Are you ready for Part 2 of the Second Shooter series? This week we'll cover Schlepping i.e. Carrying Stuff, and next time will be Part 3 : Serving.
Let's get on with it!
To start off, here's a list of duties that you may need to be prepared for, and feel free to edit or add to it for yourself!
- Carry gear
- Hold details
- Run errands
- Be available/keep eye contact with the primary
- Check off the shot list
- Tie ties, pin boutonnières, sew on buttons, etc
- Pack the car
Like we talked about last week, we seconds simply need to be flexible. This is worked out when the primary needs to switch lenses FAST and you offer to hold one, or while they gather a group together in the dark, you may be called on to grab the light stand and hold it near the group. It may mean that the primary needs something from the car, the rings from the groom, or someone to hold the bouquet for a few minutes. When there's a long shot list for family formals, you may have to sacrifice getting any photos while you stand nearby and check off the list. Bonus tip: have your lightest lens on your camera during family photos especially if you have a shot list. It is entirely possible to get candids of what's happening around you while staying near the primary and all ready to check off the next pose, or hold the bouquet! I say lightest lens, because a heavy one is hard to wrangle with one hand in case that's all you have available :)
Get acquainted with how to tie a tie & pin boutonnières. Have a detail fixing kit like this one handy:
And finally, during the formal exit, if you aren't holding a light stand, offer to pack up all the gear and load it into the car. After a long, busy day, the primary just might take you up on it!
If you're willing to be there for the primary and the experience they want to give their client, regardless of your portfolio needs, it will go a looong way in giving yourself a good name with the primary. And by all means, practice shooting whenever possible! Style some details (both masculine & feminine) from your home indoors and outdoors. Group your friends together and have them play 'bridal party' while you give directions! (You'll get some great memories with that one!) Exercise so you can hold heavy gear. Basically, be selfless, this job is a fun one, and not many get chosen or called on regularly unless they are willing to serve and learn. The car rides to and from the venue are some of my favorite moments of the day. We tell stories, talk about details, I get business and shooting advice, and do.we.LAUGH!
I'm on the lookout for second shooters around the nation, both to hire myself at some point or pass on to other photographers when needed, so do connect with me via email if you'd like to be on the list! And if you have any questions about this series or anything relating to second shooting, I'd like to help if I can!
Stay tuned for Part 3 coming up soon, and here's Part 1 if you missed it!
Eddie & Aryn's wedding day took place at the lovely Lodge at Bridal Veil Falls, Spring Branch, TX