210: DARING to Start an Associate Team with Steph Wahlig

January 26, 2022


We’re so excited to welcome Steph Wahlig on the podcast today. Steph is an accomplished destination photographer based in the Arizona Area. She has diversified her work from her own wedding work, an editing company and an associate team. We’ll be talking all about how she started one of her many businesses, Step on Me, which is her associate program.

Steph will share tips on starting an associate program. We will also talk about common roadblocks that can prevent a lot of photographers from creating their own programs. 

Grab your notepad because Steph comes with a whole bunch of business knowledge that we can’t wait for you to hear! 


Try not to be afraid to do something that you’ve been wanting to do. If you’ve been wanting to start an associate business, start it for the right reasons and actually make the steps to do it.

I think we talk about, “oh, I’ll do this someday” or “I’ll do it eventually”. Just go out and do it. 


What do you shoot with?

I shoot with a Sony 7R3 and a GFX R and I have many, many lenses.

What’s your favorite post-wedding or event snack?

I don’t really snack throughout the day

What’s your favorite wedding/creative pump-up jam?

I usually like top hits or something or I like rap.

What is your favorite thing to do outside of your business?

I play the piano so I take piano lessons. I like writing, I have a bike. And so I’ve been riding that around. 

And then obviously playing with the kids, you know, they’re getting to the age where they don’t want to be around me anymore, but I force them to play games with me.

What’s the best education you’ve learned from?

I’d say the best is anything that revolves around owning a business, the business part. Then learning about people and really figuring it out who your client is really helped me set me to be apart.

I think the biggest thing I learned over the years is that I am not going to be Jose Villa. I’m not going to be D’arcy. That’s just not my personality. It’s just not my business brand. 

What is one daring leap you’ve taken in your business? 

I’d say my associates program. I’m really trusting people and like saying, “okay, I can do this”.

I can do three or four weddings a day and it’d be okay. I think it also, the outsourcing company was huge for me. I never even thought I was good at editing until someone said I was. So that was kind of like “oh, I guess I am good at editing”. So that’s the most recent, and now we have around 80 clients.

What is one thing you feel like you’re really great at in your business? 

Managing certain things and doing more than three things at once. I think you have to be able to do that and really focus. Because sometimes I’m editing a wedding and I’ll get an inquiry.

So then I replied to the inquiry, they book, I say, I fill the contract all while I’m editing a wedding. 

So I’m doing all of these things all at the same time. You know, but making it so that when I’m done at the day, I’m done. So I work from 8:00 AM. Until 3:00 PM every day. I don’t often work past that time because I need to be with my kids and I need to be present with them.

Where can our listeners find you?

Do you have any announcements for our listeners?

I have a workshop coming up in May in Arizona. I only limit my workshops to eight people.I like more one-on-one conversations. 

So, it’s going to be at my house and then we’re actually gonna do some desert shooting and talk about editing. And it’s gonna be really, really fun. That’s the week of the 16th of May. 


We dare you to check out the other Dare to Develop Podcast episodes including 000: Welcome to Dare to Develop where you get to meet your hosts Kristine Herman and Ashley Baumgartner.