Blog Archive

Monday, August 29, 2011

Working witrh an Assistant-Wedding Photography

Assistant and/or 2nd Shooter
The second shooter is valuable person in the wedding shoot.

They can capture things that the principal might miss and will have  more time usually to be creative.

They can anticipate any needs and support you might have.

They can help with driving if things are tight re your timetable.

They can get shots from pleasing non front on angles.

If required they can step in and do the wedding shoot if you are injured on the job or take ill and can even step in at the last moment if you are not well enough to do the wedding.

In my quoting if I have a Photographer, not just my wife booked as my helper, it is good to be able to say that my second shooter can do the job if I take ill.
Of course to do the wedding by themselves they would need to be an already accomplished and experienced wedding photographer or assistant.
You wouldn't land that job on someone who does not yet have the confidence or skills to be the principal photographer.

Some people are good second shooters but might never want to progress to the main job. 

It's good to have someone to talk to during the day as your assistant as you can share ideas and if you are nervous it can settle your nerves.

I started out paying assistants very little  as they were getting valuable experience as a follow up from my wedding photography course but if someone comes on a regular basis you should pay them well and have that factored into your  quoted price.

I sometimes have assisted on friend's shoots and it is a good experience to do this as well.

Sometimes  assistants will get  the shot of the day.

The assistant will also often want to be booking their own jobs so you need to have someone who is committed to your shoot regardless as often you are booked up as much as 12 or more  months ahead and your assistant may be approached by someone else in the meantime.

A good source of assistants are people studying photography or you can run an ad offering to train someone as a wedding photographer on the basis of becoming an assistant.

Make sure whoever you choose has high standards of personal behaviour and appropriate communication skills.

The best feed back you can get from your customers is not only do they like the work of the second photographer but they hardly noticed they were there but also felt that your assistant was an important part of their day also .

All the above photos are 2nd shooter images.

All photos copyright Geoff Thompson

Any students of photography living in Adelaide are welcome to approach me re possible one on one tuition in wedding photography training or as part of a small group. These notes are helpful but a lot more can be discussed in an informal learning situation and with plenty of audio visual material.

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