Our Principle Photographers are hand-selected and go through extensive training.
In 2014 I noticed that as our business was growing, I needed to be able to teach my style of photography to others to service our clients better and offer more availability. As a photography educator for many years, I am well versed in the most up-to-date training techniques to make sure that we offer the best talent available to our clients.
Our principal wedding photographers are some of the best in Los Angeles. They undergo a structured months-long training program, which isn't common for most owner/operator studios, who learn photography mostly from Youtube or 1-hour seminars at conferences. Furthermore, because we have a team of trained photographers, you never have to worry about your photographer not showing up because they are sick or injured before your wedding day.
Our certified principal photographers have worked with our studio for several years. and have 5+ years of professional experience.
Here is what it takes to be a certified principle photographer with our studio.
Our selection process is stringent. While we have an application available for photographers, less than 1% of our applicants have ever been selected and certified as a principal photographers. Unlike large national studios that just contract whichever photographer responded to a "help wanted" ad the week before your wedding. This talent that enters our training program is typically discovered at the workshops I teach or during scouting pushes a few times a year.
As a photography writer, speaker, & educator, I often meet new photographers that share my vision but require training in our processes to refine their skill set. These are the ideal candidates for becoming principal photographers.
When a prospect photographer is selected, they will fill out our application and, if they have the necessary qualifications, will be interviewed by our training coordinator.
Photographers that are considered as principles have to meet the following criteria before being admitted to our training program:
- An Understanding of Light and Posing
- An Amazing Personality
- Solid Organizational Skills
- Experience with at least 20 Weddings as a Lead Photographer
- Passage of background check
- Evaluation and knowledge of basic photographic principles
Every lead photographer that enters our system first begins with an evaluation shoot. This will help us gauge their starting level of expertise and help us understand their training progress and how they progress through each stage.
Candidates are initially evaluated in the following areas:
- Time Management
Candidates are scored on their initial evaluation shoot, and if they pass the requirements, they move on to our digital training.
Candidates receiving our digital training must complete all our course materials. This consists of training on composition, lighting, posing, communication, time management, creativity, and processes. The length of this course can vary from student to student. However, candidates cannot proceed to the next certification phase until this process is complete. Once the digital training is complete, candidates move on to the Field Training Photographer (FTP) program.
Candidates in this stage will receive extensive training by working with Michael directly, as well as other members of our team. This allows them to see shoots in real-time and see how the pace of our work is. This stage can last 3-6 months before moving on to their certification evaluation.
After each job or training session, candidates will receive a verbal critique of their performance in this phase, highlighting the areas that need improvement. Critiques are ongoing, even after a photographer passes certification. Once a photographer is certified after their final evaluation, we provide regular, ongoing video critiques of their work, which we have found has dramatically impacted improvement throughout the years.
After completing all the above steps within a specified period, candidates will be invited to take their final evaluation shoot. This exam requires a passing score for the candidate to be certified as a principal photographer. Principle photographers must pass a probationary period working with the studio before being contracted for jobs.
We constantly evaluate our principal photographers' portfolios to ensure that their work stays consistent with our look and feel. Photographers get regular training updates to ensure their creativity is current and fresh.
We hold multiple in-person training events per year and require our team to attend so we can demonstrate new techniques that we are working on, ensure that we are utilizing the newest technology to its fullest capacity, and update processes.
Editing and Post-production
One of the ways that we ensure consistency throughout our portfolio is to keep our post-production consistent no matter who on our team is photographing an event. By doing this, we can use the same color, toning, and composition techniques to keep your images looking their best. For more information about our editing processes, see here.