I had the absolute pleasure of second shooting a wedding for Sarah Barrick on October 5 at The Hall at Fauntleroy in West Seattle. Sarah and I had actually never met in person, but had been introduced by our mutual photographer friend, Stephen Gilbert (for whom I second shot a wedding back in August, which I still need to blog, ack!) Lucky for us, Sarah and I totally *clicked* (probably because our names rhyme). 😉
Sarah and Sam and their family and friends were all lovely and kind. I especially liked that Sarah had chosen so much purple! Their bridal party is united by Seahawks football and lots of laughs. Since I don’t know Sarah and Sam very well, though, I want to use this blog post to talk about what it means to me to be a second shooter. (And a lot of what I learned about what it means to be a second shooter came from an AMAZING Jasmine Star and JD creativeLIVE workshop that I participated in, which, you guessed it, I also still need to blog about. I’m gettin’ there, people!)
The second shooter has a unique role at a wedding, and often, a lot more freedom, too. First and foremost, I see it as my job to make sure that Sarah/the main photographer has what she needs. It’s her job to capture the most important aspects of the wedding, so if I see that there are distracting elements in a shot (a stray lawn chair or wedding guest) 🙂 then I have no problem moving furniture or asking people politely to watch the shot from a different perspective. It’s also my job to make sure that I stay out of the shot so that she can get the best angle. What I’m often doing is standing at a different angle with a different lens and capturing candid moments between shots or getting a different perspective of the actual posed shot. I’m also available to gather folks for family photos and to run and find the flower girl who wandered off.
It’s also a big responsibility, and a huge help, I’ve found, for the second shooter to get lots and lots of detail shots. In this case, I wasn’t scheduled to arrive early enough to capture dress/jewelry/getting ready details, but those are often handled by the main photographer anyway. However, the best part about working with another photographer is that, as a team, you can be in two places at once. So when Sarah was working on some shots that didn’t really need a different angle, I was able to visit the different rooms at The Hall at Fauntleroy to capture details of the desserts table, the ceremony, and the reception hall before guests started to arrive and/or we lost natural light. I also made sure that I got portraits of the bridal party while Sarah was photographing the bride and groom (if she didn’t need me).
The reason I explain some of these things is threefold. 1) I think it’s really special when couples choose to have two photographers at their wedding because they are guaranteed to get a wider variety of beautiful photos. 2) You will notice that these photos are different than the ones from weddings where I am the main photographer, because at very few points am I the one directly in front of the bride and groom/the subjects. And 3) it’s way more fun to have a teammate to work with during a wedding. That way, at the end of the night, you can both complain together about how sore your feet are. 🙂
Thank you for this wonderful opportunity, Sarah. Can’t wait to work with you again! And congratulations to Sarah and Sam!