est. 2008

second shooting tips : jamie d photography

Mary Dougherty

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ABOUT mary

I'm a fine art film photographer living in the mountains and traveling to tell beautiful stories





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I love the chance to get to know fellow photographers and am thrilled when I get to work with them as well. Jamie is a successful wedding and portrait photographer from Lancaster, PA who documents love stories in a natural and beautiful way. As it happens, I also went to college with her sister and that is how we first found each others work and got to know each other! She is the kindest person ever and I was excited when she agreed to second shoot Jon + Elise’s wedding with me.

Jamie has much more experience being a main photographer than a second shooter, but I couldn’t help but be impressed with how she handled the roll of second shooter and was continuously thoughtful throughout the day. She cheered me on and I couldn’t help but be encouraged by having her by my side. I asked her to share some of her tips on second shooting and this is what she wrote:

I have to admit that I have only been a second shooter a handful of times. Being a second shooter is hard work. After I finish a day second shooting it makes me appreciate secondshooters so much more and all that they do! Here are some of my thoughts on second shooting that I have learned from others and my own experience too.

Serve: Your job as a second shooter is to serve whatever the first shooter needs and wants. I would suggest communicating and asking of questions ahead of time to find out the expectations for the day, because the day of the wedding the first shooter’s mind is full with all the other details. Also taking care of simple details like handing them lenses, running to the car for an extra flash, or helping to set up a group photo will take a few things off the first photographers plate.

Care: If you can take care of the main photographer, by making sure they have water (especially on hot days) or a snack, that will be one less thing they have to think about. Helping the first photographer do their job the best they can by taking care of external needs is a huge help. It is one less thing the first shooter needs to think about. Put them first and make sure they are able to do their job the best. Your job is to make them look good.

Use different lenses: Now onto some practical suggestions…Shoot with a different lens then what the first shooter is using. This helps add depth and variation to the photographs of the wedding day and your portfolio too. Your job is to be creative and find other angels then what you are use to taking or what the first shooter is taking.

Promote the main photographer: This should be a given, however you are working for the first shooter. You represent them and their business. Ask the first shooter for some of their business cards so if anyone asks, you can be quick to hand out their card.

Don’t over shoot: I think I can not over emphasis this enough. We are in the digital world where it is easy to click away. Be thoughtful with each shot you take as the first shooter will have to be spending time sorting and selecting what images to use. Before clicking, think about how each shot will better enhance the story of the bride and groom’s wedding day.

Smile: All the time! You are representing the first shooter and their business. Again this is simple but it goes a long ways. You want people to know that you enjoy your job and love what you are doing. Along with smiling use your manners too. Please and thank you!

Take pictures of the first shooter: This is a great chance for you to capture some photographs of the first shooter in action. They are the ones always taking pictures of others and I know that it is appreciated to have pictures of yourself working behind the camera. So make sure you get a couple of pictures of them throughout the day!

Jamie thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts and for being an amazing second shooter! If you haven’t already, take a look at her work and send a little love her way.

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