Shoot: Reception


The Art of Being a Second Shooter


Lesson Info

Shoot: Reception

A couple of things that I'm looking for as we approach this so let's just say this was our reception set up on a wedding day what's going to happen at this point is the bride and groom and the bridal party and family members are at cocktail hour j d and I will walk into the room and what we want to do immediately is to start shooting these details before the guests and bridal party sit down in them because they're going to start messing up the table ballrooms air usually our rooms like this are usually a lot darker um so I will have an off camera flash set up but since the lighting in here is nice uh I wouldn't bother with that in fact I would even have offered if jasmine needs any diffusion of light or a pop of light or a bounce of light so at this point I would ask jasmine do you need it you need me tio tio help you with any type of lighting want me to bring in anything to feel like or are diffuse light and at this point I'm not going to need him defusing reflecting or setting up in ...

off camera flash so what I would have him do at this point would be one of two things one I would have him go through and clear the table of table numbers of salt and pepper of butter of bread of sugar packets anything that digger gates, the overall design of this table, so he knows immediately walk in, he clears that stuff, and then I start shooting myself as the first photographer has a a list of things I need to shoot in order to make this table scape exactly what it needs. I noticed that this table tablecloth is very different and unique, probably chosen by the bride and groom and her co ordinator. I would like to take a second to teo ah highlight are the amazing kelsey edes of sugar come events here in seattle. She has worked tirelessly on setting up the most beautiful and over the top decor for today. I can't wait to go through all the images and left all the other vendors that have participated the event, but until we get to that point, we're going to do that more tomorrow. So what I'm doing now? A list of shots, and I'm getting I'm going to get the tape, the table, the menu, the cards, the glass of wine, the plates, this, uh, fabrication. I'm going to get the florals, a vertical and a horizontal of the florals for the florist. I'm gonna get a pool back shot of this entire table in a vertical setting, a pullback shot of it in a horizontal setting. Once I do that, I'm going to bring the barter party in and we're going to have a good time and they're going to give a couple toasts we did some of the shooting during the lunch break because I don't want people to wait too long for what we do I'm going to shoot jd is going to shoot because sometimes he sees things differently from a different angle within this table scape and then we're going to shoot on through there so I'm gonna stop talking and judy's in to do the rest all right? Wow well usually you know uh we'll shoot different tables obviously we don't try to shoot the same exact table but we and for this case we only have one table so in this case I'm going to shoot this table but if it were a wedding with multiple tables I would actually be right now getting a pool back shot with uh maybe two or three tables at once so again now what I'm gonna do uh my skill set isn't in details so I usually get a whole different look from jasmine I actually like to just get in I love the details that are here there's a ahh chocolate bar with the menu so I'm gonna shoot that first wait okay, here we go okay, so what we're gonna do now is we are going to bring the bridal party over we're going to position the bartel party and um I would love to have the bride and groom in these two back chairs and the bridal party can adjust from there okay do you want to actually shoot? Do you wantto switch cameras on this point or do you want to just continue having continues now that numbers of people yes well I think it's right here no it's not it's ok it's all that you do with that okay, so what just happened that might may or may not have happened on on camera is because I'm not carrying camera bag with me because I'm not really a super focused on the technicality of the shoot I want to just go through the motions so jd can show what he's doing but I just turned to him and I went like this and he said, oh, I have your lens and I realised no he didn't taking it out of his bag and place it on the chair so these have a communications air going cause then I looked at the lens that he was using and he has eighty five which is what I wanted to shoot with he has my back so it's all good so I don't feel that pressure to be like, oh my god, I need to go and get it right now if we're in a crunch situation the way that we would at a reception we're just going to roll through it right? Thank you. Perfect. So in this particular situation this is probably after the grand entrance everybody is seated down this then becomes a story people us and start drinking wine if you guys want you guys have a great model all right, this is cute and this is exactly what would be happening. Great, great. So as quick as that moment happen you think your back as quickly as that moment happens is as quickly as they happened on wedding days so as people are just talking judy and I would kind of we wouldn't be so close to them I don't think on a wedding day but what we're would news we just kind of circle them in a counterclockwise manner so he'll go in one way I'll go in the other, okay? I'm actually settled ready to shoot now, okay, so I'm gonna focus on the right a little bit it's making sure I get her toast right there. She just looks great that's really great. Oh, and I noticed that I'm a little under exposed, so I'm actually gonna just just a little bit you're so now you just want to shoot I'm definitely just shooting the conversations that are going on having people interact like faces wear going teo simulate a toast scenario so I'm gonna have you stand up and you're going to stand right here and you're going to be giving them a toast and you can give a toast for however you so choose you can just say a few words about heavy by scooting closer together all right so if I see jasmine standing on that side I'll definitely just picked the opposite side I was mostly getting the bride and groom right now give diversity's sake I'm goingto definitely wait teo great you have a couple beers so again I know jazz was getting the reaction I thought of them toasting and I'm getting the groomsmen great great way to do that one more time would you mind giving us a toast to your best friend and bride all right so now that the first you know we did it once I know what jasmine was getting so now I know that she has shots of the bride and groom already toasting uh uh cheers ing to each other so now I actually have the the uh the ability to just do whatever I want at this point we owe you all right so again as it happens twice you always get that second chance won the second time that it happens you actually have a lot more diversity can do whatever you like the first time I wanted to make sure what jasmine was shooting after I found out what she was shooting um I would just do the opposite at that point so when she was shooting and that right now, when she's shooting them from this angle, what I'll do is I'll just focus on the groomsmen are on the groom. Well, maybe maybe even get a thank you guessed interacting great. So that's kind of cannon. How are we doing over there? I feel like you got a little choir we ok? Or we just kind of thing that I need to talk a lot more that's for sure right now, you know, and here's the thing. Um, I'm not used to talking when I'm when I'm shooting, but I did want to give an overview. I'm just making sure that I'm always looking at what jasmine was doing when when they were, when they were doing the speeches and the toast I made sure to make sure, uh, to look at where jasmine was shooting so that I could just get the opposite reaction. You want to get both reaction's gonna get the groomsmen toasting and then you want to get the couple cheers ing so even if I'm standing in the same location, jd is looking at me to see how I'm rotating my camera. Well, the best man this man was giving the toast, I simply turned my cameron tilted it this way, I got him giving the toast I turned my kimber this way. I got the reactions of the bride and groom so he's looking at that to make sure that we're not shooting the same thing simultaneously what's going to happen now is you guys can take a couple of drinks of your water of your wine, and what jd and I are going to do is we're going to transition over to the cocktail hour. This is what we would shoot, um, on a wedding days were kind of showcase, shooting the details on dh, then showcasing how he would shoot signature drinks and things of that nature. Now, if this was a cocktail hour, one of the things that I would do immediately because we can and nobody's around is that would move this table back because there's a hot spot, so I'm actually, yeah, ginny and I, we just kind of peel it back just about their great we'll just make sure that nothing's changed within that, so I'm going to get a vertical shot. I'm going to get horizontal shot of these types of details, I'm going to get close ups of this guest sign in book this is instructions to get sign in book this is a beautiful decor piece, and I'm going to get the bar in the background if their signature drinks. I'm going to shoot the signature drinks at this point I'm just gonna ask jasmine the tables get a little high so I would ask her if she needs a stool. Uh, sometimes she needs a chair I can get her a chair for elevation sake. Uh, I don't know if she needs one now again, we move the table side, we eliminated the hot spot, but if she still needs to feel like I'll make sure to ask again when it comes to details like this, I will shoot some of them. But I'll definitely first asked jasmine what she needs in order to get those shots. Uh, so as of right now, you pretty much okay with what you got? You want an elevated shot? It all? Uh, no, I'm I'm pretty solid right now. Okay? Do you want to actually, while you're shooting this detail, do you want to actually use my lens of my camera so you can shoot so you can see what you're shooting? Uh, no, I'm okay. I'm gonna I'm gonna bring in the bright the bride and groom at this point in time. So if you want, you can gather them and then tell see if we can get the cocktail drinks, but if we can bring them over on that trade, that would be fantastic so the bride and groom today kelsey's organized some, um cocked signature drinks so I wanted to say I'm gonna get individual shots of the cocktail drinks and then I want to get the couple holding the cocktail drinks and j d is going to be getting different types of reactions now the cocktail hour is much larger than one person can handle most probably so jd will be kind of floating doing opposite of what I am doing this beautiful signature drink um station is so adorable what I'm doing in this situation is getting a vertical shot ah horizontal shot a shot just of of the paper goods and during this time judy is usually just getting candidates so that's his role at this time I'd have the whole bridal party come okay and again jasmine is shooting with the fifty I've been shooting with e eighty five this entire time if I see her switching from the eighty five she's probably gonna ask for the eighty five pretty soon um if she does, I would say about my lens but since she hasn't actually prefer the eighty five like I mentioned earlier is one of my favorite lenses especially when I'm trying to get candid shots so what? I want to be the one to get, um standard shots of it by itself but I also love and prefer when somebody's actually holding it editorially it works better what I've discovered so I'm gonna get an individual shot of somebody holding it and making sure that I have that in a place it down on the table and I don't think these are alcoholic, but I am gonna have you guys hold a few of these drinks so during this time everybody friends are just hanging out drinking so uh and j d would be at this time shooting things that I know I know again again I'm not gonna capture everything cause I'm going with the eighty five but I know that jazz has got that's a shot and she is shooting the white the wider shot and so right now I'm actually gonna focus on individual people having drinks just so I can, uh get more of the interaction of what's happening, right? Like we might do more toast you never know I mean, okay there's some hot spots that I'm trying to avoid at this point hopes and there it is there they are and what if photographers can notice is that exactly event that he just said so if you could take a step back what I want photographers to notice if you could see um how her face is illuminated and then take a step in do you see what happened to her face that's the light that I'm looking for it cocteau our all the time because it's beautiful light as if somebody's holding a white sided ah white reflector so that kind of light is going to be amazing you just have to compensate for it accordingly I'm so sorry daisy good. So why don't you from there talk about how great it was to go to college with um with stacy oh, high school sorry. Okay, great that's exactly what happened during cocktail hour? We're just gonna cruise along, okay? So now what we're going to do is we're going to end of the session with the cake so in this situation, what we want to do is kind of d'oh a mark uh, bridal party so if the guys were here now this is an actual wedding than you'd sotto park in seattle if we're here on a wedding day, there isn't too much room within this space that's different or very that various too often or too much, but what I'm gonna do is I'm going to take the groomsmen over to this brown door and we're going to shoot them there. Yes. Okay, so randomly guess during like the cocktail hour when everybody is kind of like mingling and have fun doing their own thing do you go towards them and get the candid moments of them just doing their own thing for each other and kind of create a really good question dad, uh you know, sounds that's a really good that's a great question, because he's not mike, I'm going to repeat it for those in the internet. Do I ever pull people away during cocktail hour to kind of create a mock moment during cocktail hour and the answer's? No, I usually want those moments toe happen naturally. However, if mom and dad are walking from the cocteau our to the reception and thereby themselves, I will grab up candid photo, but then I'll ask them, can you guys hold on? I'd love to get a photo of just the two of you leave them in nice and close, so it's a pose candid, so, but usually when people are laughing, having a time, we don't want to be noticed. Now during cocktail hour, I always get the shots that we were doing, which were candid shots. I didn't take one er I didn't ask them to post for my camera, but I always, but I always do both. So what I'll do is I'll start the call to cocktail hour by just taking candid shots and then afterwards, if this were a table that weren't the bride and groom on, because we've already got plenty of photos throughout the day, if it was just guessed, I would actually have them all get together and say you know I would say excuse me partner I hate to interrupt but can I get a quick photo of you guys and you know what in that case so what I do is at that point when I know I'm gonna do something like that I actually swapped my lenses out so once I've done all the candidates I'll take my time and get my get my my another lens in so that I can do the shot that I'm actually referring to know I was gonna go with the fifty but wait just like that great so that might happen on the wedding day you know like if I'm not if I don't have the bag that I need on the wedding day and I turn him this happens a lot during the reception good during the reception on the dance floor like hey can I get that lens see good right so this is exactly what I do I would just say hi guys how are you guys? Do you mind if I take a quick photo for you guys all right now I don't mind if you guys are behind the table with your drinks because actually won a document that this is cal cocktail hour you guys are having a good time someone have you just come on in that's perfect and then I'll just fire off at this point I just realized I'm still shooting at one point eight so good call that I didn't forget. Now, since there's, a lot of people in here, I'm gonna go to a three point two, put down that, go down a fifth of a second and test my light. Great. I'm gonna actually say, can I get one more photo gonna bump up my eyes a little bit more? One, two, three, and then I just fire off a photo like that, actually, it's still a little underexposed, so I'm gonna go my eyes so just a little bit higher, okay, you guys, here we go, one, two, three, thank you very much and that's what I'll do. So I'll do that, and I'll go around, uh, a few tables, actually, because I want to make sure that the bride gets a different type of cocktail hour photo, depending on what she likes more.

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.