It is safe to say that when I got hired to photograph my very first wedding I was scared witless! Don’t get me wrong, I was really, really excited to shoot a wedding but the pressure was on! With other jobs, like a portrait session or business headshots, you always have a second chance. Sure, it might hurt your reputation and it might cost you a bit of money to do the shoot all over again for a better result, but at a wedding, there are no second chances! You simply cannot miss an important moment, especially during the ceremony. There’s only one chance.
So pretty much one of the very first things I did after booking said wedding, was to go online and write a post in one of Germany’s and Austria’s biggest wedding photographer groups, asking if someone was looking for a second shooter. In all honesty, it was more like asking if someone would be willing to let me tag along, drive them, and / or let me carry their bags the whole day – and oh yes, I could also take photos should they want me to. 😉 It really didn’t matter to me what they would have me do, I simply wanted to gain experience before my first wedding gig.
As luck would have it, Veronika Phillipp, a lovely wedding photographer based near Salzburg, actually took a chance on me and let me tag along with her. Fast forward a year and I have accompanied her to numerous weddings as second shooter and I am also very, very happy to call her my friend.
If you are not a wedding photographer you might ask yourself what the heck a second shooter is. I know it sounds kinda strange at first. 😉
In a nutshell, for weddings with larger wedding parties, or where there is a lot going on, couples often ask if the main photographer would be able to bring a second photographer along, to help capture the day.
As second shooter, I mostly tend to blend in, stay in the background and aim to get as many candid moments as possible, in order to help the main photographer tell a complete story of the wedding day. On these days, there’s not so much focus on portraits and photographing people head on for me, for I am more concentrated on getting candid unposed shots of the bride and groom and the guests. Also, being the second shooter gives me the option to explore different perspectives and lets me play around a little to get more creative shots, which will spice up the client gallery in the end.
This was one of my favorite weddings last year. As mentioned earlier I was there second shooting for Veronika and below are a few of my favorite shots of the ceremony.
The wedding took place in Attersee, a tiny village right next to the eponymous lake and it was a lovely place. Despite it being only about an hour away from my hometown I’d never been to Attersee until then and when I stepped out of the car, about an hour before the wedding was set to start, I had to step back for a moment and take it all in. Sometimes the beauty that is my home country really takes my breath away.
One of the reasons why this wedding is one of my favorites of last year is the fact that it was a wedding full of fun and laughter. Sure, the dress was stunning, the decoration absolutely beautiful and the wedding in general was perfectly planned, but what counts most for me personally, is the atmosphere of the whole day. I want my couples (and their guests obviously) to enjoy their wedding day to the fullest! Big smiles and belly laughs all the way.
The wedding of Miriam and Thomas had all that and so much more!
Thank you Miriam and Thomas for having me and, as always, THANK YOU Veronika for taking a chance on me and letting me work as your second shooter time and time again! If it weren’t for you, I would be nowhere near as confident on a job, as I am now.
If you would like to see the whole wedding day story head over to Veronikas Blog to see her post about the day.