If you’re here because you’ve just landed some second shooting gigs, CONGRATULATIONS!!! You’re in a great position to push your business forward; you’ll learn so much from observing an experienced wedding photographer, and from being present from start to finish on a wedding day.
We’ve put together a list of tips to ensure you’ll stand out from the average second shooter, and be hired as a second shooter again and again. Keep on reading to find out more!
1. Arrive early.
There’s no better way to start a wedding day off on the right foot than to arrive early! Double check the meeting time & location with the primary photographer the morning of the wedding, and plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early. Text them when you arrive, just to be sure you’re at the right place. This will show the primary photographer that you’re reliable and trustworthy from the very beginning- and there’s no better way to start a relationship!
2. Bring ALL your gear.
Most primary photographers will ask you what gear you (camera, lenses, flashes, etc.) have before hiring you as a second shooter. If you own it, BRING IT- even if there’s a chance you might not use it. This includes styling details, light stands, extra batteries, memory cards, chargers, etc. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where the primary photographer needs something (or wants you to use something)… and you have to tell them you left it at home.
Note- if you don’t have a lot of gear yet, that’s totally okay! Don’t feel pressured to buy a lot of extras before you dive into second shooting. But if you have it, bring it!
3. Dress to impress.
Like we mentioned in the first point, first impressions go a long way! As the second shooter, you will represent the primary photographer’s brand to the couple & all their guests. Ask the primary photographer what they usually wear- some photographers wear all black, while other photographers prefer to blend in with guests. Choose something similar, and double check that it’s comfortable + professional + modest.
4. Serve, serve, serve!
As a second shooter, you will stand out if you focus on not only taking images but also serving others throughout the wedding day! Offer the primary photographer a granola bar before the ceremony. Bring cups of water to the bride and groom after portraits on a hot wedding day. Offer to carry the bride’s bouquet for her, or carry the photographer’s bag while we move from location to location. As a second shooter, you will often have the chance to play the role of “assistant,” so always look for ways to serve.
5. Send a thank you note afterwards!
After the wedding is over, send the primary photographer a quick email (or snail mail) thanking them for the opportunity to work with them! Ask if there was anything you could have done to improve, and be open to any critiques they may give. Photographers tend to re-hire second shooters that they loved working with and have positive feelings about, so whatever you can do to keep yourself top of mind will improve your chances of booking more jobs.
We’re cheering for you, friend! Go out there and kill it! 🙂