From a Second Shooters Perspective

A guest blogger here today. Hello all, my name is Brittany Nicole, I am new to the wedding industry here in Dallas and have had the pleasure of photographing several weddings with the Edmonson’s. It is such an honor and a pleasure working with these guys, and I cannot thank them enough for all they have taught me and meant to me in pursuit of my photographic endeavors. Not only are they brilliant photographers but also two men of outstanding character. I do believe I’ve made my point…I just love these guys! 🙂

When David and Luke shoot a wedding, they think of EVERYTHING! So how do I contribute? What do I have to offer? I had to put a lot of thought into how I could make my images different, creative and unique for them. All that kept running through my mind throughout the wedding was different perspectives, big picture, and details!! While David and Luke’s focus is mainly on the couple and their family on the wedding day, preoccupied with ensuring they capture all the key shots every couple desires, my job is to take a step back and see things differently and find ways to be creative. Let me explain more thoroughly and show you just what I mean through a few examples.

On details, well, let me just say that this is my favorite part of the wedding, I LOVE photographing details. I thrive on details, and my eyes are continuously scanning the room for them. Perfect example from this particular wedding was, when David was having me assist with lighting during a moment with the bride pre-ceremony, I couldn’t help but notice how beautifully the light wrapped around the bouquet and how she so gracefully held them, simply a gorgeous detail and I had to grab it.

The big picture is only taking a step back. While David and Luke stick close to the bride and groom, say during the first dance or speeches where expressions are important to capture, what happens when I take a step back and see the full picture. Their images perfectly capture the bride and groom, along with the wonderful expressions which retell their story for years to come. However, what happens when I include various elements, friends, and family, or the architecture and design of the building itself, creating a dramatic image which may not capture their unique expressions but has a completely different role in their unique story. In this example, David being much closer, was able to show more expression upon the signing of the Ketubah, while I moved to the end of the table and included more of the rooms beautiful features, more specifically the ornate chandelier.

When I say different perspectives, some great examples of this would be during the formal portraits, angling myself to the side and capturing more candid images, like talking and laughing. Or during the cutting of the cake, while David and Luke focus on the bride and groom, I might turn and quickly locate the mom’s and dad’s, capturing their expressions during this time for storytelling. Below you will see a couple of images of the brides entrance at the ceremony while David shot from the back of the room, I ran around to the side and managed to grab this shot before their guest rose in the bride’s honor.

Here David was shooting bride’s brother giving a speech while I angled myself as to focus primarily on the couple from a different perspective.

I’ll leave you with a few tips to remember for the next time you second shoot or perhaps before you embark on your first-second shooting experience. When shooting second, it is important to shoot in a way that is complimentary to what the primary photographer is doing and to be proactively thinking.

1. It’s as easy as noting the lens choice of the primary (when shooting the same subject) and choosing a different lens to compliment the subject. In the case of our bride at the window, I might use a 70-200mm lens so that while I’m backed away from the subject to assist with lighting, I can still capture the way she gracefully holds her dress or the bouquet, while she’s having her portrait photographed.

2. Changing the orientation of your camera, what I mean is, if the primary is shooting vertical, what happens when you go horizontal? What various look and feel can you create with a different orientation?

3. Remember different perspective!  Try not to follow in the footsteps of the primary for shots; they already have that shot covered, and while I’m positive it’s a fantastic image and great potential for your portfolio, that is not why you are there. Think outside the box, change your angle, go big picture and dare to be different. You too can create something compelling, unique and beautiful through finding various perspectives to the primary.

While there are times to be creative, explore the possibilities, and have fun remember that you are there to serve.