During my first year of photographing weddings, I spent the year as an apprentice for a couple of local photographers. I spent a lot of wedding days shooting side angles, fluffing dresses, and grabbing not so exciting shots of the reception details. I learned a lot during that year; but, I also made a lot of mistakes.
When I had second photographers at my own weddings in the years prior to my husband, Wilson, joining my team, I always discussed some key elements of being a great second shooter with them. I am excited to be sharing those on the blog today. Hopefully, it will help some of you friends be a great second photographer this wedding season.
1) Shooting For The First Photographer’s Portfolio…Not Yours
I know, I know friend, it is hard. You want that perfect, centered shot of the bride and groom for your own portfolio; but, that is not your role. It is not the second photographer’s job to get the same shot the primary photographer is getting, but, a complimentary angle that can enhance the gallery of the wedding as a whole.
Let me show you an example! When the primary photographer is getting photos of the bridal party, what should the second photographer be doing? Getting side angles, or shots of the flowers and other details of the dresses. That might mean using a different lens.
2) Being Nice To The Bride and Groom…But, Not Too Friendly
One of my favorite parts of a wedding day, is chatting with the bride and her bridesmaids. Normally, my second photographers do and enjoy the same thing-the getting ready room is always so exciting and full of anticipation of the day ahead.
However, if a second photographer started handing out his or her business cards (yes, that has happened lol) or friending clients on Facebook, I would have to draw the line.
It is like the second photographer saying to the client, “How can I get your business in the future?” When they should be focused on serving the primary photographer.
3) Ask The Primary Photographer These Questions…
What types of lenses would you like me to shoot with?
What is your preferred attire to a wedding? (Super Important!)
Will I have a vendor meal, or should I bring my own food?
Will I use your memory cards or mine? (Make sure you say if your camera uses SD or CF cards.) How do I deliver the images to you?
How many images do you expect from your second photographers?
Is there anything I need to bring with me? Flashes, etc.?
Am I allowed to use these shots in my own portfolio? If so, what are your rules about posting and sharing?
Is there any special circumstances I should know about?
Do you want me to keep up with your Instagram stories?