How to be the Greatest 2nd Shooter….Ever

~ 7 Insanely Useful Photography Tips & 5 What to Expect Tips~

You want to be a great photographer…yes.

First you need to be a great second shooter. Why start at number 2 when you want to be number one?

Steve Williams is Tiger Woods’ caddy; I’m guessing he does not suck at golf.

Simple answer: you need to be on the field. No matter how many classes you take or books you read the game is played on the field. Experience and fast reactions mixed with the ability to think on your feet are mandatory.

1. Shoot 50/50 – 50% of your shoots should be in the style of classic, traditional photography. Capture all the key moments of the day. Remember to shoot safe and smart. Pick a safe ISO and F/stop to get that shot. You are not going for art here, you are going for documentation of the day. The photos you take may never see the light of day but they have to be there in case of an emergency. If the main photographer happens to lose images due to a failed card, theft or computer problems, your shots are now playing 1st swing.

2. Shoot the other 50% in the mode that you’re going to compose the best F’ing, photographs ever. Go for the shots, be creative, change yourself, push the limits of your abilities. Create photographs that will get you remembered.

3. Do you homework. Know the equipment that you will be working with that day. Understand the camera, lens, lighting, flashes, reflector, computersand software that you will be working. Be remarkable with your knowledge of gear. You want to be able to counsel the main photographer on exposure and equipment as needed.

4. Be proactive: the 2nd shooter’s job is to know the outline of the day and to be prepared for every situation. Set up lights, have lenses and flashes ready to go when needed. Ask the main photographer where s/he is at on card count. Have back-up batteries ready to go at the asking.

5. Yes you carry the equipment. You open the doors. You get the drinks. You pack the car. You do what is asked, with a smile.

6. Second shooting is a business relationship at work. Show up on time. Be consistent in your work. Advise on the subtleties of the day.

7. Ultimately the main photographer makes all the final decisions and they get all the reward (& risk) for the outcome of the day. Your part is to enhance and aid the experience for both the photographer and the subject.

What the second shooter gets!

1. Gives you the opportunity to shoot in a live fast-paced environment. Remember that is the one thing books and classes cannot teach you.

2. Behind the scenes look at your future.

3. Realization of your confidence and talent to go it alone as a professional or to hit the books some more.

4. Ask up front about image rights and be respectful of whatever (if anything) is offered to you.

5. Competitiveness; do not even go there. You were just given the greatest photo opportunity you could ever ask for. Be respectful.

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