The 411 on Second Photographers

Good morning, friends! You may have remembered a few weeks back, I shared that during these next few weeks/months, I would be answering a few frequently asked questions from brides that pop up at booking… just with a little more depth!

Sometimes these questions come from a long list supplied by places like the Knot or Pinterest, and sometimes they come just from pure curiosity about the wedding world! For us as vendors, these things are usually just givens, and so we talk about them like everyone should know all about them!

Well, today I’m debunking some of the questions surrounding the topics of second photographers —

What are some of the responsibilities of a second photographer?

Just as I wear many hats on the wedding day, my second photographers do too.  They serve as my counterpart for the day, most importantly, covering the parts of the day where I can’t be in two places at one time.

That means while I’m photographing family formals, they’re capturing your guests at cocktail hour.  While I’m capturing the bride getting ready, they’re capturing the groom and his guys toasting!  If timelines get tight, they’ll rock groomsmen portraits while I’m photographing the ladies! During the ceremony, while I’m capturing your groom watching you, they are grabbing the timeless photos of you and your dad walking down the aisle.

They’re also:

Groomsmen wranglers, Boutonniere pin-ners, Second-angle-getters, Veil tossers, & So Much More

For obvious reasons, I’d be lost without them!  I truly think that they provide such an enhancement to your wedding day for all of the reasons I listed and more!  Most importantly though, they are fully capable photographers who could shoot the whole thing on their own if they needed to.  To me, this is one of the biggest benefits — built in insurance, just in case something were to happen to me on the way to a wedding or have an emergency situation come up!

Thankfully, I’ve never had a situation come up that kept me from performing my duties on the day of a wedding but I have experienced  it as a second photographer before.

Once, during a wedding, the main photographer I was working for got in a car accident on her way from the church to the location where we were photographing wedding party portraits and portraits of the bride and groom! Instead of having everyone wait on her to get there (SO glad she was okay!!!), I went ahead and got started so that people weren’t waiting idly!  Having me step up and into that role saved the timeline of the day and made it so much more enjoyable for everyone.


What’s the difference between a second photographer and an assistant?

Some photographers (myself included!) include the option to add on an assistant.  When you’re chatting with photographers it’s important to specify if they’re a shooting assistant or simply an assistant.

If they’re a shooting assistant, it means that they’re likely a photographer who is either still learning, or isn’t quite ready to photograph a wedding on their own.  That’s how my seconds usually learn though — they start as an assistant!  Even if they’re just getting started, they’re adding more images to your final gallery in different angles and for some couples that’s a huge win!

If they’re a non-shooting assistant, their jobs probably include more organizational things.  They keep track of logistics and timelines, organize and upload photos of each of the photographer who are shooting, make sure the bride/groom/their families always have what they need, and so much more!

Most of my assistants serve as a bit of a hybrid between the two!

How do you find the second photographers you work with?

I feel so fortunate to have a few photographers that I work with over and over again! They make for a dream team because I know I can trust them to photograph and treat my couples the way that I would!  They either have established businesses themselves or are someone that started off as an assistant and know how I run a wedding day!

Because of how important I think a second photographer is, I include one in each of my main packages!! It’s just another way that I can feel confident serving y’all.

So there you have it folks! The 411 on all things second photographers coming in hot! Haha! If you have any extra questions, feel free to ask away!

**Huge thanks to my assistant Becka for grabbing these iPhone shots of us behind the scenes!**


January 17, 2019

comments +

  1. Anna says:

    Such a great perspective! I find myself assuming my brides understand what a second photographer is but on the phone this week someone even asked me if they hired their own!! So def a great post to help brides understand their role!

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Wife, mama, wielder of light & joy, and capturer of moments.  I thrive off of conversation and genuine connection.  In between wrangling our kiddos, and hanging my husband, you'll find me dreaming up my next idea or creative endeavour.  It's these things that culminate to give my imagery a warmth and joy to them - the greatest compliment I could receive.







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