Shoot: Ceremony


The Art of Being a Second Shooter


Lesson Info

Shoot: Ceremony

Question from annabelle is how far up forward do you go in a normal ceremony? So if we were shooting in the exact same scenario, the only time I'm going to be at the front is when they're walking towards me because that's an angle that I can't replicate any other time j d will be at the back, I I will never go if so, if this was what we were doing, I would never go, uh, past mark here, which is this guest on the fresh ro that is the furthest I would ever go, because I can still kind of blend in with mark and make it seem like I'm not really there, I would actually be quiet when I'm there, and I think maybe even crouch down so that I'm at mark's level, and then I would go back, and then I could actually do the same thing on the other aisle, but I'll never get, and I'll never go past that first aisle, just I could be unnoticed. Where's jasmine, I know, is the first shooter she's actually gonna go past that? Maybe once or twice about ceremony? Because the shot that I'm really most concern...

ed about is when the bride and her father walk towards us because everybody's turned around looking at them so nobody's really looking at me so the minute that that people actually turned that's about the time that I step out and I will take the position that j d had said on this side of mark I'll be on the other side it'll be the farthest point behind the bridesmaid so that when guess actually turned back around I'm no longer there that's good thinking just look good so another question from sam cocks in colorado would you ever give the bride or the groom or the minister anybody in the wedding a shot list or something to prepare them for the shots that you're gonna take so that they would actually turn and give you the shot? No okay let's see ok, another question about um well, it was actually a comment that sure who it was at this point but they had said it was it was great to see your interesting to see that you guys are both on the same side so that again weren't blocking each other's shot really good observation with being behind on this and I'll speak to it from the first picture first photo first thought when that was sam job, by the way shadow to say thank you, sam so what would happen with jd was standing on this side I would be getting him and all of the background of photos but because we're staying on the same side of photos I can crop jd out and still sent her my subjects within the frame and you don't need much diversity when it comes to the that processional shot uh it's the same shot no matter what angle ear in so it's better to make sure that you're just out of each other's way before anything else all right question from can diggity who said do you try to get both vertical and horizontal shots of people walking on the isle and do you have like an algorithm where you're like two horizontal one vertical are you are you calculating that in your head as you're shooting? Um yes actually so you could talk about this my second shooter I'll speak about okay um in this situation here we have a small space so if I'm gonna um I'm gonna default on vertical uh so I would I did mostly all verticals because I only had a few steps if there is more room I will actually do both so I'll do vertical and horizontal tze uh but I'm definitely default to the vertical it vertical shots if there's not that much room. Part of the reason why we're defaulting to vertical is because you're getting full front full body shots with a vertical so you can get the dress, the shoes, the hair and editorially and getting published that works better because they could fit more photos on a page and when it comes back down to pinterest as well, so we think about marketing when we're shooting to so popular pin posts and interest are usually vertical those do best well so we want to incentivize people to be posting and pinning photos and that usually is manifest itself in a vertical form now for me of the algorithm is having the the, um processional all vertical it's just easier to maintain that control my settings but with the bride and groom one hundred percent the algorithm is two to one to two verticals one horizontal shot one wide shot of them walking towards me a tight shot of them walking towards me ah horizontal shot of them walking towards me pulled back I do the same wide tight, wide vertical and horizontal combination once the bride and her father get to the front so I'm not sure if you had talked about this yet, but the question came in earlier about the communication between the two of you during the whole event um so folks, some folks had said that they've seen or they've used walkie talkies other people have hand signals how do you guys communicate? Okay, so we don't have walkie talkies but we make sure to communicate a few times actually on during the ceremony. So uh right now we community make sure to communicate right before everything happened obviously was a little not so real but um throughout the ceremony you'll see uh jasmine and I will always meet at the back or wherever there, you know, so we're gonna walk through the back. We're never gonna intrude through the aisle or through the front. So every time I see jasmine come back and I've got my shots, I also meet her in the back and that's when we say, okay, we're switching sides or make sure you're here for the first kiss, we actually always make sure once we see the angles uh uh, at the ceremony site, we'll tell each other where we're gonna be for the first kiss. All right, let's, keep asking questions. Um, let's see, question came in from a pro photographer. Do you talk to the efficient before the ceremony about where you can go and where you can't go? Um, I subscribe to the school of thought, I prefer tow us before forgiveness and not for permission. Now, depending specifically, unlike the religious ceremonies, rabbis and priests are a little bit sticklers on where you can stand, and so we try to be respectful of that. And if you are shooting, say, a jewish ceremony or catholics or money and you haven't done it before, just look up the protocol on google prior to the ceremony, it makes you feel a little bit more confident of where you can stand now for non traditional ceremonies, usually the officiant are cool with wherever you stand. So sometimes the officiant, if they really care about where the photographer stands, they come up to you. But if they don't come up to you that's probably because they are pretty free flowing definitely wait for them to come to you instead of you going up to them. Great that's, great advice. All right. So this is a question about from linde in about outside winnings. So here we are. We're indoors with the scenario. Be different in terms of you guys moving around a lot more if we were outdoors. Yes, one hundred percent. I love outdoor weddings. I could shoot out your writings. We just the latitude that your given it's so great, because if it was outdoors, I wouldn't have to stand where I stood. I could stand it a far greater distance behind my subjects and not feel obtrusive, you know, being in their way. And if you go back further in an outdoor space, the guests don't really notice you. So we love outdoor ceremony, there's a lot more lettuce and there's. A lot of echoes in these indoor buildings, so even when you walk, you make a lot of noise so you want to actually keep uh you want to keep your walking to a minimum and also make sure that you don't uh maybe you shuffle your feet a little you know, when you're walking through these these types of floors this is not the equal here is not too bad, but if I notice it I will definitely start shuffling my feet this is gonna be this would be great we're going to start is on the processional so our guests are seated the officiant is up we're gonna start with the groom walking down the aisle, the bridal party wins a bride and one second and then once we're gonna do that, we're going to move directly into the efficient starting a mock ceremony we're gonna kind of be walking through what we're going to need and when and what we're shooting so for me it started so this is pretty much jasmine's gonna find her place. All right? I'm ready for this jasmine I'm sorry ready to get started? Yes. All right, wait here we go way I'm actually right now focusing on the bride's maid she's closest to me her get profiles again I'm gonna again focus on the bride's maid and my focal point on the bridesmaid here we got good sometimes I actually switch for I'm vertical or horizontal but today, like I mentioned earlier it's such a tight space I actually want to stay here make sure you get this photo and the bride sometimes I'll switch over here get outta here again. I missed that shot. All right, so what I'm doing here? Usually the father a father's giving the bride away. I'll stand back here for a little bit long for that, you know is actually, before I move over I'm gonna get a few details of what's going on here. They come to realize the personal dream one more bowls. No, I'm gonna switch my lens because I want a tighter look with eighty five so they have decided to join their lives together. Why? Wei xu detail there you two are becoming women in my time and space right way again I'm going to do my hands to enjoy life together. Share well, now I'm not gonna pull around today that same shot grew I find happiness in your home the warmth and understanding guys written it on about three together may go first I'm actually get an individual shot of the men and grows booth a little underexposed I'm gonna be my shutter speed down to teo a ring is long is great symbol of marriage never ending love shoot us now at a, uh two point oh, get a little bit more light instead of messing with my shutter speed with rain with you to be my partner in life from this day forward with god our family was trying to get the ring offering my followed out people actually go back wait, wait case jasmine came over here so I'm going to switch over since I know that jasmine is there and I'm gonna go get the bride might be overexposed here so I am, uh, upto uh, two hundred fifty two one to two of the second you go with that one stop car face another first kiss is happy. Great. I'll take that. Wait. See? And this is why I don't know wedding junkie when they're saying their vows, I'm sitting here being like, yeah, the honor and behold, so this is great. So, kenna, we're gonna move to questions before we have them walk back down to us way and, uh j d yet we know that in a real life situation you go quiet. We want to hear what your that's right? I actually did what I went quite a little bit. So what happened was, uh, at first I was wanting to get some fine details of just their hands, and then I moved over to shoot the groom once I knew that jasmine had because the reason why I went with the group first because jasmine was shooting the bride first so, uh, what I did then once I knew that jasmine was done with the bride, I switched over to get the er to get to get her from my angle just cause I was, you know, it's always good to have two perspectives. Uh, and then when I realized when I start shooting the bright, I realized that I was way over exposed on her dress, so I made some quick adjustments, and right when that happened, we're going to get ready for the kiss. So I moved into the senate closer to the isle so I could get that kiss. I knew jasmine I made sure to look for jasmine was for the kiss she's always usually in the center. Uh, and I always love to get that angle, so I was able to switch over and get that kiss from an angle that I would actually get that angle on a wedding day. So yeah, I don't know if you were able to see some of those photos. Now, if there are specific questions that we can answer from the studio audience, yes, from our studio audience, that would be great too, because you guys are watching us here, mark, don't stand up and turn around awesome beeping during a focus, you could ask us that no, no actually pursuing this course so that people can I can hear how much I don't know, I don't know if it was showing I was trying to tell people where I was focusing, um and what? Where where my focal point was, but I don't know if that translated well on the internet, but what I try to do is I usually try to focus on the where if I'm shooting the bridal focus on her eye, her eyeball, the girl has been same thing, um and and again, I just was doing it. I'm always changing my focal point it I'm always changing focal point behind my camera, but I want to believe that they're so you guys come here when it is that I was focusing and and if I was re composing or just shooting do you guys use back button focus? I do back, but we both do. Yes. Good question. Thanks. All right. I have a question here from wired. Do you ever walk up to get the placement of the rings? Is that a typical shot for you? Um, if I have the opportunity, we're usually shooting with the seventy, two hundred at this point. We're about a road deep of people, so if we were doing a small destination wedding we wouldn't bring out the seventy two hundred, but if we were at a distance we don't have to get in close for the exchange of rings we have the seventy two hundreds we could get middle, I'll zoom in and get a nice tight shot of the rings during that time and you always try to get that shot as much as our ability. Yes, and sometimes what we need to understand is that from an artistic perspective we think it's photographers we need to get that exact moment of the groom placing it on the bride's hands. But sometimes what I noticed is that the bride and groom prefer the actual moment that it was happening and happening and not that it's the eggs actual literal your ring being put on the finger ok, great, I think we're ready to keep shooting great okay, so what would happen at this point right after they were announced as bride and groom? Jd is getting the first kiss from an angle, but our routine has become I want backup as we do the recessional specifically back upon the recessional that's only three rows deep so he knows because I've asked him in advance after the first kiss he runs to the back with me and we'll be standing pretty much simultaneously now the key for us would be to shoot while they take two steps and then we pan within pan with him penicillin and I shoot one shot so I'm focusing in between each one and I don't find it as difficult for them when they're falling out of focus because I find they're pacing if they're walking this fast, I need to walk just as fast with them if they're so I find that one too three if I can keep the same distance between them one shot should be fine will be panning the equal distance with each other and that focal point shouldn't be should be definitely from a first shooter uh jasmine as the first shooter she's already there for the first kiss she's already in position for the for them to walk down I on the other hand, as a second shooter it happens every single time on the wedding day I'm usually right about here and it's sometimes and you know I'm usually really close to the writing room after the kiss they start walking so I have to run all the way back this this this distance is not far at all so it's gonna be really easy to get there but usually I have to get back by the time I get back I can only fire off two or three settings so making sure that your settings air right before are always good, so for this one my my setting there are gonna be the same the light is hasn't changed very much so I would just pretty much running I'm not run but walk as fast as I can to get back to where jasmine is, so I'm gonna have the efficient we're gonna put you back there so people like you how it really looks real life y'all ok? So if I can have you announced them one more time as husband and wife and we will take things from that if you would like to take it away from take it while I could take it away wow. Okay, we're just gonna take it from the point where the announce you husband gray no walking jasmine again the time I get there that's usually how it looks for me you guys walk that way and they want the bridal party come, I can also stand back I didn't get any during the processional yeah, definitely try to get more during the process, huh, that's reserved for the recession you and booth way we're gonna do is we're going to move um to a different section, alright, not shooting this kind of logically we are we just finish this ceremony, we're going to now move to the reception, we're gonna show a few shots of how he would shoot a reception traditionally and we're going to have the bridal party and the bridegroom sit at the table so it's gonna take a couple seconds for the cameras to kind of walk over with us, and I'm going to talk about the things that I would shoot and we are. I want to get everybody give the efficient around of applying way officially done. Great. Thank you so much. I appreciate you. I took a couple shots, so I'll follow up with you to see if you want them and okay, cool. Thank you. I appreciate it. Thanks. Okay. So, um, quickly, the conversation that I just had with the efficient happens every single time we should a wedding. I think the officiant personally and then I offer to give him that digital images of him doing his his job because most photographers won't follow up with the officiant. But I want him. He was such a nice guy. I would love to work with him again if I'm ever in the seattle area. So I'm quest. I just said the images will be online. I'll send you a few digital negatives because if he puts his my images on his website gets what's happening, we're gonna have more opportunities for us to work together because he's showcasing what I do is a photographer and I'm showcasing what he does as he officiant.

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.