Advice for transitioning to wedding photography? become 2nd shooter?

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Brett8883 Contributing Member • Posts: 772
Advice for transitioning to wedding photography? become 2nd shooter?
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I recently did my first wedding and absolutely loved it. Never had so much fun taking photos, editing photos, and getting such great reactions from clients when they see them. I especially love the creative opportunities this kind of photography enables.

I have a real good business going doing architectural and high end commercial real estate photography so I’m not new to doing professional photography and I’m confident in the taking photos part of the job. However, what I could use more experience on is the human aspects.

For example, I had a non-shooting assistant for the wedding I just did but I didn’t do a very good job of managing her and relaying to her what I needed her to do. My fault, not hers. I also wasn’t all that good at telling people how to pose and things like where I needed to be at what time. It all worked out, the bride literally cried her eyes out when I showed her the photos (good kind of crying) but I basically just winged it and that’s not really how I like to operate.

I guess what I’m imaging in my head would be the best next steps would be to work under some established wedding photographers in my area and see how a well oiled machine operates and get some experience under my belt as a 2nd shooter or even an assistant. I have all my own equipment (I usually dual wield my Sony A1 and A7Riv with all the lenses to make any gear head proud) and I’d be willing to do a few weddings for free or low cost just for the experience. Is this common?

I know wedding photographers offer 2nd and 3rd shooters as options on their contracts but I’m not sure how that works exactly? I have my own business so I’m not going to go work full time or exclusively for someone but would love to work under someone and get more connected to that world. Is that something wedding photographers look for? Any advice?

Sony a1 Sony a7 Sony a7R
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