Are Associates the Right Move for Your Business?

POSTED IN : Creative Rising


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Creative Rising Episode 204

[TRAINING] Are you thinking about hiring an associate photographer to shoot under your brand? Or wondering if it’s really the right move for your business… or a big mistake?

We see photographers get caught up in this question all the time, and we want to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into when you add an associate to your business. We’ve been through the tumultuous process, and we’ve learned all of the critical dos and don’ts the hard way that we can help you avoid.

In this episode, I’m outlining everything you need to know about how to run a successful associate program, including:

  • How to find the best people that will actually deliver on your brand promise
  • The exact contract agreements you need to keep your biz legal
  • How to structure your associate program so it doesn’t damage your hard-earned brand 

Mentioned in the episode is our Independent Contractor Agreement, so grab that here to use for your associates and second shooters. 

Plus, I’ll be walking you through the critical steps you need to take to know if an associate program is even the right move for your business. (Hint: There are some very specific requirements to be successful, otherwise it could do some serious damage to your brand. I’ll tell you what they are.)

Special Thanks to Weston Bennett!

Resources in this Episode:
Our Independent Contractor Agreement
Freedom Edits 

Quick Guide:

  • (04:01) How to Really Know If Associates Are the Right Move
  • (12:06) SPONSOR: Freedom Edits – They Work With Associate Programs!
  • (14:35) The Different Associate Business Models
  • (19:10) Step One: How to Find & Train the Right People
  • (27:29) Step Two: How to Set Up the Right Expectations
  • (34:56) Step Three: How to Get Legal
  • (38:09) Step Four: How to Communicate
  • (42:34) The Best Advice


Get Your First Job Edited for Free HERE

Do you have associates in your business or are you considering them? Freedom Edits has a special Associates Service where they will customize a post-production workflow specifically for you! Want your associate to drop their images on the Freedom Edits server directly? You’ll receive a Lightroom Catalog and a link to the image gallery – it can be that simple!

This is exclusively for Creative Rising listeners, so get your first job edited for free at the link above and ask about their Associate Service!





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We teach photographers to build life-giving businesses that they absolutely love.

About Us

We're Jeff & Erin

We’re Jeff and Erin Youngren – and it’s our mission to help you thrive not just as a wedding photographer, but as a business owner. It’s time to set aside the stress and comparison of a hustle mindset, and build a life-giving business instead.

We met in college, got married, and started corporate jobs before we discovered (and fell in love with) wedding photography. But like many creative entrepreneurs, we were booking anything we could, strapped to our laptops and living dangerously close to burnout.

So we dug in and learned how to build a thriving business that supports our dream life – instead of a joyless business that runs a stressed-out life.

Today, we photograph only 10 Dreamie weddings per year, but we also run two other wedding brands plus a commercial studio in San Diego, CA. And we do it by only working the hours that fit into our life. The other hours? We spend those living a joyful life raising our two beautiful sons, James and Samuel.


Jeff and Erin

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