Having a second shooter isn’t always the first thing you think about when evaluating wedding photographers. I mean – obviously – they’re a second shooter. But I think a lot of my value stems from the relationship that Holly and I share, and because of the intangibles that I bring to our brides’ wedding days.
When I think about my role as a second shooter, actual photography isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. I think that a good second shooter needs to be an organic extension of the lead photographer. But your wedding day, and our role in it, is about so much more than photography. It’s about the people that surround you. It’s about the experiences that you share. I excel as a second shooter because of huge number of ways in which I get to impact your day.
On a Wedding Day
Second shooting is about the time in between the moments just as much as the moments captured. It’s about the time that I get to spend goofing off with the groom and his guys. One of my favorite parts of the day is making sure that they’re comfortable (and ready), and having the chance to crack some jokes with them. Then it’s walking him to the first look, and making sure the groom-to-be is prepared for what he’s about to experience. It’s amazing to be able to share such an incredibly intimate, usually life affirming moment, with someone we’ve known typically for less than a year. Honestly, it’s a huge responsibility, and it’s a part of our work that I revere.
All the while, I have the chance to shoot a separate perspective. Being able to exist in the background while Holly calls the shots is a huge advantage. It allows me to focus on quick ‘in-between’ candid moments, different angles, and more unique composition that it would be difficult for a primary shooter to get while managing the rest of the process. A unique strength that Holly and I have is that I was effectively taught photography to be a second shooter. I’m comfortable swapping positions throughout the day, But second shooting is my bread and butter, and I feel so fortunate to be able to serve our couples in a way that was built to be as successful as possible on a wedding day. This enables both Holly and I to focus 100% on our couples!
As the day progresses, I then get the opportunity to support everyone. I get to make sure the couple is clear on where they need to be. I get to coordinate with the planner, the venue, the florist, and everyone else involved. This allows Holly to be focused and successful in her role. I’m a constant and calm extra set of hands and eyes – helping to analyze everything that’s happening from a separate perspective so that we can use your time as efficiently as possible. I love that our teamwork gives our couples the confidence that we’re ready for anything, literally rain or shine.
It’s not all veil tossing and train fluffling
In the rare times I’m not also holding a camera, there are a million other things I get to do! I get to corral families for formals. Honestly, that’s a highlight of the day for me. Partly because family formals can sometimes be a huge point of stress for our couples! It’s impossible for them to know where all their cousins are sometimes right after the ceremony – it’s a surprising amount of pressure! I love getting to use my natural talents – loudness and confidence – to round up huge groups of people while keeping everyone relaxed and happy. I also get to help perfect complex situations! Sometimes that means getting the right lighting for send-offs, or holding umbrellas over the perfect, slightly rainy situation!
I love second shooting because it can sometimes be the final detail to make sure a wedding stays absolutely perfect. I take my job seriously and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!