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Archive 2012 · What's the best way to get the word out that you're avail...
  
 
Deebo
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · What's the best way to get the word out that you're available as an assistant/second shooter?


I'm looking to get into wedding photography and would like to get my feet wet by assisting and being the second shooter in a dozen or so weddings. A lot of photographers see someone like me as potential competition so they tend to avoid me like the plague when all I wanna to is learn and get experience. What's the best way to get the experience I need to be able to do this successfully?

TIA

Lekan



Jul 02, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Scott Mosher
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · What's the best way to get the word out that you're available as an assistant/second shooter?


I'm on a couple groups on FB for 2nd shooters/area photographer/etc. I've also volunteered to carry gear and watch the pro shoot. After a couple times they've brought me on to 2nd shoot


Jul 02, 2012 at 06:41 PM
friscoron
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · What's the best way to get the word out that you're available as an assistant/second shooter?



There's no easy answer. You have to beat the pavement, and accept you're going to hear "no" and "go away" a lot, and keep moving forward. You may want to offer to assist for free, in exchange for the experience, but be prepared to do a bang-up job so you can get invited back.



Jul 02, 2012 at 06:41 PM
D. Diggler
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · What's the best way to get the word out that you're available as an assistant/second shooter?


Deebo wrote:
A lot of photographers see someone like me as potential competition so they tend to avoid me like the plague when all I wanna to is learn and get experience.


All you wanna do is get experience. What are your plans, then, after you get that experience if it's not to be "potential competition"?



Jul 02, 2012 at 07:00 PM
TTLKurtis
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · What's the best way to get the word out that you're available as an assistant/second shooter?


It's not that they see you as competition it's that they do not see noobies as competent.


Jul 02, 2012 at 07:06 PM
ai3x
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · What's the best way to get the word out that you're available as an assistant/second shooter?


Don't email people and ask to help. Email them and ask if you can buy them coffee/chat. Then ask to second, if they say yes then keep hounding them every month until they let you.

Personally taking on a second/assistant is a risk. I need to know that they're not going to damage my brand and the best way to do that is by meeting up/chatting. Secondly, I'm busy and quickly forget who wants to shoot with me. If you keep hounding me then chances are when a spot turns up you'll be top of the mind.



Jul 02, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Deebo
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · What's the best way to get the word out that you're available as an assistant/second shooter?


friscoron wrote:
There's no easy answer. You have to beat the pavement, and accept you're going to hear "no" and "go away" a lot, and keep moving forward. You may want to offer to assist for free, in exchange for the experience, but be prepared to do a bang-up job so you can get invited back.


I'm okay with that. If that's how it's done, I'm ok with grinding. I just wanted to see if there were any other ways of getting the word out there.

D. Diggler wrote:
All you wanna do is get experience. What are your plans, then, after you get that experience if it's not to be "potential competition"?


I see your point but who says that if I learn and get experience from you, I won't send business your way when the time comes? If I assist, or am taken on as a 2nd shooter, and I eventually go off on my own, I'm sure I'm not gonna be able to take on every job that comes my way. I will, however, be able to refer the potential client to someone I'm confident will be able to deliver top notch work.......the person who helped teach me what I know.



Jul 02, 2012 at 07:26 PM
whtrbt7
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · What's the best way to get the word out that you're available as an assistant/second shooter?


That's a capital attitude. I would take you to 2nd or 3rd. Some photographers take on interns to help teach and expand. I'm of that same school. It's just unfortunate you're in Milwaukee. Maybe I can still help though.


Jul 02, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Allan Summers
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · What's the best way to get the word out that you're available as an assistant/second shooter?


-Attend a workshop and network with your classmates.
-Facebook groups



Jul 02, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Robin Usagani
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · What's the best way to get the word out that you're available as an assistant/second shooter?


Shoot good and become an assistant first. I carried and hold stuff all day.


Jul 02, 2012 at 09:39 PM
 

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whtrbt7
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · What's the best way to get the word out that you're available as an assistant/second shooter?


I think for theory, workshops and classes are good but actually honing skill and learning the process is equally or more important. What workshops and classes won't give you is an experience in what is really done as a photographer. I've never been to art school or any kind of formal photography training but from what I hear, they don't really equip students to go out there and establish businesses or develop their skills. An internship is normally what is required to get people to actively seek out/flesh out if this business is for them. I'm a business school person so a lot of times I'm not the person that you would go to in order to learn about the "art" of photography or the finer points of photography. I don't claim to be artistic, I just run a business and help people get connected to quality photography that inspires them.

Being a 2nd shooter already assumes that you know what you're doing. Being an intern means that you may not know what you're doing and require assistance. Being a business owner means that you actively seek to learn what you don't already know. I choose 2nd shooters from interns and I choose interns from pools of people that either like my methodology or have a desire to learn and apply. If you're looking for photography training, I suggest either reading the manual or googling photography stuff. Owning a camera doesn't make you a good photographer or a good business owner.



Jul 02, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Deebo
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · What's the best way to get the word out that you're available as an assistant/second shooter?


whtrbt7 wrote:
I think for theory, workshops and classes are good but actually honing skill and learning the process is equally or more important. What workshops and classes won't give you is an experience in what is really done as a photographer. I've never been to art school or any kind of formal photography training but from what I hear, they don't really equip students to go out there and establish businesses or develop their skills. An internship is normally what is required to get people to actively seek out/flesh out if this business is for them. I'm a business school person
...Show more

I absolutely agree with this. I'd like to pick your brain a bit about the business side of things.



Jul 03, 2012 at 12:10 AM
pinktutu
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · What's the best way to get the word out that you're available as an assistant/second shooter?


Networking should get your foot in the door. See if there are any meet ups happening in your area, or search Facebook for any groups in your city/state. People generally don't respond well to being asked by someone they don't know, like in an email or phone call. But if you approach them while you guys are meeting up and make a good first impression, you can pursue the connection more successfully. That's how I got started second shooting after I graduated with my photography degree and moved to a new state; I just typed some keywords on google, got a hit for a meet up that just started, went there the next month and met tons of friendly photographers. Now they know me and I get referred to second shoot for photographers I have never met, and I then get hired due to the referral.

You're right about photography school: there were so many things I had to learn along the way in terms of shooting weddings, ways of seeing through the camera and in the way I did business. Now I do my best to help out the ones who helped me get started/continue to help me by referring leads for weddings or possible second shooting for others that I am unavailable to do myself. The sharing is caring mentality really works for me.



Jul 03, 2012 at 12:25 AM
whtrbt7
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · What's the best way to get the word out that you're available as an assistant/second shooter?


No problem! Just PM me or pop questions on the forum. The forums are excellent sources of information but you'll have to filter through a lot of opinions and then form your own. It's always good to have more photographers that produce quality content.


Jul 03, 2012 at 02:10 AM
DavidCZ
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · What's the best way to get the word out that you're available as an assistant/second shooter?


Become an assistant first. Watch, observe and learn.

Then second shoot for at least ten weddings. Accumulate enough portfolios and you are good to go as a main.



Jul 03, 2012 at 06:23 AM
SloPhoto
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · What's the best way to get the word out that you're available as an assistant/second shooter?


I understand your struggle.

I want to assist/second to improve my skill, not become a primary (I am a UI/software developer by day and love my job). Finding a way to express that in a way that a potential mentor would understand.... darn near impossible.

I would listen to the people here first, but my only advice would be to find a way to make it beneficial to them to bring you on and mentor you.



Jul 03, 2012 at 07:46 AM
marti.g3
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · What's the best way to get the word out that you're available as an assistant/second shooter?


Deebo wrote:
I'm okay with that. If that's how it's done, I'm ok with grinding. I just wanted to see if there were any other ways of getting the word out there.

I see your point but who says that if I learn and get experience from you, I won't send business your way when the time comes? If I assist, or am taken on as a 2nd shooter, and I eventually go off on my own, I'm sure I'm not gonna be able to take on every job that comes my way. I will, however, be able to refer the potential
...Show more

Lots of "ifs" and "maybe's" in your last paragraph. Why is someone going to take the time to "teach" you, only to have you leave and become the competition ? It will happen. There's no mystery there.

If you have mad skills already, then show them your website and work. If you are looking to learn on someone else's dime, good luck. Most photographers already have shooters who they trust, produce what they need and have a great relationship with. Why are they going to take a chance on someone they know nothing about ?

YOU have to bring to the table what YOU can offer the photographer, not the other way around. Promises for future referrals are all smoke and mirrors. We hear that all the time and not only from photographers.

I had many years of "people" and Model photography experience before I reluctantly got into the wedding industry. Started as a second based on my real world experience, then moved into main and my own business.

Promises mean nothing from strangers. Best way to learn and see if you have the chops to be successful in wedding photography is to offer to shoot some friends and families weddings for FREE. Get the experience. Advertise on Craigslist, network with acquaintances. Develop your samples, then market yourself, OR just go out on your own. Many shooters here never worked as seconds.




Jul 03, 2012 at 04:24 PM
tobicus
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · What's the best way to get the word out that you're available as an assistant/second shooter?


^ That's true. We basically just struck out on our own after realizing that no one was going to hire a second without any experience. We started with family and portrait photography and then moved into weddings.


Jul 22, 2012 at 12:13 AM
John-Tolentino
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · What's the best way to get the word out that you're available as an assistant/second shooter?


tobicus wrote:
^ That's true. We basically just struck out on our own after realizing that no one was going to hire a second without any experience. We started with family and portrait photography and then moved into weddings.


I'm the same boat as the OP. However, i'm still honing my skills where everything comes naturally before I put myself out there.

as far as second shooting goes I plan to reach out and offer my services to those outside of my city to give em some confident that I won't be much of a threat in their market.



Jul 22, 2012 at 06:54 PM





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