Cheers to Nick & Sandy: My First Time Second Shooting a Wedding!
So, I offer an array of services on this website, from commercial photography, to events, to the classic portrait shoot, and back again. I love doing a bit of everything, and not being tied to any niche (excuse the pun). But I’ve always steered clear of wedding gigs. I imagined that I’d find them a tad overwhelming, and, with plenty of advice to aid my assumption, I do not offer it as an official service. When Sammie asked me to help her shoot, I couldn’t pass up the chance to take photos with none of the responsibility.. There was nothing to lose! Here are my revised thoughts on wedding photography.
About six months ago, my buddy Sammie, a talented photographer and young business owner extraordinaire, popped into my DMs. She’d booked a wedding and needed a trusty sidekick to assist on the big day. Me, the one who had vowed never to dive into the world of weddings, hesitated for a moment. But then, I thought, “Why not? Let’s do this!”. One thing about me, I love to hang out. And so, hang out, we did!
Anticipation and Mixed Emotions:
As the wedding day drew near, I felt a lot of feelings about it. Excitement, nerves, and a touch of anxiety all mingled together. Sammie and I rendezvoused over food-truck dinner to plot our photographic strategies a few weeks ago. We went over the plan, discussed the mood board, swapped tips and tricks, and of course, gossiped a little. We hadn’t caught up since December last year, so a photography chat and a catch up was overdue.
The Unveiling of the Day:
Fast forward to the actual wedding day. I took the bus to meet Sammie, Taylor Swift’s music, playing in the background. I was anxious about getting tickets for The Eras Tour. We first visited the groom and his groomsmen, then the bride’s home. It was hectic for the first half of the job, trying to stay out of the way as everything unfolded, but capturing the story as we went. As a second shooter, I had the privilege of witnessing the chaotic energy without bearing the full weight of responsibility. I hope I provided some assurance and comfort for Sammie, although she’s a complete pro and handled the adrenaline as such.
Learning Amidst the Excitement:
Let me be honest with you—it was like attending a crash course in stress managing photography. We arrived at the ceremony venue and quickly sought a conversation with the videographer and celebrant. We all briefly discussed where we needed to be, and where not to be, so that we could all get the shots we were after. It was so full on until it wasn’t. At some stage, Sammie asked how I was feeling about wedding photography – I told her I stand by my decision to not be a big time wedding photographer. She assured me I’d feel different as the night got progressively more relaxed and wholesome, and she was right. The best night of people’s lives comes after the marriage formalities are complete.
The Power of Collaboration:
One of the unexpected joys of the experience was the sense of camaraderie that developed among our photography and videography team. Sammie, Victoria the videographer, and I formed a cute little all-girls super group for the night, directing each-other and making allowances so that we all got the shot we were after. We shared tips, laughed at the unpredictable moments, and celebrated every shot nailed. It was incredibly nice as a solo photographer to have others to encourage and support. There were a few shots we quietly squealed in excitement for. We shot some BTS (behind the scenes) for each other and enjoyed the incredible food served by the venue at our tech table at the back of the room. It was lovely.
Reflecting on the Journey:
As I sift through the incredible multitude of photos, I reconsider my feelings about wedding photography. I am very excited by some shots I got, and thrilled to have taken part in the experience. To have the opportunity to capture the authentic emotions, the love, and the cherished moments of Nick and Sandy’s wedding day was once in a lifetime. I can’t wait to have them edited, but it’ll take me some time. So stay tuned, I suppose.
Embracing New Possibilities:
Fear not, my friends—I’m not ditching Neesh Photography’s usual array of portrait work, playful pet sessions, and lifestyle shoots. But this unexpected adventure as a second shooter has shown me that I do rather enjoy it. I’m not sure if I’ll commit to wedding photography, but I’m open to collaborating as a second shooter. I’d like to thank everyone involved in this really fun experience, as well as Sammie and the bride Sandy, for having me take part on the big day.