Monday, September 26, 2011


Second shooting.  It really can be such a valuable experience.  This weekend I had the pleasure of acting as Betsi Ewing's second shooter for Kerry and Mike's wedding at the Queens Country Farm Museum.  Betsi was absolutely AMAZING to work with.  Her calming demeanor and natural way of capturing the day as it unfolded served as a great example of how I always imagined a wedding photographer should approach the day.  As I reflect on the weekend, I want to talk about the top five things I learned as a second shooter.

1. As a second shooter, you are there to assist the main photographer. Period.  This can mean anything from gathering stray family members for portraits, to grabbing a glass of water for him/her when things heat up during the reception. You want to find opportunities to make their day run as smoothly as possible.

2.  Just because you are a second shooter, doesn't mean you have to become a mute on the wedding day.  If the photographer you are working for asks your opinion on shooting locations, detail shots, etc, GIVE IT!    Two heads are always better then one.  Together, you might come up with a totally unique idea that you might not have thought of separately.

3.  Push yourself to capture a completely different angle than the main shooter.  You are not there to stand over his/her shoulder and take the exact same shot twice.  Your time will be better spent thinking about how to shoot the same scene in an alternate, but equally beautiful way.  For example, if all the bridesmaids are in posing with the bride, it might be a good time to get a cool shot of the bouquets.

4.  Try to always be aware of the lens the main photographer has on their camera...and use a different one!  This goes back to finding a different way to capture the same shot.  The story created when both sets of photographers are put together will be much more interesting and will give the bride and groom a couple of different looks to choose from.

5.  Most importantly, you want to be a friend.  Weddings usually last anywhere from eight-ten hours and you want to spend that time with someone you like!  Having a friend you can talk and relate to will put you in a great mood, allowing you to capture the wedding day in a way that will put a huge smile on the bride and groom's face when they see their wedding photographs for the first time.

Betsi was wonderful to work with.  She was so kind and acted as a real friend throughout the day.

Thanks again for everything Betsi!  Your relaxed personality has a way of putting everyone at ease, making the day run effortlessly.  It is a quality that I hope to embody and bring to my future weddings.

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