Second Shooting Etiquette
When a man decides he wants to become a wedding photographer one of the first things he will do is work as a second shooter. By backing up another super cool local wedding photographer, a person can get a great deal of valuable experience that will help them when it is time to fly on their own. Personally, the time I spent working as a second shooter helped me improve my skills immensely, and to this day I still work as a second every so often. Being a second shooter is an important role, and that is why Rock This Moment has established the ten rules that all-male photographers working as secondary shooters should abide by. Memorize these rules, write them down in your man diary, get them tattooed on your neck, do whatever it takes to make sure you know them, follow them, live by them. These ten rules are the holy commandments of second shooting a wedding. With them, you are as powerful as a tiger with the wings of a dragon.
- Rule 1: Always remember you are the second shooter, not the primary shooter. Therefore, do not try and be Indiana Jones, getting in the way of the primary photographer and causing a scene.
- Rule 2: Women like their privacy so they can talk shopping and stuff like that. So after you have snapped a couple photos of the girls getting ready, leave the room from time-to-time so they can have a little carefree, no camera in the face time. Don’t sit in the dressing room looking at the photos you just took.
- Rule 3: Don’t wear jeans. You are at a wedding, not a rodeo (* rodeo-themed weddings are the one exception). And if they are skinny jeans…well…maybe you should do some self-reflection…and give your sister her pants back.
- Rule 4: Treat your feet with respect. Spend $15 and get some gel pads for your stinky feet. Seriously.
- Rule 5: If you need to make a shot look cool by angling your camera 45 degrees then the shot is probably not cool to begin with. Tilting your camera will only make your bad shot tilted.
- Rule 6: Please sort your photos before giving them to the primary shooter. The last thing they need is to comb through another 1000 digital images.
- Rule 7: A recreational beer or cocktail with the groomsmen is okay, but don’t be burning bowls, cutting up lines, or doing anything that would get you arrested in public.
- Rule 8: Keep water, chapstick, aspirin and some on-the-go snacks close nearby. No matter what a bride or wedding planner tells you, the timeline is complete BS.
- Rule 9: Shoot raw & shoot manual. If you want to be a real photographer you will need to act like one. This includes purchasing a bow-tie, eating vegetarian and watching foreign films.
- Rule 10: Have fun. People will pick up on your energy, so if you’re having fun, they will have fun. And you’re the second shooter so you shouldn’t feel stressed. Enjoy the day.