If you ask any professional Wedding photographer what is the best tip they can give to somebody who is starting their photo business…they would answer SECOND SHOOT before you do your first wedding. Before buying any fancy equipment, before ordering those designer business cards, before publishing your website…second shoot!

Why is that? -you may ask. Let start with the saying: “Practice makes perfect”. Whoever came up with that saying was right on it. You need to practice and feel comfortable with your camera before taking a shoot, especially a wedding. Weddings are kind of one-time shot event. You either got the moment or you missed it. That’s where second shooting can be handy. As a second shooter, not only you are the assistant to the main photographer, but also you are in charge for capturing all those details that can be miss: Her hand in his shoulder, his look when she is walking down the aisle, the look of mom when her little boy say the I-do’s!

I’ve been shooting with Lisa Otto from Lisa Otto Photography for over a year now. I have learned a lot from her and we have come to the point that I kind of tell what she is thinking about a shoot before even happened. And that has helped us go through the event without missing a moment and losing time explaining. I am very fortunate and grateful for her for taking me under her wing and for all of the others that have helped me and with whom I have the honor to second shoot as well…you need to add variety too…LOL…Lisa understands…

The first example of Second Shooting is capturing the groom getting ready as well.  In Libby and Zeff’s wedding, bride and groom were getting ready at the same location but a couple of floors different. While Lisa was with Libby taking this:

I was with Zeff, capturing the moments like this:
                            
Having a second shooter during prep time, helps you get both sides of the story and could help cutting bridal party formals time in half. When I work with Lisa when the prep photos are over we always schedule a time to get the some of those bridal party formals too! 

During Ceremony is where I think the job of the second shooter comes to a lot handier. While the main photographer is there for the moments, the second shooter can be getting mom of the bride’s reaction or the flower girl face during the case. Also, it provides a second angle to the same moment! Here is Sarah and Kevin’s Lisa was close to them taking the kiss close up.

While I am down the “aisle” capturing this angle:

  
Or, during the first dance, while Lisa is close Up taking cute smiles like this:
I am in the corner taking the wider angle.

 

During formals, it is your job as the second shooter, to assist the photographer and help the bridal party be ready for their turn. Also, and what I like to do, is to sand at the same angle that Lisa does and capture the same one. It may seem a little redundant but your photo could be the one in which grandma is not blinking or where ring bearer is actually looking.
For Bride and Groom Formals, I like to have fun and try a voyeuristic angle. Sometimes I’ll do close-ups to their hands or to their shoes. Trying different angles without getting in the way of the Main photographer of course.
While we are waiting for Lisa to go across the street to take  this awesome shot:
I am with Erin and Devin capturing this candid:

For these next example, Lisa was down some stairs capturing the one on the right, while at the same time, I took the one of the left! Cool, isn’t it?

 

Don’t be afraid to ask any local photographer to second shoot. Just make sure that their style matches or it is similar to yours.  Second shooting gives you a feel of what the wedding day is. Not only you learn how to handle a wedding timeline (without messing up somebody’s day) and an additional perspective to the moment, but also help you get a sharper eye of the moments that need to be captured.

Happy Monday!