Just landed huge wedding gig, when do you bring on board second shooter?

1 year 4 months ago #748222 by Inez Villarin
At what point will you hire a second shooter for a wedding?  Two past wedding clients just referred one of their friends who is getting married in July 2023 to me.  They love my photos from their other two friends weddings I shot and stated they absolutely want me to shoot their wedding.  They want all the paper work, now this wedding is much larger than the other two I shot in this circle of friends.  There are estimated 150-175 people.  Now at what point will you bring on a second shooter?   I'm going to with this one, but curious at what head count will you normally bring on another photographer to help out?


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1 year 4 months ago #748279 by KENT MELTON
Well that is depending the job and requirements from the client, but from my experience upwards of 75+ I'll start looking at second shooter.  Again though, it depends on what are the clients expectations of my services.  


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1 year 4 months ago #748292 by CharleyL
Are photos of the wedding gown, men's suits, shoes, wedding rings, each getting the final steps of getting dressed, etc. going to be needed for this wedding shoot? How would you do both his and her shoots without a second shooter? Do they also want a full video of the ceremony? - maybe a third shooter for this, but for my grand daughter's wedding two years ago I just set up the video camera on a high tripod and behind the last row of spectators/relatives with bump guards around the tripod, carried a camera remote to start and stop the video camera, and prayed that it didn't fail me. For sound I used a shotgun mic on top of the camera. It worked surprisingly well from that distance. There were about 100 in attendance.

I was supposed to shoot the whole wedding, but then she realized that as "grandpa", I was needed to be part of the wedding ceremony too, so she found a friend of a friend with experience shooting weddings. I did what I could, except for during the actual ceremony where he did the shooting, and then I retouched and combined both his shots and mine to build her their wedding album. So during this wedding, I was the "second shooter". Even the video turned out well. It was held outdoors in front of the horse barn on their farm. It was held in the afternoon, 84 deg F and partly cloudy, which is too hot for this, but we all managed OK. 


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1 year 4 months ago #748302 by Randy Shaw
+1 all depends on clients needs and expectations of my services 


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1 year 4 months ago #748321 by Razky

Inez Villarin wrote: At what point will you hire a second shooter for a wedding? Two past wedding clients just referred one of their friends who is getting married in July 2023 to me. They love my photos from their other two friends weddings I shot and stated they absolutely want me to shoot their wedding. They want all the paper work, now this wedding is much larger than the other two I shot in this circle of friends. There are estimated 150-175 people. Now at what point will you bring on a second shooter? I'm going to with this one, but curious at what head count will you normally bring on another photographer to help out?

I first determine what the client expects, then determine what is needed to meet those expectations. Customer satisfaction is always the bottom line, of course.


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1 year 4 months ago #748324 by CharleyL
"+1 all depends on clients needs and expectations of my services"

Yes, in talking to them it's best to go through a list of all of the planned shots to be certain that you and they know what is expected for the shoot. If they want pre-ceremony shots of them both getting ready, the shoes, the wedding rings, etc, but you don't do this part of the service, you will be in hot water when you didn't do it. Find out what they want and make certain that you and they are in full agreement about what photos will or won't be taken. You can always take more unplanned shots, but this basic group of required shots should have full agreement between you and them, in writing. When these shots need to show both of them getting dressed, it's impossible to do this without the second shooter. If they want a video, plan for a third shooter, or do it like I did and don't include it in the plan or contract because it might not turn out well. Having someone run the video camera can produce a much better video that you can charge for.

Charley


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1 year 4 months ago #748381 by Pat White
Right away if the job requires it.  


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1 year 4 months ago #748459 by Ian Stone
You can only be one place at a time, and if you want more business from the client, need to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.  Depending on what all services the client booked, around the 75 person you might want to consider getting another photographer out there with you. 


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