Here's a Serving checklist complete with bullet points (list-lovers can rejoice)
- Keep the primary hydrated. This work is WORK! It taxes them and you physically, emotionally, and mentally. That being said, be sure to hydrate yourself, too!
- If the primary likes cake, get them some on a plate or even in a carryout box if the meal vendor has those on hand. I usually wait until most, if not all, the guests have been served cake, or if its all sliced and no one is swarming the table, consider that a perfect time to score some slices! And do enjoy some yourself. It's yummy to have such a snack on hand between shots of dancing.
- Have access to the emergency kit, whether yours or the primary's. School yourself in some basic hand sewing in case of loose buttons or needing to sew up a dress.
- Always smile and be ready to 'drop the camera' to lend a hand. Often I'll hold the bouquet during portraits (or stick it in my Shootsac. hehe.) or fetch the rings, etc. so I don't always get to shoot as much as the primary. Smiling also comes in handy when things happen to spread everyone thin. Happy faces help sooo much :) <-- see?
- Blogging & social media: the way you get to use the photos varies by photographer. A general rule of thumb (and to be considerate) is a second shooter can blog a wedding after the primary blogs/has the wedding published. And when you blog, it's a fun challenge to make the post something unrelated to the actual wedding, such as a how-to article. Other ideas include: blog your favorite image and a favorite quote, blog only people images, or just B&W images, or just detail images. Do check the primary's post or published piece to see what type of photos were included and how many. Use that to curate your own post. We seconds don't know how many of our images make the cut, so the worst case scenario is having the bride finding our posts and seeing them full of photos they may not have received (which is completely the primary's prerogative!). If the bride contacts you, gracefully send her back to the primary. If the primary asks you to shorten your post, do so happily. We're here as a part of t.h.e.i.r. team, and its our duty to serve wholeheartedly :) If you have to shorten or even delete the post, it's okay. Those images will still be great to include in your portfolio or print to show your prospective brides!
Linking to the vendors, location, etc. is another thing you should run by the primary. Often I will at least link to the location since I'm a Texas 'tog and want to have places to suggest to my brides.
- Social Media: similar considerations to blogging apply here. It's best to not flood your social media outlets with 'Bride & Groom Wedding BLOGGED!!!' after the primary shares theirs, even though your friends and audiences are different. But do media-your-heart-out if the post only uses the images to make your article pretty vs. being a detailed story of the wedding day. And it never hurts to ask the primary what they'd like you to do in regards to social media, in addition to tagging them.
- Befriend the ring bearer and flower girl. Learning their names and making eye contact with a smile is a great way to start. Have your best high-fiving hand or thumbs-up ready to praise them for jobs well done. If there's a lull in formal portraits, I'll let them shoot a few photos on my camera with my help, which generally makes you friends for life...or at least the rest of the evening.
Guess what! This wedding was published on two blogs! You can see them here:
Borrowed & Blue
The Luxe Pearl
And Monica blogged the full day, too! A Darling Outdoor San Antonio Wedding with Ribbon Details
If the post was helpful, I'd love to hear what you liked about it, or if you have any questions or critiques, I like those just as much!
I'm always collecting names of second shooters from around the nation to use myself or pass on to friends in the industry who have a need for one. So do send me your contact info & a link to your portfolio if you'd like to be on my list, right HERE! And many thanks!