This past weekend, I was a second-shooter for a wedding. This was my second time being a second-shooter, my second time being a wedding photographer, and my second time working for Elizabeth. I had a blast and am so proud of how things went. Though two weddings isn't very many, I've learned a lot about being a second-shooter. Here are some of my tips and secrets!
1. Be on time and dress nice.
You are getting paid to do a job. So, do not be late. Dress the part; wear something that looks nice for the type of wedding you are shooting, but make sure it is also comfortable- even better if it has pockets (unfortunately I haven't found a dress with pockets yet).
2. Be organized.
Have a list of what you need to capture. Have your camera bag packed well. Bring other things you might need in a small bag- you never know when you'll need tape or safety pins. This is especially useful when taking photos of the dress/veil!
3. Assist well.
Be aware of what is going on. Be ready to hand the lead photographer anything he/she may need. Know where his/her equipment and bags are. Wear a watch or have your phone available so you can check the time. You are important in keeping everyone to the schedule. Don't be annoying, but remind the lead photographer of the time.
4. Help the photographer stay hydrated & fed.
This one is super important. If the lead photographer is dehydrated and hungry, nothing will go smoothly. Water is so important for both of you, especially on hot days. At the reception, take over for a minute so he/she can go grab a snack and some water.
5. Don't be afraid to take photos!
You are a second-shooter because the lead photographer believes in you. Take photos; he/she needs your help. Just make sure that when you are shooting, you stay out of the lead photographer's shots. Try to shoot from a different angle- you might get some really unique shots.
6. Use a different lens.
Be aware of what lens the lead-photographer is using. If he/she is using a 50mm, you use a 70-200mm, etc.
7. Don't pose people without asking the lead photographer first.
This is pretty explanatory. Just don't take charge unless you are asked to.
8. Pay attention to detail.
One of the most important jobs of a second-shooter is watching out for details. This means both taking photos of details that the lead-photographer may not have had time to capture (like the rings and flowers) and helping the wedding party make sure they look great in photos. Make sure ties are even, hair is out of faces, and everything is exactly in the right place.
9. Be ready to take over in case something goes wrong.
Confidence is key. If something happens to the lead-photographer or they need to use the restroom right when the cake is being cut, be ready to take over as the substitute lead photographer.
10. Get photos of the lead photographer working!
One of my favorite photos I took at the wedding I second-shot this past weekend is a photo of Elizabeth taking a photo of the entire wedding party. These are awesome photos to have.
Hope this helps you to be the best second-shooter you can be!