If you’re starting a new wedding photography business, or if you want to increase your prices and number of bookings in your existing business, you should be second shooting weddings! Second shooting is the number one recommendation we give to newer photographers looking to gain experience.
Here are five reasons you should be second shooting weddings:
1. Second shooting gives you a low-pressure environment to make mistakes.
When it comes to weddings, there are no do-overs! As a second shooter, you will have the opportunity to take photos on a real wedding day without the extra pressure of being the *only person* there to capture the moment. If your image it a little underexposed, it’s okay! The primary photographer just won’t use that shot. If you miss the first kiss, it’s okay! The primary photographer took a photograph that the couple will love. Of course, avoiding mistakes is always the goal. But when it happens, it’s best to make those mistakes as as a second shooter rather than as the person in charge!
2. Second shooting teaches you what a smooth wedding day looks like, and what steps are necessary to achieve it.
As a rookie wedding photographer, it can be hard to know what steps to take to keep the wedding day running smoothly! When do you take charge? When do you step back and let moments happen naturally? How long does it actually take for the bride to put on her dress? The more wedding day knowledge you glean as a second shooter, the more helpful you will be to your own couples in the future!
3. Second shooting allows you to gain portfolio work quickly.
Want to book weddings, but don’t have any wedding portfolio work to show prospective couples? Second shooting is the answer! Even though styled shoots also offer the opportunity to capture beautiful wedding photos, couples these days are becoming more and more savvy. They want to see “real wedding” photos, not just images from styled shoots purposefully designed to look pretty! Just make sure that the photographer you choose to second shoot for will allow you to use the images you capture in your online portfolio and/or social media.
4. Second shooting can be a great source of extra income for your business.
Want to upgrade your gear before you move to shooting weddings full time? Second shoot as many weddings as you can, and use the money to invest in new lenses and other equipment. Most second shooting jobs pay somewhere between $150-$550 per wedding, depending on your area and the photographer you’re working with. Not bad for one day’s work!
5. Second shooting connects you with other photographers and wedding vendors in your area.
Second shooting is one of the best ways to network with other wedding vendors in your area, including photographers! Some of our best industry friendships have started as second shooting relationships- so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! Get to know as many people as you can, because in the wedding industry, the right connections will take you a long way!