Top Ten Tips for Second Shooting

Top Ten Tips for Second Shooting


On our way to this past weekend’s wedding in San Diego, JD and I had a great opportunity to talk about anything and everything. I asked if he liked my trimmed bangs (yes)…what he wanted for lunch (pizza)…and who his favorite wife was (me). We then started talking about second photographers at weddings and the important role they play. I make no qualms admitting I have the best second shooter in the world (nay, the UNIVERSE), but he told me he often gets asked for advice for second shooting. I found this hilarious. He just stared blankly back at me. Apparently, he was serious. Over pizza in Mission Beach, I asked him what his Top Ten List for Second Shooters would be and I was impressed with his responses, so I decided to have him guest blog today. Holllllla!

Here’s his Top Ten list of advice for second shooters on a wedding day…just without the pepperoni falling off the slice and getting in our way of conversation…

10. Dress Appropriately
Don’t be afraid to ask the main photographer what to wear on the wedding day. Some weddings are casual, others more formal. The most important thing is to always be a reflection of the main photographer’s attire and blend in with guests as much as possible. I always dress according to the Three Piece Rule: Wearing a tie/jacket/pants or tie/vest/pants…and I guess a jacket/shirt/pants works as well, but Jasmine definitely prefers a tie!
9. Same Day Slideshow
If the main photographer creates a same-day slideshow to display at the reception, make sure and find a nearby work station (i.e. chair and outlet). I usually find a place just outside of the reception so we can hear what’s going on and be easily accessible.
8. Gather the Family
It’s so important to help the main photographer during family formal photos. There’s a really short amount of time to execute the photos, so be sure to find grandma and Uncle Kevin (who’s usually at the bar) so the entire group isn’t waiting for one person.
7. Taking Care of Vendors
During a wedding day, I usually don’t have time to cultivate friendships, but I always make sure to include every vendor throughout the day. If they need anything, I offer assistance. If the vendor dinner is served, I try to make sure everyone knows. It’s small things that ensure everyone feels like we’re on the same team…and there’s a high probability we’ll work together again in the future, so make sure to have everyone’s back.
6. Offer to Carry Bags
I’m kinda particular about this because it reminds me of my role as a second shooter…to make life easier for the main shooter. I’m not saying every second photographer MUST carry the bags, but it’s nice to offer. I always carry and maintain the main photo bag on wedding days and I know Jasmine appreciates it.
5. Get Water
Here in Southern California, peak wedding season is during the hottest time of the year, so keeping ourselves hydrated is very important. I always make sure Jasmine has a cold glass of water waiting for her: 1. Before the ceremony; 2. After the ceremony; and 3. After cocktail hour. Usually these are the hottest (and most stressful) times outdoors because there’s so much juggling going on for her. Every time she finishes her glass, she’s recharged (and in a better mood!).
4. Smile
Jasmine usually has to remind me of this one…and when she does, I usually give her a sarcastic smile. In all honesty, I know she’s right. Jasmine reminds me that guests are looking at us even when we don’t realize it and we’re a reflection of the bride’s desire of have us document her dream day. If we look hot, unhappy, tired, or annoyed, it’ll be a poor reflection on our brand. I’ll admit is sometimes hard to smile after hearing We Are Family…I’ve got all my sisters with me! for the thousandth time that month, but I then smile knowing Jasmine’s probably off dancing with the DJ! (just kidding…i had to throw this in here!)
3. Find New Angles
Don’t shoot over the main photographer’s shoulder! When I first started shooting with Jasmine, I shot behind her and captured–basically–the same photo as she did. Okay, just not as cool. She finally explained that she didn’t need another version of her photo…she needs an entirely photo of the same moment. I’ll admit this is harder than it seems, but I know she appreciates creativity and a different photo from the exact same moment.
One of the first weddings we photographed together, we had another photographer tag along with us. The night was flowing nicely until I overheard the third shooter pass his/her business card to a wedding guest…and passed his/her studio name along. I can’t explain how rude this is. On a wedding day, a second and third photographer is just that…an accompanying photographer to the main photographer’s studio. If a guest asks for a business card from a second shooter (which happens often!), the second shooter should always pass along the main photographer’s business card. Period. The end.
1. Leave Ego at the Door
This one doesn’t need much of an explanation as it’s more a rule for life in general. Just remember, as a second shooter, your number one goal is to shoot the best you can and make the main photographer’s life easier…even if it means missing the best photo opportunities at the wedding. Yes, everyone prefers to shoot the bride getting ready, the bride and groom portraits, and getting the First Kiss standing in the center of the aisle. But chances are, it ain’t gonna be like that. So own what you got and make it work. In the words of my main photographer and mentor, “Just be FABULOUS!” πŸ˜‰

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  1. joan.solitario -

    wow! thanks for sharing jd! ;o)

      8.31.09 - 2:08 pm

  2. Linda Tamarpirat -

    Thank you so much for this post! I 2nd shoot a lot and this really helps remind me how important my job is to my main photographer.

      8.31.09 - 2:20 pm

  3. Melissa -

    And FABULOUS you both are!

    Great tips, JD!

      8.31.09 - 2:25 pm

  4. Shannon -

    That is so great. My husband is my second shooter as well! And he is DA BOMB! He is always thinking outside the box. I read through the list and giggled at everything because he shines in them all. BUT I will let him read them anyways.
    We just shot a wedding in S.D. as well, but we are in the Bay Area. LOOOFFF (meant to be read with a long German accent) your stuff!

      8.31.09 - 2:27 pm

  5. Jessica Shae -

    This is so SO helpful, and it was so much fun to hear from JD πŸ™‚

    Thank you Jasmine!

      8.31.09 - 2:38 pm

  6. jamie delaine -

    ADORABLE. Gosh, I love you two a lot. πŸ™‚

      8.31.09 - 2:41 pm

  7. Melanie -

    Timely blog. Great advice!

      8.31.09 - 2:42 pm

  8. Mary Marantz -

    #4 is maybe some of the best advice I’ve heard. EVER!! So true! All of them are awesome! Oh wait, but so are you guys so it makes sense! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      8.31.09 - 2:44 pm

  9. Marieke Elias -

    Ohh, i love this. My husband is my second shooter as well, so i will drag him in front of the computer tonight!!!

      8.31.09 - 2:46 pm

  10. Marissa Rodriguez -

    Great post! I was just thinking the other day that JD hadn’t guest blogged in a while πŸ™‚ I’ll be sure to send this link to my husband, awesome tips!

      8.31.09 - 2:50 pm

  11. Ceci -

    GREAT advice! It’s amazing how many "wedding" photographers I’ve seen who don’t do half of the things on your list! #10 drives me nuts – I’ve seen photographers in shorts/tee/sneakers before! They stick out like a sore thumb, and not to mention disrespecting the occasion.

      8.31.09 - 2:57 pm

  12. Edward Maurer -

    Here’s one more to add to the list (or supplement number 3) Make sure you are aware of the direction the primary shooter is photographing and stay out of their shot. I try to do this as a second shooter because i know it’s not about the fabulous second shooter, it’s about the bride and groom

      8.31.09 - 3:00 pm

  13. Christa -

    Great tips!

      8.31.09 - 3:03 pm

  14. JulieLim -

    Can’t thank you guys enough for this priceless advice! I’m really wanting to try 2nd shooting but really didnt know where to start or who to ask but thanks for saving my butt with these tips!

      8.31.09 - 3:05 pm

  15. Judie -

    Thank you so much for sharing this!! I was just asked to second shoot my first wedding in December so this came at a perfect time. This is great advice!!

      8.31.09 - 3:08 pm

  16. Eddie Sanchez -

    Wow! Thank you so much for this wonderful advice! I have never second shot before, but if I ever do, I know what to expect! I love you guys!

    Take Care!

      8.31.09 - 3:12 pm

  17. Melissa (melissa brandman photography) -

    LOVE this! Thanks so much JD – I am second shooting a wedding in September and these tips were great!

      8.31.09 - 3:17 pm

  18. arielle joy -

    Thanks for all the great tips JD!!

      8.31.09 - 3:17 pm

  19. Otto Rascon -

    I appreciate this list so much. I really enjoy second shooting and I am glad that you took the time to create this list. I will read it and pass it along to all I know. Rock it out!!!

      8.31.09 - 3:29 pm

  20. Tasha Prescott -

    My other half is my 2nd shooter as well. We had another photographer with us on this past weekend’s wedding (30 in bridal party, eek!) and I felt he overstepped at times. I addressed it afterwards, but I will definitely take what you said into consideration into my CONTRACT for other shooters. I didn’t like someone trying to OUTSPEAK me with MY clients… I never had experienced this since my 2nd is always my honey… Interesting weekend. Thanks JD!

      8.31.09 - 3:37 pm

  21. Shang -

    Awesome post as usual! I’m going to share this with others =)

      8.31.09 - 3:38 pm

  22. Christina Gressianu -

    What a great post! I’m always impressed with your blog post topics. They’re so creative and so obvious at the same time. How do you always know!? Thank you!

      8.31.09 - 3:44 pm

  23. Kristin Partin -

    excellent advise. its cool to get some pointers from a second shooters perspective. sometimes i forget the importance of answers to questions like this. thanks for the post!

      8.31.09 - 3:44 pm

  24. Andrea Mariño -

    Great tips JD!
    Uhmm.. I have a question, how do you make it work, you know.. knowing you’re not the main photographer?
    I would love to have a SECOND photographer, buT, all my possible candidates may be feeling like they’re not that value as to get the main credits on the wedding shoot!
    Any advice to look up for someone who won’t feel bad because I’m the main photographer and not him/her ?
    Thank you πŸ™‚

      8.31.09 - 3:47 pm

  25. Nicole Glenn -

    Look at JD telling it like it is! Thanks JD, this is invaluable! Period. The end. πŸ™‚

      8.31.09 - 3:52 pm

  26. Nelly Soares -

    Love this, you both must make the perfect team!

      8.31.09 - 3:53 pm

  27. Kimberlee -

    just have to put the disclaimer out there – that I was not the crazy person who handed out their own biz card while @ a wedding w/ you. (who DOES that?!) πŸ˜‰ Seriously though, I love shooting w/ you, J* & JD… AND, I must say that the way you 2 work together is nothing short of amazing. It is always a pleasure and an honor to 3rd-shoot w/ you, and to watch you both in all of your awesomeness. JD really is the best second shooter ever. And J*, you are, of course, ultra-fab in all that you do. I am so thankful to be called a colleague and friend. xoxo, Kimee

      8.31.09 - 3:54 pm

  28. Catie Ronquillo -

    You guys make such a cute and witty tag team. Where did you go for pizza in Mission Beach, my old stomping grounds?! πŸ™‚ I miss SoCal weather! It’s hot in TX.

      8.31.09 - 3:54 pm

  29. Grant Oakes -

    Great advice JD

      8.31.09 - 3:55 pm

  30. Gloria McCune -

    Great advice JD!!! It is no surprise that all the images you both take look so perfect, and that is a sign of a good team!

      8.31.09 - 3:55 pm

  31. Diandra -

    Awesome! And a couple of those I hadn’t even thought of!

    PS… if JD is ever sick… πŸ™‚ (Wait… I am SOOO not wishing sickness on JD… )

      8.31.09 - 3:57 pm

  32. Melanie Schall -

    Wow! This is great advice JD! I was offered a spot to second shoot and this is great information to know for that day. Thanks so much for sharing.

      8.31.09 - 4:02 pm

  33. jeramy -

    good stuff dude. i’m brushing up on my 2nd shooter skills. πŸ™‚ good tips!

      8.31.09 - 4:03 pm

  34. Cait -

    So helpful JD. Thanks for all the great reminders, especially the "as second shooter, your number one goal is to shoot the best you can and make the main photographer’s life easier…even if it means missing the best photo opportunities at the wedding" part.

      8.31.09 - 4:04 pm

  35. Tira J -

    Great advice JD! Sounds like I have David trained well! ha ha! One thing that you didn’t mention is second shooters and their images. I know it is different for a lot of us because we are husband and wife teams, but there are certain rules that apply when you have a non-spouse shooting with you. I remember vaguely that Jasmine mentioned this last year or maybe earlier. What are your thoughts on that. Oh, and camera settings, etc. πŸ™‚ You are fabulous and it was great to see you both last week at the OC Smug. πŸ™‚

      8.31.09 - 4:07 pm

  36. Rick Fernandez -

    Great advice and totally on point. I’ve already forwarded the link to my second shooters. Thanks!

      8.31.09 - 4:13 pm

  37. Katherine Bowman -

    Wonderful advice!!! Thanks so much for sharing!

      8.31.09 - 4:32 pm

  38. Megan Beth -

    Wait…so Jasmine dances with the DJ too? πŸ˜‰

      8.31.09 - 4:35 pm

  39. Anouschka -

    My hubby has recently started to second shoot for me so this could not have come at a better time! I’ll pass this info along to him. Many thanks JD (and Jasmine ofcourse πŸ™‚ )

      8.31.09 - 4:36 pm

  40. DJ -

    Where is "Be Sexy"

      8.31.09 - 4:40 pm

  41. Brian Khang -

    Thanks for educating the masses! I often hear, oh well that’s common sense.. and I always reply.. you’d be surprised!

      8.31.09 - 4:50 pm

  42. Bartek Witek -

    Thanks for sharing. Having someone like JD who understand all this is a blessing. All the best for both of you.

      8.31.09 - 5:03 pm

  43. Larry -

    Great advice! Thanks for sharing this.

      8.31.09 - 5:04 pm

  44. Becky -

    Fantastic tips, JD! You are definitely a contentious second shooter (and husband). As Jasmine readily admits, she’s lucky to have you! πŸ™‚

      8.31.09 - 5:05 pm

  45. Mapuana -

    Jasmine… you are so lucky JD is your 2nd shooter. Great advice JD!

      8.31.09 - 5:14 pm

  46. Brian Fletcher -

    Awesome, awesome tips – I’m about to start SS’ing in the next couple months (hopefully), and this is great advice. Thanks JD and Jasmine!

      8.31.09 - 5:24 pm

  47. Bobbie Brown -

    Fantastic advice JD! Jasmine is a lucky girl to have you… and I think she knows it too!

      8.31.09 - 5:41 pm

  48. Stephanie Castillo -

    LOVE that your Hubby posted this! I just shot my second wedding last weekend and my Husband, Mickey, was my second shooter (or as I call him my "second shooter in comand πŸ˜‰ and actually did an amazing job!! He was the best I could ask for, everything listed above and you know, I think it makes it even easier on me because he IS my Husband which made it even that more comfortable πŸ™‚ Anyway- thanks for the post! I am an avid fan of yours J*! You’re an awesome down-to-earth person and I adore you, your Hubby AND your work πŸ™‚

      8.31.09 - 5:51 pm

  49. ohana photographers -

    jd, you forgot to add foot rubs at the end of the day πŸ˜‰ my wife may be reading . can’t blame a guy for trying. πŸ™‚

      8.31.09 - 5:51 pm

  50. dorelies -

    your tipps are great – and I think you are abslutly right.
    There is just one point: I’m photographing with my husband and he is my second shooter – and for me he is the best SS in the universe!!!!
    love your posts!!
    greatings from vienna

      8.31.09 - 5:52 pm

  51. Patricia Reiser -

    Great article. Any tips on how to become a second shooter?

      8.31.09 - 5:54 pm

  52. Brad Peters -

    Awesome advice! Now the kicker … how would you recommend going about getting that FIRST job as as second shooter? Is it appropriate to just walk up to a seasoned pro and offer?

      8.31.09 - 5:54 pm

  53. Matthias Vohwinkel -


    great advice – especially about not promoting oneself πŸ™‚

      8.31.09 - 5:55 pm

  54. Brad Peters -

    Ok, what the hey, I’ll just ask!

    Anyone in So Cal looking for a second shooter?

      8.31.09 - 5:58 pm

  55. K -

    What a great post!

      8.31.09 - 6:02 pm

  56. Kathleen North -

    Thanks JD! As a main and second photographer, it is nice to hear some good standards span the country!

      8.31.09 - 6:05 pm

  57. Bong -

    This is very good info for second shooters! During few times I’ve been a second/third shooter, I ask the main photographer to hand me a few of his/her business cards so when guests ask, then I have main photographer’s info to give out.

      8.31.09 - 6:13 pm

  58. Chris Boglio -

    JD 4 PRESIDENT!!! Great post JD. Keep up the awesome work.

      8.31.09 - 6:21 pm

  59. oneshotbeyond -

    I liked reading this one-A LOT!

      8.31.09 - 6:26 pm

  60. Stephanie Stewart -

    What a great post, such perfect and real tips! Thank you!

      8.31.09 - 6:32 pm

  61. Libertad -

    I had to delurk to say: GREAT post JD! I am going to second shoot my first wedding in a few weeks (my husband is the main shooter) and these tips are fantastic!

    Love your blog Jasmine, so inspirational!

      8.31.09 - 6:32 pm

  62. David Quesada -

    Thanks Jasmine/JD!, I have never second shot but when I do this will be something I will make sure happens. Thanks !!

      8.31.09 - 6:48 pm

  63. Aimee -

    I LOVE YOU JD!!!! and Jasmine too of course. πŸ˜‰ You both are one power couple. =)

      8.31.09 - 6:58 pm

  64. Jeff -

    From one second shooter to another, thanks for sharing the tips! Wait, I thought you were going to go off and create your own blog…maybe I wasn’t supposed to let the cat out of the bag! Ha ha.

      8.31.09 - 7:20 pm

  65. Brandi -

    Great tips! I don’t think (I hope not) I have had a second shooter passing out cards at a wedding but I did have a girl help me once on a bridal session, and she was new to the biz, but she was trying to sell her services to the bride’s sister who was also engaged. I was completely shocked! It wasn’t the last faux pass I saw her make.. but what can you do?

      8.31.09 - 7:26 pm

  66. amanda thiessen -

    thanks JD!!! awesome post! πŸ™‚

      8.31.09 - 8:18 pm

  67. Christina Lee -

    Thanks for this post! My friend and I recently started doing some work together and plan on being second shooter for each other for some other events as well. This really sets a tone for the second shooter and helps me best help out my friend when I’m second shooting for her at an event!

    Good post!

      8.31.09 - 8:27 pm

  68. laurahana -

    This is VERY tweet-worthy! πŸ™‚ Happy to know that I’ve been following most of these tips already!

      8.31.09 - 8:41 pm

  69. Laura Marchbanks -

    OH MAN, That business card story is a CLASSIC! I bet we could all write a book about what not to do. Great post!

      8.31.09 - 9:11 pm

  70. Diana Bondurant -

    I’ve seen lots of complaining about what NOT to do as a second shooter, but this is the first well-compiled list of what you SHOULD do. Thanks so much for sharing!

      8.31.09 - 9:13 pm

  71. Pol -

    Thank you! These are great tips. Hopefully I will move from being a student to a second shooter soon.

      8.31.09 - 9:26 pm

  72. Lorie -

    My non-photographer husband helped me out for the first time this past weekend at a wedding. (I’m almost 7 and half months pregnant and me shooting in the 108 temp. made him nervous=) And I LOVED hearing this from JD. And I adored the pictures of him you snuck. Thanks for sharing these!

      8.31.09 - 9:28 pm

  73. Lydia -

    Great reminder, JD! I’d love to do more second shooting this coming year. It’s fun not being in charge once in awhile. πŸ™‚

      8.31.09 - 9:40 pm

  74. Trude -

    Just invaluable tips! Thank you so much for doing this!!

      8.31.09 - 10:03 pm

  75. Life with Kaishon -

    Absolutely brilliant advice : )
    Especially love the We are Family comment : ) So funny!

      8.31.09 - 10:45 pm

  76. Savannah -

    I’ve only had the opportunity to second shoot one wedding, although I loved it, but this is really great advice!

      8.31.09 - 10:50 pm

  77. Allison Joy -

    This is perfect! Thank you JD πŸ™‚ Now we all know how to be great second-shooters like you πŸ™‚
    I love seeing a husband-and-wife team shoot weddings πŸ™‚

      8.31.09 - 11:13 pm

  78. Angel Canary -

    Great!! I emailed this to my hubby who is my second shooter….uh ummm… lol

      8.31.09 - 11:13 pm

  79. Jessica Pressley -

    Thanks so much JD!! I loved reading this, very helpful. You guys are the best =)

      8.31.09 - 11:14 pm

  80. Bobby Earle -

    That’s my boy, right there πŸ˜‰


      8.31.09 - 11:18 pm

  81. Diapers & Divas -

    These are great tips for photogs as well as life and trying to make it in a professional world. Thanks!

      8.31.09 - 11:20 pm

  82. Christine -

    OMG that photo of JD!!! I LOVE IT! πŸ™‚ And what a great post, thanks so much for sharing your insights! It’s so timely, as I have been thinking about second shooting but haven’t had the courage to approach anyone. I know how you might have gotten into it (being the hubby of J*, after all), but have you any tips out there for those wanting to second shoot a wedding but are not married or close to other photographers? πŸ™‚ Thanks again! You guys are the best. πŸ™‚ (PS I ask my husband who his favorite wife is too! Zing!) πŸ˜‰

      8.31.09 - 11:25 pm

  83. Carlos Bruno -

    Thanks JD for sharing … but happened an situation with me that put your 2nd commandment down (at least for me): I was the 3rd one, after several months trying to break into one wedding – even for free. After the ceremony, everybody (interested) started to ask MY card, and of course I was giving 1,000 of excuses and try to let them know I was there like an "employee" and will get some of the photographer’s cards. One of the answers was: "No … , we want YOUR info. We didn’t like him. At all! His attitude and the way he is working during whole ceremony. We fell in love about you. Like you pose us, making sure everybody will look good. Getting angles that we saw he forgot … SO, we confirm what we thought: once he hired you, for sure you good enough to take pictures. But if you’re not available, we appreciate what you’re doing tonight for our cousin." … and, for being "loyal", I lost my first and – who knows – unique chance to start my wedding business.

      9.1.09 - 12:02 am

  84. Amy -

    Perfect timing; thank you for that!!! I’m a second shooter for the first time ever next week!!

      9.1.09 - 12:04 am

  85. Troy Grover -

    Thanks JD! Aimee’s going to love this πŸ™‚

      9.1.09 - 12:15 am

  86. andrea scott -

    Great post! Thanks for the honest and straightforward answers!

      9.1.09 - 12:49 am

  87. Christine -

    OMG that photo of JD!!! I LOVE IT! πŸ™‚ And what a great post, thanks so much for sharing your insights! It’s so timely, as I have been thinking about second shooting but haven’t had the courage to approach anyone. I know how you might have gotten into it (being the hubby of J*, after all), but have you any tips out there for those wanting to second shoot a wedding but are not married or close to other photographers? πŸ™‚ Thanks again! You guys are the best. πŸ™‚ (PS I ask my husband who his favorite wife is too! Zing!) πŸ˜‰

      9.1.09 - 12:58 am

  88. F to the Funk -

    JD is cute. I vividly remember him flashing his pearly whites many-a-time at Miranda’s wedding. Love it.

      9.1.09 - 1:03 am

  89. Drea -

    Great info Jasmine! I passed it onto my 2nd shooters πŸ™‚

      9.1.09 - 1:06 am

  90. Jasmine* -

    @Troy: I hope Aimee doesn’t hate JD for all of this advice! πŸ˜‰ @CarlosBruno: Trust me, you did the right thing by not passing out your business card. If someone is truly interested in your work, ask them to contact the main photographer for your information. That’s the classiest and fairest route. One day, you may be in the same position as a main photographer and I doubt you’d like if you kindly let someone join your wedding, only for him/her to undermine your efforts. And don’t worry, treating others the way you want to be treated is the golden rule and it’ll pay back ten-fold. And who knows…maybe the main photographer noticed your great work too and will refer weddings to you in the future. Not one, but many. This isn’t the end, but, rather, the beginning to a great future for you. Promise. @Jeff: If JD starts his own blog, I’ll be in deep trouble! πŸ˜‰ @Brad Peters and @PatriciaReiser: Procuring your a second shooting position can be difficult first, but try to get involved with large online communities like The B School Forum and OSP Photography Forum where you can meet other photogs and become their friend online. Once you develop a friendship based on trust, they’ll be ones ASKING you to join them, and not the other way around. Make friends and find ways to help, then the offers should come your way. @Andrea: There are tons of photographers who would be honored to second shoot…it has less to do with them getting credit, and more to do with them being able to practice their art and build their portfolio. As you can see by all these comments, there are a lot of people who are excited and itching to shoot, so feel free to give someone the chance and I’m sure they’ll thank you for it! πŸ™‚

      9.1.09 - 1:24 am

  91. kim james -

    Can I print this and leave for my husband? His business card is a Plumas County Sheriffs Deputy and side Business Concrete Contractor. He is also my second…I am highlighting tip number 6…Thank you so much!!!!

      9.1.09 - 1:27 am

  92. karen -

    thanks so much for the tips. this will really help me a lot. more power to both of you.

      9.1.09 - 1:39 am

  93. Laura -

    I was shooting a fundraiser for a hospital, and someone showed up out of nowhere and started stealing everyone for photos when I was the main photographer. Not very nice!

      9.1.09 - 1:46 am

  94. lucy -

    Awesome post!!
    One of my favorites……. πŸ˜‰

      9.1.09 - 1:48 am

  95. Abigail Seymour -

    These are great, thank you, JD and Jasmine!

      9.1.09 - 1:51 am

  96. JEN -

    great advice JD, the second photo of you is very charming…as I’m sure you both already know πŸ˜‰

      9.1.09 - 1:59 am

  97. Steven Chellappa -

    Awesome advice and much appreciated! πŸ™‚ I love reading these ;D

      9.1.09 - 2:53 am

  98. Angela Marie -

    Thanks so much for sharing!! I have been the main photographer for over a year now, but finally got an opportunity recently to second shoot, and it was a different experience just sitting back and following the lead of the main photographer. My husband is also my permanent second shooter, and we both enjoyed reading JD’s advice! Thanks so much!

      9.1.09 - 3:17 am

  99. Cathy Crawley -

    Great post JD!!! So many good tips here, I hope everyone reads them all! I can’t say how important numbers 1 & 2 are! I was asked for a card when I second shot for an awesome photographer, and when the couple wouldn’t take no for an answer they told me they’d ask the bride. I had to expressly ask them not to do so as I didn’t want to ruin the relationship between me and the first. It’s a fine line and needs to be tread very carefully!

      9.1.09 - 3:30 am

  100. Carmen Whittaker -

    :o) You are the best!!! and that is why you are married to each other.

      9.1.09 - 4:04 am

  101. alex.kruk photography -

    Great advice, I really enjoy reading them!

      9.1.09 - 4:24 am

  102. Apple -

    I love itttttttt.. πŸ˜€

      9.1.09 - 4:29 am

  103. Elias Lopez Martinez -

    I’m learning from you

      9.1.09 - 4:56 am

  104. Maggie -

    GREAT post, JD! Great pictures of you, too!

      9.1.09 - 5:08 am

  105. R. J. Kern -

    Wonderful ideas… I’ll be taking them to heart when I second-shoot and will be sure to share them with my second-shooters as well πŸ™‚

      9.1.09 - 5:19 am

  106. andi -

    thank you JD. a much needed reminder. is it possible that you are just as fabulous as j *?

      9.1.09 - 6:42 am

  107. Mindy -

    Thanks for the great advice JD!!! Just an FYI, when my big day comes and if I have enough mula…I want you and Jasmine to come and shoot my wedding in HI…and when you come, you can wear an aloha shirt, pants and slippers (flip-flops)…you’ll fit right in perfectly…;)

      9.1.09 - 7:11 am

  108. Tanja -

    These are some great advices..

      9.1.09 - 7:40 am

  109. Jonathan Brown -

    I love this list. I have worked with some second shooters that I wish had read this list.

    Great job.

      9.1.09 - 1:55 pm

  110. Krista Photography -

    These are great!

      9.1.09 - 2:09 pm

  111. Dawn McCarthy -

    Great advice! This was insightful. I hope that all second shooters read this. : ) Thank you.

      9.1.09 - 3:22 pm

  112. Tiffany -

    your husband is adorable!

      9.1.09 - 4:26 pm

  113. Lindy -

    This is the first time ive ever taken a look at your blog and I already love it!! I am a second shooter for a photographer in southeast Texas. Thank you so much for the advice and tips you gave. Ill will def. keep these in the front of my mind at our next wedding! Thanks again!!

      9.1.09 - 5:42 pm

  114. Carolyn Egerszegi -

    Thanks for the article JD. Excellent advice!

      9.1.09 - 5:53 pm

  115. sarah k chen -

    all i have to say is, AMEN BROTHA!

      9.1.09 - 6:51 pm

  116. SamuelLippke -

    Love this list! I’m going to pass it on to all my future 2nd shooters too.
    Especially the #2! I’ve had a 2nd do that too. It didn’t make me happy.
    Thanks JD!
    Q: Do you ever feel like Cal Naughton Jr. to Ricky Bobby? Shake & Bake.
    I always feel like him when I 2nd shoot.

      9.1.09 - 6:57 pm

  117. kellyhicks -

    Thanks for this! It was really timely since I will have my first second shooter experience this friday at a wedding. I’m just getting into photography but I love it so far. It’s definitely an art. Thanks JD!

      9.1.09 - 7:25 pm

  118. luke walker -

    JD I always knew you were a great husband, but man you are a great 2nd shooter as well! Ali and I don’t shoot together all that much because of having our own separate jobs. Whenever we book a destination wedding we shoot together though. "You just booked a wedding in Hawaii the 2nd week of March? What a coincidence my schedule JUST opened up!" When we shoot together I usually don’t have a large glass of water waiting for me unfortunately. In fact usually there’s a very large glass of get-off-your-ass-and-get-your-own-water waiting for me πŸ™‚ On a serious note I especially agree with both #1 and #4… they both go a long way as a walking, talking representation of the shooters brand.

      9.1.09 - 7:35 pm

  119. teresa vigil -

    I think i saw you in balboa park, long brown hair. hahah. that place is a wedding zoo! great lighting though. and wonderful article. I carried bags and almost passed out thank god for the water fountain.

      9.1.09 - 8:05 pm

  120. Leanne Stamatellos -

    There were so many good tips there JD but the one I never really thought about was only giving out the main shooter’s business card – this is such a good point and I’m glad I read this – thankyou!

      9.1.09 - 10:10 pm

  121. Charlene -

    As a more or less permanent second shooter, it’s good to know I’ve been operating on the same 10 tips that JD has!

    I think a lot of second shooters forget that they are there mainly to assist, whether as a second camera, gear carrier, water fetcher or whatever.

    I’m pretty lucky in that my main shooter treats me way too well and generally never asks me to assist at all with ‘menial’ tasks unless it was absolutely necessary. But I feel it’s important to reciprocate – insist on carrying gear at appropriate moments, stepping in to hold reflectors, lights, arrange dresses, check poses etc without being asked, and yes, hang out HIS business cards when referrals are requested. A good second shooter usually is a good assistant as well because understanding how the main photog works is esential to doing one’s job well.

      9.2.09 - 1:50 am

  122. Christina Juleson -

    You two are like two peas in a pod… simply adorable! Thanks for the insight, my second shooter (husband) will appreciate this one!

      9.2.09 - 4:58 am

  123. Chris Chen -

    I also would like to add #11 to the list. Don’t be-friend my clients on Facebook through my Friend’s list.

      9.2.09 - 5:04 am

  124. naomi house -

    If ever you want to be my second shooter in Cumbria, UK- JD I would be honoured!

      9.2.09 - 6:46 am

  125. Aimee Tangeman -

    SO glad you decided to post this JD! You rock. I still think you should start a blog…

      9.2.09 - 6:50 am

  126. Alex Gardner -

    Thumbs up. I’ve thought back to the first time I shot at a wedding as a second shooter and leaving with mixed emotions about going back.

    I went back. πŸ™‚

      9.2.09 - 12:28 pm

  127. Tara -

    Awesome post. Thanks for listing out your advice JD!

      9.2.09 - 3:21 pm

  128. Feuza -

    JD posts rocks! what great advice and there are so many photographers starting out like me who have been second shooting to get more experiance…thank you

      9.2.09 - 3:37 pm

  129. Parris Whittingham - New York Wedding Photographer -

    Such a great post. Every second shooter should read this πŸ™‚

      9.2.09 - 3:51 pm

  130. Jose Zepeda -

    Awesome post !! Having the mindset of a servant is a very rewarding thing in the short & long run… Keep up the great work and the great words of wisdom… Thanks!!

      9.2.09 - 4:41 pm

  131. anna -

    I love second shooting! It’s great having a different point of view of something!

      9.2.09 - 4:46 pm

  132. Kate -

    Fantastic tips! Thanks for taking the time to share πŸ™‚

      9.2.09 - 6:04 pm

  133. hannah -

    So perfect! I’m going to second-shoot at a friend’s wedding next weekend! Great advice, thank you!

      9.2.09 - 6:45 pm

  134. Heather -

    You two have such great chemistry together it really put both of us at ease when you shot our wedding- we knew how well you worked together! Plus, you are fabulous- we were thrilled to see every photo and lots of angles. Thanks again.

      9.2.09 - 8:06 pm

  135. Betsy, La Vida -

    Great post!! What a team, what a team…

      9.2.09 - 11:32 pm

  136. Yuka photo art -

    This post is soooo helpful! Thank you guys!!!

      9.2.09 - 11:57 pm

  137. Aprille -

    I just had my first gig as a "second shooter" with a friend. I could add a bit on to this list as I learned a lot this weekend – haha! We had some confusion regarding copy right use of the photos. I will never second shoot again without a very clear understanding of the expectation! What a great time it was though and I am very proud I rocked the shots I was in charge of. I love looking here for inspiration and thank you for the tips JD!

      9.3.09 - 12:58 pm

  138. Lisa -

    One Two and Four. Fabulous. Two is probably the least obvious. Many beginning photographers forget all the work that has been done BEFORE the wedding to build the relationship. That it is the main photograhpers experience, marketing, contacts, time, contracts, insurance, etc. that got the the gig. It is NOT the second’s gig so ALL inquiries go to the first. If you’re a second shooter and you don’t agree, simply consider someday, when you are the first, how you much you’d like your second to book the maid of honor’s wedding while you are working with the bride and groom. Gets pretty clear, pretty fast.

      9.4.09 - 2:29 am

  139. Tracy -

    I’d like to 2nd Chris Chen’s addition of the #11 to the list; but go one further……Don’t be-friend my clients on FB through my Friend’s list and then show YOUR preview ahead of mine !!

      9.4.09 - 4:29 am

  140. Karen -

    Super helpful. Love reading the other comments. I worked my way up the "ladder". Understanding the bits as a 2nd, make the work of the 1st and main shooter easier! I will be passing on the list to my 2nds and noting how extremely grateful I am for them!

      9.4.09 - 6:20 pm

  141. Lukas VanDyke' -

    Nice! Thanks for the thoughts, It made me realize I have some great second shooters!

      9.5.09 - 1:07 am

  142. Natalie -

    I’m glad pants were mentioned in all of the combinations of the "three piece rule"! Solid advice.

      9.6.09 - 4:03 am

  143. Jenny McMasters -

    This is an awesome list I will refer to often!

      9.7.09 - 8:30 pm

  144. Jay Hsiang -

    Thanks for sharing !! good stuff as always !!

      9.11.09 - 7:49 pm

  145. Katherine Tomasek -

    Great advice – I just started being a second shooter at weddings and found a lot of these tips to be true!

      9.16.09 - 10:24 pm

  146. Jason Grubb -

    Excellent Advice.

      9.20.09 - 3:26 pm

  147. Debbie H -

    Perfect advice. I would only add that posting images on their website without permission would be a no-no to go along with the business cards. I’d love to shoot with you guys sometime.

      9.29.09 - 10:07 pm

  148. joits -

    how perfect that i am seeing this post the day before i second shoot a wedding tomorrow… great tips!

      10.17.09 - 10:40 am

  149. Kentucky Wedding Photographer -

    I don’t often have a second photographer at the weddings I shoot…but I’ll be bookmarking this page for future reference! Great tips!

      3.11.10 - 12:39 pm

  150. Laura Lawrence -

    Great advice, I’m shooting today as a sorta 2nd shooter and was looking for tips, this worked great! Thank you!

      5.22.10 - 2:17 pm

  151. Mehdi -

    thank you a lot for these advices, excellent tips, it was a pleasure to read…

      9.19.10 - 11:20 pm

  152. Naomi Figueroa -

    Oh snap, JD’s post is #8 on Google when I search for "second shooter tips"! Haha, and I didn’t want to search through the archives on this site so just happened across it (again) on Google.
    Thanks for the awesome article!

      10.19.10 - 1:20 am

  153. Brittani Gonzalez -

    =) Awesome. Thanks JD.

      3.3.11 - 9:46 pm

  154. Butch Linton -

    I couldn’t agree more. Many of the points you mentioned we have listed on our "Independent Contractor Agreement".
    Thank you,
    Butch Linton

      3.10.11 - 12:41 pm

  155. Taylor Sparks -

    Thanks so much for posting this! I mainly have been doing 2nd shooting and this is excellent advice!!! I will be reading through it before I shoot again πŸ™‚

      5.2.11 - 4:47 pm

  156. Photographers in Barrie -

    Great points, these will help with an upcoming 2nd gig. Thanks so much!

      6.3.12 - 3:38 am

  157. Dan Oksnevad -

    These are great tips for second shooting a wedding! I’ve had a second shooter of mine pass out his business card. Absolute no-no! So glad you mentioned that one.

      11.14.13 - 6:53 pm

  158. photographe mariage suisse -

    I loved reading those tips for second shooters, both for them and for us, as first shooters, to give them some advice about how to behave!

      1.15.14 - 12:40 pm

  159. Jonas MΓΌller -

    good advices

      2.17.14 - 11:38 am

  160. Cumbria Photography -

    I couldn’t agree more. I wish more second shooters to read your post.

      5.13.14 - 3:36 pm

  161. Bogdan Terente -

    Great advices, Jasmine. I’m happy to find that I have a great assistant! πŸ™‚

      2.12.15 - 1:37 pm

  162. Hochzeitsfotograf Hamburg -

    I loved reading those tips for second shooters, good work!

      5.29.15 - 4:13 pm

  163. chiropraktiker -

    Great points, these will help with an upcoming 2nd gig. Thanks so much!

      5.30.15 - 7:57 am

  164. Steve -

    I’m going to be second shooting in July, and these tips will help me to be a “kinder, gentler” second shooter. Thanks!

      5.20.16 - 3:03 pm

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