advice on finding a second shooter

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by CrimsonFoxPhotography, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. CrimsonFoxPhotography

    CrimsonFoxPhotography TPF Noob!

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    Hello, everyone.

    I've been at the photography thing for a bit but this is my first foray into participating in forums. I am pretty excited about what is has to offer and hope that we can all wade in the photog love and only grow together.

    Cheesy (though genuine) intros aside, I've been going solo all this time but want to start looking for photographers that I can partner up with on gigs. Any advice on how to find the right fit? Craigslist is fine for assistants but for second and third shooters, I don't want just anyone. I need someone with similar skill level, professional demeanor, and one that I can count on for the long haul (fairly). I do not have the budget to hire someone a full-time salary, but would pay hourly or percentage commission for each gig. This would be great for someone who loves photography but has no interest in dealing with the business side of things (I happen to enjoy both).

    Anyone have any thoughts? I get the feeling Craigslist would simply attract people interested in shadowing just because "I've been thinking about getting into photography." Where and how are good places to look?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I think that a good place to find additional shooters would be local photography clubs or associations...or maybe find out if there are classes being taught (community college etc) and ask around. I'd talk to the instructor and see if they can recommend any of the students.

    Or you could just contact other pro photographers in your area and ask if they are willing to 2nd shoot for you. I'd tend to avoid something like Craig's List because you might get any Joe Shmoe with a camera trying to play photographer.

    Of course you will want to meet with prospective shooters and interview them...maybe even bring them along for one shoot as a trial before offering them more work.

    I can imagine that there will be no shortage of people wanting the opportunity...it's a lot more common to see people asking how to find a 2nd shooter gig.

    I've been doing a lot of 2nd shooting in a similar situation. A couple photographers run their company and when they need an additional shooter, they book me. I just show up and shoot. It's great for me because with a new baby and a day job, I don't have a lot of time for weddings of my own. This arrangement came about when my wife was at her friend's wedding alone (because I was shooting a wedding) and she sat with the photographer. They got to talking and the rest is history.
     
  3. CrimsonFoxPhotography

    CrimsonFoxPhotography TPF Noob!

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    Thank You, Superman.

    Seriously though. Your advice is much appreciated. I'd read some of your other posts before I'd even put something up and I value your opinion.

    I had thought of local colleges and likely will be tapping that resource. The Joe Schmoe response was my biggest concern. I could get some pretty good filtered leads worth interviewing from a school. Other professional photogs would be good for their familiarity with working with people, but their availability may be less reliable and I'll have to be clear on usage rights even more so with them.

    Just thinking out loud...thanks for the input.
     
  4. visualpoetry

    visualpoetry TPF Noob!

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    I've had the same issues. I posted alot of craigslist requests and got alot of newbie photogs who, just as you said, are interested in starting out. Not what I wanted, either. I wanted someone with reliable equiptment, not an SLR and kit lens. I'd love to hear other opinions on where to find canidates. I did join a local photog group - and thats an excellent idea of where to check next!
     
  5. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Network with other local professional photographers. Build relationships and talk to them. The photographer that I 2nd shot for regularly set up lunch meetings with his colleagues and had quite the network of professionals all available to him when needed.
     

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