5 Tips for Second Shooting | Amore Vita Photography

I second shoot -  A LOT.Right now, before kids are in the picture, I like to fill up the empty spaces on my calendar with all the second shooting jobs I can.

When I first started in the industry I hadn't been to a wedding since I was 10 and couldn't tell you the first thing about them. I started interning with a local photographer and that turned into second shooting for her within the first year. After that first wedding I was hooked! I found some local Facebook groups for photographers and started chiming in on their posts. I can't really remember what my next second shooting job was after that but I just know it snowballed. I had people referring me to their other photographer friends to pick me as their second shooter. I love second shooting not only for the beautiful weddings I get to shoot, but for the connections I get to make with so many other photographers that I now call friends.

I'm going to tell you a little of what I've learned in my past 6 years of second shooting and I hope it helps for your next job! Bridesmaids in pink - second shootingShot for Alicia White Photography

1. Get a different shot

The number one thing lead shooters always tell me is that they loved that I didn't get the same shot as them from over their shoulder. I always try and get something different from them so they have tons of variety to give to the couple. The best way I found to do this is to check and see what lens the lead shooter is using and choose something different. In the image above, Alicia was most likely shooting with a 35mm so I put on my 70-200 and got some tight shots of the bridesmaids for her. These will give the lead shooter so much more to work with rather than having a duplicate of something they already shot. Moving away from your lead shooter and shooting at a different angle is also a great way to get variety, just remember to not get in their shot!

groom vows - second shooting

Shot for Alicia White Photography

2. Always be ready

When I'm working as a second shooting I'm always trying to make the job go as smooth and easy for the lead shooter as I possibly can. This means not only shooting what they need me to shoot, but also finding certain family members for the family formals that may have run off, running to grab their bag, or just getting them water. Just be available for anything they need.

guests toasting - second shooting

Shot for Alyssa Morgan Photography

3. Focus on the guests

This kind of goes hand in hand with getting a different shot than the lead. The lead shooter is most of the time focusing on getting those safe shots. Be sure to look around the room and get the reactions of their guests, because the lead shooter can't have eyes on everyone. I always like to scope out where the parents and siblings are seated and get their burst of laughter and/or tears.

bridesmaids in blue - second shooting

Shot for Alicia White Photography

4. Little details

I love details! I shoot details whenever I see them. It could be the smallest little thing, but if it was part of the couples day, I shoot it. Sometimes I don't tell the lead photographer about these little details and I just go on and shoot them. If you stop the lead photographer all the time to tell them "Hey, I saw this over here and I think it would be a great detail to shoot" it will slow them down and give them more work to do. So just go ahead and shoot it! They will see it later while editing and thank you for your attention to detail.

bride and groom - second shooting

Shot for Alicia White Photography

5. Social Media Etiquette

Check with your lead photographer about social media and posting on your website or blog. Some photographers are okay with it and others are not. No matter what, respect their wishes. What I've seen most is that photographers don't want you posting the work you shot for them on Facebook. Why? Because it's so easy for the couple to tag themselves if they happen to see it. If the main photographer is okay with you posting on your blog or social media, ALWAYS credit who you shot for. I like to link their website whenever I credit them.

bride cheering - second shooting

Shot for Project Life Photography

I hope these tips were helpful! Now go kick butt on your next second shooting job ;)

If you enjoy Amore Vita Photography, please LIKE the photography Facebook page.  Julia Beckmann is a North Carolina wedding photographer based in Charlotte, specializing in romantic and timeless wedding photojournalism, seeking to capture beautiful imagery.  Her dedication to her craft is only paralleled by her desire to make sure her engaged couples are comfortable and taken care of.  She frequently provides  North Carolina wedding photography, and is available to travel for destination weddings worldwide.  For a little more about what she does, don’t hesitate to send an email!