On occasion I get the opportunity to not be the Primary Photographer at a Wedding. I say opportunity because, as a 2nd, you don’t have the same responsibilities as the main Photographer. For example, you don’t have to worry about getting a shot of the kiss during the ceremony, that is the job of the Primary. You can look for more creative shots, like the one showing how tall the trees are in the ceremony area. And depending upon where the Bridesmaids and Groomsmen are getting ready, this will decide whether the 2nd Photographer is going to capture the Groomsmen getting ready or just get candids. In this case they were in separate hotels, so I was given the task of capturing the guys getting ready. One of the challenges in doing this is when you have several Groomsmen in a small hotel room. And with guys, the room can be a little messy. So the challenge is to not show that mess in the background of the pictures. You do the best that you can, but sometimes it is impossible. Once the guys are finished dressing the final duty is to do formal shots of the Groom and his Groomsmen. After I got the formal shots out of the way the men wanted to pose in the “album cover” style. Many times I will ask them what they may want to do, and this is the result. So with the formal shots done we all head to the ceremony site. And many times the Bride wants to do a “First Glance”. Where the Groom will see the Bride in her dress for the first time. The Primary covers this and I just get some candids. If there is time the 2nd may try to do some posed shots of his own, but only if there is time.
At the ceremony the 2nd may use a telephoto lens. Here I am using my 70mm to 200mm. This lens has a long “throw” which allows me to capture subjects at a distance as witnessed by the Bride & her Father. One of the responsibilities of the 2nd is to get a reaction shot of the groom. Using a telephoto allows me to get a nice shot without him knowing it. From here on out it is the Primary’s job to get all of the main shots, unless you have discussed otherwise. And as you can see by the last image I have set up to show the overall perspective of the scene as the Primary is running to get in position for the kiss.
- side note, there would have been more pictures of the ceremony, but it only lasted 10 minutes.