4 Things Every Second Shooter Needs to Know
Isaac second shoots for me at most of my weddings these days. We made this transition for a few different reasons: it made sense financially, we enjoy working together, and we saw the opportunity to grow the business into something better. Today Isaac is going to share 4 ways that he tackles second shooting at each wedding.
Some of you might not know that I am a chemist by training. As such, I see the world in a manner very different from the vast majority of photographers and other creatives. Nevertheless, Jordan has given me great training in the art and, if I may say so, science, of second shooting. Because of her work with me, I not only enjoy it (a lot) but I also have success. Somewhere along the way, I learned a few things that I need to do in order be a good second shooter. Here are my favorite four secrets.
1) The details
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important, and it sets the tone for the rest of the wedding. I don't approach a wedding like it’s Jordan’s deal and I’m along for the ride. By showing up knowing the bride, groom, timeline, and something about the couple’s story, I take ownership of the work I’m doing on a wedding day. Speaking of which:
2) The couple’s story
Every image that Jordan shoots is telling a story, whether it’s a ring shot, a formal family photo, or a candid first-look shot. The story that Jordan is trying to tell is determined in part by the couple’s story. She is going to shoot college-age high school sweethearts somewhat differently than 30-something professionals or legacy- age adults. If I know the couple’s story, I can tailor my images to fit the story she wants to tell.
3) The photographic style
You should know the style of whoever you are second shooting for. Jordan won’t use any of my images if you can tell someone besides her took them (you wouldn’t either). If my images are going to be mistakable for hers, I have to understand her style: how she does her lighting, composition, and white balance. I have to know what details are important and how she likes to catch people interacting. I learn this by studying her work. In my particular case, I have been doing this for a number of years in the course of being a supportive husband, but even if you’re second shooting with someone for the first time, you can help yourself by spending a few minutes on their blog to see what kind of images the lead photographer is proud to show off. Then you can shoot like that.
Whether that’s driving, wrangling family members, making the hike to get the wide shot, carrying equipment, making a lunch run, or running ahead to get one last shot of the reception before the guests arrive. Whatever Jordan asks me to do, I will.