I was asked earlier this year, “Do you ever second shoot weddings?”
My response, “I’m not sure, I have never second shot a wedding before.”
The response is always the same: “WHAT!!? How do you book 30 weddings in a year and you’ve never second shot?” Well, I never have, until a few weeks ago.
Today I’m sharing a little bit about my experience second shooting for the first time.
I met Justin Mein, an amazing photographer this past summer 2014 when I was a bridesmaid in my friends wedding in September. I introduced myself to him and his assistants who I thought were so cool. They looked professional, they were kind, and they were focused and fun. They probably thought “who is this chick that keeps watching us.” Sorry Justin, Lexi, and Ian, confession… I couldn’t help but watch you guys throughout the wedding. I was intrigued.
Justin asked me a few months ago if I was available to second shoot a wedding with them. Yippe… I was actually really excited but then I knew… I had to tell the truth. “Justin, I am available on that date, but I’ve never second shot before. What do I do.”
I’m pretty sure he said the same thing… “You’ve never second shot?” My answer No. He was sweet, shared a little bit about his expectations. I wasn’t that I was nervous about shooting, I just was afraid to over step boundaries since I was so used to be in control of the photos the day of the wedding.
Lesson 1 of Second Shooting: Relinquish Control and Enjoy the Process.
– Letting go doesn’t come easy for me. I like to know the details, what’s coming ahead, where to be, etc. I’m a little bit of a detail freak. Being a second shooter gave me the opportunity to have fun (in a different way) and watch someone else shoot primary without worrying about being in certain places.
Lesson 2: Trust the Primary, but operate as yourself.
– Justin hired me not just because of my skill and talent, but because of who I am as a person. He made that clear. I’m teachable, willing to learn, and not afraid to try something. Justin gave me “homework” day of the wedding and I loved it. I had fun, was totally myself, and he trusted me. When the day comes that I hire an assistant for a wedding, I need to trust them.
Lesson 3: Just because you don’t get verbal validation during the wedding doesn’t mean you aren’t doing your job well.
– My husband has his work cut out for himself. I am a woman that requires the “good jobs, keep it ups, you’re doing awesome, etc.” I strive to be the best and strive to “win” people over. The struggle is real. Throughout the day Justin didn’t have to say “good job.” He gave me the opportunity to step in, try something, and alternate in his role. I have to say though, post wedding, I loved the email from him that followed asking if I was available for another date. I wasn’t available, but his response to that was awesome… “I figured, cant get lucky twice in a row 🙂 You did a great job btw. I am finalizing the edits this week.” Getting this email felt awesome… but at the end of the wedding day whether as the second shooter or primary, I have to be confident that I did the best, with or without the verbal validation day of.
Justin, thank you so much for the opportunity to shoot this wedding with you. I decided to take a few of my favorites from the day and edit them the way I would edit them just for fun.
Click here to view C&I Photographers blog post about Jon & Brittany’s wedding. Great job Justin! I had a blast!
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