As a photographer, I often get asked, “Do you do weddings?” My short answer, “No.”
My long answer: “No- well, maybe. I’ve been a second shooter. It’s a lot of pressure for one person.” Let me explain.
Let me just say right off the bat, wedding photographers are amazing. I’ve watched many of them in action, listened to podcasts, and seen countless training/YouTube sessions by one of the best in the industry (#jasminestar you are amazing!!!!) For real though- if you have any interest in getting into the wedding scene, go check out her stuff www.jasminestar.com. She will slay you.
As with most photographers, wedding photographers have to envision their product from start to finish and bring their “A” game. However, one of the biggest differences is that they only get one shot (pun intended) with many of the key moments throughout the day. Can you imagine if after the first kiss the photographer jumped up and said, “Oh man guys- my exposure was off- can you just do that one more time?” Yeah, I’m gonna guess that wouldn’t go over so well. Don’t get me wrong- there can be a fair number of curated shots- but during the ceremony, first dance, and cake cutting- there is only one chance to get it right. For me- that’s a lot of pressure- probably too much pressure to ever commit to being anything more than a second shooter (which for the record, I enjoy so, so much). I love getting the details, the candid in-between shots, and in general a more photo-journalistic story of the day. Here are a few images from my most recent second shooter experience.
I was listening to a podcast where Jasmine Star was interviewed about her “secrets to success” aka how she promotes herself and her brand. She said she started with a blog and people got interested in her story- so much so that they were more invested in her story than they cared about her images. Of course, as she has grown her career and brand, her images are what we know today. People who were along for the ride early on have seen her story progress as well as her skill. Basically, she started with who she was- letting her images speak for who she was and who she wanted her brand to be- if people liked her, they often liked her images or even if they didn’t love every image, they were intrigued enough to stick with her. Jasmine was okay with this. She decided if a client didn’t like her they wouldn’t like her images and that was fine. Makes sense- who wants to attract clients who don’t like you? This whole marketing plan, to me, is brilliant. My images should speak for themselves, for who I am, not for who I should be. This is my goal: creating images for what they are not for what they should be.
So guess what? I’m shooting a wedding tomorrow. Not as a second shooter. Just me, my camera, and my plan of attack. Stay tuned.