July 24, 2020
Second shooting is such an awesome opportunity. When I started as a Utah wedding photographer, I second shot at 12 weddings before with amazing photographer like Rachel before I ever did one on my own and it was SO helpful. Having a second shooter is definitely helpful as the lead photographer. It’s nice to have someone else to get different angles and shots on the wedding day. But it’s even more helpful to the second shooter! Second shooting is how I gained confidence and experience doing weddings before I actually did one myself. I was able to learn from so many amazing photographers and I owe them so much.
What is second shooting and why would you want to second shoot? Second shooting is when you accompany a lead photographer to a wedding and help and learn from them. Second shooting allows you to see a wedding day from start to finish, practice your creativity, learn photographing in different light and situations, watch an experienced photographer, learn from them, and build your portfolio! I definitely recommend second shooting at lots of weddings with different photographers before you do a wedding on your own.
Every photographer has different expectations when it comes to being a second shooter. The best thing you can do is make sure you’re on the same page with them and know what their expectations are!
If you second shoot with me, I want this to be an amazing experience for both of us, so here are the things I expect when you second shoot with me:
This is for you! As a Utah wedding photographer, I can handle a wedding day on my own. I definitely love having the extra set of eyes, and I love being able to help you like so many photographers helped me! I want this to be helpful for you. Use this time to learn and be creative, and all the shots I get from you are a bonus!
Candid moments are the BEST things you can capture as a second shooter. As a lead shooter, I have the stress of making sure the day goes smoothly so keeping your eye out for candids is one of the most helpful things you can do!
Sometimes I’ll ask you to grab a specific shot, like one of grandma and grandpa. Or maybe I’ll need you to keep an eye on my roller bag. Or maybe a little girl is crying and you could help by cheering her up in the background. Keep your eyes and ears open to how you can help me serve the couple and their family best. Follow my lead in interacting with the guests and have a great time and smile a lot!
Help me remember to have you set your time with mine and your settings to RAW. This ensures that when I cull and edit, it’s a seamless process for me to use both of our photos.
When you second shoot for someone, you’re representing them and the brand and business they’ve worked super hard to build. They’re doing you a favor by letting you come! It’s not a time for you to talk about your business or share your business cards. It’s a time for you to learn! Second shooters shouldn’t have any interactions with the clients outside of the wedding day (no sending them emails or galleries, don’t add them as friends or tag them in photos, etc.) – the lead photographer will take care of all of that! Ask beforehand what you should wear. Be conscious that you are representing me as a Utah wedding photographer and my business and all the hard work I’ve done to grow it. If you haven’t already, some day you may have second shooters who come with you! What would you want them to do?
This is your time to learn from me and the way I do things. You are an assistant, not the lead. You may not agree with the way I do things, and that is okay! Jot those things down as things you want to do differently when you are the lead. But never try to take the lead on the wedding day.
Just be mindful of where I’m shooting and try to stay out of the shots!
Grab some behind the scenes pictures of me in action that I can use for my social media and site and I’ll try to remember to do the same for you!
Remind me when you want a shot! Sometimes I just am cruising and forget to have you hop in a take a shot. If we’re not in a rush and it seems like a good moment, don’t be afraid to say, “hey, can I grab a shot of that real quick?” I want you to have beautiful pictures you can use!
Your photos will be yours to edit and use for your portfolio! You can use them on your social media, just wait to post any pictures until you have seen me post at least one AND you must tag me or say that you were second shooting with me (@laurenkaypete). ALWAYS wait to post images until the lead photographer has shared the photos first, and never tag the clients. With me, feel free to use them on your site as well.
I typically only have second shooters come for experience, so I do not offer any payment! Some Utah wedding photographers pay to have a second shooter come along, but I think it’s a valuable experience so I don’t.
If you have two card slots, I will give you a card to use! If you don’t, I’ll have you upload the photos to a drive, or, if I brought my laptop, I’ll load them on my computer after the wedding. I’ll edit and share the photos of yours that I want to keep with the client. They will all assume my copyright and be sent to the client as if they were taken by me. You’re welcome to edit them in your style and use them for your portfolio, like I mentioned above.
I’m an open book! I’m happy to help and answer any questions that I can! This is a great time to learn from the lead photographer so don’t be afraid to ask questions and maybe even come with a list!