First + Second Shooter Agreement


She was sweeping the floor when he heard us arguing in the next room. My mother rushed into the living room and saw me and my twin pulling a t-shirt between our hands. She stole my shirt and wore it to school (although she insisted it was hers) and next thing we knew, we wrestled on the ground. My mother turned the broom upside down, pointed the bristles toward the ceiling, and used the end to pry us apart. With her broom, she pushed our bodies apart…which later resulted in the three of us laughing so hard we cried.

Looking back, the argument seems so silly (although it was my shirt), but most disagreements start off petty and turn into something larger.

I see this happening in the photo community, too. But before we get there, here’s a photo of my second shooter (JD) getting approval of his work from a highly critical wedding guest…

Some of the most heated conversations on photo forums relates to working with a second shooter. Many times I read frustrations between two photographers and it results in awkward conversations, arguments, and/or resentment. However, most miscommunication can be resolved if parameters were established and hard questions answered in advance.

In light of this, I created a Photographer’s Agreement between first and second shooters. This fully customizable agreement outlines what is expected from both parties (how are images to be delivered, terms of payment, copyright terms, etc.), as well as opens the door for effective communication before the shoot/event occurs. Many thanks to Katy Carrier of Law for Creatives, who helped me put this together. She’s an amazing lawyer who provides a plethora of legal documents for wedding professionals, so I was honored to have her assistance.

If you’re interested in downloading this photographer’s agreement, you can find it on theSTORE, along with a Second Shooter’s Handbook and email correspondence templates to help minimize the time you spend with your computer. These resources are merely meant to help as you navigate growing your wedding photography business…because, really, I’d hate to step between you and another photographer with an upside broom!

Happy Tuesday!

**Edited to Add**
@Fiona: The Agreement doesn’t specify laws related to a particular country…it just outlines what’s expected and can be interpreted by a country’s legal system. It basically states what’s expected from both parties. Hope this helps! 🙂