Second Photographers

Groom Prep

In addition to candids and family portraits that you will take during the groom preparation portion of the wedding day, I request that you take a couple of "Standard shots" that encompass Lefebvre Photo's style.  These are required shots, with some minor exceptions that I will review with you on a case by case basis.  You can begin by photographing any details: shoes, tie, bowtie, cufflinks, etc. with the exception of the rings (which Danielle will photograph).  Once the Groom is ready to get dressed, find a window or door that has good light and place the Groom where the natural light is hitting him softly in the face.  If the light is too bright you may need to place him farther back from the window or pull the sheers closed on the window.  Turn off any competing lamps or overhead lights so that the color temperature is solely from the natural light.  Don't be afraid to direct the Groom as he is getting ready and turn him as needed towards the natural light.  Ask a Groomsmen / Best Man / Dad or Mom to help the Groom with his jacket, tie, etc. making sure that the groom's face is always facing the window. End with some groom portraits as shown below.  They can be either sitting or standing (or both), but should remain casual.  Shoot on 1.2 - 2.0, with focus on the Groom's eye(s)... The wider the aperture the better!

 

Job Management

  • Keep copies of all of your contracts so you know which dates you are booked for.

Wedding Prep

  • Clean all equipment lenses
  • Time-sync all of your camera's before each wedding
  • Format all cards that you will use, and log them out using a numbering system so that when you return from the wedding, you know you have all of your cards.
  • Bring an extra change of clothes in case you spill something on your outfit, or for any other number of reasons.

  • Make sure your camera is set to shoot in RAW not JPEG

Attire

  • It goes without saying, that you are expected to be kind and patient with the clients and all of the guests throughout each wedding.  I also expect you to dress professionally in a manner that represents Lefebvre Photo
    • Black or muted colors (earth tones)
    • Black and/or professional looking shoes (No flip flops, sneakers, etc.)

Arriving Early & Problems Getting to the Wedding

  • Google Maps:  If you don’t have it already, you should download google maps to your phone.  If for any reason you were to have problems with your car (breakdown, flat tire, etc.), you can drop a pin on google maps for your location and send the pin to anyone (it’s really spectacular).  That way, the other photographer working with you that day (potentially), can pick you up wherever you are to get you to your assigned wedding location.
  • Setup Uber on your phone: In the event that the other photographer will not be able to pick you up, for whatever reason, UBER will be able to pick you up and take you to your destination.
  • GPS: You should have two forms of GPS in your car, if not one GPS and one set of printed directions.  I have had times where the GPS on my phone doesn’t want to work because of available reception, etc.
  • Phone: Have your phone charged and on (but on vibrate) before and during the wedding and consider getting a car charger so that I can get hold of you at any time.
  • Arrive early!  If start time is 3:00, that means you should be showing up at least 15-20 minutes before 3:00.  In general, I plan to be at least an hour early to every wedding.  This gives me time (if needed) to find parking, get something to eat, relax and gather my thoughts, review the B&G questionnaire, and put together my equipment.  More importantly it ensures that I will still be on time if I get in a car accident, get a flat tire, get stuck in traffic, or get lost.

Shot List & Expected Image Count:

  • We have a shot-list of photographs that are easily forgotten on a wedding day.  You will find this at the end of the wedding questionnaire.  Katherine will have this list with her at every wedding and it will be each photographers responsibility (including myself) to check-in with Katherine during dinner (while guests are eating) to check off any shots that were already taken as well as take mental note of any shots that still need to be taken.  
  • Quantity: While I certainly value quality over quantity, I know that for myself, I am generally selective about what I shoot and I delete bad photos as I go and I still roughly end up with 1300 shots for a 6 hour wedding.  I feel it is better to shoot now and delete later, so I generally expect second photographers to shoot a minimum of 900-1000 photos for a 6 hour wedding.

  • Memory cards: Please hand me your memory cards as you fill them up during a wedding

  • Now that Katherine has joined us as an assistant, she will be the person helping to organize group formals during portrait hour.  This will allow the second photographers to photograph all of the reception details.  Starting this year, I would like, in a addition to the required reception shots, for the second photographers to capture really awesome full-room reception shots using available/ambient light.  Once reception shots are complete, you can join me in shooting the B&G portraits.

Managing Client Expectations

  • If you are shooting on your own (without me), and the client asks you to take a specific photo that you know is not going to come out, whether it be because of the lighting or backgrounds, etc. - First, try to take the photo.  Second, suggest another setup that may work better.  Third, if it doesn’t work out, please tell them.  There is nothing wrong with admitting that something isn’t working the way the clients expect.  Remember YOU are the expert and as such you need to keep them informed and manage their expectations.  This is what I will typically say to a client if I know something isn’t working: “Well, I don’t think this is going to work out because it is a little too bright over here, but we will try it out anyway, and if it doesn’t work out, then at least we tried.”.  That way when and if we do not deliver that specific photo that they asked for, they are not disappointed or upset.

The Don'ts

  • Get in the main photographers line of sight or stand right behind the main photographer
  • Use flash unless it is necessary
  • Forget that everything you do is a reflection of Lefebvre Photo
  • Chew gum
  • Offer your services to the clients / hand out personal business card
  • Check your phone in front of guests
  • Drink
  • Complain to guests
  • Eat cocktail hour food (unless given permission)
  • Look bored
  • Stop taking photos if you're uninspired
  • Talk too much to clients, a little bit is okay, but no horror stories or long conversations
  • Spend the day offering too much unsolicited advice

The Do's

  • Be aware of how many photos are left on your CF card and the level of your battery power... Be Prepared, and don't give reason to stop
  • Stay busy
  • Look busy at all times
  • Shoot the wedding like it was your own...and you had to edit it
  • Be creative
  • Make eye contact with the lead photographer often

 

Shots you are responsible for

Prep

  • Groom portraits by a window (Groom full body, groom half-body)
  • Groom getting dressed: Putting on his tie, getting help typing tie, doing hair, helping his dad w/ boutonniere or tie
  • Groomsmen portraits if possible (make sure jackets look neat, ask them to unbutton their jackets when necessary)
  • Groom shoes, socks, cuff links, groomsmen gifts, boutonniere, the entire process of the Groom opening his gift from the Bride (his reaction, and the actual gift)
  • Groomsmen hanging out (candids).  Try to get some nice candids of each person present.

Ceremony

  • Artistic shot of the program, put one in your bag so we can take some additional shots later
  • Ceremony details (flowers, candle, etc.)
  • The Grooms reaction when he sees the Bride for the first time
  • The giving away of the Bride to the Groom by her father
  • All parents
  • All readers
  • The guests
  • Groomsmen Standing / Bridesmaids Standing
  • Work the wings of the ceremony: while I am in the aisle, I want you to capture side angles of BOTH the Bride and the Grooms face
  • The Kiss & B&G walking back down the aisle

First Look

  • Capture everything

Portraits (You may be asked to either stay for portraits or shoot cocktail/reception details)

  • Capture candid moments during portraits
  • Flower girl basket
  • Bridal and Bridesmaids bouquets

Cocktail Hour

  • As many as 50 couple or group portraits as well as lots of candids!!!!!!
  • Wide angle shot of the environment

Reception Details

  • Centerpeices
  • Entire table shot from table level, eye-level and birds-eye
  • Full room shots
  • Cake & Cake cutting Utensils
  • Toasting Flutes
  • Placecards / Seating Chart
  • Individual Place settings

Announcements

  • Capture everything

Toasts

  • Focus on the toast givers... don't worry about the B&G's reactions
  • Guest reactions
  • Be prepared for the hug or kiss at the end

First Dance, Parent Dances

  • Wide shots only, that include the room and guests reactions
  • Be prepared for a twirl or a dip (I shoot with my 85mm, so it is sometimes difficult for me to capture these).  I will get all of the tight shots.
  • Be prepared for the hug or kiss at the end

Cake Cutting

  • Capture everything