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We are discussing one of my favorite topics both business wise and legal wise: growing your team. And, specifically, this episode is for photographers or wedding industry professionals who are building out an associate team. Which is why I wanted to have Grace Troutman on the podcast! Grace is a photographer, but also a business coach!
Grace Troutman is a Midwest based wedding photographer and business educator. She also is the head of the Grace T Photo Team, and has a team of 3 associates who shoot under her brand. She started shooting about 6 years ago and has traveled to places including Iceland, Ireland, Hawaii, Colorado, California, and Oregon to shoot sessions and weddings. Grace lived in California when she was first starting her business, but Iowa called her home and she was determined to live a life of travel while still being close to family and friends. She is a wife and a mom to her 3 year old daughter and expecting their second addition in early July.
- Loaning equipment versus renting out your equipment to your associate photographers.
- How to legally build your associate photography team, and some legal contracts you are going to want to have in your legal toolkit.
- What legality insurance you will need as you build your team.
- Grace's tips for becoming a mentor and leader to your associate team.
- What to do when it's time to start building your associate team, and how to deal with team members during this process.
"I would say if you're thinking about hiring teammates and building a brand of associate photographers working under you. You need to start that process now, only because it does take a little bit. You can't just hire someone on and be like, okay, let's start booking. You have to touch on training as well as a few other things before they get started." - Grace's advice on when to start building your associate team.
"This is where I preach outsourcing, because you have to have the main checkpoint of where all of the images go through. So what happens after my associates get done shooting a wedding, they do not touch the images. They do not scroll through them. They do not do anything else. They hand the cards over, I go through everything and make sure everything's there. Then what I do is I have an editor that edits everything." - Grace's advice on keeping the editing style the same with an associate team.
"If you can keep your team local, I would honestly recommend that. But if you do have people flying for your weddings, you need to take a look at your contract, especially with your associate on. You have to think, what are they covering? What are you covering? Are all their meals like taking care of like, do you have to cover all of that stuff? Because then obviously your packages need to increase because you still need to profit. They still need to profit it. Especially if you're taking on all of those expenses."- Grace's advice for keeping your associate team local
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