Second shooters?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by DGMPhotography, Aug 5, 2019.

  1. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Sorry for taking up most of this subthread!

    Anyways, looking for thoughts on second shooters. Of course, I always try to have one for weddings, but my question is, how long do you keep them?

    Everytime I've second shot a wedding, I was there until the lead left (so the whole day), but as a lead, I don't really see myself needing a second for the whole day. I would mainly need them for getting ready photos, and the ceremony. So my thought is to just hire them for those things, and then give them the option to stay longer (unpaid) if they want to stick around for portfolio stuff, but it would just be for them (not photos for me).

    Anyone else feel this way, or do anything different?


     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You're hiring them, you set the working hours. If you're going to let them stick around, I would make sure I have a pretty tight contract with them about what they can and cannot do with the images they take while off the clock (as well those they take when working for you). Not that we know anyone who's had issues with wedding photographers and contracts now, do we? ;)
     
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  3. JoeW

    JoeW Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Depends upon how you use them. You can use the second shooter as "backup" (in case you get sick, have equipment failure, or just miss a key moment. Or you can use the second shooter for specific roles (like getting portraits of everyone who's guest, or shooting the food and setup while you're doing the portraits post-wedding but before the reception. The advantage of the second approach is people can specialize in terms of equipment or setup.

    If they're backup then you want them there for all of the key events. If they're there for specific roles, then they arrive and leave when those are shot.
     
  4. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Cool, just wanted to make sure I wasn't crazy. It just doesn't seem to be the norm. Most second shooting I've seen, they stay for the whole day, but I just don't see the need for it.
     
  5. ac12

    ac12 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Just depends on the style that you shoot with, and what you need them for.
    I've seen both, but usually the 2nd is there all the time.

    The other factor is, you need to give them enough shooting/helping time to earn enough $ to make the gig worth it.
    If you only use them for a few hours for part of a gig, it may not be worth their time and effort.
    Although if the gig is only a few hours, that is a different matter.
     
  6. ac12

    ac12 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    At the reception, I've always been worried when I was the only camera for the garter/bouquet toss.
    That happens ONCE, and there is no redo. So for something like that a 2nd camera would be comfortable to have.
    This is especially important if you don't have a HV pack to recyle the flash FAST. Cuz without FAST recycle you only get ONE shot; the toss, the bouquet in the air, or the catch/scramble.

    At a couple receptions, the table shots were done with both. The 2nd was holding an off camera flash on a monopole. I don't know if it was the key or fill, as the photographer had a flash on the camera also.
     
  7. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    That's a good point, but I typically shoot with fast enough glass, and ISO, that I can have my flash at 1/64 or 1/128 and get at least 2 shots.
     

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