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I’m so excited to be announcing this: for the first time in my business, I’ve decided to offer second-shooters as a package add-on for 2013 and future weddings!
If second-shooters are so great, why haven’t I done this before? The simple answer is reliability. Up until now, I haven’t felt like I could guarantee someone else’s performance like I can my own. Over the last few months, I’ve had the opportunity to build relationships with enough amazing professionals that I know I have a backup to my backups.
All the images in this post were taken by a second shooter– either someone working with me or as I was working as a second shooter for another photographer. I hope you enjoy the moments that we were able to capture!
What is a second-shooter?
First of all, I assume that everyone is familiar with the term “second shooter.” In case you’re not, a second shooter is a secondary photographer who works under the auspices of the primary photographer to provide supplementary coverage on your wedding day. This relationship is different based on the preferences of those involved, so there isn’t a cookie-cutter model to reference. I’ll just tell you how it’s worked for me.
I’ve been a second shooter myself and I’ve worked with some wonderful second shooters. I love how a second shooter can capture a moment or an expression that the primary photographer often isn’t able to, just because of perspective. A second shooter has the luxury of being a little more creative and taking some photographic risks because they aren’t the one in the spotlight.
What’s the advantage to the bride and groom?
Having a second shooter at your wedding allows for a different perspective to be captured at the same time that the primary photographer is doing something else. Say I’m the main shooter photographing family portraits. My second shooter might be looking at the sidelines and see the mother of the bride watching her daughter and sister being photographed together. The main event is the photo of the bride and her sister– but the expression on their mom’s face is priceless and worth capturing too!
Sometimes, people will relax and let loose around the second shooter in a way that they won’t around the main shooter. They don’t realize they’re being “photographed,” so they’ll loosen up and act naturally, making for some great candid photographs that wouldn’t have happened if the primary photographer’s attention was on them.
Time. Sometimes (let’s be honest– most of the time!) something in the wedding timeline goes awry. While the main photographer takes point on whatever element of the day takes precedence, the second-shooter has the flexibility to get supplementary shots that show a different part of the action. It’s almost like being able to be in two places at once.
What’s the difference between a second shooter and an assistant?
During most of 2012, I had a wonderful assistant who also sometimes acted as an occasional second-shooter for a small part of the day. However, an assistant’s main job is not photography. In the past, my assistant has come along to be an extra pair of hands and only photographed as a secondary task. A second shooter is there to be primarily a photographer most of the time, and secondly to help out with other tasks. Often second shooters are professionals in their own right; they are taking time away from their own jobs and businesses and have a higher level of technical expertise and experience, thus warranting more compensation than an assistant.
In the future, I’ll be able to build second-shooters into my pricing structure from the get-go. But I wanted to give 2013 brides and grooms access to a service that wasn’t available up until recently. If you’re a 2013 bride and you’d like to talk about having a second-shooter at your wedding, send me an email! I’d love to answer any questions you might have, and I’m sure I could talk your ear off about the wonderful second-shooters I’m excited to have the chance to work with this year.