Second shooter

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Shellie17, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. Shellie17

    Shellie17 TPF Noob!

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    I have been interested in photography for years now and have some experience shooting but I am now wanting to become a professional wedding photographer. I know the best way for me to get started is to become a second shooter first to help build my portfolio and get my feet wet. I have been doing a lot of research and reading a lot of articles and books and forums and I am now ready to take the next step.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on the best way to choose and reach out to photographers i may want to shoot under. I seem to be at a standstill in this area. I have attended trade shows to see what photographers are out there and get a feel for who I would like to work under but I know it is not that simple.

    Any advice would be great! I am excited to get out there and start shooting.

    Thanks in advance!
    Shellie[​IMG]
     
  2. crowl31

    crowl31 TPF Noob!

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    I would think offering to shoot for free and your payment be the rights to put the pictures in your portfolio.

    Once you have enough samples of your work then go on your own or make them pay you as a second shooter.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    Hi Shellie,
    Have you contacted any of the photographers who's work you admire? I would think that a phone call or an E-mail would be a good first contact.
    Be polite and respectful and be ready to show them a great portfolio (even if it's not wedding stuff). You need to sell yourself...and that is a skill that will come in handy when you want to become a primary photographer on your own.

    It's up to you whether or not, you would be willing to work for free or not...but the experience you gain, is quite valuable indeed. You might even find yourself in a situation where you don't shoot at all...but just help out. If it's for the right photographer, even that might be a good option.

    To build up your portfolio...you don't necessarily need a wedding (or clients). You can replicate the type of shots that you want. Do you know anybody who still has their wedding dress (and still fits into it)? Get someone to do their hair and makeup and put them into their dress and get shots of her. (check out bridal magazines for ideas on poses and such).

    You can replicate detail shots like rings, flowers, shoes etc. That's not too hard to figure out.

    You are in a large market...so I would think that you will be able to find someone who is willing to take on an assistant and/or 2nd shooter.
     
  4. butterflygirl

    butterflygirl TPF Noob!

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    I say just contact them! I have been working for a digital professional husband/wife team for about a year. When I was in college I also worked for another professional wedding photographer who shot medium format film. All I did each time was send them an e-mail telling them my interest, experience, and what I wanted to do. This last time I got several replies back and actually had to choose who to work with!

    I've gotten paid for my work - right now I work for $8 an hour and I work with them on the weekends, but by far the best part is helping them with weddings - the experience is invaluable! I'm just now feeling I can go out on my own - I actually have shot four weddings on by myself, but I've assisted a ton! It's a big step going out on your own! Working for someone else you can help shoot, but don't have to deal with all the pressure - that's up to them!

    I say just go for it - contact some photogs, let them know you'd like to work with them for experience, show them some work, see if you click. It's priceless to work with someone who's been doing weddings for a long time - what have you got to lose? Plus I find they really appreciate the help.
     

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