I accidentally stumbled into wedding photography in college when my aunt’s friend needed a photographer for a small beach wedding. Before then, I had only been to a handful of weddings and I had never been a second shooter. I had not had my own wedding at this point, so I was basically winging the whole wedding thing. However, the more weddings I photographed, the more I fell in love with both photography and weddings. Even though I already had plenty of experience as a primary shooter when I second shot for the first time, I still love second shooting for other photographers to this day. Let me tell you why I love it so much.
The unforgettable look on the groom’s face as he catches his first glimpse of his bride, the happy tears and affectionate glances, the laughter of guests as they dance the night away – these are the authentically candid moments that give me all the feels. I love being able to serve the bride and groom and their families in this capacity and help them preserve one of the most precious days of their lives. I’m the person that cries during the ceremony and the first dances because I just love watching two people in love. Any opportunity I have to be at a wedding, I’m taking it!
Have you ever met someone that liked the same things you do and you instantly connected? That’s how it is with photographers. We are wired a little differently and it’s always so much fun to work with someone that is passionate about the same thing as you. I truly believe in community over competition and in my experience, we can accomplish more together than we can alone.
Primary shooters are responsible for getting the “safe” shots – especially during the ceremony. Second shooters have a little more freedom to move around during the ceremony and get creative with angles and composition. Second shooters also get to take behind-the-scenes photos!
It never fails – I always learn something from being a second shooter. Every photographer has a different background and different ways of doing things. I have learned easier processes, lighting techniques, and wedding day hacks. Everything I learn ultimately helps me be a better photographer and better serve my couples.
I hire second shooters for all my weddings and since I still second shoot weddings every year, I know how it feels to be a second shooter. Walking in their shoes teaches me how to be a better boss because I know how I would want to be treated if I were them.
If you’re a photographer, do you enjoy second shooting? If you’re not a photographer, did you have a second shooter at your wedding?