As a past bride, I didn’t know what a second shooter was when I was planning my wedding. As an Austin Wedding Photographer, I include a second shooter in my main photography package for all my brides and grooms. Usually, my second shooter is my husband. I love to have him by my side for several reasons, but, specifically on a wedding day because:
1) He is an AWESOME problem solver.
Sometimes, my brain is overflowing with checklists, timelines, and specific requests, that it misses an obvious answer to a situation that may arise. Dylan can immediately step in and offer various options that usually work! Two minds really are better than one in some situations!
2) He can be my eyes in other parts of the world.
Most weddings have everyone getting ready at about the same time since they have to be at the same place at a set time. With this, it is hard for me to photograph the bride and her bridesmaids getting ready at the venue AND photograph the groom and his groomsmen getting ready at another location at the exact same moment. It will be easier once I figure out how to be at two places at once, but, until then, I’ll send my handsome husband to hang out with the guys before the ceremony. (Added bonus: I’ve also found that guys feel more relaxed and comfortable having another guy in the room instead of a girl they may try to be “proper” in front of.)
3) He captures a second viewpoint on the wedding day.
I do my absolute best to capture the big moments of every wedding day. Sometimes, though, the story is best told from two perspectives. For example, if a bride runs upstairs to throw her bouquet, I will follow her and photograph that moment. However, the story is better told when it includes all the single ladies (Who else just started to sing like Beyonce?!?) anticipating to catch it. One photographer telling the story of the bride throwing the bouquet and another photographer adding to the story from the perspective of the girls waiting to catch the bouquet. One moment captured from two different perspectives.
4) He helps organize family photos.
Family photos tend to be the most hectic part of the wedding day. No matter how well the bride and groom communicate with families about where to be and when for family portraits, there always tend to be some wanderers. Dylan is an absolute BLESSING when it comes to organizing family photos. He starts calling for the next family while I assemble one for a photo. On top of that, he sends bridesmaids/groomsmen to find wanderers before they miss their picture time. (He still refuses to dance like a monkey to get children’s attention from behind my camera, but another mom/grandma watching tends to step up in that department. We’re working on it. :D )
5) He makes sure I’m taken care of.
Yes, Dylan and I are married, so this one comes very naturally for him, but he really doesn’t have to – he just spoils me in this sense. Throughout the day, he offers to bring me water or food. Since most of our weddings are outdoors in Texas, water is so very necessary, but water breaks are not always on the timeline. He makes sure I stay hydrated and packs us snacks so we can stay focused throughout the day. Photographers need to eat during their 8-hour work day, too. At weddings, I try to use the bathroom as little as possible. Every moment I’m away from the action is a photo opp I could be missing. Dylan will step in for me so that we don’t miss much! He also offers to make the run down and back up the road (or hill) in 100 degree plus weather to photograph wedding signage that may have been added after we arrive. On top of that, he also offers to do all the heavy lifting of our camera equipment when we (un)load the car.
It is so great to have such an awesome teammate! I try to remember all the ways he helps me out at weddings when I second shoot for other photographers. Recently, I had so much fun second shooting for Number 9 photography. Here are some of the details that I was able to capture from that wedding from a second shooter’s perspective.
Second shooting keeps me learning new tips/tricks/secrets to photographing weddings so that I may better serve my clients AND helps me appreciate all of Dylan’s efforts THAT MUCH MORE!
– Mylah Renae