I’ve never been a second shooter at a wedding before. For those of you who don’t know, a second shooter basically functions as the main photographer’s assistant/side-kick. Shooting a wedding is a huge job, and it’s hard work. Often you’re on a very compressed timeline. Details (the flowers, the bride’s jewellery, etc.) need to be shot at the same time as you take photos of the bride getting ready. You have to simultaneously capture bride’s walk down the aisle and the groom watching her approach. While you take family formals, you need to find a way to document the reception decor before it’s been cluttered up by guests. With a well thought-out timeline it’s grueling… but doable. But having a second shooter not only eases up some of the time crunch, it can also mean there’s more variety to the images.
A few weeks ago my friend and fellow photographer Chris Quiroz asked me to be his second for Maria and Al’s wedding. The main reason for this is that the happy couple said their vows at the Notre-Dame Basilica in downtown Ottawa. It’s a very large church, with a balcony, and running around up and down stairs just isn’t an option (especially when those stairs are 150 years old – and creaky)!
Being a second shooter is a great experience. It’s an invaluable chance to take wedding photos without the same pressures as the lead photographer. Sometimes Chris and I shot together, and other times we divided up duties, which is why you won’t see portraits of the bride and groom in here, or any photos once the reception starts. All-in-all, I very much enjoyed the experience!