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Old May 16th, 2009, 10:00 AM   #1
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How much to pay an assistant?

What is the going rate for a wedding assistant for both video and still photo for a wedding (separate quotes)? Is it usually a day rate? Or by the hour? They would be hauling gear, labeling, charging batteries, setting up tripods etc, run of the mill stuff. Thanks for the input :)
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Old May 16th, 2009, 03:41 PM   #2
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I pay mine 150 for video. I don't do photo though. Thats for a day with a few hour break in between prep and the reception.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 09:56 AM   #3
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I usually pay between $100-150, depending on the number of hours. I don't technically pay hourly, but if its an extremely long day, I'll throw in a little more. My helpers carry equipment, set up tripods, ect and also shoot with the 2nd camera. I usually set up for them and make it as easy as possible... but they do a great job for me.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 02:24 PM   #4
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$150 or more depending on the project. Take care of your assistant, they are usually your weakest link, I believe if you look after the people that work for you that you'll get excellence.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 12:18 PM   #5
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I usually pay mine 10% of the package. I base that on the fact that he has a great eye for nice shots, knows what he is doing, is good company.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 12:26 PM   #6
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I have yet to find an assistant I'm really happy with, so at the moment I pay them $100, with potential $25 and $50 bonuses based on the footage they shoot. You guys should really consider incorporating bonuses because it gives your assistant motivation to try a little harder.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 12:48 PM   #7
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I have yet to find an assistant I'm really happy with, so at the moment I pay them $100, with potential $25 and $50 bonuses based on the footage they shoot. You guys should really consider incorporating bonuses because it gives your assistant motivation to try a little harder.
Does feeding them count?
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Old May 18th, 2009, 04:58 PM   #8
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I give my assistant a back rub and take her out to dinner the next day. Hehehe. Yeah I shoot with my wife as assistant / Second Unit cam.

Nothing helps an assistant camera op remember common mistakes like me complaining all winter about our bad shots from the summer before. :-)

Although I haven't taken my advice yet and made her watch the raw footage from her cam. That is how I learned the most, so I might do that before this year's wedding season starts .... oh . . .wait... the start is this weekend! Gah!
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Old May 18th, 2009, 05:24 PM   #9
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Does feeding them count?
Naw .. I find they work harder if you starve them. d;-)
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Old May 18th, 2009, 07:26 PM   #10
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I give my assistant a back rub and take her out to dinner the next day.
I was gonna ask if I could be your assistant... LOL!
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Old May 19th, 2009, 02:18 AM   #11
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I give my assistant a back rub and take her out to dinner the next day. Hehehe. Yeah I shoot with my wife as assistant / Second Unit cam.
Jason my fiance was my assistant for a while after my regular left. Sometimes we "really" got on each others nerves, lol however now that she's not shooting with me anymore I miss having her with me. She knew nothing about camera work I pretty much gave her a camera and said shoot something, was fun. I now employ a full time editor to help with the editing and shooting, one thing I learn through editing my footage, I think it's important for an assistant to edit his/her own work if only syncing footage.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 08:37 AM   #12
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I pay $ 100-$150, he just need to unload lights, charge batteries, set-up tripod, man the camera for speeches ( so I can eat). Lately it's just me and the wife, have never used an assistant for 2 seasons now.
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Old May 21st, 2009, 03:24 PM   #13
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I'm also in the 100 to 150 range... but more and more, I'm rarely letting my assistant shoot.
If anything, he carries the light(s) & tripod and watches me work.

Not a bad gig!
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Old May 21st, 2009, 09:17 PM   #14
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How long are your assistants working cause I'm paying $200 - $300 for 6 - 8 hours. Pay usually depends on my mood, how far in advance I get them, if they have to travel or not.

Am I over paying? I've considering going to an hourly rate.
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Old May 21st, 2009, 09:36 PM   #15
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How long are your assistants working cause I'm paying $200 - $300 for 6 - 8 hours. Pay usually depends on my mood, how far in advance I get them, if they have to travel or not.

Am I over paying? I've considering going to an hourly rate.
I don't know, if I could pay someone $200 and simply not worry about them at all and know that I would get great footage, correctly white balanced, with out the worry about the assistant's camera zooming / moving at the same time as me, that the assistant would get creative shots on their own, would work well with the guests, and would make my edit job easy..... then I'd consider paying $200 for an 8hr assistant.

There is only one person I would trust to get that kind of footage for me (Travis C. right here on DVi).

The other problem is schedules (since he operates his own wedding vid business) and that I really need that extra $200 now more than ever.
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