Raise your hand if you want to get into second shooting for weddings or you’re already there! There are a few tips I have for second photographers so they are wedding day ready to work with their lead! Think about it, no two photographers are the same, I get that BUT there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re complimentary to your lead photographer and not out there shooting this wedding “on your own.” The point of a second photographer is to have another set of eyes on the event and capture all sorts of different angles and to be in “two places at once”! I love my second photographers and love what they can bring to the table. So the tips below are all things that I discuss with them before the big day!
TIME SYNC YOUR CAMERAS
This is SUPER helpful in post production when I’m editing the wedding images. When cameras are time synced, the photos will appear in chronological order. In the beginning of my business, I didn’t sync with my second photographer and when I went to upload we were SO off. It made editing a nightmare. You can download an app called Official US Time and see what the actual time is down to the second. That might be a little aggressive… but as long as your 2nd shooter is programmed to the same time as you, you’re good.
Communicate with your lead photographer about which settings they prefer. As a second photographer, if you shoot in f/7 but your lead shoots in f/2… your photos aren’t going to mesh well as a final product. And seconds, don’t be afraid to ask your lead what settings they have for tougher lighting situations like an indoor cathedral wedding. No shame is asking – it makes the lead’s job a lot easier when editing later to make sure the images are consistent.
WHAT TO WEAR
This might be a silly topic but some photographers might actually care what you wear to shoot in on wedding day. In the beginning of my career I thought I HAD to wear black. Since then, I’ve changed my philosophy… not saying that I show up in yoga pants or a bright neon dress or anything, but I don’t just wear black anymore. What I’ve decided is that I’m actually most comfortable shooting in dresses with shorts underneath! Some people think that’s crazy but for as must as I’m running around and squatting in weird poses… I get hot. So I feel a lot cooler in a dress! I encourage my second photographers to wear what is comfortable for them as well… within reason… don’t show up in white sundress.
Along with asking what settings your lead wants you to shoot in, another important topic is what lens you should be using and when. A rule of thumb that I typically point out to my second photographers is that if I’m using the 50mm they should use something different than me for another perspective. However, within that “rule” I have a few exceptions. I don’t shoot wide a lot. I never use the 35 for anything other than a really wide shot with a bunch of scenery or something. I prefer all portraits to be taken with the 50 or 85. It’s just my personal preference. Of course there are some exceptions!
USEAGE OF PHOTOS
I’ll admit it. I made a big mistake after second shooting early in my business. I posted a whole album on Facebook with a bunch of my favorite photos from the wedding I had helped with. I didn’t realize at the time how uncouth it was. I was happy to have shot at a really neat location and loved the scenery and the pictures that I had captured and was SO excited to post them! BUT… I didn’t think about it from the photographers perspective. This wasn’t MY wedding. The lead photographer I had worked with had the relationship with that couple. The awkward part was that the bride had seen some images that I edited that the original photographer did not deliver due to artistic preferences… which was totally fine! BUT – this made the situation awkward. The client felt like the original photographer was holding out images from her. Another fact was that my artistic editing style was a lot different than the original photographer and the bride wanted images edited like mine. All in all… you can tell that it was a sticky mess. So, the compromise that I have now with my second shooters is that they are allowed to have images on their websites but they aren’t allowed to post to other social media platforms. However, (yes, there is another “however”)… I will allow details shots on social media… like ring shots or bridal bouquets. What I aim to keep clear of… is bridal portraits being posted where the clients are tagged. Every photographer has different preferences so be sure to ask your lead what they prefer! I say this so you can avoid a very awkward conversation! I was naive and didn’t think of the right questions to ask — so I learned the “hard” way!
I hope you found this article helpful! I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below! Let me know if there are any topics you’d like advice on – I’m an open book! For more For Photographer posts, click HERE!