Marissa Eileen Photography » Columbus, Ohio Wedding & Engagement Photographer

3 Ways to Get Second Shooting Gigs | Tip Tuesday | No. 1

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So today is Tip Tuesday! These blog posts will be written for photographers and will mainly be about the business side of photography. If you have a question or a topic that you would like me to cover on a future Tip Tuesday be sure to send an email to

For this post I will be talking all about how to get second shooting gigs for weddings. In case you’re not familiar with the term second shooter or as I prefer to call it, second photographer, then I will explain it. A second photographer is someone who shoots the wedding along with the main/primary photographer. The second photographer is working for the primary and follows their lead and direction. It is very common nowadays for a couple to request a second photographer for their wedding day.

So when I decided that I wanted to dip my toes into wedding photography I heard that second shooting was a great way to get started and to build your wedding portfolio. But how do you go about getting those gigs? Here’s some suggestions for you!

  1. Do your research and find some local photographers whose work you like. Then send them an email, give them a call, or if they have a studio you may be able to even stop by in person. Tell them something specific that you admire about their work or their business. This way they see that you are writing to them and didn’t just send a mass email to a bunch of photographers. Then focus on how hiring you will benefit them. There can be a lot of competition for second shooting gigs so this is very important! Tell them about how hiring you will help make the wedding day easier on them.┬áIf you’re really new into wedding photography and very eager to learn or if you’re having trouble finding second shooting opportunities try asking about assisting or even third shooting. If you’re assisting you most likely won’t be taking very many, if any photos at all, but you will be able to see how the photographer shoots and learn the flow of a wedding day. Another option is third shooting. Some wedding photography businesses have two photographers that always shoot the wedding day together, for instance there are a lot of husband and wife teams. For businesses like that see if they will let you come along as a third shooter. This likely won’t be a paid position but would allow you to gain experience and images for your portfolio.
  2. Look for local photography groups that you can get involved in, even local Facebook groups are a great place to start. You can see if there is a “Tuesdays Together” group for your city by searching here. There are other groups for second shooters as well. I recommend using the search function on Facebook to find groups local to your region.
  3. There are also a couple of websites which primary photographers can use to look for second shooters. Such as I don’t have any personal experience with sites like this but it is another option you may want to look into.

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