20 Feb essence of a second shooter.
Hello! This is Ed again.
Before you start thinking I’m crazy, I know you’re asking yourself, “What’s with that title?”. Well, there’s two things that made me do it:
1. I’m very new to this blogging thing (but practice makes perfect, right?)
2. Second shooters are not just about toting around an extra camera and carrying the equipment around
Second shooters actually have a plan, a manifesto, a call-to-action, if you will. We get the shots that no one expects and we do it with style! I’ve been called “ninja photographer” and “sniper” by our clients, and that gives a little insight into what my goal is at the end of a wedding day: get the shot without being noticed. Matter of fact, it’s what Amy and I strive to do, especially during the ceremony. We did it so well at one wedding that the bride actually asked us if we were even there during that part of the day.
I truly love being Amy’s second shooter. I stand off to the side, fade into the background, and usually no one looks at me. All eyes are on Amy. I’m waiting for the moment when all guards are down and they are being natural, not trying to fake it for the camera. I find the flower girl who’s dancing around, twirling in her dress, thinking no one is watching. I find the stoic look of a grandpa watching the events of the day with the loving, experienced eyes that only grandpas possess.
The photo below is one that I’ll never forget. I was placed in the very front of the church in the choir loft where I know everyone could see me. At least that’s what it felt like being up there all by myself. The paster, groom, and groomsmen came in from the side, and the bridesmaids came down the isle. I had a perfect angle on everything that was going on. Then the bride and her father came walking down. With my telephoto lens, I couldn’t have been any closer to the action. It felt like I was right in the middle of it all. The bride and her father got to the front and had a few moments before giving her away. It was beautiful! I couldn’t help but to think of all the wonderful things Amy was going to say to me when she saw my photos. Then, as I leaned up and zoomed in to get the photo of father and daughter, he looked at me. Straight at me! Was he mad that I was right there in front for everyone to see? Did he not want his picture taken at that specific moment? So many things rushed through my head during that split second. I took the shot, and I’m so glad I did! He wasn’t mad at all. He wanted that picture, and I’m the one privileged enough to give it to him.
I am blessed to be part of these couples amazing day. Watching faces light up with smiles, hearing the laughter, witnessing the tears of joy, and capturing that emotion is what makes this one of the most rewarding jobs out there today.
Live. Laugh. Love. And don’t forget to smile!