Photography is one of the most important aspects of a wedding day. Lead photographers have an immense amount of responsibility, and it can be difficult to capture every important moment without a second to back them up.
Getting Ready/Wedding Party
Getting ready photos are a fun part of the day. This gives you a chance to rearrange the room and get creative with your posing and your lighting. Make sure there aren’t a lot of distractions. Get rid of coat hangers, bags, phones, and anything you wouldn’t want in your photos.
Make sure you talk to the lead photographer ahead of time so you can understand what your main job is during this time. Getting candids and different angles is key. Be sure to get any details the lead photographer might have missed.
Be ready to support the lead photographer in any way you can during the ceremony (and for the entire day). Everyone has a different preference. Some lead photographers like to stay back with the wedding party as they are lining up for processional. Other photographers like to be up at the front of the aisle. You need to be flexible and be wherever you are need.
Quiet moments before the ceremony are so important. It’s “the calm before the storm.” Everyone is in their spot, ready to go. They are done getting ready and all of the anticipation and work they put in is finally coming to fruition. This is a great time to be a quiet fly on the wall.
There is less pressure for a second shooter, so this gives you a chance to have fun and be extra creative with your shots. You can get different angles, and provide a different perspective to the wedding day. One of my favorite things to do is to get all of the in-between moments during couples portraits. If you are supporting the lead shooter during portraits, try focusing less on the formal stuff, and pay attention to when the lead shooter stops shooting, or is in the middle of setting up a shot. A lot of times, when the lead shooter sets their camera down, the couple will relax a bit more because they aren’t expected to look at the camera.
During this moment, the lead photographer was working on setting up a formal couples portrait. I noticed that the bride and groom were laughing because their wedding guests were cheering them on from the cocktail hour location. This is a small, but fun moment the couple might not remember until they look at the photos. Always keep in mind that you are trying to tell a story. Your lead photographer will love you for it.
If you are second shooting, you will most likely be focusing on cocktail hour. Your lead shooter might not have time to get to the cocktail hour, because they will be focused on the bride and groom. This is your chance to get some great candids and posed photos of guests. Don’t be afraid to pose the guests as well. They are looking their best, and they are usually hoping to take a great photo.
Be on the lookout for guests who have a great sense of style. You can get detail images of their accessories and play with different poses you have been wanting to try.
Once the crazy day is settled, be on the lookout for reactions and smiles during speeches and dances. Look at the lead photographer during these moments, and see what they are focusing on. If they are focused on the person giving the toast, make sure you are the one catching the reactions of the bride, groom, and other guests.