Let’s talk about being a second photographer for weddings. Maybe you hired another photographer who has primarily second shooting in their portfolio, or you’re wondering why a second shooter is in my packages.
What are the responsibilities of a second shooter?
You are told to be a second shooter as a photographer getting into the wedding industry before being the lead in your own wedding. Personally, I was the lead of my own weddings for a few years before someone took me on as a second, primarily because of my former geographical location.
Being a second before you lead is recommended because, as a newcomer, you will gain experience. There is less pressure; you don’t have to deliver the photos to the client, you can step back and learn from the lead, and it’s a lot of fun!
I am a second all the time, and I love it. I travel to new places, see some fantastic venues, and shoot during other times of the year that aren’t as popular for my clients. Not only does it give me a wide range in my portfolio, but I also learn from the lead and apply that to my own couples. As a second, I do direct shots with the other partner, sometimes the family, the other half of the wedding party, and wedding guests at cocktail hour. The more I second-shoot, the more creative fun things I come up with for my couples. It’s a win-win.
Being a second isn’t always about getting shots for your portfolio, either. Once a second has enough weddings under their harness, it becomes solely about being there to get the other angle, and anything else the lead needs. As a bonus, a second can take some behind-the-scenes photos of the lead doing their thing!
As a lead, I can relax knowing there is someone else I trust that I can count on to help me capture the day. I hire my seconds to work with me for 8 hours (or more if you purchase additional hours), so every moment has extra coverage. When I am snappy-happy with my 85mm lens capturing my couples, I can have them cover wider shots and vice-versa. If I have to capture family formals during cocktail hour, especially if the cocktail hour is where the reception is, my second can take those stunning photos of the reception details.
Being a second photographer is not a weakness. So if your photographer has mostly second-shot for weddings, that is a bonus, in my opinion. And for those of you who are getting the TM Grey Photo experience, you will have a blast with my second and get so many photos in your final gallery!
Mar 30, 2022
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