Training Your Assistant
This is my lovely assistant, kylie. I sort of had her approved me posting these pictures is going to kill you now. I did tell her what pictures I was using, but this is my assistant she's. Really? Quite lovely. You know, she's there helping a little little lady little grandma on her way and you know, she makes me laugh all day. So training your assistant is definitely something that I would like to cover because your assistant is huge in this. She does all these all these steps for you and it's. Not something that you really can just hand her a list and you know, she knows how to do our learns how to do so when you are hiring an assistant. Sure, I to make the turn over time longer so that you have them for a while and they can be trained. So just a couple notes about training your assistant. You want to find the right person? This is kylie. Still, she is the right person, but I catch her and funny little moments. Every once in a while you need to know your demographic. Your assistant i...
s most likely going to fit a demographic mostly with age range, because you can only pay your assistant so much so you're probably not going to have an assistant that needs to feed a family of four and support a more extravagant lifestyle. So it's important that you know your demographic of the person that you were going to hire so that you know that they will fit the job will fit the pay, and we'll hopefully stay with you for a little bit longer for me, my assistants, for the most part, have ranged in the college age that's usually the age of my assistance, and this usually amounts to weekend work, right? So if they're going to their full time students, they have the weekends available, you know it tends to work out exactly you want to have a relevant interview process on dh? I threw this, and there may be not as much for your assistant obviously want to make sure that he or she is a responsible person and can multi task and can handle learning and, you know, critique and posit of criticism, constructive criticism, but overall have a relevant near a few process when you're hiring anyone your assistant, you're a second shooter when I hire new second shooters might interview process is first interviewing them, knowing them and then having them third shoot a wedding with me that's their second interview. Third shooting that wedding and sometimes they third shit with me for a while to get up to par to be a second shooter so just have a relevant interview process create a job description or in the case of assistant make them a list I made kylie list when she first started tio work for me and we went over that list before a wedding day and I taught her how to do it and I have a whole method when it comes to how to teach your assistance in all of your staff had to teach them how to do what you want them to dio um but most importantly when you are teaching them these things you have to remember there not you it's really easy to get frustrated when you're teaching somebody because you want you want them to be we would all like to clone ourselves you know? But just remember that they aren't you if you guys are familiar with shutter mag have you heard of shutter mag it's, a free online magazine for photographers with a lot of great information there this past month that is out right now and then also the month that is coming out I've written article that's two parts that is all about training and hiring your staff so it's free go to behind the shudder dot com on dh you can actually read a whole article that I wrote on this issue that's out right now and then the one that's coming out hire somebody with skills that you need to obviously I mean this goes that's common sense, but if you need somebody to work and photoshopped, get somebody who's adept in photo job learning photo shop and one they all say is it sometimes and I don't mean this to be derogatory but sometimes hard hard to find people that just have basic common sense till like handle situations as they come off if I'm shooting a wedding I don't need somebody tapped me on the shoulder every two seconds what do you want, teo, what do you want, teo, what should I do now? I gotta finish this what's next just like you need somebody that can kind of just be self contained and do this do this on their own so just we're looking for somebody and just a few more notes on training your assistant just know it takes time. It does take time to train someone and try to have the patience for that and while you're teaching someone teach skills that build upon each other, you know, teach things that are small things, but they'll use it when they're doing this later down the road or this thing that you want them to do later so again really expand on this in the article that ever in and shutter mag but real quick the fourth step teaching method is what I like to go with andi I do have a teaching degree I'm certified to teach in the education system so I learned this in school so four step teaching method is number one you want to demonstrate whatever it is that you're trying to teach them so the first step is demonstrating what you are trying to get them to do so you let them watch you let them observe you they don't get to do anything at that point step two they start doing it but you guide them doing it so you tell them okay step one go ahead and do this right now and then they do it step to go hey now we do this and they do it step three you observe them so you're not guiding them anymore you don't say anything to say I need you to do this task and then you just watch them do it don't jump in don't correct them let them learn to correct themselves and let them figure it out by their mistakes and then the fourth step in really making sure that it actually learned it is they need the ability to be able to teach it to somebody else. So it's four step process for somebody when you're teaching to master a concept that cookie's work cookies is giving a cooking everything that you could do that with me I would like a cookie every time I did something right next break I'm gonna have cookies and every time vanessa doesn't go is going along with that teaching method definitely teach them why you do what you do not how you do what you do it's very important ted talks I think had a video on this at one point and just building your whole annie around the y and not the how and that works equally as well for when you were training your assistance you want teach them why you do what you do so that later when they you'll have to do something they don't have to ask you what to do they know what it is that you want them to do because you've taught them how your brain works and why you do the things that you do um great responsibility list very similar to creating a job description that you talked about before in this case list out what they have to do anticipate that turnover you want a longer turnover obviously because you want them to stick around with you but once they start growing out of that demographic member I said that demographic know where it is for that job position wants to start getting there you have to anticipate turn over and start letting them train somebody else you don't have to do that training again all of it at least and anticipate that and then know what to pay I can't tell you what to pay your assistance you were all in different demographic areas that have to do with the economy and what you get paid for a wedding you know, it all depends on that but make sure that you know it's appropriate don't over pay or under pay um for your area and you know hey, if you get interns and an intern that will stay with you for a year fantastic. Do we have question yeah, I know you said it takes time but I'm curious how long it take you to train kylie I guess specifically yeah, well kylie's pretty bright, but she's not a photographer at all so she did not know any of the programs I taught her. Um I would say I trained her once in house, so not at a wedding so it took it a three hour period maybe for that half day and then I gave her little steps along the way but for her to be fully trained, I would say maybe four weddings about yeah it's an investment it's not gonna happen right out of the gate but it's worth it. So I guess five days of total time, any questions about training your system? Because we're going to start finishing up this part of the day and talking about monday's followup but any other question shins on what we've covered so far all right? Yes uh marien who's from a buddha crest romania is asking it do you have a contract with your assistant? Yes, I do that's very important. Make sure that you have contracts of everyone who works for you especially if they are not employees and they're independent contractors you want to have a contract that states they're an independent contractor they are not salary nor have they ever been offered a salary employee position. You know, there's a whole list if you actually look, I do believe it's federal list um where you can actually look at all of the requirements for independent contractor versus employees going very state to state also and and you should have anybody who was working for you as an independent contractor should be invoicing you if I contract out to somebody for somebody to build a house for me they're gonna invoice me for product a service they need to be doing the same thing. They're providing a service to you. They need to be invoicing us. So in order for my independent contractor contractors to get paid they've got to send me an invoice and then I cut some payment. Yeah, there's just technicality is it's. One of the things that the government's cracking down on now is employees versus independent labor so just cover yourself. I actually I believe I give you the link the federal online website link to the differences between employees and independent contractors in that shutter mike article. Either the one that's out an hour, the one next month, especially if they're going to be about more than six hundred dollars, per year that's when they have to claim their their income from that fender. All right, speaking of pay, loony productions and others as well are wondering if you could give us a range for pain. Your assistant. Yeah, um, my assistance, I pay anywhere from eight to twelve dollars an hour. In general, kylie has been with me. This is her third year with may so she's at the top of the range. I pay her twelve dollars an hour, but someone who's just starting. I work with eight, and then I it raises periodically, performance based performance based a lot of times, um, and just experience in seniority.