Want to start out in wedding photography as a second shooter?
Starting out as a wedding photography second shooter at a wedding can be a great way to gain experience in professional photography and build a portfolio, particularly if the photographer is successful and whose work you admire. We have put together some do's and don'ts to help you get started.
Negotiate the terms beforehand - will you be allowed to use the images in your portfolio? Will you get paid? What will be your role at each stage of the wedding?
The first time you work with a photographer is all about building trust – be very helpful and do not overpower the main photographer. Act like a pro – arrive punctually, well prepared, smiling, be confident. Be prepared to muck in, carry equipment, hold flash guns or reflectors, whatever is asked of you.
Be prepared - learn the names of the bride and groom. Be familiar with the timeline for the assignment, so that at each step you can anticipate the next phase.
Never tout for business – don’t give out your business card, you will not be asked again!
Go for a different approach to the primary wedding photographer. Using a different lens will help to your shots a different look. Perhaps try some wide angle shots or close-ups. Try a different perspective during the ceremony so that you are not merely repeating the shots taken by the main photographer.
Help with the formals and groups shots by rounding people up. Ask the main photographer if he would like hats and sunglasses removed, you can then assist with this also. Alternatively, while the primary wedding photographer is taking group shots, you could be mingling in the cocktail party reception, taking candid shots. At this point people are fresh and often willing to give you a nice pose.
Ensure that you provide the image files in good time after the wedding. By showing that you are completely reliable, you are increasing the chances of further work with the photographer - oh and remember that photographers talk to each other - create a good impression and you might find that other photographers will request your services.
See related articles about wedding photography on Tim Clark's Pro Photography Tips website:
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