usual when with the other photographer
and the other photographer does better work when i’m around
then it’s certainly more than just the sum of both parts alone.

It takes a special sort of people.
It isn’t an automatic

Qualities such as these:
Ability to ask and give advice with sincerity.
Ability to assist with happiness and to receive that service back.
To not feel threatened by what the other does and to not make the other feel threatened.
To be willing to fill in where you are best and help the other become better at that thing at the same time.
To boost the other in the eyes of your client. And hope the other does the same.
To not put yourself in a higher standing or debase the other to make yourself look better.
Compliment the other… And i don’t just mean give verbal compliments :)

Shooting with the assistance of another person is easier but still helpful
It’s understood that it’s not quite as rewarding.
When you free yourself of some of the cares and concerns of a photoshoot and free yourself to focus on those things that is left to you it can be very rewarding.
LIke what?
Lighting, taking care of dresses and details and even carrying around stuff.

The potential problems in this field are much fewer. At worst they don’t do a good job lighting and you just have to do it yourself like it would have been anyway. But people are usually alright with taking directions and if they’re good at doing their job they’re good and you’ll have them back helping the next time if they want.

One more plug for synergistic photographic relationships

Sometimes 1+1=3 and sometimes 1+1=4

To the photographer out there

Believe me when i say that if you’re a photographer find someone you really connect with and try it.
Don’t approach it as a competition.
Work hard for it.
But don’t expect it to even work
You can’t be best friends with everyone in the world or even your town, sometimes you’re just not matched right.
Sometimes it clicks, sometimes it doesn’t.
If it doesn’t work it isn’t necisarily the fault of either of you… but sometimes it is 😉 haha

To the customer out there!

Talk about a deal!!!
If it typically costs $1000 for each one alone
And together they’re 3 times the ability and quality of what they are alone
…and as a package they only cost$1500 or even $2000

It’s crazy to pass that up.

Just because someone says they work with another photographer it doesn’t mean the synergy always is substantial. Take it from me… I know!
There is a cost to value ratio that is soo hard to know about.
Then again there’s a cost to value ratio to understand in every photographer alone by themself.
Don’t Assume
Just because they say they’re good doesn’t make them good.
And just because they are good at what they do alone doesn’t make them good at working together.


  1. Kimbrey says

    Very interesting. How often and for what circumstances do you work with another photographer?

  2. scott says

    Not so much anymore. It has to work perfectly.
    And then sometimes you go your own ways a little later down the line.
    Sometimes other things in life just happen even if you work together so well on photo shoots.

    But I’ve been trying to get really good working with all sorts, pushing myself to have tons of assistants so I can get to know all the types.

    I would like to find some people to work with that are in related fields like art directors or lighting specialists. Those would be fun to work with.
    I might do more commercial shoots with a great art director in stride.

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