Here's something different for ya!
A few months ago, a friend asked if I would help him shoot a wedding at the Hyatt Huntington Beach in Orange County because his wife was ill and he was in a bind. Now, I haven't been a "second shooter" for a wedding in years, but of course I'm always up for helping out a friend in need.
What a fun, relaxing experience! I hands down love my job owning a photography company, but having a semi-relaxing day as as second shooter was down right refreshing. It was so nice getting a different perspective when you're not so involved in directing, watching the time, remembering family relationships, etc. I was able to stay on the "sidelines" and shoot from angles and watch for candid moments that I usually don't get to see. Celebrity wedding photographer Joe Buissink always acts as his own "second shooter" while he hires leads to do the necessary work. He says this allows him to focus on being creative. I can see why!
Moments like the photo above, when the Lead Photographer was setting up his lighting, the groom and his buds were teasing each other, and I had the perfect chance to capture the genuine laughter.
Usually, as the Lead Photographer myself, I always photograph the bride getting ready (which I LOVE). In this case, I was shooting the groom and his groomsmen getting ready- which I rarely have the chance to do! It was nice seeing the male pre-wedding perspective, and these guys had all the jokes, but I managed to get some great photos between my tears of laughter.
There were times I had to control my "leadership-ness" a bit and bite my tongue when I wanted to start directing people. Not that I'm bossy, I'm just used to that role. However, I would recommend for any photographer that's used to the pressure of being lead, and all the things that come with it- to take a second shooter day!
I know it's cliché, but we really never stop learning, in any job we're in. Being able to step back and get a fresh perspective was really beneficial! So get out there photog friends! You may be "past" your second shooter stage in life, but I highly recommend you try it (again). Think of it as your CEU ;)
That being said, I'm super happy being the head gal and being able to direct (I know what I want), but should a second shooter gig come up again! I'll take it!