Last month, I had the pleasure of playing second photographer on a wedding shoot with friend, fellow photographer, and web designer extrordinaire CC Hua.
It’s the first time I’ve had the opportunity to be the Second shooter; I’ve used Second photographers with my own wedding clients and I’ve always envied their role – I perceived it as stress free with no people wrangling and only having to take the candid photos that every client loves. I’ve often wondered if I could somehow hire someone to be the first photographer with my weddings on so I could take only the documentary style pictures that I love so much.
There’s so much responsibility that comes with being a wedding photographer, especially when you’re all about documentary, rather than the formal and traditional; Not only do you have to have an observant eye and be quick enough to document the natural, un-guarded moments when they arise, but you have to do it while making sure you cover off the ‘hero shots’, wrangle extended family for group photos and occasionally being forced to diplomatically convince third-cousin Mary that she really isn’t required for the ‘parents of the bride and groom with the Bride and Groom’ photo.
As it turns out, being a second photographer has a similar degree of difficulty. No, really. Being second photographer is all the lovely things I thought it would be but you lose the luxury of seeing your shot and doing whatever you need to do to get it. As the Second, you need to be just as observant of your First photographer as you do of the Bride and Groom. There’s no point in shooting from the same angles, that defy’s the point of the Second photographer, but you also need to make sure you’re not standing in the background of the First’s shots either.
And, the Second still has to participate in the guest wrangling. And the bag carrying.
My waffle aside, this wedding was so much fun and it’s rejuvenating to have worked on a wedding from a new perspective.
Jess and Jason were married at St Mary’s Church in Malvern followed by a cocktail reception at The Willows Restaurant on St Kilda Rd in Melbourne.