The life of a second shooter is far from being easy, at least most of the times. In case you were wondering what a second shooter is, he is there to help at large weddings with many guests. He is not an assistant that carries gear, he is there to take photographs, just like the main pro. He might be given the task to shoot only certain aspects of the wedding or simply to be the second camera.
Now that we’ve gotten presentations out of the way, let’s move on. Maybe you already are a second shooter for someone or you want to break into the market and this is your first step. Fear not. While it might get very annoying on certain days and you will want to call it quits, with these guidelines that we’ve prepared things should go a little smother.
Stay away from people who don’t trust you
Luckily, it’s easy to identify a main photographer that has little or no trust in you or other photographers. Naturally, trust has to be earned, but after shooting one event together things should be clear for both parties. If the main photographer doubts you, mostly because he is self-centered or insecure, he will leave you no room for expression. This kind of partnership will definitely not work. He will also do a poor job on his own because he will be busy bossing you around instead of capturing the important moments at the wedding. Only work with people that are comfortable with you and you with them.
Be real help
Do exactly what you are instructed to do and a little more. Know where the batteries, memory cards and each lens are so that if the main photographer needs something immediately, you will be able to provide them with it in record timing. Also, stick to your designated angles and try to stay out the frames. That goes for video frames as well.
Study the main’s work
You have to be familiar with their approach because it will look bad for everyone if what you shoot is 180 degrees different. Look for recurring shots and try to figure out the style of the photographer you are working with/for. Also, it’s probably a good idea to work with someone whose work you admire. If you settle for a bad photographer but who has many weddings signed, you will earn your money but there is a good chance you won’t evolve artistically.
Know what is expected of you
Don’t be shy and don’t be scared to ask all the questions you need to know the answers to. It’s vital for both of you to go to work knowing what each should expect from the other. Find out what is ok to do and what isn’t. Don’t shoot the same pictures as the main photographer and always keep an eye out for the stuff that’s happening in the background.
It’s not rocket science but it’s something that takes a bit of practice. If you double successfully for someone, you stand a good chance of being your own boss in no time.