Chapter 11: A Note On Second Shooters
I know lots of colleagues who work as a team or who hire a second-shooter/assistant for every wedding. I have never had the pleasure of working alongside someone else, neither as the main photographer nor as the second shooter myself. Second shooting wasn't really a thing here in Denmark when I started out, so I never really considered trying to become one. + Without hurting anyone's feelings there weren't really any wedding photographers in Denmark back then shooting with an approach to their work and the type of couples I wanted to pursue. A few years later, I became part of a group of photographers who saw things as I did and we became kind of the front-runners of modern wedding photographer in Denmark.
With regards to why I never hired any second shooters myself once I was established, you could argue that I am simply too much of a control freak. And in some way you would be right. I have often regretted not being able to give back in that way. But I honestly just didn't have the energy and time.
Never ever have a single client of mine complained that they felt like images were missing. On the contrary they always commented on how much I was able to cover without them realising I was there. So since that was the feedback I kept getting, I didn't feel that the potentially small bonus of a few extra photos made up for the added stress of managing a second photographer in a high pressure performance situation.
To me it doesn't matter whether there are no guests or 700 (yes, that happened when I photographed a wedding in Texas where the whole local community was invited). I have never felt the need to document literally everything from every possible angle. What I am concerned with is capturing the essence of the day, the atmosphere. As I write on my website, I am more eager to capture what it felt like than what it looked like. So I guess in that sense I have always been very forgiving towards myself. I have never felt that I needed to work harder or faster because I was only one photographer there. I just do what I do.
But if you do have an interest in either hiring second shooters or working as one, I highly recommend investing in Jasmine Star's Creative Live course on the subject.