February 08, 2013

Tips for Second Shooting: Part 3

This is the last and final post on my tips for second shooting! I won't drag it out any longer - promise ;) Get caught up on all the tips here.

Tip # 5

Keep Busy

On wedding days there is always, always, something you can be doing. There is nothing worse in my head than for a second shooter to be standing still not helping. I would hate for the main photographer to have to seek me out and ask me to go and find something to do! It is definitely easier said than done though and it takes understanding the flow of wedding days as well as taking initiative to find useful things to help with.

Here are a couple ways I have found help me to keep busy on wedding days. There are some situations, like formal family portraits, that do not require more than one photographer capturing the image. So, I put my camera down, and I keep busy by helping by gathering family, seeking out the missing Uncle Bob, prepping the groups for who is next, standing right next to the photographer and saying 'Everyone smile! Look right here! Only 2 more seconds! Doing great! You all look wonderful! Squeeze in!' - by doing all of those things I am helping the portraits go smoothly and quickly and to the guests I am still an active part of the process instead of creeping out silently in the background.

Another option, if the family portraits are being taken at the reception site, is for me to leave the group (after checking with the main photographer, of course! Communication!!) and go start capturing the details in the reception area before all the guests begin arriving. This can be applied to any part of the day when the photographer does not need you at their side and there is something else going on that you can capture instead. At cocktail hour you can capture candids of the guests, at the ceremony you can capture more details, during portraits you can grab a bridesmaid aside and snap a quick picture of her bouquet or hair piece or even grab a picture of the groomsmen holding their gift.


The most important thing is to keep busy - there is ALWAYS something to do at a wedding day! Take initiative and do not wait to be asked by the main photographer.

Tip #6

Don't Over Shoot.

Wait... Whaaat?! Isn't the second shooter there to provide more photos? Shouldn't they shoot everything and anything and a million of it to give the main photographer more options?!


The second shooter isn't there to capture the wedding day in its entirety. They are there to fill the gaps in the main shooters coverage to provide a fuller representation of the day. It can actually be more work for the main photographer if you hand over 3000+ images from the day. Including 200 shots of just the brides shoes - they might only want to add in 1 or 2 of the brides shoes and mostly likely they've already captured one that they really love SO they have to go through 200 images just to select 1 image they want to deliver to the client?! And then repeat with the remaining 2800 images? Way too much work!

Be selective and intentional with what you are capturing - make sure you are providing a variety of shots that are different without going overboard.

The details on this alter were amazing - I could have shot so many photos of just this! I had to restrain myself and not go crazy overshooting it!

I could probably keep going writing even more tips and little tricks that I've learned through second shooting; but, what they all boil down to is becoming the best possible asset to the main photographer on the wedding day that you can. Always seek to help the main photographer in whatever ways you can instead of hoping to grab the best shots and improve your own portfolio.

Hope that this was helpful. These are the tips that I have found improved my second shooting abilities - I truly love second shooting and have learned so much through it!

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