Generally, a photographer that does second shooting work in weddings and events are either students, new photographers or junior team members for a company. There are many second shooters who work to build their portfolio and experience. There are also photographers who simply like to shoot and not have the stress of being the main photographer. There’s a bit of everything. I tend to break the rules. I did assist photographers for many years before I decided to jump head first into being a professional photographer. This was over ten years ago. I still occasionally assist other photographers. Why? I think that there is always something to learn. If I assist the best baby photographer, I know that I will learn a lot about babies, posing them, working with parents, props, backgrounds, locations etc.
Second shooting is by far one of the most fun experiences any photographer could at any point in their career. Your ego should never be too big for a learning experience.
I have for the past 8 years, met and collaborated with so many amazing people. Second shooting for other photographers, assisting other photographers, is something I still do to this day. Because I want to. I want to learn, I want to share my knowledge, I want to shoot next to a colleague I admire, I want to see how they work, and I want to continue shooting weddings, second shooting and assisting. Because I can. Everyday I meet people who want to work with me. I’m humbled.
If anything, I want to be able to work and provide work for many professionals. My dream has always been to be part of a team, a project or a community of professionals. This is why I love being a part of Fearless Photographers and their second shooters chapter as well.
There a few posts of me working with other photographers here.
I encourage all professional photographers to find a mentor, work with other photographer, assist other photographers. Do not let your EGO, your years of experience in the business deprive you of learning new things. Or at the very least, making new friends!