While you may be completely efficient as a solo wedding photographer, some weddings are so grand that hiring a second shooter may become a necessity. You may not realize it, but that extra set of hands will make a complicated job more manageable. And while hiring a second shooter may make your life simpler and easier, the process of doing so may not be simple. In this blog, we offer you some suggestions on how you can find that perfect second shooter for your brand.
Tips For Hiring A Second Shooter For Weddings
It’s important to invest your time and strategize while you are on the lookout for your second shooter. From considering referrals to using online platforms, there’s a variety of ways to find the one that suits your needs. Remember, where a great second shooter can help ease your wedding day workflow, an unprepared one can make even the simplest sessions complicated. Listed below are some tips to help you streamline the hiring process once you decide that your next wedding requires a second shooter.
1. Consider Referrals
Hiring a second shooter means bringing in someone to be a part of your business, therefore, spending time to know who you are hiring is crucial. Referrals from your trusted sources or fellow photographers are a great place to start when seeking reliable second shooters, and this way, you might just have to spend less time worrying about their credibility.
2. Search on Second Shooter Websites
Many websites feature lists of potential second shooters as per different budgets, project types, and ratings. These websites offer you the ease of accessing multiple options from a single platform. A search result customized to your requirements can help bridge the gap between you and your potential second shooter. Fearless Seconds is one such platform that offers a directory of second shooters available for wedding photography.
3. Post an “Ask” or Ad In Online Photography Communities
Across various social media platforms, there are multiple online photography communities that help photographers connect, share, and collaborate. This can sometimes also prove to be an excellent way to come across a potential second shooter. You can post your requirements and also look through these groups to see if anyone is looking for assignments as a second shooter. You could also use your social media handles to share your request. Try to be as specific as possible about your needs, and also ask your fellow photographers to share your post. This will ensure that your post reaches more people.
4. Set Gear Expectations
Save time by clearly stating your gear expectations while in the process of hiring a second shooter. Since it is a crucial aspect of the job, an advanced discussion about gear will help avoid any surprises on the wedding day.
5. Check for Style Sync
As a professional wedding photographer, you have a specific photography style. Your style is your unique selling point and represents your brand. Therefore, while you are in the process of hiring a second shooter, assess whether he or she is in alignment with your brand and visual language.
6. Know Your Local Rates
Second shooter rates for wedding photography differ based on various factors. Some of these factors are the photographer’s experience, market, and operating location. And it is no secret that different locations have different pay rates. Therefore, while settling on your second shooter’s pay rate, it’s recommended that you consider your local rates too. In addition to that, check if your second shooter needs a separate amount for traveling to the location as well.
Before a final go-ahead, make sure you discuss the payment process as well. There are different types of pricing models, such as paying by the hour or single payment mode. So before you sign a contract with them, it’s best to get clarity on the terms of payment.
7. Communicate Expectations
If you do find the right candidate, congratulations! But the work is not done yet. Once you have found your ideal second shooter, it’s key to clearly communicate roles, responsibilities, and remuneration. It’s always better to be on the same page and share your expectations with them in advance. This way, you avoid any misunderstandings in the future. Here are some topics you can cover:
- Any specific photos you want them to capture.
- Style: Are you expecting a photojournalistic approach? Behind the scenes captures? List extensive points that you expect to be taken care of and have a discussion about their thoughts and also how they plan to stick with that list.
- Technicalities: The preferred file format, memory cards, sync camera date, and time.
- Turnover of images and editing process: Do you want them to edit their images or not?
- Image usage: Will you permit them to use the images they take on their own social media and blog? If so, determine how and when.
8. Draft A Contract
Before you get your second shooter onboard, documenting all the discussions and then signing a comprehensive contract is essential, so everyone is on the same page. Even if the person you end up hiring as a second shooter is someone you know or someone a trusted source or friend has referred, a contract is important to have as it protects both parties. Moreover, a contract legitimizes the deal, which encourages people to take more ownership of their roles. Also, verify that all the aspects – date, time, pay, work, delivery – regarding the position are mentioned in the contract.
Related Read: The Ultimate Guide To Wedding Photography Contracts
Don’t Rush the Process
We suggest that you start with the process of hiring a second shooter as soon as you know that you may need one for your next wedding. A second shooter is ultimately responsible for lessening your workload on the wedding day, so even though there might be plenty of options to choose from, it’s okay if it takes time to find the right fit for your wedding photography business. You want to make sure that your second shooter aligns with your brand and how you work.
Here at ShootDotEdit, we love to share tips that help you stand out as a professional in your craft. We also love making your work easier by taking editing off the plate. Check out our price plans to choose what works best for you.