Second Shooter Handbook


The Art of Being a Second Shooter


Lesson Info

Second Shooter Handbook

Up into this point in the course, the second shooter handbook will best sum up a lot of the things that we're talking about. So if your first shooter and you don't know how to navigate difficult conversations, you can give to your second shooter with the handbook because it's a shot list of all of this? Yeah, not so subtle hint here you go. No, but it's the shot list it's, do's and don'ts, it's etiquette and it's all of those things that you can kind of navigate and uses a template for future conversations, and the best part is that it forces you to ask questions between each other, and it is four dollars and ninety nine cents just to get the conversations going and moving in a direction that both parties feel confident about. It also includes the pre post all those wedding day checklist that second shooter should just kind of make sure they look at before a wedding and after so can I had mentioned it before, and it is jasmine star store dot com great. So we are going to move into a qu...

ick section how to critique a second shooter, um, it's tough sometimes because this is kind of like a touchy subject, but it's important to know that there is a difference between being criticized and being critiqued. So if as a first shooter, you're navigating this conversation, make sure and explain what those is, what that is because being criticized is being told what you're doing wrong. Being critiqued is showing you ways to get better, so if you're constantly telling your second shooter what they're doing wrong, you're criticizing them and you're probably going to crush that creative spirit if you want them to get better, you need to critique them and critiquing takes time, which is why a lot of first photographers don't do it. Now, as a second shooter, you have to be open to getting criticized and critiqued on both of those end. If, as a first shooter you give on a speed back, you're going to be developing one a better culture within your company. Teo a better culture with your second shooters and three the big picture a better culture within the industry so sometimes it's a fine line of being offended? We don't talk about a few tips on how not teo rob another person the wrong way now point of clarification it's, how do you prefer to be critiqued now? This is something you need to ask yourself so that if somebody asks you, you know how to answer it, but also will know how to digest when somebody tells you I'm gay and I prefer to be critiqued differently. Over the years we have learned what works best for us I prefer to be told straight out what I'm doing wrong I hate when they please don't mince words and I don't like when people tell me two good things I'm doing to that one bad thing like somebody in the business world said any time you need to critique somebody say two good things every bad I feel like it patronizes me but some people love it I'm just very direct and so when jd is trying to tell me something and he's like, well what I wanted I was like just tell me what is it? I'll fix it now um I have thick skin but on the opposite and you know here's the thing I don't know I don't I don't know what I can't read into something when someone says that's not a creative photo because in my head I'm just like in my head I thought that was a creative photo so what I want I don't think that what I asked this was time could have been or this could have been a more creative photo that to me is still too vague and I I you know for me I would just feel like in my head I just felt like most of the time I'm trying to be creative, but I'm just not as maybe I'm not getting it so it probably meet fall more under the lines of framing you know I like to like when jazz was critiquing me I like to know what how I could have framed a photo better maybe what I could've done differently as opposed to things that I'm not even aware that I'm doing wrong yes in the beginning I would ask like I didn't know that technically I said I was teaching him before I start teaching him framing bring your angle down stylized change your focal point before I was doing that I would start the conversation asking so why did you take this photo and he's just like wheat? What? And I just thought, well, this is how we know we're good conversation and so I was just like esso, why did you take a boat and he's like what? You want me to go back to days and explained I would say the guy was coming out, he was put on his ties, so I decided teo e couldn't never give her a good answer when she would say, you know, what did you do with this photo? Because I would just think like, well, I don't know I just so well okay, so then that started happening and then there was like if there was re occurring issues, I found myself that it was just grinding on me and grinding on me and I was speaking in the moment when I should have just taken myself out of it, there was an issue in the very beginning where jd was had consistent soft focus it was not out of focus, it was just soft and I'm just like, why is it always out of focus was okay like, what can I do to help you understand that it's not focusing or you must be changing it or what's going on any tried for two or three weddings and so what? It wasn't until I thought I thought, you know what? I'm gonna pull out the camera and I'm gonna shoot you right now as you are moving around and you can tell me why I'm getting such so many soft focus uh photos so we did that and the crazy thing wass that jasmine saw that I was shooting wrong, I was wrong, it was wrong what it wass and maybe this will help people watching online was that you have to focus on an x and y plain so once you find your focal point, you must only shift it to the left or to the right or up and down from that initial focal point. So what I was noticing with a slight change so jenny would focus and tilt it slightly down diagonally so it was almost focus and not really but it was a small pattern of him doing this now he probably saw me back when I was using the five demark, too, had nine focal points, so I would find the closest focal point and shift my camera up and down or site decide so people often would ask, are you tilting your camera? No, I'm just shifting it down on its x or y plain jd might have seen me doing that, but he tilted it at an angle and the minute you shift your extra wide plain it's not focus anymore, so that that and I was also sometimes I would focus, I went back button for you so I would hold down that I wouldn't hold down the focus, but before I decided I would focus and shoot, focus and shoot and jasmine's like, just hold down the focus buttoning and shoot, but don't let go the focus button and also show a little bit quicker because you don't have that much time. Things will get become out of focus if you take too long while you're shooting, so those little tips actually really helped that that conversation really held with the soft focusing because it just kind of quickly stopped right? And what I did learn quickly was that I need to not be in the moment when we're having criticism or we're having a critique, so how it works for us is after a wedding I will have downloaded all the images in the car right over I back them up, and then we usually take sunday off. So that monday I sit at my computer and go through all of my images, and I call my images first to see what I have. Then I turned to j d's images, and when it's time for me to call it a j these images, I call him into the office and we go through his images together so that he can see what is going on and how he's progressing. It's the only way I felt like I would ever improve as a second shooter, I wanted to see my siri's, my entire body of work and kind of just see where I'm where I'm anytime proof. So then, after that was happening, I realized that we need to do the coal by itself, and then maybe at dinner that later that night may be the next st I need to talk to him about some of the issues that I found were happening. What I also noticed this pattern was that jd prefers fifty fifty, so he learns as much, um, about how to shoot from good critiques, as he does from bad critiques. When I say this, I love this photo, I want you to do more of this so how to give a critique? A couple main tips tell the main photographer how you like to be critiqued and that you're open to it. Some people you can see two different ways that we like to be critiqued let them know how you prefer, so that they're on the same page with secondly, if you disagree with the critique as the second shooter, don't respond immediately, take a step away, take a few days and assess, did they say anything of value? And if they didn't, then you don't have to take it, maybe write those things down so that the next time you guys get critiqued, you can just say, you know, I noticed this in the last critique is that? Does that make any sense? And if they did, you know that that's what that's, what you guys can come to a mutual understanding of how to be critiqued? I don't give a critique if you're frustrated that will never end in a good way. If the issue to correct is re occurring, take the time to fix it or alice, you can't keep on complaining. I kept on complaining about the soft focus, but it wasn't until we actually took that time to fix it that I could actually at a later point timing, I see that progression. Don't critique in the moment take the time to address that when everybody as level headed. Just because I want to get into a conversation about photography doesn't mean that he does, or vice versa be patient with the progress of the critique that was j d's two cents to the section, so maybe I need teo really thankful. I think that a lot of times, first shooters, they don't really I don't, you know, a lot of firsts. First, readers don't want to deal with this part of of of working with their second shooter, they don't want to deal with the critiquing aspect, but, um, you know, buy jasmine, being patient with me, we've actually developed a business now and now we work together all the time if you want a consistent second shooter or if you want to really build up a second shooter, this is definitely where you want to be. You want to be having these tough conversations at first because they pay off in dividends? We don't we no longer we know what, how, how we like to be critiqued now and so it's really quick, we the cooling process, all those things, uh, I just done a lot quicker, lastly, remind the second shooter, the good things that they're doing because it doesn't have to be at ratio of two to one you know two great things one bad thing but every so often a person really does need to hear the positives about why you continue to bring them back to share with you so that leads us into q and a mark we'll give you the mike we'll have you guys start off now um my wife's at home watching this and she's been you know, going through all these things and she said I'd really liketo come on a shoot with you guys so I really appreciate that how long did it kind of take you guys to work through the process of going through a critique and figuring out what works for you guys and what doesn't and how many nights were in the doghouse that type of thing right right right no you know again in the very beginning jasmine needed to have a lot of patients with me because I really felt as a second shooter I was just my my body of work was not up to par with probably what she would have expected from a second shooter so her page she had to have a lot of patients in which I just I'm glad she had that so you're probably gonna be the if you become if you incorporate your wife you will have to probably do that would be very patient whether because at first it's a little tough but also bring along a second shooter if she's very serious about it you bring along a second shooter and she's their third so there's no expectations on her the minute I started putting expectations on jd I felt a distinct change because I was just like how can you not how can you not and he's just like wait a minute like I need a little bit more time to grow into this role and those responsible the responsibilities developed with time the most important thing though is making sure that you do take time to critique your work after every single wedding still to this day we could still to this day they go they take every time we come back from a wedding but it's much faster now because he could look at me like you know what actually I got it yeah I'm still learning but I'm able to you know, learn a lot I mean c c well my mistakes a lot sooner great question question just about kind of critiques in general yeah if you're going to go to a different photographer that maybe you haven't shot with that you want to have them critique your work would you suggest going to somebody who shoots a similar style to you are would you suggest going to someone who should I'm in a very different style but can still tell me what is a good photo and what's not good for them so are you asking this for somebody in general getting a blank critique or getting a critique from a second shooter you want coming from a first year do you want to work with uh either one of those? Well, I think you would have a very hard time getting a critique from a second shooter you wanted to shoot with who had a very different style because if somebody wanted to shoot with us and they have like they love really saturated colors and glossy and blurs I probably don't have the time to invest in that photographer when I'm not really going to incorporate that photographer in general so if there was somebody who I saw had a lot of potential who's a young up and coming photographers like you know what I want to train her a little bit because maybe jd wants to start doing something else I would bring her along as a third for a little bit if she asked me for a critique I would definitely give it to her because I see her coming into my business a little bit more we do that with our assistant now all right, well we have several questions that go back through all of the time that we've covered so how about if we start from the latest and go back all right so we'll start and can I just stop and say how much I love you guys? This photography thank you for all the photos that calm, like sitting here makes me wanna shoot weddings when I see your photos. Okay? Katie, who was from seattle, says as a primary photographer, how do you deal with a second shooter? Who's un receptive to feedback? Um, it depends how much do you want to work with that second shooter? I mean, if you absolutely love that second shooter in that second shooters, providing a lot of images and the synergy is there, but she just doesn't know how to take feedback well to me, it's, you have to make the decision you keep on inviting her back. So there's going to be a given take um, if you feel like there's continues issues that she won't listen to and it's affecting your business, then I would try to find somebody else, but ultimately you keep on going back to that, so there's something there. All right? We have several questions come in about wardrobe, what to wear, what not to wear. So jake, a pig in waterloo, ontario, said, do you ever try to match the color theme of the wedding or do you avoid matching? I actually don't want to well meaning what is it wouldn't hurt at a black tie affair I'm gonna match uh, what the bridal party is wearing but I'm also going to match what all the guests are wearing so I don't I'm okay with that I don't I actually don't like to match exactly what the groom is wearing because I just feels I don't know I always feel a little funny even though when I do sometimes it's okay mai tais usually different my suit color might be the same I don't mind um but yeah I actually prefer ls if the bridesmaids wearing pink dresses I'm not going to try to wear a pink dress I just pretty much just where colors that guests might wear right all right, next question this is also about wardrobe and this came in from rebecca you kamal who said can you address whether or not it's appropriate to wear white well photographing a wedding I've heard are I feel like it's a no no they say well we'll get you probably won't find a guest wearing white at a wedding so if a guest isn't wearing white, I don't think a wedding photographer shareware right? And you know that brings up a good point those sometimes brides and grooms actually want a color scheme for ever they want everybody to wear a light clothes or white clothes if that's the case definitely try to blend in with guests don't be don't wear a dark suit that day because you'll definitely stand out and you'll look nice but you'll you'll stand out time and just to follow up a lot of people had asked about wearing all black which I mean a lot of photographers do a lot of photographers were all black it's not I mean I've seen photographers do it very well they do it navy blue they do dark plums they do like min you're mixing and then just like a splash of color I like that I just feel like it's easier for me because I just don't have to think about it it might go another black dress like but again it's a personal preference I think it's awesome that there's so many questions about the wardrobe people never really well really it's a pressure point though because it always wonder like am I am I doing this right just seeing the photos of the people put in that how they are stepping it up like I love you yeah I loved watching other people get dressed because now I'm gonna incorporate different different things to my wardrobe after seeing all those photos well with notes on where to buy all right I write another question on wardrobe do you dressed the same way for an engagement session or is that different I don't I don't wear a dress on engagement session normally I usually try to where again I want to blend in I wanna wear what my clients are going to where I most similar to what their clients are going to be o same way we call and we do sadie hawkins know so I'll probably you know, I want to dress professionally I want addresses a reflection of my brand, but no, since since other people are gonna be there and it's just gonna be the clients. No, I don't wear black dresses when they shooting position. Stacey c had asked jasmine when you were a second shooting how do you handle shooting groom the groom in the groomsmen, getting ready as a woman? Were you uncomfortable or where they're typically any issues with that? Um, you know, thankfully there's never been any issues. The first shooter would tell the writing groom most often that he was going to bring I shop primarily with male photographers that he was going to bring a female, and so he actually liked working with you mixed gender photography deal because if the bride decided that she didn't want a guy in the room, he was really happy sending me in so that he would do her prepped photos and then we would switch she would go over to hang out with the guys and I would go hang out with the girls as she's getting dressed, but as far as me hanging with the guys, I don't ever walk into a room, I have to knock on the door, the kind my name is jasmine, I am greg's second shooter and he's down the hall with the bride. I'm going to be here if all the guys are dressed, I'd like to come in and get a few candids. If you guys need a few minutes, I'll be waiting in the hall, so just let me know when you guys already so that's. Kind of like how I would handle it to make sure that everybody's pretty covered up. Usually guys like they're just drinking and hanging out really lounging. So it's pretty chill. Now you guys are a married couple and not everybody is that. Is that okay with their second shooter? This this question came in from scott hamel is the second shooter ever involved in the pre wedding day meetings or discussions with the client? Um, no, I can generally safer most first shooters, they're not involved the second they were not involved in that capacity. So as an independent contractor, your contract is for that day, however, there have been brides to request. Oh, I want to meet my second shooter before the wedding day. So if that happens, then that first first shooter is responsible for notifying that second shooter and saying this meeting is contingent on you being at that wedding, so then that then that turns the ball into the second shooter's court you know, it's like you can then say, you know what? It's going to cost me a little bit more if you could just cover my gas for me being there at the meeting with you, you can then re negotiate the terms of that. But for the most part, it's, just the first shooter. All right, well, let's, talk more about the schedule. Jasmine. Yesterday you had said that you would never eat the food, you would never assume that you could eat. You're not a guest, right? They were, but we didn't really get into. There were a lot of questions of how to carve out time. Tio eat and take a break. You guys cover each other when one gets really hungry not, you know, they're not sure how how people should have said to that. Yeah, that that's a great question. We always plan for the worst case scenario because there have been weddings that one have been so crazy that you don't just the venue will say, like always, the vendors have to wait to the very end to eat. So all the guests have to be served before we get food, and by that time they're already started dancing and we're like, we can't leave when these really important moments are happening, so that has happened. So we plan to bring snacks at every wedding and we function on the assumption that we will not eat and some people like what it's in my contract that I am to get a hot meal, but what I cannot possibly contract for is I want a hot meal at the beginning before all the other guests are served that becomes a little diva and looks like I'm sending of them a writer so what we do is when the guests start eating and they've been served, we try to notify somebody and say, okay, you know, the bride and groom have ordered us meals where would be a good location to get them? So jd is the person who usually handles talking to the coordinator or the venue, but no, we do not eat food during cocktail hour I think that would be a bad reflection, but we do eat vendor meals when we're tucked away when it's windy, it's the appropriate time. So we don't we do make sure that we always we always ask. I always asked the coordinator when it's time for us, theo and there have been times now I know that we're a little bit like I know that I'm a stickler about it and I know that I'm on way into the spectrum, but there are some very sweet brides and grooms were like, you have to eat with our guests you have to enjoy the party and, you know, I get, like a nervous twitch my eye because I don't want to be placed at a table with guests because I think that we as vendors make guests feel uncomfortable, you have to make small talk with us and then people are like, oh, look at them being lazy and this filet mignon it's like I would prefer to eat my meal away, eat it quickly, come back and still maintain that professional distance between the people in the room. So many great questions coming in from the internet this question we often see from with first shooters, but I want to see from the second shooter perspective what you would suggest and that's liz in texas, have you ever had an issue with guests trying to shoot over your shoulder to get your posed shots? So if that's happening to you and your second shooter or you've got all the people that with their ipads now that are you know how those big ones yes there's the same go it does happen to second shooters all the time. Uh, if it's a, uh the one time I give it a first kiss, I will definitely I won't, you know, usually when I do, if if if there's guest that want to take a photo I'll actually step away and let them take the photo first so that they could get their photos and you know what I love for your guests to get this photo, get that photo and then afterwards I'll take the lead and start shooting, but the second shooters from this that you were right, but if it's, what if it's during a big event like a first kiss or anything like that, I will actually ask the guests if they can if I can, if you know if I could just make sure I have some space so that I don't miss these shots that the bride and groom have requested. So that's what I usually do questions keep coming in. So al han woo is alison from the uk. Jasmine if you were sick or not feeling well on the wedding day, would you ever let j d move into the first position? Or do you recommend having your second shooter take over for you, or would you cancel? That is like that is such a great question. I think we're going to cover that it earlier, but we kind of like over when, um, take that out. What would happen is the conversation that a second shooter should be having with the first shooter. One of those questions that you should be asking is if you were ticket ill do I become the first photographer or am I remaining the second photographer if I were to become the first photographer? How does compensation change? These are super awkward questions, but I have seen on a personal level this happened and you take over the first two shooters responsibilities you shoot the whole wedding and then you walk away with two hundred dollars so I think that conversation if it happens after it's probably not legally not in your favor so we have already decided this was you know, being a first shooter is I like to play to my strengths it that's definitely not my strength if jasmine were to follow well, she hasn't she's been at every single wedding, but if something were to happen, we actually have discussed that we would bring on a first shooter and I would still be the face of the business and I would actually take on the role of a second shooter on that day. So wait when we meet with clients. This is a commonly asked question from our kinds like if you weren't there, what would happen? And I explained to her that if I was a person fell ill my husband would go as a representation he would still be in contact and be kept up to date with everything in all of our interactions, but we would bring on another talented photographer somebody we trust too shoot our own wedding to be there and conduct so that he can do what he does for me and you can rest assured that at first photographer will be servicing you in a way that you want, you know, I've never been a first, so I think in my head, I think I'd be able to kind of go through a day and get it done, but at the same time, I wouldn't feel as confident I would want to make sure that I wouldn't want to be doing doing that for the first time for somebody, so I definitely wouldn't play to that, I think there's a question? I think so, wei have plenty from online. Okay, actually, there is. Ok, this studio question about the cooling process one do you do all the culling and two? Do you use a specific program aside from, like, rumor? Um, yes, I do all the calling because I am distinctively the first photographer. I go to my images first so that I can tell the story from my perspective. And j d is ie jd is a killer. I kind of look at it is I'm the tile on the bathroom floor and he's the grout so he holds everything together and that's how you really perceive it to be, um, and I use I've you it's a it's. A catalogue. It does one thing, that's it, but it doesn't really well. And I was just a catalog to view your images and you can open each image into different programs. Did you twos like, uh, bridge or photo shop? I'll be showing it today. But it's simply just a viewing catalog. And I like working with it just because it just does one thing. Really? Well, all right. This is a great question from golden view photography. If you have a second shooter enquiring toe work with you do you set up an interview? What if you don't find their personality suit your brand? How do you say no to them working with you? Cover that. No, this is great. This is great. I just weak. Recently we hung out with a few second shooters. Just dear friends and business owners. And they are she's interview she's transitioning away from working with her husband. So she's trying to interview second shooter. So she was explaining this process to us and what it looked like so she would go she's from con vancouver. So vancouver second shooter group on facebook. She went through and just kind of read through postings kind of see who she thought she liked. Asked around to her photographer friends for recommendations, she compiled a list of five people she would like to meet with. She met with him, offer coffee, and only two of the five that she met in person were actually people that she that she would want to work with on a wedding day. So she had to navigate the difficult conversations of saying, you know what? I'm on ly. I only have a few weddings to shoot, and I decided to work with somebody else for these few weddings. But if anything else opens up in the future, I'll be sure to keep you posted on it. So it's kind of saying, no it's, nothing, no it's, just saying, no, not right now at this time.

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.