How to be an amazing second shooter
** According to me :), always make sure you ask for clear expectations when second shooting
The "basics" are soooo important-
- Show up on time
- Dress professionally and comfortably
- Sign a second shooter contract- protects both of you
Things that can help ahead of time-
- Talk about expectations ahead of crunch time- especially if you have never worked with that person before
- Make sure your equipment is working properly before and you have enough charged batteries (both for you camera(s) and flash(es))
- Make sure you have agreed on payment, how much and how you will be paid.
The big day-
- Make sure to sync your cameras 🙂
- Always shoot in RAW unless directed otherwise
- When people ask you business questions, always refer to the main photographer and don’t self promote.
- Don’t take the same photos as the main photographer (unless you’ve talked about it ahead of time), find a different angle that you enjoy! The goal is to have as much variety in the gallery as possible, that can’t happen if you’re shooting side by side all day 🙂
- ALWAYS be kind and respectful towards the couple and guests- remember you are not only representing you, but the main photographer’s business.
- Try your best to take photos without the main photographer in them. Sometimes things can be photoshopped out, but we all know that galleries can be delivered faster without having to do these extra steps.
- Be available to fluff dresses, hold things that are in pockets, etc. (I always carry a crossbody bag or have extra pockets to make sure I can take all 10 of the groomsmen's phones ;))
- I personally look at us shooting a wedding together as a collaboration, so if you are second shooting with me- feel free to jump in with ideas if we have a few minutes- be careful though, if we are behind on the timeline, it might be tougher to make this happen!!
- If it’s a larger venue or you and the main photographer are in different areas, make sure you’re able to receive texts/ calls from them. (I’ve learned this the hard way when I was second shooting and my phone was on DND- I'm sorry Mack!!)
- Don’t delete photos, even if you don’t like them, it can lead to corrupting cards and/ or deleting the wrong images
- If anything goes wrong throughout the day, go directly to the main photographer.
- Take BTS- both videos on your phone and photos with your camera. This is such a valuable asset for the main photographer, and they will be so grateful that you did! (that's how I got the awesome photo above to use that Brooke Duclos Photography took!!)
- Don’t be under the influence on the job.
- HUGE bonus if you help me stay hydrated on wedding days ;) shoutout to all 4 of my second shooters this year, they have been soooo helpful in making sure I’m hydrated!!
- Don’t be afraid of overshooting (another personal preference), I would rather have extra photos of an amazing wedding day, than wish I had more. **Extra candids are always a plus ;)
- Always check in with the main photographer before you leave.
Afterwards the day-
- Don’t post any photos from the day until the full gallery is delivered- if the main photographer hasn’t communicated with you, it’s never wrong to ask!
- If you want feedback, ask for it. If the main photographer wants it, they will too. Be open to sharing respectful both positive and constructive feedback
- If you post photos on social media, always tag the main photographer in the caption, not the client.
- I personally am 100% fine tagging other vendors (if you shoot with me, feel free to ask for a vendor list and I will provide that), but make sure to ask the main photographer what their preferences are. I think it’s positive to give other vendors credit/ exposure, but I know that some people have different views, and that’s A- Okay!
I cannot stress enough to talk about expectations until you are comfortable shooting with that specific person. My first time 2nd shooting was over 10 years ago and I still ask every single time I 2nd shoot if there is anything specific they need from me, every wedding is different and everyone's main goal is that the couple will love and cherish their photos for years to come- what can we all do to make that happen?
A special thank you to Brooke Duclos Photography and Mack Lloyd Photography for taking the below photos while we worked together at two amazing winter weddings <3