SterlingFX Photography & Retouching | Wedding Second Shooting/Assisting

General Policies & Expectations

I have worked as a second shooter and I try to treat you how I want to be treated. For those I work with regularly, I like to think of you as a partner, not a second.

First, you are not allowed to promote yourself or your business in any way to my clients or their guests. Do not hand out business cards or ask for them. If someone asks for your info, be pleasant but refer them to me for information. I may even give you some of my business cards.

Second, this is work, not hunting grounds for a girlfriend. Do not hit on clients or guests. Do not be creepy. Do not ask for phone numbers. That said, if someone unsolicited gives you their phone number, that's fine.

Third, you may use images in any way you wish unless I tell you beforehand that there are restrictions. You may post as soon as you get home from the event. Just do not tag or make an attempt to contact the client or their guests. If I ask to restrict your use in any way, I will pay you extra for that privilege as I charge my clients extra for that as well. If a client finds your images and does tag themselves, that is of course OK. Anyone who is slightly diligent should be able to find you through me on Facebook. If they make that effort, that's fine.

Fourth, I normally collect images during and after an event and edit them all myself. This is done for the reason that there is continuity in the post work done on them. As I cull through the images, I get an idea of whose are the best ones for each moment or each perspective. You are welcome to get a copy of your images later, if for some reason, you don't go home with them. It can take a long time to transfer many gigabytes of images over the internet afterwards so we want to avoid this if at all possible.

Fifth, you are NOT there to stand next to me and capture similar images to what I am shooting. Part of the reason I like having multiple shooters is so we capture the shots from different perspectives. Sometimes we simply don't know what will happen next or how people will turn and give us that perfect shot. Does that mean that you may not be in the best position to get the best shot? Absolutely. When I am primary, I will often be in the best spot. Your job is to find another angle that might give you a good shot too. However, the one exception might be when one of us is wide and the other is zooming. Or one of us is using minimal to no flash and the other one is. Also, we do not generally all sit down at once except for the meal. During the dancing at the reception, someone should be covering or ready to cover the dance floor continually. Fun things happen there unexpectedly and someone needs to be ready.

Six, remember, ITS A WEDDING! Its NOT your shoot. First and foremost, its about the couple. I like there to be at least a 10 ft minimum no go zone around the couple at the altar during their ceremony. Plan your lens use accordingly. My number one lens for a wedding on a full frame camera is the 70-200mm F2.8 as it lets me stay back but zoom in close. Also, NO ONE coming down the aisle in the procession should have to move to the side to avoid you. Another plus to having multiple people is you do NOT have to cover every angle and you can stay in one area while the other shooter(s) covers the other.  You can always switch but keep it to a minimum. DO NOT go to the aisle to cover the exit when another shooter is already there. Go get the wedding party as they are celebrating and rejoicing outside. With two people shooting, we often stay close to opposite of each other. With three shooters, we tend to form a triangle around the couple. If you are not shooting for a second, it does not hurt to "hide" or get down. If you see you are in someone's shot, get behind the participants somehow or just step a few feet to one side. We are not competing with each other!

Seven, be there on time. If issues come up and you can't make it, you HAVE to let me know. COMMUNICATE. CALL. Help find a replacement if you can (you get a free pass if you can find someone competent that can substitute). That said, don't be too early. I had someone show up once a half hour before they were supposed to be at my place and I hadn't even taken a shower yet. Call and let me know when you are on the way. Text me with a GPS ETA once you are on the road. Don't say I'm five minutes away if it is more like 10 minutes.

Eight, eat a meal before you come or bring food with you. While we typically get to eat at the reception, its often a long time before we get there.  We have to keep our energy up so please grab something before you get here. Sometimes I will have protein bars stashed away too and/or energy drink mix.

Nine, I will pay you that evening unless we have discussed it beforehand. It will most likely be cash. I tend to pay better than the industry average but it does depend in part on how many people are shooting and of course how much the actual gig is paying. The more of us that are shooting, the more relaxed the whole day is as we have plenty of redundancy typically. It is NOT OK to pay people days later after a wedding when I have been paid by the wedding. Occasionally I have had the client say they were going to pay cash and then give me a check that day. Sometimes I will carry cash just in case that happens. Regardless, I should get that cash to you immediately. By the same coin, I expect the same consideration in return.

Ten, synchronize the clock on your camera to internet time BEFOREHAND. It is KEY that we are shooting and recording images sequentially when they get to the delivery stage. We do not want image series mixed with another image series that is a minute off. Canon has the capability to set the clock on your camera in their Utility software. Worst case scenario, go to time.nist.gov and set it off the internet clock on the website. It is important that you be accurate to the split second.

IF a piece of equipment gets broken by you and it is the result of carelessness, then I will expect the second shooter to pay part of the replacement value. For example, I had an assistant drop an LED panel that cost me approx. $60. I took $20 out of her pay. Accidents happen. That's life. I have tried to offer a balance of some responsibility for you and for me and that I accept it as a cost for doing business. Of course if it is intentional - then you are going to pay for a full replacement.

If you have ANY questions about anything here, this document is a work in progress and may contain poor wording, spelling and grammatical errors. Speak up. Ask questions.