How to go about second shooting a wedding

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Breanna, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. Breanna

    Breanna TPF Noob!

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    I assisted and did a bit of second shooting at a wedding in May. However, it was primarily an assisting gig where I was paid $15/hour and she required me to shoot on her memory card. While I don't necessarily regret it, it's not something that I am looking to do again. I feel like I am at a point where I am better than just assisting and taking a few shots up the aisle while the main photographer is at the alter. I feel comfortable completely solo for most wedding circumstances. I did my first solo in June, and have another in December. I would like to work on improving and building my wedding portfolio and feel like I need to do a few more second-shooting gigs where I can actually have rights to the images. I need to do some portfolio building in the wedding arena.

    How would I go about this and what is standard? I would love to work with that other photographer again but don't want her to feel like I am trying to trample on her business since it's obvious that I am trying to start my own. I am really not near her level yet, business wise. She does 30+ a year and charges upwards of $2500.

    Tips? Where to start and how to ask for what I want?
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I would start by checking out local camera/photo clubs. These are excellent places to make contacts, and many of the larger ones host excellent seminars. You can also contact area photographers and offer your services.
     
  3. Breanna

    Breanna TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I know where to find photographers. I know a few on an aquaintance basis, I just don't know the normal protocol for second shooting. Do I get paid? How are things split? etc etc. I just don't want to sound like a nerd when I talk to someone ;)
     
  4. henry wilson

    henry wilson TPF Noob!

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    Consult a good photographer for suggestions. Join in a photography course, If you think it is needed. All the best for your career. Thanks for sharing with us.
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    There is no standard situation.

    Some seconds,work for free, get paid by the hour, some by the day, some a percentage.

    Savvy primary shooters retain copyright ownership to all the images a second shoots, do all the post processing, and let the second use the images they made in a portfolio.

    Either way if it's not on a written contract basis with the terms and conditions spelled out, pass.
     
  6. MelodySoul

    MelodySoul TPF Noob!

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    All I can say is do not work for free unless you are just shadowing the photographer, if they have expectations for what you are doing that day then you need to be paid for it. There are too many people trying to get into photography right now and offer to second shoot and assist for free that it's making it hard for the rest of us to get paid gigs. From what I've experienced and heard assistants and second shooters tend to work on a daily rate because generally the photographer does as well. I would also make sure that you retain the rights to use your photos for self promotion purposes, especially if you aren't being paid much. Good luck!
     

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