Happy Friday, friends! Today’s, we’re talking about a topic that is really close to my heart: second shooting! I love being a second photographer myself (for so many reasons!!), but that is a post for another day. Today, I wanted to share with you how I started second shooting when I was brand new to the area (and how I find second shooters to this day!).
When I first moved to DC, I knew I both wanted and needed to get more involved in the wedding industry, but I wasn’t sure how! I knew I wanted to second shoot for other photographers, but the thought of getting in touch with people was so incredibly intimidating. I had no idea where to begin, and at one point, I found myself searching Google for a very article like this one! So… friend reading this right now: if you find yourself in the shoes I was wearing just a few years ago, I want you to know that you’re not alone!
I often get emails, DMs and inquiries from photographers, asking to second shoot for me, and while this is so incredibly sweet and flattering, I usually feel pretty bad when I have to let them know that I don’t have any open opportunities. You see… I don’t source second shooters from Instagram DMs, and more often than not, I’m securing a second shooter months and months in advance! When I say this, I mean it in the kindest way possible: finding a local second shooter that vibes with you, your artistic style and your brand is harder than it sounds! (Once you find someone, you try your hardest to hold onto them forever!) So… if you are searching for second shooting opportunities and have found it to be a bit challenging to connect with someone, don’t give up. Photographers are looking for someone they vibe with… someone they trust to love their clients on their wedding day in the same way that they do. Your fit is out there somewhere… it may just take a little bit to find them!
Now… where do you find your fit, you ask?! Great question! These are places where I found many second shooting opportunities and are also places where I currently search for second photographers when my normal crew of ladies are booked to serve their own sweet clients!
- Honeybook Community
- This is a newer platform (probably about 2 or 3 years old!), and it is so incredibly powerful. If you are just beginning to look for photographers to connect with for second shooting opportunities, I highly recommend getting started in the Honeybook community. It is a place where creatives (from photographers to videographers… florists, planners, accountants for creatives and everything in between) post opportunities that they are hoping to fill! I can’t tell you how many friends I’ve made through this site! It is SUCH a blessing! Filter based on the opportunities that you are searching for and then search for opportunities that you are interested in! DO be sure to read the post in its entirety (and follow the poster’s instructions!).
Pro-tip: comment on/respond to the posts that advertise opportunities that you are interested in and available for, instead of posting an open-ended post with your availability and information. People are MORE likely to respond to you when you are offering to solve a problem that they have! Also: be sure to include a small sample of your work and/or a link to your website on your HB Community Profile!
- Local Meetup Groups
- This is an amazing way to connect with old and new friends! Local meetup groups are exactly what they sound like: local people that meet & connect to chat about topics that they have in common! Personally, I am active in and love my local Tuesday’s Together group through the Rising Tide Society (and I cannot recommend getting involved with YOUR local chapter enough!), though this isn’t the only group out there that does this! (Personal no shame plug: Get involved with my local meetup group, Wandering the District here!) I have met so many amazing people through my Tuesday’s Together chapter, and I always leave, learning a little something I didn’t know before. When I started going to local meetups, second shooting and other work opportunities weren’t even on my radar. I was simply lonely within my business and wanted to get to know some other local creatives that were living a life similar to me! I get it— walking into one of these meetings for the first time can be pretty scary, but give it a try! The relationships and connections I built have turned out to be the thing I treasure most… the second shooting and other photography opportunities have simply been a bonus!
- Facebook Groups
- There are so many Facebook groups for photographers! Some are more local and some serve a wider audience! Truthfully, I am not in many Second Shooters Facebook groups myself (I have nothing against them! I’m just been trying to be intentional with the way I spend my time on social!), so I may not be the best to recommend one particular group over another. However, I do know that this is a strong option that is out there and, if you think connecting with someone through Facebook may be right for you, go for it! Simply spend some time searching for a group that best fits your needs. I recommend asking around to a few of your industry friends to see if there is one that they prefer.
- Bonus: Your industry friends!
- Truthfully, I find about 99.9% of my second shooters through my own networks, and I feel so incredibly blessed by this fact! I am friends with many incredible women in the industry that own and operate their businesses like I do. I love them as people, love their work as artists and trust them to love my couples the same way that I love my couples. Having the opportunity to have them shoot alongside me is just the best! It is also a treat to shoot alongside them within their own businesses too! There really is nothing sweeter than serving a couple that you love alongside your friends. It makes for a really fun and EASY day because you already know each other, each other’s styles and can anticipate some of each other’s needs or must have shots! If you have any friends or local photographers that you think you really vibe with, I definitely recommend getting in touch with them about any second shooter needs that they may have for weddings in the future!
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