Available Second Shooter (2nd shooter)

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by jtemplo, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. I am a new to wedding photography and would like to start learning as a second shooter (2nd shooter). I am in the Orlando area. I have my own website if you would like to review my work. I have done a few events and some portrait photography. I am sure weddings are a whole new animal. After witnessing the way the professional wedding photographer took pictures at my sisters wedding amd seeing the end results, I am absolutely positive I could do better. I think he calls himeslf a pro because he was shooting with a D700. In my opinion, buying a pro camera does not make you a pro.
    I have studio lights, a tripod and I shoot with a Nikon D80. It will be my backup camera when I can afford to buy my pro-camera.
  2. You will need a backup camera before you start second shooting (including backup lenses and flash). Even if that means renting backups for the event.
  3. Moderator Note: Welcome to photo.net, Joel. I want to tell you that posting e-mails and websites, etc., are prohibited in forum postings. This is why all of the info, including your listing in the magazine, should be on your personal page. Someone interested in getting in touch with you can click on your name in this thread and be taken to your personal page, and a facility to e-mail you.
    Mitch is right, by the way...
  4. I have access to another D80, addional lenses and have studio strobe lights as well. I can be a third shooter if needed. I didn't mention the other camera since it is not greater than a D300.
  5. Joel,
    Few points.
    #1 - if you really want to be a wedding photographer, you should start out as an assistant. Put the camera down, learn lighting, composition, exposure, WEDDING FLOW, etc etc etc
    #2 - I do not know what or who your sister had but based on the tone in your thread, you're heading exactly the same direction as the photographer who shot your sister's wedding.
    I agree with you 10000% that having a high end camera doesn't make a person pro.
    So first step is ASSISTING and learning.
    good luck
  6. "After witnessing the way the professional wedding photographer took pictures at my sisters wedding amd seeing the end results, I am absolutely positive I could do better." -Joel

    I agree with CF above, based on this tone I would suspect that you're not off to a good start. Suggest that you start reading: http://www.photo.net/learn/wedding/ Good luck.
  7. I agree with the above also. I haven't done a wedding. I would like to be an assistant and then a second shooter someday. But I do see wedding photos that I think i could have done much better. But that is easy to say. Could I have done better being under the pressure? Being pulled in many different directions and trying to keep up with everything? Shooting and composing as fast as you can so you don't miss a shot or so you can get to the next place on the schedule to get setup? I think all these things and more have to be thought about before jumping to the conclusion that I could have done better.
  8. I have already done some event photography and shot food (in macro) and advertising photography for a trendy local restaurant. I have shot children’s portraits and done some work for a model's portfolio. I also like to shoot HDR images. I have also read several wedding, portrait photography books and studied Photoshop. My work can be found on my websites in my profile. I have been doing photography as a hobby since 2000 but would like to take it to the next level. Even when I was a kid, I was taking pictures of a horse running using the rule of thirds unknowingly. I discovered this when my parents gave me my old school field trip photos. I remembered that I wanted to give the horse room to run in the picture.
    I am not a person who saw a photographer and a picture and said "I can do better" without ever picking up a camera. I have proven experience, results and income from stock photography as well, all from my hobby. Again, please see my work and reviews especially in the online magazine (not allowed to post name). I am sure I have lots more to learn, and will continue to do so. Even in my daily profession today, I am considered the expert in my field, yet I still don't call myself that because every day I learn something new. My original post may only seem I am point and shoot guy. Maybe I was too humble. Like I said, I just want to gain more experience and will even work as a third shooter. I understand that a wedding can be very hectic and the ability to shoot and compose a picture under pressure can be nerve racking. However, how else do you learn?
    Yes, I was very upset with my sisters photographer. However he is not my inspiration in going into professional photography. It has always been a passion.
  9. "I have proven experience, results and income from stock photography as well, all from my hobby. Again, please see my work and reviews especially in the online magazine (not allowed to post name). ....................................My original post may only seem I am point and shoot guy. Maybe I was too humble."
    I doubt you were being too humble. Suggest that you invest some time reading the newcomer threads.
  10. David, you missed my point.
    Originally in my first thread posting, I was only asking to be a second shooter or even a third shooter if applicable. The thread turned into an education in photography. I just wanted to get passed that and prove my skill set.
    Of course, I still have more to learn and will admit that, but I have done my due diligence in reading books and websites including this site http://www.photo.net/learn/wedding/. In fact, I only found this site since it was recommended in a wedding photography book. I just want to practice out in the field and learn from a pro by shooting.
    As for my sister’s wedding, I was already considering wedding photography a long time ago. I figured I could watch and learn more from my sisters photographer as the wedding progressed. I thought, maybe the things I have read, I will see in practice. Instead, he did everything wrong as I watched. I should mention he was highly recommended, belonged to the chamber of commerce and is the event photographer for a major hotel and restaurant in Orlando. I’ll even give examples:
    1. He had one camera. No backup.
    2. He switched his lens on his only camera during the ceremony. “Why would you risk missing photo opportunities and getting your sensor dirty?” That's what the backup is for right, for a wide angle lens.
    3. Every single time he took a picture, he looked at the display checking his results. I understand looking at it once to check the lighting, exposure, metering, settings etc… but every time? What if it was a film based camera 10 years ago, what would he have done then? Again, more missed opportunities. It looked very unprofessional and showed a lack of confidence. Not to mention, he spent more time reviewing the image then composing and shooting the next one.
    4. He only shot in JPEG, not RAW. I asked and he said RAW took up too much space. From what I know, I thought you would want to shoot in RAW which would allow white balance correction among other things during post processing. Plus, that is why you carry extra cards. Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket.
    5. He did not back up his card.
    6. No creative poses. No post processing, cropping etc... was done to the final images. If they were, it was still bad.
    7. Here is the worst part. He called and said that he uploaded the photos to his Apple and accidentally deleted them. He called the day my sister found out she had breast cancer. After my family gave him and earful, threatened to contact every vendor in town, law suits etc… he spent several hours with Apple tech support and finally recovered them. This is not a joke. He acted like he was a hero and when we saw the pictures, they were really bad. Lots of bad shadows and under exposed photos. The good news is that my sisters cancer was caught early and treated.
    I think I have said too much now. I just want to shoot and learn more by doing.
  11. Joel, I've read this thread with interest. I admire your enthusiasm, but I'd suggest you're in a different place in photography terms than you think you are.
    The only one of the 7 points you listed above that spells alarm for me is the last one. All of the others are, or could be, standard procedure for a photographer depending on their method of working.
    1. How do you know he had no back-up? Lots of photographers have a duplicate kit near by, often in their car. Unless I've misunderstood your description, all you saw was that he was using one camera.
    2. Yep. I do that myself, lots of times. It takes me only a few seconds to change lenses, and I do it when I've got the shot I wanted with the first lens, and am ready for something else with another. There's no reason to be worried about dust on the sensor -- unless you're in a sandstorm. I might change lenses every few minutes quite easily.
    3. Nothing wrong with that. Some people don't chimp at all; for others it's a reflex; and for others it's a safety double-check. But there's nothing about it that has to mean a de-facto lack of confidence or ability.
    4. Some of the best photographers I know shoot only in JPG. There are two schools of thought on the matter, and for everyone you may find who says RAW is best, there's another, equally credible source, who says JPG is best. The reality is neither are right: the best is what suits the skills and workflow of the person behind the camera.
    5. I never back up mine either - at least not until I get home. Most data errors are due to clumsy handling, and I'd rather have a card out the camera, in a hard shell case and in a safe place than be messing around trying to load it into a card reader or an external drive in the middle of a wedding. (Also, don't be oblivious to the fact that many cameras have dual card configurations, and can be saving every image in two places). My philosophy is to take back-ups when I'm concentrating on back-ups, not when I'm concentrating on the wedding. But when I'm back at base I do the job properly - copies in three separate places, one off-site.
    6. Creative poses? I won't even go there, except to say they're not everyone's interest area. And the presence (or absence) of editing on images tends to depend mostly on the photographer's business model. Not many photographers edit all images -- some have a preference for supplying 'flat' proofs, and then editing the final client selection. Regardless, editing is a factor of the business model and rate card, and not something about which you can reach an absolute judgment.
    7. Yes - I think you're right to be upset about this. I would be too, as would most people.
    I checked out your images in your single photos folder and on your website. Not sure whether you were serious about someone judging you on your work here, but each of them has some problems with technique or composition: timing was off (missed the moment), limbs clipped, drifting areas of focus, inconsistent colour and tone, non-optimal depth of field for subject matter, awkward framing, some out of focus.
    They're okay photos, but they're certainly not stellar - pretty much like any random person's personal photo collection. I don't see anything there that makes me think David Schilling is wrong and you're right. In fact, on balance I agree with his assessment.
    I'm sure you can learn lots and develop really quickly. But it will be easier for you if you lose your preconceptions first.
    Best of luck!
  12. I think Top Gun said it best..
    "Son, your ego is writing checks your body can't cash."
  13. Neil, were you the photgrapher at my sisters wedding ? : )
    1. He did not have a backup. I asked. He only said his D700 was brand new so nothing could go wrong.
    2. I can't agree with you on this one. He switched his lens right before the bride and groom was about to make their exit. We had to wait for him to get it together. Thats why you see photographers with multiple cameras on them ready to switch out in a second. I don't see how you don't understand that concept. Plus, what if you have a malfunction during the wedding? Is that when you go to your car and get your other camera? How much will you miss during that time?
    3. It definitely was either a lack of confidence. He cut my dads arm off in the wedding party photo. Too many examples to give of how many bad photos there were.
    4. JPG vs. RAW... OK, I used to shoot in JPG and it was faster. I am still debating and was following the professional trend which is RAW.
    5. Your right about backing it up at home. I've learned from other pros that they do their backups at the wedding and it's safer in case you physically lose the card. My point was that he lost the photos on his computer and did not have any backups at all. I asked when I was trying to figure out how he lost the photos. I also know that the D700 takes an SD and CF card simultaneously, one of them should have been the back up. I don't know what went wrong here.
    6. Creative poses - I meant that there was nothing outstanding. Just point and shot stuff with bad backgrounds. I don't mean to bash the guy, I know he's trying to make a living so I will not name him. I am just saying these were mistakes that I would have avoided. Also, I would have dragged the shutter during the dancing. We got none of that.
    As for my pictures on this site, I thought I could upload more and found out I could only upload six when it was too late. I did not pick my best to upload or at least my 6 best photos. Lame excuse, but true.
    As for my site including the magazine site, I have recieved great reviews from my customers and peers. Matter of opinion. Yes, I have more to learn and I will admit that. I never said I was a professional either. Why does everyone think I said that ??? I don't have any preconceptions. I am only applying the things I have read and learned from professional photographers which makes sense to me.
    All I asked was to be a second shooter to learn more. Nothing more.
  14. Thats why you see photographers with multiple cameras on them ready to switch out in a second. I don't see how you don't understand that concept.​
    Who says I don't understand the concept? If you read my past posts, or check out my website, you'll see that anticipation and flexibility are core ingredients of my philosophy to weddings, and everything I shoot is based on getting the timing right. Nothing posed, nothing directed — and nothing missed, either. But none of that predicates against changing lenses. Incidentally I always shoot with two cameras, but there are a lot more than two lenses in my bag.
    I also know that the D700 takes an SD and CF card simultaneously, one of them should have been the back up. I don't know what went wrong here.​
    The D700 only has a single card slot. There are no duplicates. But that doesn't excuse his failing to have made adequate back-ups at home.
    Creative poses - I meant that there was nothing outstanding. Just point and shot stuff with bad backgrounds.​
    I can understand your sister's disappointment, and I do sympathise. But your starting position is that you can do better than this photographer: "I am absolutely positive I can do better ". Yet your website shows (among other things) point and shoot stuff with bad backgrounds, and your posed portraits are in need of some serious work ....
  15. Joel, I think you hit a nerve with the following statement.
    "After witnessing the way the professional wedding photographer took pictures at my sisters wedding amd seeing the end results, I am absolutely positive I could do better."

    It is just the kind of statement that one often hears from your casual, amateur photographer, looking at a wedding photographer and thinking it is easy work and money. This is why you got several comments by pros advising you to slow down and start at the beginning. Yes, you said that you have a lot to learn, etc., but you are still assuming that your previous experience in photography and your other work puts you ahead of anyone else starting out. Your story about naturally adopting the rule of thirds and being considered an expert at work also suggest an overconfidence, which, I'm sure people noticed.
    It would behoove you to adjust your mindset a bit to take into account that you have no wedding photography experience, and it makes a difference. Shooting in other photographic disciplines does not necessarily translate into being ahead technically in wedding photography. No kind of life experience puts you ahead in the other aspects of wedding photography, including having been in weddings. So when you say you want to start learning as a second shooter, you assume you can skip learning as an observer, which is where one needs to start.
    You've make several assumptions about what is correct or not correct wedding photography procedure, particularly in reference to your sister's photographer. It really doesn't matter whether the photographer was right or wrong, professional or not, etc. I think the point Neil was trying to make was, you can't conclude your sister's photographer was all wrong (except perhaps for losing the images) just based on what you observed--even if it is later found that he was all wrong.
  16. In re-reading my thread, maybe it does come of as over confident. I was only trying to demonstrate that I read and studied the websites C.F. and David suggested a long time ago along with several books and videos. I guess everyone operates differently and I may have offended others from the stuff I've learned in this site, books and professionals I have come across. Maybe it's right, maybe it wrong.
    Yes, I have lots to learn and that is why I asked to be a second shooter. I have no wedding experience as a photographer and that is why I asked to be a second shooter! I am not dumbing down the profession at all, thinking I can do it over night.
    My understanding was that a second shooter was a tag along to the professional photographer who normally operates alone. The second shooter gains experience and mentorship and staying out of the way unless asked to help, while the professional photographer gains extra pictures if they are usable. Acutally, I got this idea from this site in which you participated Nadine. http://www.photo.net/learn/wedding/photography-business/assistants-and-secondshooters
    Some quotes from the pros on the link above regarding second shooters:
    Conrad Erb: Having special knowledge about cameras is not needed. I want someone who is totally reliable, very friendly, knows how to interact with guests in a smooth manner, and knows what is going on photographically. ... For second shooters, I tell them to photograph whatever I am not doing with a few exceptions for the ceremony if I hired them specifically to get a particular photograph (e.g. high up on a balcony)
    David Wegwart: Friendly, bright, some idea of cameras (although this can be less as I like to share and help them learn), punctual, attentive to details and my 'nods and winks'.
    Again, sorry if I have offended anyone. I am just looking to learn hands on.
  17. Joel, I don't believe I missed your point, I believe you've missed mine and that of several others above. Nadine has a much nicer way of saying all this than I do. You really don't need several paragraphs to respond to what I've posted in the thread. I would suggest that you slow down, re-read the advice that's been offered before responding. IMO, you're defending yourself over stuff that really wasn't implied or said and you're not projecting the sort of a positive attitude that I think that you'd like to.
    I also think that reading the threads here at P-net would be a good investment of your time. You might also want become a subscriber and upload additional images to your member page.
  18. Thank you David. Your probably right. I am way too defensive by nature. Thank you evryone for your time to reply and feedback. I hope were all still friends.
  19. Joel--I don't think you offended anyone--just gave them pause, perhaps. Certainly pause if one were looking for a second shooter to fill a spot, which is the purpose of this thread, I assume.
    A photographer who uses a second shooter does not necessarily otherwise work alone. In fact, these days, second shooters are used more (IMHO) than in the past, and the level of second shooters can vary greatly. They can be just past assistant or non-shooting level or they can be skilled wedding photographers in their own right, helping out a colleague, or an equal partner in a duo shooter set up. Because of the varied nature of the relationship, who shoots what can be highly coordinated, or not. The primary may give directions, or not. It isn't always a mentor/student relationship. The quotes you pulled from that article just illustrate the varied nature of the job.
    So stop, think, and be ready to just observe, rather than start out shooting right away. Also keep in mind what I posted in the other thread about assisting. These jobs are very tough to get these days. It's a two way street.
  20. I see your point Nadine. Thanks again.
  21. "I hope we're all still friends." -Joel
    Of course we are. It's when your friends stop giving you considered critical feedback that you need to be alarmed,..... because it likely means they've stopped caring enough to say anything. Keep reading the threads here at P-net, keep shooting, and best wishes.
  22. In order to fill the cup with fresh tea, you must first empty the cup of old tea ... or it'll spill all over your pants, Grasshopper. LOL!
    Joel, do not worry what someone else is doing ... or isn't doing. Think about what you are doing. You can NEVER be better than someone else, unless you actually have done better repeatedly ... and even then it's a matter of opinion. A famous Formula One race driver once said that he could teach me how to drive a 200MPH lap ... the trick is to do that all day long ... even when the unexpected happens.
    There are the mechanics of a wedding, and there is a cadence. You have to become familiar and comfortable with these ... which sounds easier than it actually is.
    Read the recent thread about what Pro's expect from an assistant. It's about what you can do for the photographer, not what he/she can do for you. That part is up to you.
    Good luck.

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