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“Whatever she lacks, I’m right over her shoulder.” Yes, this is a lyric from a Beyoncé & Jay-Z song. But it’s also the perfect quote to speak to the important role of a second shooter in photography. The lyrics of that song go on to say, “When I’m off track, she’s keeping me focused,” which again, translates beautifully to the relationship between a primary and second shooter.

 

Personally, my photography style is all about capturing the day as it naturally unfolds. I love candid or sporadic moments, and so it helps to have an additional eye to capture these experiences. That is why I almost always shoot with a second photographer. At the end of every wedding I’ve shot, I’ve been so grateful for the additional moments that my second shooter was able to capture. 

 

For those photographers who are looking to hire a second shooter but aren’t sure how to go about it, I’ve provided some fool-proof tips below.

Finding a Second Shooter

The Challenges of Finding a Second Shooter

  • Finding someone with a high degree of professionalism
  • Finding someone who has a shooting style that is similar to your own
  • Finding someone who is trustworthy (after all, you’re capturing the most important day of a couple’s life)
  • Finding someone with enough wedding experience to know exactly what to do and which moments are worth capturing

 

Reasons to Use a Second Shooter

  • A second shooter will help you catch images from multiple angles
  • A second shooter will allow you to capture more detailed images
  • A second shooter can be photographing the groom/groomsmen, giving the primary photographer ample time to photograph the bride/bridesmaids pre-wedding
  • A second shooter provides a safety net in case the primary photographer’s equipment fails or malfunctions

 

8 Tips for Finding the Perfect Second Shooter

    1. Ask for a list of any potential candidates’ equipment. The first thing you want to establish is whether they have the right equipment for the job.
    2. Ask for references. You can never be too careful.
    3. Find someone eager to learn. Don’t hesitate to hire someone new to the industry as these are the people who are typically the most willing to learn.
    4. Show them a gallery of images that you expect to see. You want to make sure that you’re both on the same page from the get-go.
    5. Let them shadow so they can get a feel for exactly how you work. This is the best way to determine whether they’re the right fit.
    6. After shadowing, go over their images and discuss expectations. You want to be clear about your expectations from the start.
    7. Meet or hire them to work as an assistant to see if there is a personality fit. Before giving them the job of second shooter, consider hiring them on as an assistant or intern to really suss out if you’re going to work well together.
    8. Pay accordingly. Simply put, you can’t expect great quality without paying for it. Pay your second shooter what they deserve. If you’re unsure of what the going rate is for a second shooter in your city, do some research beforehand.

 

I reached out to Raymond with the idea of wanting to share how  Lavishly Lux Studio  hires second photographers or second shooters.

See/ Listen to our interview with the Beginner Wedding Photographer Podcast below

How to Become a Second Shooter

 

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