TWiP Weddings 016: Second Shooters and Assistants

These days it seems like most wedding photographers rarely work alone. Most will have an assistant or 2nd photographer with them. On this episode we’re going to talk about our experiences with second shooters and assistants. Where to find them, what to look for a in a good second shooter, and how to best utilize them on the wedding day.

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  1. AMEN to Bryan on finding qualified second shooters. I 100% agree. We do have a team of second shooters, since some of our favourites aren’t always available, however we interview, try out, and train everyone we work with. I would never just hire a random.

  2. Nice topic, but your consensus seems to be that: 2nd shooters are not allowed to use any photos taken to build their portfolios. This begs the question: How are 2nd shooters suppose to build a portfolio? FWIW, I’m retired. At various times since 1969, I have done weddings as the only photographer. In the film days that is when there were that many people around whom thought they were photographers just because they owned a camera. I paid my time in the b/w darkroom, and mastered the zone system. However, now I just want to have some fun, and don’t want the pressure of being the lead photog. I’m am a fairly competent photographer, but I don’t have a business and don’t want one. I don’t have a digital wedding portfolio, and don’t really see how to build one these days. I think we need an entire show on how to build that initial wedding portfolio.

  3. Great episode as usual guys, got heaps out of it.
    Though I thought I might give you guys some international food for thought, as you are starting to get a few listeners outside of the US/Canada.
    Now for those of us in Australia, a couple of differences apply that impact some of what was said. Firstly, under Australian Law, on Private Commissions (which the law states includes weddings and domestic portraiture), the Copyright is owned by the CLIENT. So standard practice is for the photographer to have a clause in the contract assigning limited usage rights to the Studio. The studio cannot usually extend these rights to a second shooter.

    This causes a fair bit of confusion here as new shooters come in referring to “the Law Tog” and not understanding the Australian law. I usually avoid second shooters for this reason, as it complicates the contract for the client.
    I do offer second shooters at a premium rate, and have a different contract to grant the second shooter limited rights, but as the Studio, I have this so that they can share them as a portfolio for use in meetings, not as a public portfolio, nor any social media share, to avoid them (as Robert pointed out) capitalising on all my hard work landing the client, and passing off the event as their score.
    Anyway, loving the show, I’ve been listening since episode 1 (well, since before when it was discussed on TWIP)