I love being the secondary photographer at weddings!
You might think that someone who has photographed as many weddings as I have over the past three decades would want to be the lead photographer, but you would be wrong.
I love being able to capture all of the details and ephemeral moments that make up a wedding. From the groom fumbling with tying his bow tie with trembling fingers, to all of the little details at the reception, I have the honor to create images that I wouldn’t necessarily have the time to capture if I was the lead photographer. It also means the groom and his groomsmen get to have equal time in being represented!
Another reason is that it gives me a chance to push my creativity further when I know that the lead photographer is capturing all of the required shots. Most of the time, the bride, groom, bridal party, family and guests are paying attention to the lead photographer during formals, processional, cake cutting, toasts and family photos which means I can also capture many unguarded moments without drawing notice. These images complete the story and add dimension in creating a much fuller view of a very special day in that couple’s lives.
I also enjoy being a problem solver. Something happens to one of the lead photographer’s lights? I bring with four spare location strobes & stands. A button pops off the tux? We have a sewing kit. No one knows how to pin on the boutonnieres? No worries! By making things run smoothly, it allows the lead photographer to concentrate on their job at hand, and the bride and groom are relaxed knowing that we’ve got it covered.
The bonus to this; I get to help my fellow photographer build his or her business, which means more opportunities for me to second shoot! I also build trust with the lead wedding photographer / studio owner, as I have no desire to go after their target market: weddings. You can imagine that the last thing a professional wedding photographer wishes for is to train and work with their second shooter only to have them as direct competition next year!
Thanks for checking out my From The Fox blog! Next week’s topic: The life-long pursuit of the next great image.