Hiring Your 2nd shooters:
Yay, you booked a wedding and need some help. Fantastic! Now you want to get some quotes from other photographers to help you shoot and you don’t know how and why to choose the one that is right for you. Here are a few tips.
Sure going with the cheapest quote might seem simple enough, all you need is a bit of a backup, maybe to teach someone on the job. Ya right! When you start editing their images and realize it’s going to take hours to fix their mess in post-production, They didn’t capture half the stuff you asked them to shoot. 1% of their images are usable because they are learning on the job. Worst case scenario all your images are lost for some or other reason and your 2nd shooter’s images are the only ones you can deliver to the client. Tell me how much money did you actually save by going cheap or did you just throw that money down the drain.
Look at the 2nd shooters’ Portfolio, a whole wedding start to finish. This will let you determine if they can handle several lighting conditions and if their style matches or compliments your own.
Ask your 2nd which gear they are using. Do they have the right equipment for the job? Do they have flashes and reflectors, do they have backup gear? Do they shoot on camera, off-camera flash or do they shoot with a pop flash? These are things you need to know upfront. Proper preparation prevents poor performance.
Make a clear list of what you would like your second shooter to capture. Give them as much info as possible about the wedding day and the couple. If your 2nd looks confused and misinformed that reflects badly on you. Discuss where they should be standing for example in the chapel and which angles to captures and which lenses to use. How to dress for example. Communication is key.
Delivering the images
Take a laptop or backup storage device along to back up the images before you leave the shoot. If not, make sure to get the images asap from your 2nd shooter. In some cases, some model flashes don’t you can have an arrangement for your 2nd to edit the images before delivering them to you this would incur extra costs from your side.
If this is the first time you are working with the 2nd shooter, you need to make the payment information crystal clear.
- How much will you be paying them?
- How many hours are you paying them for?
- When will you pay them?
It’s so easy to get into a money war, but once again it is all about communication.
Ask your 2nd shooter if they have any references and don’t be hesitant to ask around.
Make it clear if they are allowed to use the images to market themselves and when you are comfortable for them to post them on their website or social media.
Yes, why not? This would be an easier way to clear things up and any misunderstandings before the shoot. Stipulate what you expect from the second shooter and with them signing the contract they agree to adhere to the terms.
PPPPP. Proper preparation prevents poor performance!
Your second shooter should be your right hand and must be reliable and submit usable images. It is on you to take care of your second shooter on the day, don’t forget to buy them snacks and drinks. If you choose wisely you might have a photographer buddy for life!