To Be Or Not To Be.. A Second Shooter

Hey guys, so I know I've been a little M.I.A. but since I returned my rental camera I haven't been shooting much and so therefore have had nothing to post. Until now. This may be a boring post for most people but to photographers, maybe not so much.

I recently joined the J* Second Shooters facebook page to maybe get some second shooting experience and just experience being behind the camera at a wedding. It's a really great way to connect with photographers in your area. There is a category for every state and all you have to do is put down your name, website, email, and where you are based at and photographers can contact you for second shooting jobs OR if you are a first shooter you can contact your own second shooters.  

After joining the group, Jasmine posted that she and JD would be doing a creativeLIVE session called "The Art of Second Shooting". I thought great! I'll definitely watch that and know exactly what to do as a second shooter. And I was right they pretty much answered every question anyone could ever have about second shooting. JD touched on some things that were crucial and important to any second shooter job. He explained the hardships of being a second shooter and gave tips and advice on types of second shooters (which I had never heard before and thought was genius and extremely helpful).  I also loved Jasmine's input as JD answered questions in a second shooters perspective and she answered in a first shooters perspective. They are a great team and they're obviously incredibly successful, however I feel like their dynamic wont work for every team because not every team is going to be married. So yes they helped but also kind of changed my mind.

A lot of what I read about second shooting has a lot to do with first AND second shooters having problems with the rights and  uses to the pictures, compensation, equipment, building businesses, etc. Now I don't know about you guys but THAT side of second shooting sounds like a nightmare. I know there are successful photographers who have second shot 2-3 weddings and they felt it wasn't for them and still became who they wanted to be. I'm not saying all second shooting is terrible. A lot of people click and make perfect teams and even switch roles and work for each other for free after becoming friends. I would have no problem second shooting for some the photographers that I've met but I think the KEY to any good team is a contract. Whether you are friends, or not. If something happens and there are no boundaries things can get real ugly, real fast.

I guess what I'm really trying to say is I don't know if I should second shoot before I jump into a business or do it just to get experience. Yes, financially it would help but not every second shooting job is paid so that isn't really a factor. I like helping other people grow their business so I wouldn't mind second shooting for a photographer as their permanent second shooter. As far as jumping around to strangers, I'm not sure that's for me. Have any of you readers been in the same boat as me? Would you get experience no matter what and deal with very strict photographers? Let me know what you would do.

P.S. If you want to watch the second half of "The Art of Second Shooting" session its starts today at 9:00am Pacific time, 12:00pm Eastern time on creativeLIVE's website.

Happy Wednesday!