PHOTOG FAQ | I would love to second shoot sometime. Do you have any advice on second shooting? What should I do at a wedding?
Those are great, great questions and, the fact that you’re asking that, makes you that much more valuable as a second shooter.
But let’s start with some basics.
What is second shooting?
You’re working as an assistant photographer at an event/wedding. You may be asked to help with lighting, carrying gear, shooting details or guests. You’re pretty much helping out wherever the photographer needs you so that the main photographer can concentrate on the bride, groom, and capturing their wedding day.
Why second shoot?
- Learn from an expert
- Build your portfolio
- Learn shooting with different weather, lighting, cultures, personalities
- Increase your network
- Experience, experience, experience
- Communicate with the main photographer before the day of the wedding | What do they expect? What do they need? What’s the timeline? What gear would they like you to have?
- Have the contact information | Make sure you already know the directions to every location and that you have the photographer’s cell phone number for emergencies.
- Guard their gear | We can get caught up with wanting to photograph the next spontaneous moment that occurs at a wedding. Keep an eye out for the main photographer’s equipment for them. If you can even help carry them from one point to another, that would be AWESOME.
- Capture missing details | The main photographer may be caught up capturing another moment. If you see a detail being missed, take it. That’s the biggest help on the day of a wedding, capturing missed moments and details.
- Try a different angle | Don’t stand right behind the photographer and mimic them. Complement them. Use a different angle. Use a different style lens. Instead of capturing the bride and groom, capture the guests’ reactions.
- Capture the guests | One of the other biggest ways that help us as photographers is when a second shooter will happily take photographs of the guests. Often, there are guests standing around chatting and may (depending on the group dynamics) actually want photos taken of them. We LOVE it when a second shooter kindly asks if they’d like a photo and then takes them.
- Jump in and help | Sometimes, you may need to predict what the photographer is going to need next, such as capturing a moment they may be missing because of where
- Be free to be creative | This isn’t your wedding so you don’t HAVE to get every typical moment and detail, unless the photographer is requesting it. Use that freedom to explore new angles, shooting styles, etc. Take your time to get those shots.
DON’T (Lessons we’ve learned along the way)
- Don’t give out your business cards to guests | Unless your main photographer is okay with this, it’s better to play it safe and make sure you’re advertising your main photographer. You represent them so let them get the credit for their hard work and pass out their information.
- Don’t forget to credit the main photographer on the blog/social media | Make sure you credit that this is the main photographer’s wedding and not your own. It could be a really big deal and is sometimes unfortunately overlooked.
- Don’t tag the bride and groom in photos | Unless you already have permission from the main photographer, let all communication with the clients with regards to their photos be handled by the main photographer. Don’t contact them in regards to their photos. Don’t tag them in your portfolio.
- If you’re not sure, ask! | Better safe than sorry!
An important note: It’s okay to make mistakes. We’ve all made mistakes when second shooting, embarrassing, OH NO moments. We’re all learning. So don’t be afraid to step out and try this as it is SO invaluable for growing as a photographer. If you make any mistakes, just apologize, learn from it and move on. We have ALL been there.
We’d like to take a moment to thank those who’ve been so patient with us in letting us second shoot and those who’ve been so AWESOME in second shooting with us. You guys rock!
Ooh before we forget…
ANNOUNCING: Only a few spots left for new mentorship program!
We’ve got just a few open spots left for aspiring photographers to be mentored and to second shoot with D. Park Photography! We’re excited with the applicants we’ve received and only have a few spots left!
Deadline in 2 weeks to apply: Friday, July 29
For details on the mentorship program and how to apply, check it out here.