How Photographing Weddings as a Second Shooter Worked for Me

#25 in the Judging a Photograph Series

.Photographing Weddings as a Second Shooter - How it Worked for Me on Falcondale Life blog. Bride and bridesmaid shoes on a windowsill. The second shooter at weddings helps the main photographer by getting extra photos. It's a less pressured, more flexible role, finding alternative shots.

I don’t really know how I ended up photographing weddings. There was no masterplan, it just happened. I got lots of work experience as a second shooter. A second shooter is the extra photographer who helps the “real” wedding photographer. I did that over several years but in the end I gave it up and didn’t become a wedding photographer in my own right – long story.

Photographing Weddings – Behind the Scenes

Being a good wedding photographer is 80% organisation and 20% photography. It’s about getting the shot in a dynamic situation. To do that you have to be able to make a connection with people who are probably not used to being photographed or who are not ready to allow the time for it. Having a big brassy personality helps, but I don’t like being the centre of attention.

On the other hand being a second shooter suited me quite well. I thrive on finding an image without a heavily prescribed shot list. There’s a bit more time to compose and find new angles when I second-shoot. I also like not having to get the important shots of the ceremony; oh the number of times my flashgun or focus have powered down at the moment of the first kiss! I definitely have some bad luck there.

Photographing Weddings as a Second Shooter - How it Worked for Me on Falcondale Life blog. Bride and bridesmaid shoes on a windowsill. The second shooter at weddings helps the main photographer by getting extra photos. It's a less pressured, more flexible role, finding alternative shots.

Bridal Accessories

One of the simplest and most satisfying shots to get is the bridal accessories. I always try to put them on a windowsill for some flattering natural light. I’m lucky enough to live in a very photogenic town and so half the weddings I have shot have included a lovely view out of the window of the room where the bride is getting ready. Although it’s tempting to shoot all the accessories on a very wide aperture, I just stop down a little to give an impression of the town in the distance. A photo like this fills out the story of the day nicely in the final album.

Retired!

People still regularly ask me how my wedding photography is going, not realising I stopped three years ago! It was an interesting time and I could write a whole book of memoirs and crazy tales. I am very happy NOT shooting weddings at the moment although I would perhaps like to second-shoot again when my children have grown and left home.

Photographing Weddings as a Second Shooter - How it Worked for Me on Falcondale Life blog. Bride and bridesmaid shoes on a windowsill. The second shooter at weddings helps the main photographer by getting extra photos. It's a less pressured, more flexible role, finding alternative shots.

Read the Judging a Photograph series from the start.

The next blog in the series Tips for Cropping Photos for the Best Effect

Read the previous blog in the Judging a Photograph series, all about editing filters.

Photalife

 

11 Comments

  1. 17th July 2017 / 8:15 pm

    I have no in depth knowledge of wedding photos as I I’m not married but have seen plenty of friends’ pics. The big pictures and lineups are important but so are the little details that make the day special.

  2. 17th July 2017 / 10:35 am

    I’d love to be a second shooter on a wedding as you get to be involved in someone else’s special day x

  3. Helen
    17th July 2017 / 10:05 am

    What an interesting insight – I loved being part of the wedding world when I got married!

  4. 16th July 2017 / 7:11 pm

    I don’t think I could ever be a wedding photographer

    Thank you for linking up

  5. 16th July 2017 / 3:14 pm

    Hi Janet, I started working for a wedding photographer a few months back and am sometimes required to be the second photographer. It’s a role I do enjoy, but I know I would never want to take the shots that really count. I love these not so important shots in the album, they capture the moments that people often don’t see.

    xx

  6. 16th July 2017 / 10:45 am

    Beautiful details from a special day. If there’s one regret I have of my wedding day it’s the wedding photos, very old fashioned.

    • 16th July 2017 / 10:52 am

      I have old fashioned photos too from my wedding but to be honest I like them that way!

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