how to find a quality second shooter photographer for a wedding

Choosing a second shooter for your wedding day is no easy task. There are so many things to consider, and finding someone who will both fit well with your photography and bring something new to the table can be tricky. Luckily, I’ve put together this comprehensive guide on finding a great second shooter for your wedding photography needs!


Find a photographer who has a strong portfolio.

A strong portfolio is the best way to find a quality second-shooter photographer for your wedding. Look for a photographer who has experience with wedding photography and whose work shows that they know how to capture posed and candid moments. A good portfolio will also include images of various styles and locations, as well as different lighting conditions (daytime, night).

If possible, look at the photographer’s personal website or social media accounts so you can get an idea of their personality before contacting them directly (you may even see some behind-the-scenes photos!). This will help ensure that your personalities are compatible before signing on with anyone!

Look for a portfolio that has a variety of both posed and candid moments.

Look for a portfolio that has a variety of both posed and candid moments. A photographer who only shoots posed portraits is not going to be a good fit for your wedding day! The best photographers will have an eye for capturing natural moments, as well as the more formal ones.

Also, look at the styles shown in their portfolios–are they mostly traditional? Modern? Black-and-white? Colorful? Do they use props or backdrops often? Are many different locations used in their images (cityscapes versus beaches), or does every shot look like it was taken at home base? You want someone who can adapt their style based on your needs and preferences, so ensure you get this information from them when speaking with potential candidates about their work experience and style preferences before hiring them for your big day!


Get recommendations from friends who have used their second shooters.

If you have friends who have used a second shooter, ask them what they liked and didn’t like about the photographer. They’ll be able to tell you how the photographer worked with them and whether or not they would recommend him/her to others.

If your friend had a good experience with their second shooter, ask them if they would use him/her again for future events such as birthdays, anniversaries, etc. If so then you know that this is someone who does quality work and will likely do well at your wedding too!


Ask about their experience with wedding photography and what they can offer you regarding services, gear, and expertise.

When you’re looking for a second shooter, you’ll want to ensure they have the right experience and expertise. Ask them how long they’ve been doing this, their specialty, and what gear they use. You can also ask them if they have any recommendations for other photographers who might be able to help out with more specific needs (such as engagement photos or maternity sessions).


Make sure they understand your vision.

It’s important to know your vision and find a photographer who understands it. Ask about their experience with the style of photography you are looking for, as well as their approach to a wedding day. It’s also good to ask if they have any experience with the type of wedding you’re planning (i.e., destination weddings). You must also do your part in figuring out how to communicate what you do, how you do it, and the expectation you desire. You can’ have the best 2nd photographer and be a poor leader. You must have clarity in your own business in order to get the results you want from your 2nd photographer!

Look for a photographer who is well versed in lighting, posing and editing.

  • Lighting. A good photographer knows how to use natural light and artificial lighting to their advantage. Natural lighting is free, but it’s unpredictable and often can’t be controlled. Artificial lighting is expensive, but you can control its direction, intensity and duration–and it creates beautiful shadows that add depth and dimension to your photos.
  • Posing. Good posing helps your subject look relaxed and natural in front of the camera instead of stiff or awkward (which would make for less-than-stellar photos). It also makes sure that everyone looks their best–for example, if someone has an awkward profile angle when they’re standing up straight with their shoulders back then they’ll look even worse if they slouch forward! Some photographers even specialize solely in posing because they know how important it is for creating flattering shots every time out there on set!
  • Editing/retouching services offered by some photographers may include: removing blemishes; slimming down thighs/belly fat; removing wrinkles around eyes & mouth area; whitening teeth & brightening overall complexion…and more depending on what kind of package deal you decide upon before booking them!


Be sure they are comfortable with you having creative control.

While it’s important that you feel comfortable with your photographer, it’s also vital that they are able to communicate with you. They need to be able to listen and collaborate with you on the shots you want.

If they are not open-minded enough, then it will be difficult for them to capture all of the moments that matter on your wedding day.

Research their portfolio and make sure it fits with your style of photography.

When you’re looking for a photographer, it’s important to make sure that their work fits with your style of photography. If you like bright and colorful photos, don’t hire someone whose portfolio contains mostly black-and-white images.

Some photographers specialize in capturing specific moments or events (weddings, portraits and family photos), while others focus on still life compositions and landscapes. Some photographers may offer all three types of services under one roof–but if yours doesn’t offer what you need? Don’t worry! There are plenty of other options out there for finding exactly what works best for your needs at an affordable price point.

So where do I find a quality 2nd photographer?

Remember, you must have clarity on what you are looking for in a 2nd shooter. Approach looking for one with a plan!


With these tips, you’ll be able to find a great second shooter!

  • Check out their work. You can look at their website, Instagram account or Facebook page. If they don’t have any work up, it might be a red flag that they aren’t serious about photography and may not take your wedding seriously either.

  • Ask them how long they’ve been shooting weddings and what kind of experience they have with them. This will give you an idea of how comfortable they are with the process and what kind of results to expect from them on your big day!

Now that you have the tools to find a quality second shooter, it’s time to get started! Take some time to look through their portfolio and see if they’re a good fit for your wedding. If not, don’t worry–there are plenty of other photographers out there who can help make your day special.

Coming soon – questions to ask a 2nd photographer and how to create an onboarding program for full-time 2nd shooters and associates!