What We Look For in a Second Shooter (PS EP-58)

PS listener Scott Keats asks:  What is the best way to begin as a second shooter? Gear, knowledge, portfolio, connections, etc. the majority of the IP nation of podcasts are geared towards beginners and I figured it would be great to do a podcast on what main shooters look for in a second shooter. How do you prove yourself to get the gig? Obviously being a second shooter is a great way to get the experience to branch out on your own.

  • Have a solid portfolio to show (doesn’t necessarily have to be weddings, but show us you know how to use your camera, control light, etc.)
  • Have a good understanding of light (and understand how the person you want to shoot for uses light)
  • Have a good selection of gear
    • Erica doesn’t require specific gear, but would not hire someone who only uses kit lenses or who only has 1 lens
  • Be willing to help…it’s not just about shooting!
    • Carry things, get water, move distracting elements, fix hair/dresses, help wrangle the masses
  • Be organized (obviously this is Erica’s suggestion haha!)
  • How to get the gig:
    • Write a very nice email explaining why you want to work with that person.  Don’t be generic or they won’t take you seriously.
    • Include links to your work in your email.  Don’t make them search for things.
    • Suggest a meeting or phone call to make them feel more comfortable with you.
    • Be willing to tag along as an assistant to get to know each other before expecting a gig.

3 Minute Reviews

  • Nick:  – the 38” Glow Parapop softbox  vs a shoot through umbrella


Scroll to Top