Posts tagged assistant
Do You Need a Second Photographer? How Much Wedding Coverage Is Enough?
 @Jill Gearhart Photography |

Do you need a second photographer, or "second shooter", for your wedding day? Your budget will definitely be the leading factor in your decision making, but there are some things you should consider when determining your photography budget and if you should hand out some extra cash for another photographer! (fun fact: all photos in this post were done by second shooters!)

 @Jill Gearhart Photography |


If your groom and groomsmen are getting ready at a separate location than you and you want to have photos of it, you definitely need a second shooter. The time spent traveling back and forth from location to location translates into moments lost for one photographer to be available to capture. A second shooter usually starts out the day in the bridal suite, then gets to spend some quality time with the guys right before your ceremony starts.



Picture this (real world examples): Uh oh - you and your bridal party have to get somewhere, but your cars are at the reception and you were dropped off at the hotel. A nice photographer and second shooter will be more than happy to offer up their extra seats in the car! Or, you have a room full of groomsmen, lots of straight pins and boutonnieres, and no one knows how to attach them, where to attach them, or how it's supposed to look. Not one, but TWO wedding pro's to the rescue! How about this - you need to get family photos started but Aunt Patty has wandered off to the cocktail hour. Second shooter to the rescue! While your main photographer is starting Patty-less portraits of other family members, a second shooter can wrangle up any stray loved ones that are needed for photos. Sure, all of these situations can be avoided with good communication pre-wedding and some planning ahead, but there is ALWAYS something that pops up that we are more than capable of handling for you which means a LOT less stress for you!

 @Jill Gearhart Photography |


If you are doing a first look, a second shooter is a must in order to capture the reactions of both you and your soon to be hubby. A photographer team will know exactly where to stand as to not be in each other's pictures, and you can be sure that you will get the most genuine reactions captured in real time. It's also great to have a second shooter during the ceremony to get both of your reactions to vows, multiple angles of the kiss, and a variety or wide and close up shots of the same moments!

 @Jill Gearhart Photography |


Etsy has nothing on you. People pin YOUR stuff on Pinterest. If you are a DIY bride and have tons of details and custom pieces, a second shooter is a great idea! If each centerpiece is different and you want photos of them, a second shooter is a MUST! While your main photographer will be sure to capture all the details she can, its always great to make sure every little thing is covered by having a second shooter all over the place while pre-reception portraits are being finished up! It's also very helpful to have a second shooter sneak away right after the ceremony to get some wide-angle, untouched room shots of the reception before guests arrive.

 @Jill Gearhart Photography |


If having lots of photos and memories of your guests having fun is really important to you, then a second shooter should be too. While one photographer "works the dance floor", the other can be snapping candids of non-dancey guests that would never otherwise be in the photos! The availability of two photographer at once also helps with the times where lots of events are happening at once, like the bridal dance or bouquet/garter tosses! 



A another set of hands and another brain full of logistical skills can also help out a lot with group photos. Whether it's helping to manage the list of family members for post-ceremony portraits, or going around to each table at the reception and getting group photos while your main photographer is on the dance floor, a second shooter saves so much time and ensures that every guest makes it into a photo! 

Here are some amazing shots all done by second shooters! Its our hope that thinking through the day from multiple angles, multiple places, and multiple people's perspectives will help you choose what kind of coverage is right for you!

Who to Bring Along to Your Photo Session | Indiana PA Senior Photographer

This time of year, lots of people are getting family photos taken with screaming kids, maybe grandparents, or even a fluffy pooch in tow and it may be tempting to call in the troops to help you manage it all - here I'm sharing tips for those who are asked to be a part of the fun and assist during a photo shoot! Over the summer when senior sessions are in full swing, it's common to have your mom or dad to come along to share in the experience and make it less awkward spending a few hours with a total stranger. I have seen lots of clients even invite along friends to wrangle dogs, grandmas to soothe babies, and siblings to hang out during their family portrait sessions too. I LOVE meeting new people, and am always so grateful for an extra set of hands! So, from a photographer's point of view, if you are considering having someone come along for your senior or family shoot, here's some things to share with them!

When the Camera Goes Up, the Volume Goes Down

I spent years as a studio photographer, where it was very common for a crowd to walk in with those being photographed. It's still common now, especially during family shoots, for sisters, friends, grandmas, etc. to come along to "help make the kids smile." The best thing you can do is watch the photographer and when the camera goes up, allow him or her to be the only one communicating with the family, kids, senior, etc. Your photographer has likely had hundreds of subjects in front of their camera and has some tried and true tricks on how to get their subject to authentically smile - in fact, you can read some of those tricks here! The photographer has a certain look or emotion they are trying to coax out of the subject, and it is the most helpful to allow him or her the chance to have the model's complete attention to ensure that happens.

There's No Such Thing As Personal Space

This is more for family sessions, but if a photographer does ask you, the trusty friend or mom, to help get the subject's attention, it's best to stand directly behind him or her. I tell people to basically jump on top of me. If you are trying to coax the gaze of a three-nager directly into the camera, it's best to have the person they are looking at or watching be as close to the lens as possible. Get all up in my biz!

Be a Pack Mule

Here's for all you senior moms and dads. I get this question a lot - is it normal for a parent to come along on a senior shoot? The answer? It's perfectly normal! About 50% of my seniors come to their session with their mom or dad. And as insensitive as it sounds, it's really helpful to everyone if a parent can be a coat rack, more or less. Senior sessions are all about the clothes, am I right? Without minimizing the importance of you wonderful parents out there, it's important that the photographer can get to know the amazing son or daughter you already know so well. Teenagers can be a bit introverted around strangers, and the best thing you can do to help your teenager feel comfortable is to show your quiet support by taking care of the details like holding and organizing their outfit changes.

Let Me Teach You Something

Here's a fun tip for anyone, at any type of session: let me put you to work. I love when folks are interested in the process of the photo taking, and not just focused on getting the subjects to smile. That's my job! I love, too, when you are willing to learn something and excited to help out! Something I've found that people are thrilled to help with is holding a reflector. The photo session as a whole should be an enjoyable experience for everyone, and I've found that when willing parents and friends are teachable and become involved in creating the photo by holding a shiny silver disc, they take ownership of the end product. They too become excited to see a perfectly lit subject, and how their small effort of holding a homing beacon for ET can affect the quality so much. So many people have a closet interest in photography, and I am more than happy to teach and explain anything and everything you want to ask me!

For the senior session highlighted below, Katie chose to come to her senior session by herself. I think it's wise to know yourself and know how you are around strangers, and if being alone with your photographer will push you to talk a little more, that's probably the wisest choice. Katie and I had no problem keeping the conversation going as she taught me about her interests, her family, and her inspirations for the future! I hope you enjoy the highlights of her beautiful session below!