i don’t second shoot very often, but when i can i love to help out my fellow photographer friends.
second shooting is such an important role in wedding photography, and it isn’t about learning how to be a wedding photographer. you are there to assist the main photographer and communication is very important.
things to ask before you you start:
- what equipment will i need?
- will i shoot jpeg, raw, or both?
- how would you like me to shoot? (wide shots, close shots, variety?)
- can i use this images for my blog or portfolio?
- how much will i be paid and when?
- will i need to sign a contract?
- how can i best help you during the day?
every photographer is different. we all have specific things we want our second photographers to do and not to do. most of the time a photographer will lay out rules and tell you their needs before, but it is always good to have a list of things to ask just in case.
some often unspoken no-no’s are; do not give people your business name, or try and pick up clients while you are shooting. do not shoot for yourself. you are shooting as an extension of the business you are working for and their needs come first. if you are given permission to use the images, do not use images for promotional reasons, such as bridal shows, bridal magazines etc. do not facebook or blog the images (if you have permission) until the photographer has blogged or handed over their images to the client. do not use the clients name in your blog or facebook.
helping the photographer is your main job, so ask frequently if they need anything. hand out their business cards to guest and vendors of the wedding. help with formal posing and getting small children’s attention during that time. set lights up and help carry equipment and props. your job extends beyond being a fall back for images. shoot with room to crop, and never shoot the same thing. mirror the other photographer, make sure you are shooting something different than what they are but try and remain true to the style that photographer is known for. take initiative if the photographer is off doing something non-work related. perhaps they need to take a break, make use of your time and pick up slack on shots they may not have gotten yet. for example, detail shots. center pieces, flowers, bridal shoes, they have it at the wedding? shoot it!
and the most important part, please before volunteering your services know how to 100% use your equipment and correctly expose images on manual setting. this is so vital. sometimes the second shooter has 100% unique images that the main shooter will not have especially if you both have to be in a different place at the same time (such as, groom getting ready shots).
hand over your cards at the end of the day and be on your way! i always suggest having a contract that the main photographer writes up before the wedding. that way every one has certain expectations of each other, and there is no gray area.
here are some images i captured from my day of second shooting. it was such a beautiful (but hot!) day, i was happy to be apart of it.