I recently chatted with a friend who said she was having a hard time finding a second shooter. There are many talented photographer’s in our area so you might wonder why? It is not because there is a lack of talent! I looked into why I’ve had success finding second shooters- and second shooting myself! I’ve finally come up with the why.
Every professional has a different style, approach and set of expectations.
Some photographers shoot more verticals than horizontals, some prefer to shoot with their 35, some love to use OCF (off camera flash) all day every day, some love to shoot portraits in only natural light if possible, some don’t shoot below 2.8 and some won’t be caught dead shooting higher than 1.4!
With all of these different variables no wonder it is hard to keep up. We should rely on luck to make sure we do a great job. As a wedding photographer I make sure to send my couples a wedding questionnaire before their wedding date to better serve them. Now when I second shoot I make sure to send a similar questionnaire. I’ve also put together a guide for my second shooters that goes over what I prefer and expect from them. As professionals your second shooter knows how they would shoot for themselves. It’s so important to guide them in how to serve you so they are successful in that role. What is the role of your second shooter? They are there to serve you in the way that you need. The first step is to define what that means to you. If you are looking to second shoot for a photographer or if you are looking to strengthen your relationship with your second shooter these questions will help!
Do you tend to shoot more horizontal or verticals?
Do you have a favorite lens? (that way you can shoot the opposite!)
Will this wedding be black tie/ do you have a preferred attire?
How many images do you expect from your second photographer?
Should I bring my off camera flash set up?
Do you mind sending me the timeline and addresses. (Make sure you get an exact address!)
Are there any unusual circumstances I should know about?
Should I bring my dinner?
What are your rules regarding image use?
Will I be shooting on my own card or will I be shooting on yours?
What is your go to soft drink during the reception?
These questions prepare you as a lead and a second shooter to be fully prepared on for wedding days!
There is nothing worse than having a question in the moment and being nervous to answer. Consider going over emergency scenarios so you both are prepared and confident.
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