Second shooting vs Shadowing

We want to talk about the difference between second shooting and shadowing at weddings.

Second shooting is usually a paid gig and this can range anywhere from £100-300 depending on your experience and length of coverage being provided. Our main tip would be not to just put your name down for any job that comes up – the main shooter will be looking for certain things. This is so they can match their own style and really deliver a strong, consistent set to their client, so wait for something to come up where you know you fit the bill. They may ask for things such as: strong solo groom prep, certain camera brands, primes, and certain shooting styles (dark & moody or strong candids etc).

You will most likely only get hired for these jobs if you’re competent rather than brand new to the industry… this is because the person you’re working for will have set expectations with their client as they are paying for an additional service.

Shadowing opportunities are usually unpaid but still an amazing resource to get your foot in the door. It’s also good to know that sometimes established photographers will charge for shadowing opportunities as well (i.e. you pay them to come and gain experience). This is a great avenue into the wedding sector as there is no pressure for you to deliver images, as the client has no expectation for you to deliver extra images and neither does the main photographer.

Remember that shadowing isn’t just about taking photos, you are there to get an insight into a real wedding day to see how they run it, how they direct people and how they read a room during candids. Think of shadowing as a future investment in yourself. Ask questions and really get the experience you want from it. Just be mindful to not ask them when they’re busy with group shots etc, save it for when you sit down for the wedding breakfast or when you know there’s a bit of downtime.

Person Writing Beside Dslr Camera on Brown Wooden Table

Here is a useful tip from one of our group members Andrew Heeley

“Well worth bringing a little notebook along to any shadowing opportunities, because there’s a lot to remember and if you’re there the full day you’ll forget half of it!

AND, ask if you can grab a coffee and a debrief a couple of days later to go over any questions that have come up”

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