second shooting for someone is fun! i get to experiment and shoot great events with less pressure. but it's also a lot of responsibility.
when a photographer asks me to second shoot with them i consider that an honor. to me that means they love my work, they get along with me well enough to stand spending a whole stress day with me and they believe in me enough to count on me in case there is a problem. and i take that seriously. i pack a full gear and i shoot responsibly. three things that i always do as a second:
- stay out of the primary's shot
- shoot from an angle that is different than the primary (i'm there to add to the portfolio not create duplicates)
- try to shoot with a lens that is different than the primary
it HAS happened. the main photog's battery died, the card was full, the flash stopped working, the camera wasn't cooperating. it was my job as second to be right there, ready to take the necessary shots. i'm always fully aware of where the main photographer is and what's going on with that person. so when disaster strikes, there's no stress, no shock, things run smoothly and the bride didn't even feel a thing.
taking pictures is exhausting. sometimes i'm just the fire that lights that main's ass and pushes in a second wind. (that sounds bad huh?) i'm the critical second eye that notices out of place details and steps in for the correction. i'm also the stylist, poser, water runner, light finder and whatever. when i'm the second, it's my job to be the primary's entourage and support. when i'm the primary i expect no less from my second. luckily, in this world, we're all friends coz that's a whole lotta responsibility.
other things to note when i play second photographer:
- they are NOT my client, this is NOT my job and i am NOT operating as milaPhotography on that event. so the photos are NOT mine. if the main photographer allows me to blog or post on fb any of the pictures then i am very very grateful. if the main photographer uses my shots for their port, slideshow, album, etc. then i am flattered. in no way are they obligated to credit me for a shot taken at their event.
- should i be allowed to blog about the even i always credit the main photographer. ALWAYS.
- to call a shot "my own" means that i found the light, the background, the pose and the composition. so if the main photographer sets up the shot then i can't call it mine now can i? subsequently, this is also the reason why we put into our contracts that other pro photographers (or people with pro-like cameras) are not allowed to shoot at our weddings. it's too easy for a shot to get setup by someone else and then 10 people stand right behind the photographer and take the picture.
things i DON'T do as a second:
- contact the client via fb, twitter or email.
- any kind of social media in this industry is a marketing tool. contacting the client would be all kinds of wrong.
- tagging the client's pictures on fb. see above.
- blogging images BEFORE the primary (and without permission).
- blogging is also a marketing tool. to post photos before the primary posts photos would be stealing thunder. bad idea.
- give out my business cards at the event.
- on the day of the event, the second (and third) photographer is working under the primary's company. giving out business cards that are unrelated to the primary is a conflict of interest.
- i will NOT use any of the photos for my online portfolio.
despite how harsh some of that stuff sounds trust me, 2nding really is fun and a great opportunity to stretch myself as a wedding photographer.
here's some shots i took as hanssie's 2nd at this rad wedding she invited me to. the bride was soooo my kind of DIY gal. she thought of everything and added the cutest most genuine touches of craftiness to her wedding.