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Is second shooting detrimental to your own success?
  
 
shaunmcfd
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Is second shooting detrimental to your own success?


As I sit here drinking Sapporo, pondering life.....

I occasionally second shoot for a pretty popular wedding photog in my area. When I do I never tell someone I am my own photography company (which I do have). I always tell them I am ----- ----- Photography (the main shooter I am with). I don't do it because I need the money, I do it to help them out, get experience, and learn more. I am a REALTOR and have a successful photography business myself. Often I will see someone at a wedding that I know and they automatically assume I am the one commissioned to shoot the wedding. Out of respect to the main shooter, I always let them know I am working for them that night. So far I have not had anyone from a wedding I second shot contact me to shoot theirs and if they do in the future I have no clue what I would say. I don't post my shots from when I second shoot because the main shooter wants their watermark if I edit and post. Personally, I'm not shooting, editing, and then putting someone else's watermark on "my" photo. The main knows exactly how I feel about that and has no issue with it whatsoever. Me and the main shooter are great friends and I do not look forward to the day that someone from a wedding we shot together contacts me to shoot theirs and I have to make that decision. Maybe I am overthinking it but your opinion is appreciated.



Nov 04, 2017 at 01:44 AM
glort
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Is second shooting detrimental to your own success?


shaunmcfd wrote:
When I do I never tell someone I am my own photography company (which I do have). I always tell them I am ----- ----- Photography (the main shooter I am with). I don't do it because I need the money, I do it to help them out, get experience, and learn more. I am a REALTOR and have a successful photography business myself.


I don't get this.
If you have your own photo business, you are only XYZ photography when you are working for them. When you are not on a job, you are YOUR photo company.
If you needed experience that much, how are you able to have your own photo business?

I have never second shot, wasn't a thing when I was starting out but I used to work for other studios frequently. Same thing. Someone asks me for a card when I am covering their Job I work for them. When I'm out socialising or meet someone in the street. I'm MY photo business.
People I worked for had no issue with that at all.

I worked for a studio for a long time and the deal from the start was, when you are shooting for us you give out our cards not your own. Seemed fair to me.
A relative of a guy I worked for one time put me to the test on a job. Was pushing me for my details and I just told him, here's the studio card, if you want me specifically book the job with them, ask for me and if I am available for the date I'll shoot it if i'm not already booked with my own work. He was angling for price and cut them out. I ended that by laughing and saying I charged heaps more than the other guy did ( which as true) and if he wanted me, the cheapest way to get me was through them.
He told the guy I was working for he really pushed me and how loyal I was. I know of 2 other guy that were also put the same proposal. ( the studio owner was Italian and had a lot of friends and relatives) and they gave out their own info. The guy didn't get rid of them but he did talk to them and he and I had the best working relationship ever. He knew he could trust me and I got a lot out of that in return.

The guy helped me a LOT. I was never going to go against our agreement or piss on him for anything, especially undermining him on a wedding job.


I do not look forward to the day that someone from a wedding we shot together contacts me to shoot theirs and I have to make that decision. Maybe I am overthinking it but your opinion is appreciated.

Well You'll probably know where that client came from.
If the referral comes from the other guys job, you give him there details and your name and let them book through him and ask for you. As a 2nd shooter, I'm not sure why they would do that but it's what I have done. If the guy you shoot for is booked he will probably flick it to you and you'll further his trust and respect for you in the process.

I don't mean to be rude but I really don't understand your quandry.
It's just a fing wedding. It's not like doing it or not means shit financially. I don't know why you would think there is more than one course of action in that situation or a decision to be made. .
Then again, as many here will attest to, I'm a dinosaur. As part of that, I believe in loyalty and my word. Don't get me wrong, I'm as dodgy and bent as they come however, I don't burn people that have done the right thing by me and I keep my word unless someone gives me good reason not to.

Money is worthless to me in this context. What I could earn from a wedding is not worth screwing anyone over for that has helped me and certainly not a friend.
Put the shoe on the other foot. If someone asked your friend if they knew a realtor and they recommended someone else because they would give them say $100 or even $1000 Kick back, how would you feel?

I'm the biggest bastard on 2 legs but I have my own standards for myself to live with let alone anyone else.
Burning people that have gone out on a limb to help me and friends that have only ever done the right thing by me is something I value and unless enough money is on the table I can go back to them and pay off their house or make them wealthy so we both benefit, I'm not going to do the dirty on them.

Burning someone for a lousy wedding job?
Whatever they could say or do to me would be nothing compared to how much of a low life and embarrassment I'd feel myself when I came to my senses of what I'd done.




Nov 04, 2017 at 10:19 AM
mirrorrim
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Is second shooting detrimental to your own success?


I'm a little confused because you say you already have your own successful photography business, but you are asking if second shooting is hurting your success? I imagine it would only hurt you if you were wanting to book more main gigs, but were accepting too many second shooting jobs...which is an easy problem to fix. And since so far no one has ever recognized you at a wedding and then wanted to hire you later, you have not run into that problem either, so what do you think is hurting your success?

Second shooting has helped me immensely and definitely lead to a more successful business. I learned, earned experience, grew my portfolio, and made professional connections with not only the primary shooter, but the other wedding vendors. That expanded my networking world to various local FB groups where I got to know more people, connected with others and worked with them, and it has all snowballed from there. I still second shoot even with my own full-time wedding schedule to keep my connections active, make some money, have some fun in a low-pressure situation, etc. In fact, the few photographers I know who for some reason do not want to participate in networking/making friendships are mostly all worse off, working less and making less.

That the main shooter wants you to credit him if you use your photos in your portfolio is extremely common. It's what I require with my seconds and in fact, you could have an even worse deal! Plenty of main shooters are very strict and say you can't use the photos at all. They hired you, they own the work, that's how it goes. It makes sense if you think about it not as "my" photo, but as "If I use this photo in my portfolio, are people going to think this was "my" wedding that a couple entrusted me to photograph?" This is usually a concern for newbie photographers who want to look more legit to clients, but similar to you I never use my second shooting images in my portfolio--simply because I don't need to. I have plenty of my own work to show off. Not because I don't want some other person's name on the photo.

The part about someone knowing you from outside photography and seeing you working a wedding and then wanting to hire you: you are doing the right thing to refer them to the main's company while at the wedding. Giving your info out while working for someone else is a huge no no. Outside the wedding, it's professional courtesy to refer them back to the main, because the main earned their place at this wedding, but presumably the acquaintance will say "yeah ok whatever but I know you let's work together." After that I think it's ok. Since your main is a good friend, I would bring it up with them. Perhaps they'll be horrified, perhaps they'll be ok with it. Personally I think the relationship is waaaay more important than a hypothetical client.




Nov 04, 2017 at 01:55 PM
LeeSimms
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Is second shooting detrimental to your own success?


While second shooting hopefully you can get closer to the craft without worrying about a lot of business details


Nov 04, 2017 at 03:05 PM
shaunmcfd
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Is second shooting detrimental to your own success?


It was all just questions and I wanted your opinions, which I got. Iím a realtor also so a successful photography business to me is more than likely completely different than it is to a full time photog. I guess Iím just thinking Iím the future in the event something should come up which likely wonít.


Nov 04, 2017 at 03:13 PM
pendennis
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Is second shooting detrimental to your own success?


This was covered in my college days during business ethics discussions.

When in another person's employ, regardless the business, you can't ever hype your own business, regardless the context. If you are friends with a guest in attendance, simply ask them to contact you the next day.

You have a contract with the other studio, whether written or oral, and you have an ethical obligation to honor that agreement.

As to someone approaching you when you're the second shooter, it's not unethical for you to ask them to contact you outside the current venue. If a guest asks for their business card, you have to honor that.

I second shot a number of weddings in the 1970's, before I got going on my own. There was never a question about images. I gave the main photog the undeveloped film before we wrapped up the gig.

Yes, I did get jobs from contact at another event, but I never discussed at the venue. I asked them to contact me at another time. They just had to commit my phone number to memory.

It's only proper to maintain a good relationship with your employer. I got several leads from the main photographer, especially when they couldn't shoot a job because of conflicting dates. By the same token, I always referred potential customers to them when I had a conflict.



Nov 04, 2017 at 03:48 PM
3catsinky
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Is second shooting detrimental to your own success?


i 2nd shoot quite a bit. I do it, because I really love the people I shoot for. We're friends, we have a fun day, I make money, less stress than shooting my own gig, and it's a great change of pace from shooting video. It allows me to work on my other creative skills with lighting and composition.


Nov 04, 2017 at 09:21 PM
 

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level1photog
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Is second shooting detrimental to your own success?


I have never second shoot for someone before. Like you, I have full time 6 figures job so second shooting jobs are not worthwhile pursuits compared to to doing my own wedding now or doing OT. Time is money so I rather spend it family if I'm not shooting my own gig and earning more. I've gained more experience from shooting my own weddings, and learning from master photographers than shooting for someone else. Most of the portfolio worthy shot are from lead photographer not second.

Addition to the low pay, most second jobs require you to relinquish all your rights including posting on blog, portfolio use, social media to promote your own brand.

I once had the opportunity to second shoot & lead shooter for a very popular photographer in my area but I turned it down for the above reason. I would be very busy just second shooting/lead shooting, but I would neglect my family, and have no rights to those photos, can't call off. I am much happier doing a handful weddings and have control of creative process from start to finish and have time for family.

It also get messy when you are in the same market and someone prefer your style and price more than the one you contracted with. We just refer clients to each other instead.




Nov 05, 2017 at 06:11 PM
JacobsLadder
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Is second shooting detrimental to your own success?


I've done quite a bit of 2nd shooting - when starting out as well as when established. I'd help friends out and they'd help me out when schedules allowed. I was asked plenty of times at weddings for my business card, or more info on services etc. A lot of people don't know there is a primary and 2nd shooter so will just approach the guy with the camera. I either just handed them the primary photog's biz card or suggested they speak directly with him/her sometime during the day. I've actually never been approached outside of a wedding by someone that was at a wedding I 2nd shot, so I think you may be concerned about nothing. But regardless, if it should happen I think Glort's and mirror's suggestions and advice are golden in this area.


Nov 06, 2017 at 04:44 PM
Mikehit
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Is second shooting detrimental to your own success?


+1 for Gort.
I work in a contract company and we follow the same principles - while on a job we are the representatives of the people paying our fees, not there to sell our own independent services. When a.n.other guest asks you for contact details are they asking for your details or the details of the 'photographer in charge' (ie the one who hired you)?
What you need to think about is if the guest contacts the main photographer and asks for you by name, when you are doing that next shoot what do you do when someone asks about your services. The link to the primary photographers is starting to get less direct - and if they asked for you personally it means they like the way *you* work and you may feel more inclined to hand out your own business card.

You have not said what area your photography business covers - if it is not weddings then this is all probably moot because not matter how you approach it you will not be a threat to your colleague.



Nov 06, 2017 at 06:15 PM
hardlyboring
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Is second shooting detrimental to your own success?


I dont think 2nd shooting is ever bad.
I have 2nd shot probably more weddings than I have shot under our business name and I have been doing weddings for 11 years now.
Great way to learn new things, try new things, meet new people/ network, and make easy money.
I don't 2nd much anymore because I don't have a ton of time and not many people in my area now need 2nds but I am never opposed to it.
I hope to 2nd a few times next year with some of my friends on the west coast to get a bit of variety as far as asian/indian weddings etc. and also to explore some more of my BW work etc.



Nov 06, 2017 at 06:27 PM
Ziffl3
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Is second shooting detrimental to your own success?


^^^^^^^ this.....




Nov 06, 2017 at 07:53 PM
pasblues
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Is second shooting detrimental to your own success?


shaunmcfd wrote:
As I sit here drinking Sapporo, pondering life.....

I occasionally second shoot for a pretty popular wedding photog in my area. When I do I never tell someone I am my own photography company (which I do have). I always tell them I am ----- ----- Photography (the main shooter I am with). I don't do it because I need the money, I do it to help them out, get experience, and learn more. I am a REALTOR and have a successful photography business myself. Often I will see someone at a wedding that I know and they automatically assume I
...Show more

Second shooting is a great time to experiment with a few situations. I admire that you are respectful and humble on second shoots. That's great karma.

Because you have already revealed your personality, I predict you are going to have less problem than this than you think. If someone contacts you to shoot their wedding and you did nothing to solicit that at another shooter's wedding, then you get to pitch to that client on the merits of weddings that you did do yourself on your own. You're good. It's a very hard business to find trustworthy colleagues but those relationships are more important in the long run.



Nov 06, 2017 at 08:21 PM
form
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Is second shooting detrimental to your own success?


I would never go into a second shooter job thinking I'm going to get independent work from someone else I meet there. Instead, I hope that, if I do well at my job, I will continue to get to work with that (or another by referral/reputation/etc.) photographer.

I find second shooting beneficial to me for a few other reasons: Less stress, less demanding, less need to be in charge, the pay is good, don't have to do much/any work after the photos are captured (little or no editing). It also allows for practicing other things you might not normally get to practice or focus on as main photographer, like different angles and so forth. Or...vice versa, you might get the basic/core shots while the main handles more artistic ideas and you get to watch/learn a little.

I have still shot far more weddings for myself than seconding for someone else, but I often prefer second shooting.



Nov 12, 2017 at 07:43 PM







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