Tips on Second Shooting

    Last Saturday I second shot another wedding with my friend Savannah and it was one of my favorites we did together. It was such a relaxed and fun day that we even had a few spare moments to chat about photography, business, and life in general. Driving back home I reflected on the wedding day and thought of a few tips for those who want to second shoot. This is just my opinion and it just might or might not work for you, but at least I tried. Here you go, my own advise on second shooting:

    * Remember it’s not your wedding. As a second shooter you are there to help the other photographer do his/her job. That means the main photographer gets the best angle, unless he/she specifically wants you to shoot from a certain location.
    * Treat it like your own wedding. The guests at the wedding and often times the family don’t know who the main photographer is. If you look lost half the time, or refuse to take a picture for grandma because it is not your job, you are being a bad reflection on the main photographer’s brand. Shoot the wedding with the same effort as if it’s your own.
    * Talk to the main photographer. Communication is extremely important. I make sure to text the main photographer when I get to a location, and let him/her know what I plan to do next to make sure I’m in line with his/her plan.
    * Offer helpful suggestions. Sometimes the main photographer is so busy that he/she doesn’t have the time to scout out the location, or might need a moment to reflect on the next photo (well at least I do), be the one to offer helpful suggestions. Let the photographer know of a spot with good light you saw near by, and be ready to take over when the photographer needs a moment to reflect. Every photographer is different so make sure you know what he/she expects from you.
    * Anticipate to offer help. Whatever it is the main photographer might need, be the firs one to offer help. The photographer might not always directly tell you what they want, but anticipate to offer help even when not asked for it. Bring that glass with iced water. Offer to run get something from the car. Inform the photographer of a big event coming up on the timeline. They will love you for it.
    * Have fun. While second shooting is not always easy, remember why you’re there to begin with and enjoy the day!

    And because posts are always better with a photo, here is a self portrait done with the help of my good old friend mirror at the hotel where the groomsmen were getting ready.

    June 16, 2011