The Art of Being a Second Shooter

Lesson 1/24 - Class Introduction


The Art of Being a Second Shooter


Lesson Info

Class Introduction

Hello and welcome into everybody online welcome to the art of second shooting this is of course specifically for second shooters and we're so excited for what's in store but what I am particularly excited about is that I am not one hundred percent responsible for the course content it is so nice to have somebody else he's going to be sharing those responsibilities so for almost three years the crew here at creative life joked that jd should be teaching his course and his immediate response was absolutely no way there's no way I'm going to do that this is proof that peer pressure works you know much to his chagrin but he's never spoken to a crowd before and he is the kind of person that prefers to stay behind the scenes and that's the kind of role that he takes also in our business life in our professional life but in our personal life I think that's what you're going to see a little bit more today it's definitely like a fifty fifty percent where both business partners were both in this...

year together so I'm glad that people can see that today now even though he remains quietly behind the scenes over the course of the next two days he will be dissecting the role of a second shooter and what he does for me in the business and also what he does for us in a personal capacity obviously I'm nervous for him but the nerves actually have quickly dissipated because this week leading into this he started acting like a diva and he started requesting things like I would like all green eminem's and I would like sparkling water on tap and he said you know what I don't think I can do this unless I get a formal introduction by you and I was like wow okay what this basically means is that creative live has created a monster it's a good thing that I happened to find this demanding creature devilishly handsome or else I probably would gone crazy but I'm actually extremely excited and very nervous teo welcome jd who will be introducing the course formally so help me welcome taking all right get a formal introduction I'm done that's all I wanted I'm gonna go home now no welcome you guys welcome to the second shooter course I am you know like I said earlier it didn't feel real but now we're live so this is really and I just I want to welcome you guys I wanna welcome everybody this is actually the first creative life course that's a dedicated to second shooters so the next two days I don't you know it's all about us so we're gonna just take that moment and just soak in it uh thank you for being here I also want to thank everybody that's uh online in the chat rooms uh for those of you that are online welcome I'm usually so behind the scenes that I'm usually the guy that's in the chat rooms while jasmine's talking so I just want to say hello to you guys and welcome you guys to the class uh also it's everyone that's joined the second shooter group on facebook uh thank you so much for talking back to jasmine and I we've been uh just pulling a lot of information and we're definitely gonna give you guys shot out throughout the week or throughout the next two days because you have definitely shaped some of the sections in the course I think it was uh gosh two years ago when craig swanson and chased jarvis had mentioned the idea of doing a second shooter course and right when they mentioned it I disappeared I was gone from the conversation I was I was nowhere to be found because every time I would always tell them that hosting a class on creative life was jasmine's thing not mine and it wasn't until someone actually it was uh chase's wife kate who got the brilliant idea tto have jasmine joined me and right when I heard that when I heard you know that jasmine can count come on I was sold I said you know what if I can have my partner in crime next to me then sign me up and that's pretty much what brings us to where we are today here is basically saying is he's a grown man he needs a security yes, you know, guys, I'm sorry I am a grown man but I will admit that it feels so nice having jasmine here right now standing next to me I'm a lot let less nervous because of it um I'm going to be talking a lot about the pressure point I'm gonna be talking a lot period, but I'm going to definitely talk a lot about the pressure points that many of us that second shooter's face as we shoot alongside our first shooter and I'm also going to talk about ways to improve uh our skills as second shooters that we can continue doing what we do and that is second shooting because we I think you guys are all in the same boat I really love second shooting and I would I wouldn't want to do anything else, so I'm excited to get this started um gosh, this wouldn't make any sense if I two spoke into this the entire time on my own so jasmine is definitely gonna be, uh, bringing her perspective for those of you that don't know jasmine was a second shooter. She was this third shooter and even fourth shooter for over forty weddings before she became a photographer on her own and so I'll never forget jasmine got the opportunity to force shoot at a wedding in san diego, which is about two hours from where we live and she was so nervous the night before that she had asked me she's she was super nervous he's like j d can you please come with me just to drop me off and I pictured as carpool all right carpool car you know and exactly she said that and I remember telling her I was like, you know what don't worry if you make a mistake you'll have three other photographers that have your back and that still didn't work she's like no listen the main photographer might not need me for the full eight hours so we can go I'll shoot for a couple hours and we'll have a nice dinner and then drive home and I was like, okay, cool I'll take you so I dropped her off and eight hours later she comes into the car she didn't get paid but the look on her face when she came in she was still excited to be doing what she was doing she was finally following her dreams and I couldn't be happier for her so jasmine's perspective is definitely gonna be from a second shooter but it's the primary portion of her perspective will be that first shooter second shooter dynamic were I on the other hand I'll be talking about the logistics of a second shooter and gosh it's good to get our old our game our game are that was a goal and aim together so our game our aim to be real and to be raw and that's. Why we encourage you guys tow ask us really uncomfortable questions. We are one hundred percent open book for things that you guys want, teo really get to know because of what I what we discovered was that second shooter's weren't really talking to each other about the pressure points of second shooting, so this is what we want to disseminate. We are going to talk how we can improve our business is both from a first and second shooter's perspective, and we're going to be talking about the mistakes that we made. Oh, yes, I'm actually gonna open up a can of worms, I think, and I remember the time when jasmine was a second shooter, and she was asked by the first photographer on a wedding to shoot on manual mode and jasmine structure shoulders, and she said, sure, but she had never shot on manual mode ever before, so she came home that night and cried herself to bed because she thought she ruined every single photo. Yes. So where was I? Lots of mistakes like that time that jeannie had forgot all of our gear at the wedding ray so we shot the wedding, and then he doesn't realize that he forgot all of the year until we're already at the reception. That was a rookie mistake. Okay, okay, so what happens? We're gonna really so that happened I don't know everybody so we're gonna be talking about those things so we're going to be real so don't leave us hanging or else you'll be like we got we got irish together we don't know what you guys were talking about, ok? Because we've all made those mistakes and guess what? Seven and a half years into our business after continuous mistakes we're still standing and that's what we want people to understand one mistake even if big or small is not going to ruin you so let's move forward together I'm gonna be explaining how copyright works how second shooting of what that dynamic looks like shoot a second shooter gets get paid we're going to be covering a lot of work and how to become the type of second shooter that a first shooter consistently wants to work with and the best part of that situation would be building your portfolio but at the same time building the portfolio of that first shooter as you guys are progressing together, right? And I'm gonna reinforce that were I'm definitely gonna talk about how we can diversify that portfolio and also how first shooters khun critique their second shooter's um that's you know, a big, big big point of our when we when we started working together most of the talk I'm excited about doing a live demo shoot with jasmine because jazz is gonna be opposing clients and I'll show you guys what I do has a second shooter to get the shots that we need yes so that's gonna be great I'm ready to get this party started but you guys I know that you guys it's just it's all our first time so you know, just bear with me this is my first rodeo okay, I have to take this this opportunity to talk about how I probably won't be taking it easy on him because this brings us back up to this idea of during our first creative life course back in two thousand ten after we shot a live wedding. So this event was five days and on the third day on the fourth day we shot alive wedding with one hundred and fifty guests a real bride and groom people legitimately got married it was amazing ah hot mess a nerve racking experience I mean it was everything and it was so amazing and as we went through the images at the end of the day I casually mentioned that I give jd my second shooter a grade and I said, you know, in the course of at the time we had been shooting about three and a half years together and I said in three and a half years I've never given him above a b plus and that the grades were based on his performance in the quality of his work and oh my god people were so they were up in arms about this on the air like how does he not get an a and so what transpired was that j d's internet friends started giving him a z and a pluses on so he became the valedictorian of people on the web and I was like, wait how is this how is this making sense whatsoever I'm here to say that nothing has changed jd is still getting grades after our wedding's on dh jd will probably be getting a grade out of this course so if you guys want to go easy on him that's why but I have my report card and we're going to get that party started you know another whole grading scale, right? I just can't get away from that report card you know I can't get away ever since that class was it was three years ago jasmine's giving me one a just one since then I know I'm a hard grader what can I say what's up with that you in these next two days you'll definitely see the contrast in our personalities uh jasmine if you don't know jasmine has always been a straight a student and I on the other hand I'm okay if I get a b so if I gotta be for this course not be obvious I'll be happy I must admit that sometimes I'm like you know you don't want a like why do you not want the ace I got to be great yeah I don't think you want a come on you want that don't you want to talk about my grading scale? We'll get into it and that's why I always get afraid I'm so glad I don't have other second shooter because I don't know if they could deal with migrating scale I'm not gonna lie he's just you know I see the hard greater she she was a homeschooled her she got days when she was in her mom would give her a cz all the time but then what you going to high school? She started it she she expected a so she kept on getting a's and when she went to college she got mores so I think she just always expects people don't want to get hazed and she doesn't just jealous he was home schooled that's really what this is about okay, let's get started. I'm like it started uh we're gonna start this day by I'm gonna give a brief overview of how I became a second shooter um I don't pretty much started in december of two thousand five it was christmas and I decided teo surprised has been with her first digital camera it was a cannon twenty I'll never forget when she open her present she was shocked and she loved the present, but it was the strangest thing she didn't actually open the box and take the camera I don't know why, but it wasn't until january first so a few days later uh january two thousand six where she decided to actually take her camera out and I'll never forget she took her camera out started turning it on and off I secretly think that she was really nervous because when she actually held her camera she I started to realize that her dreams of becoming a photographer were actually coming to life so um it was that time when jasmine would have her manual out and she would read it every night and the way that she learns is she likes to read out loud and teach yourself out loud so she would always home yeah yeah yeah yeah that's gonna be our running team? She would just she would read it out loud and yes, I would start processing things, but I was not I didn't know I never thought I would be a photographer I was at the time working a full time job at a start up communications company, so it wasn't until uh she shot her first wedding in october of two thousand six that's when it got kind of riel she hired a second shooter and we had discussed that I would come in as an assistant now, that first wedding that we shot was a little dramatic. So I'm gonna leave that story for jasmine because she's pretty good with the drama. Okay, thanks a lot for that. Ok, I can't tell this story is gonna shoot us. No. Well, no, but that was one thing that I want to clarify for. That story is when I was going through the manual and talking to myself in teaching myself how to shoot. I think that j d really processed those images. Sorry, those that context with me. So by the time we actually shot the wedding together, I got I open my camera. In january, we shot our first wedding in october. So roughly ten months of us really just kind of hashing things out behind the scenes. I invited them along just because I needed a security blanket to okay, so I invited long. I was like, just help me carry my bags, you'll help me keep me placated. I have a second shooter there's no pressure on you whatsoever. The wedding was on a friday, and that hired a second shooter, and she worked a full time job. And she says, I'm going ahead to the wedding after my job and I said, no problem, but I should have known it was a rookie mistake, I should have known that los angeles traffic is so unpredictable, so she is supposed to be there at roughly three o'clock in the afternoon, and she calls me two fifty five and says, I'm probably not going to be there for another hour or hour and a half, and this is my first wedding ever, and I'm just like dry heaving off in a corner and I'm like, this is going to be the end of my career. I haven't even started my career and it's officially ended right now, so I turned to j t and I was like, you have to shoot like you just there is no other option. You're gonna put it on p mode and your coworkers and pray for the best that's really, what had transpired? So jd shot the guys he shows up as a second shooter. I shoot the girls that just as the ceremony's about to start the second shooter comes along are the paid second shooter comes along and she's, you know, apologizing, refuse they said no problem. We shot the wedding. We went to the wedding and as I was going through the images after the wedding I actually liked j d's photos better stylistically aesthetically like technically he had a lot more to go I mean homeboy was shooting on p mode okay so he was firing away I was like I'm glad you like a e technically he had a lot more he had a lot more to grow thin the other second shooter but I just felt like you can train somebody technically you can't train them to match your style aesthetically you can but just to a certain point and already he was already there and so I felt like that was more of a seamless transition for us yep. And actually after that wedding that first wedding that's when things got serious for me as a second shooter I realize that I remember those first couple of weddings I saw jasmine interacting with her clients her bridegroom and the family members and I would always tell myself wow she's a professional and that's when I knew I needed to step up my game and actually really really be in it um jasmine signed up for a photo op class at a community college and I remember I I volunteered if I wanted to know if you wanted me to join the class with her and she said sure so we took a photo shop class that was from seven to ten at night twice a week twice a week right? And we would we'll drive there together and it was the randomness thing our teacher would have us design counterfeit money and design little animations is it so you know well, I love those memories because during that time I realized that jasmine's passion for photography and to really pursue her dreams was it was big it was big it was so it was so big that it actually sparked a passion in me so want to see her business go forward and so that was, uh that was that was that was it and I think that this course the art of second shooting is is just about that it's about following what you're passionate about and getting better and improving yourself as a second shooters that you can continue doing that absolutely giddy at one point turned to me and he said I don't want my abilities as a second shooter to impede your business all right on dh in the very beginning I would always actually I would I would tell her I was like you won't hurt my feelings at all if you want to hire another second shooter. I'm totally okay with it and she said something that I won't forget, she said if you really want to improve, I'm sure that with time you're gonna get better and that was it it gave me the confidence to just say, ok, I have some time I'm gonna learn you know, because I know wedding days are so fast that you know, it just always felt like I was ruining it ruining at every time, but she said, just be patient, you're gonna get better and so he started coming with me to shoot outside of what days to improve his skill prior to the wedding day, but we're going to get more into that, but that was just like the personal component. So that's, the intro of how I kind of became a second shooter. Now we're actually going to get into the first section of the course and it's gonna it's a lot more about the second shooters that are here today and also watching online. I'm going to start by breaking down second shooter's into three categories now, not everyone's going to fall into a category sports clothes we spoke earlier, and I know not everyone's gonna fit into a category, but the idea of this is so that you can start to understand what type of second shooter that you are because I think it's really important if you know the type of second shooter that you are so it's a lot easier for you to get to where you ultimately want to go now again it's not set in stone, but by the end of this section and actually by the end of these next two days I'm gonna I'm gonna expect you guys to know the type of second shooter that you are so first type of second shooter is the second shooter who shoots uh as a hobby they have a very nice camera and but they don't want they don't go out and pursue getting second shooter jobs if one comes their way they'll definitely take it they you know if a friend or a friend of a friend has uh needs needs a second shooter for our wedding will definitely jump out that opportunity they have a nice camera and they love the creative outlet that photography provides now they most likely have a uh a part time or full time job and leaving their job isn't something they wanted to any time soon that's the first cat type of second shooter that I'm gonna explain the next one is this section shooter is the type of second shooter that I am and that I have been since the very beginning and this is the second shooter who just wants to be a second shooter they love helping other photographers but what they they have no desire to run a business on their own I was speaking to some of us earlier some of you earlier and this is it they just love to second shoot they don't want to deal with the studio running a studio or dealing with clients or handling handing over images but ideally what they do want is they want to make sure that their calendars are are booked out through through wedding season you know with paid second shooting gigs um when I first started second shooting I had a full time job so I would work monday through friday and then on the sixth day on either saturday or sunday I would go into second shoot with jasmine and my day job was so different from my photographer from photography so I love the diversity in the work week and that was just a breath of fresh air uh and I know a lot of second shooters for full time moms who are monday through friday at home working with kids and on saturday and sunday they either have you know a family member or their husbands to support them and they can go out in second shoot now they also get a diverse work week but they also get supplemental income which is always good so the mean thing to keep in mind between the type one and type two second shooter's is a type one is a little bit more passive if those opportunities come along to them that's great the difference between his type two second shooter is this person is out there hustling it's not a miss no more they let those first photographers no I'm not trying to build a business what I want to do is I want to get busy and I want to stay busy and I want it. Some of them want to be very consistent with one photographer and others want to be, uh, you know, shooting with other photographers all the time. Now, the last type, this is the last time that I'm gonna get into. And this is the the second shooter who eventually wants the transition into becoming a first shooter. Now, there's some of you here in this room that are in that position and there's a few problems. Probably a few people may be one or two online because there aren't that many people online, right? You know where, where? You know this is it. This is where they want to get a lot of experience very, very quickly. They, uh, not only want to get a lot of experience, they want to learn the intricacies of a wedding day, so they want to know they want to understand the evan flow. They want to know the timing of of the first look of the first of the ceremony in the first dance. First kiss all those things because, uh, they're really wanting to get that experience and so that they can build their portfolios quickly. Now they also really want to start building relationships with their main photographers, because one day, when they become first shooters, they, you know, I want to make sure that they passed business to their first shooters, that they were working with before, and vice versa so they can actually help each other grow and become sexy it's, a successful business entrepreneurs and sexy entrepreneur ceo one thing to know tio is that as a type a type three second shooter, we may or may not have a full or part time job, but the goal is to make wedding photography are full time job, that that's coming like you mean, like a big difference between exactly a lot of the shooter's thie type of second shooter that I was again, mate, probably want to stay in there full time jobs or you have a part time job, but they really want to make sure that they booked themselves out so that they still have a good source of income coming in from second shooting. Now, regardless of which category you're in, uh, the point of this is to really just start to understand and embrace the type of second shooter that you are. I see a lot of photographers who, you know, I see a frustrated, uh, frustrated look in their face or, you know, they don't know what they want, and a lot of times they start comparing themselves to what other second shooter's air doing. It could be very easy to just uh I think that because this second shooter is doing this I should probably do this to um and that couldn't be further from the truth there isn't a right way but understanding what type of second shooter you are we'll really start shaping and giving you that permission to be ok if you're the hobbyist who wants to just shoot every once in a while and and just and you know just a couple of weddings a year or if you're that second shooter who really wants to get into it it's okay to not want to run your own business you know I feel like a lot of second shooters think that eventually they have to become first shooters um and yes give some shout outs because people are saying we asked people what type there and we have of course across the board but I like art bark bill says he's a type one monday wednesday friday type two on saturday and stay on type three on tuesday and thursday I love it I love it but jen hud says I ordinarily only shoot first however when I get the chance to shoot second I'm thrilled so again it's like when it takes that responsibility off a little bit yeah people are just timing in I'm definitely a type three you know I'm tied teo kind of gauging themselves so it's able to see that people are defining themselves what type of seconds who they are I love it I love it and I love how you guys everyone's quickly understanding that there is no structure here the people that are bouncing off you know there could be you could be a first shooter one weekend and find yourself being a second shooter the following weekend that's completely okay but the thing is understanding that and being okay with it is always so liberating I think I once heard that comparison is a thief of joy and every time you look to somebody else and you compare yourself it's it's disingenuous to your business because once if you know where you want ultimately go other people will be taking jobs that were never meant to be yours because they're not pushing you closer to your goal if the minute you define what kind of second shooter you are, you now have a new set of goals so you don't need to wish for every second shooting opportunity because it might not be pushing into where you ultimately once and I'm gonna close this section with giving a little piece of advice to those second shooters who want to transition into becoming a first shooter I'm excited for those uh photographers because you know that's what jasmine did and in the future you're going to be hiring a second shooter which excites me because that gives us more jobs um but I want to leave you with a piece of advice and that is you must learn how to follow before you can lead, because because, you know when that time comes for you to lead, you'll know exactly what it takes to have a second shooter that has your back. And that, as you know, training a second shooter in that way is always just a good thing for all of us that are in this wedding industry. So I think what you as well notice is jd is a little bit more thought cool and cerebral, with his thought lower with speaks a mile a minute, but no, we've got we cover this afford. If you tuned into creative live in our courses, I don't talk fast, you listen slow, okay? So, um, I think that I'm a little bit more linear. I'm a little bit more fact driven, like how two's. So I think that hopefully this course will offer both of those perspectives.

Class Description

If you're an established second shooter or looking to become one, this course focuses on ways to strengthen your portfolio, be proactive, improve shooting technique, establish the terms of shooting agreements, become a vital asset to the wedding day, and learn how to book jobs. In addition to lots of content, conversations, and fun, a live shoot will demonstrate the first/second shooter dynamic and a portfolio review.


Barbara Wenz

I bought this course because I had to set things in place for next season and needed to train my second shooter(s). It was really helpful because it takes you to everything you possibly have to think of, when instructing and training with them. I was personally kind of shocked about some (others were superb) the images JD is delivering. I'm much more content with my second shooters, seeing what others deliver after 7 years of experience ;-) But this doesn't make the course any worse. I love it because it's really honest and they share a ton of experience.