How To: Be a Stellar Second Shooter | Part I

Dress like a photographer

First off, you might be asking, "What's a second shooter?".  A second shooter is what it sounds like.  It's an extra photographer who has been hired on by another photographer, or a "lead photographer."  This person is usually contracted out for weddings or other events so that there are multiple perspectives and extra photos taken.  The reason people second shoot is because it's a great way to gain experience and start building a portfolio, there's no editing required, and there's usually a little extra cash in your pocket.  Plus, it's fun to get to do what you're passionate about! 

I started learning about wedding photography as a second shooter, and still do second shooting on occasions when I can because that means I get to hang with all my photog friends doing what we love to do together :)  

Everyone starts somewhere and I'm thankful for all the lovely ladies who let me follow them around and ask them questions.  There are some things I think I did well as a second shooter and some things I think I probably could've done better.  Now, being on the other side and hiring people to second shoot, I see so much more the reasoning behind why we do what we do or why the lead photographer has certain requests, restrictions, or requirements.  

In this little series of blog posts, I hope to give a few pointers to anyone who is looking to get into wedding photography and how to get there.  Please feel free to shoot me questions, give me suggestions on what you think future posts should be, or even let me know if I left anything out. 

Thanks for reading!

left: by second shooter, Danielle Hulsey; right: by lead photographer, Holly Von Lanken

left: by second shooter, Danielle Hulsey; right: by lead photographer, Holly Von Lanken

For this first installment of, "How To: Be a Stellar Second Shooter", we're going to talk about clothes - that's right ladies, fashion.  It's a fun topic so why not start there?  If you're going to be a photographer, look the part :)


They need to be COMFORTABLE.  That's the key word here, people.  As a photographer, you are on your feet for 8+ hours on a wedding day.  You need to make sure your feet won't be killing you by the time it's all over.  Unless you are superwoman, I wouldn't suggest wearing heels. 

left: tieks ; right: TOMS

left: tieks ; right: TOMS

There are plenty of other shoes out there and you may already have your favorite pair, but here are a couple suggestions from me: Tieks & TOMS. 


Why the color black you might ask? 

1. It looks professional.

2. It hides sweat on those hot summer days ;)

3. It helps you blend in with the other guests, the background, etc.

The scientific reason...

4. It won't reflect any weird light on your image because black absorbs all light.  

Not every photographer will require that you wear all black, but when in doubt, it's not a bad idea.

left: Me! by Chloe Giancola; right: photo for Chloe Giancola by me.

left: Me! by Chloe Giancola; right: photo for Chloe Giancola by me.

Nice, but comfortable.

It's a long day.  Wear something that you'll be comfortable in.  However, you are photographing a wedding, which is a nice event.  You want to blend in with the guests and protect the integrity of the event.

GOOD: Dress pants or skirt + blouse, dress, etc. (for the ladies); dress pants + button down shirt, potential for a tie (for the gents)

Personally, I love a good cotton dress, but you need to look like you so throw in your own personal touches like a scarf or belt.

BAD: shorts & jeans

Now that you look like a photographer, you'll need some gear... 

until next time,


love my second shooter, brides & grooms!

love my second shooter, brides & grooms!