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Why I Love Being a Second Shooter

It seems that most wedding photographers want to have their own business, calling the shots (literally), and taking on every wedding as the front man. In my past three and a half years of wedding photography, I’ve come to find myself in being a second shooter and found myself loving it more than shooting my own weddings.

In being a wedding photographer’s assistant or second shooter, it is my job to make sure the main photographer has the easiest day possible. I carry any equipment, make countless trips from the shoot sight to our gear, keep a firm hand on the family picture lists, and get the shots that the primary photographer doesn’t see all at the same time. There have been times where I’ve had two bags of equipment and two cameras on my shoulders while traipsing through a field of tall grass in 95-degree weather. No big deal, I love it.

The main photographer can set up a shot while talking with the bride and groom, directing them for about 5 different poses, while at the same time I can shoot them from any angle, through trees or tall grass, or as a silhouette from another view point. I am much more creative when I can focus on the shot verses cater to the bride and groom.

There is an art to being a second shooter. I now know the photographer that I assist so well that I am always one step ahead. I know her style of shooting and of how to act in a wedding scene so that I am not a distraction but a necessity. At the end of a wedding, I give her the memory cards that I used, and she takes on everything from there. She culls and edits all of the pictures.

When you’re the head photographer, you have pre-wedding meetings, scheduling, the day of session which includes a lot of pressure, after wedding scheduling, hours of editing, and dealing first hand with brides and sometimes their families. I feel the benefits of being the second shooter is getting more opportunities and angles for creative shots, less pressure, and less time dealing with brides or mother of the brides. The second shooter shows up the day of, shoots all day, and then at the end of the day is done.

Contributor Bio: Deborah Hodgin is a product photographer at KEH and also a second shooter for Ashah Photography.

Website: www.ashahphotography.com


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