Yesterday I got the chance to 2nd shoot for a wedding in Florence, AZ. My friend(who I met yesterday) Jasmine invited me to come shoot as her normal 2nd shooters were unavailable(check her website out HERE). I was thankful for the opportunity as we had been trying to connect for a couple of months. So, I gathered up my equipment and set out yesterday morning into the unknown. It was a fantastic experience and enjoyed every minute.
If you're thinking about getting into wedding photography, I'd highly recommend 2nd shooting for awhile before jumping into it. There's less pressure as a second shooter and more time to take greater risks getting shots. You're Butler vs Duke in the 2010 NCAA championship with nothing to lose. Although I've shot many sessions and even have a wedding under my belt(as lead shooter), there were several things that I learned yesterday and I'd love to share 3 with you.
1. Be an active observer. While you're off taking candids and details, watch things that are happening around you. Yesterday, we were in the reception hall(which happened to be an amazing barn) taking pictures of dancing. When I looked around, I realized that none of the groomsmen were to be found, so I started searching. I found them outside just starting to light up some celebratory cigars. If I had not be observing while shooting, I may have missed something like this.
2. There's always something to shoot. You may have taken 1000 pictures of guests and even more of dancing, but there's always something. It may be off in the corner, it may be outside in the parking lot. You're there to get shots and be a second eye into the night. Earn those dollars and seek out those magical shots that may be happening somewhere else. If things aren't happening, make them happen. You're the second shooter, but you're a photographer and most people are almost always ready to strike a pose for the happy bride and groom.
3. Be an artist. There are times during the day where it feels like you're just getting the same shot over and over again. As a photographer, even the second shooter, you're first and foremost an artist. Because my first love is FILM, I always felt like I was making a photograph, not just taking one. Take everything around you, the entire story, and make art with it. Capture single moments, piece them together to help tell the story of the amazing day you're a part of. Being artist isn't just serving you, it's serving your lead shooter, bride and groom.
Here are some of the shots I got second shooting yesterday.