This post is SO overdue. I feel like people (brides) have a lot of questions about second shooters. Like, who I use, why would anyone need a second shooter, how often do I bring a second shooter along with me...etc. So today, I'm addressing all things 'second-shooter' related, and really just trying to shine a light on my right-hand gal, and offer as much transparency into what things look like on a wedding day with me (us). There are no secrets about what I do, or how I do things, so I'm hoping this really just clears things up, and helps all you wedding-planning-babes out there feel a little more relaxed with one more little "inside scoop" on what it means to be a #nataliesmithbride!
"Wait, what IS a second shooter?"
A second shooter, at least for me, is another photographer that comes along with me on the wedding day that basically is a second set of eyes and hands, and offers a second perspective for me throughout the day. My second shooter does anything and everything from changing my lenses, photographing details while I photograph the bride, shoots the bridal party from a different angle, as well as the ceremony (to name JUST a few tasks). She offers posing suggestions, takes behind the scenes photos, and is..well...just another photographer!
"Who is this mystery woman?"
Caitlin Whorton is who I use for a second shooter about 97% of the time. She actually has her own photography business, so there are a few instances where our schedules do conflict, but for the most part- she is who will be with me.
"She has her own photography business? Isn't that some sort of conflict of interest?"
Nope. Not for us. She has her own style, her own way of seeing things, her own way of editing, and her own way of interacting with her clients. And people totally love her, and she has her own following!...but when she's at a #nataliesmithwedding, she does her very best to shoot the way that I typically shoot, the way that I might see things, and we have a very good work-relationship that allows us to encourage and lift each other up, as opposed to being competitive. When she books a client, I'm happy for her, and vice-versa. We're very lucky in that regard.
"So, do you bring Caitlin to all your weddings?"
My top two packages include a second shooter, and again she's who I bring with me MOST of the time. If you find that my base package meets your needs best, but would like to add a second shooter to your package, that is always an option!
"Does having a second shooter mean we'll get twice as many photos?"
Not really. One of the great things about having a second photographer is the additional angles it provides, but that doesn't mean that IF Caitlin and I snap the same photo at the same time that you will necessarily get both photos. It does mean that I will be able to make sure that you are always getting the VERY BEST photos of the day. When she and I walk on site, generally the first thing I do is greet the bride, and address the current situation (how soon until the bride is ready, is the ceremony site ready, is the reception venue ready, are all the bride's details gathered up and together), and at that point I formulate a game plan so that while I am focusing on documenting one part of the day, Caitlin can spend time focusing on another...it's kind of a 'two birds, two stones kind of situation' (ha). Having two photographers documenting the day just really allows me the ability to focus more attention on all the important little things because I know that I don't have to be doing it ALL.
"Who takes photos of what?"
This can vary quite a bit from wedding to wedding, but I will say that one aspect that never changes is that I will be photographing, posing, and directing all of the bride's portraits, bride and groom's portraits, family photos, and bridal party photos. Beyond that, things like the brides details, tables, florals, getting ready, and venue photos...all those things just kind of depend on how the day is playing out, and where I'm needed most once we arrive.