How To Hire A Second Shooter

As a wedding photographer, sooner or later you will be in need of a second shooter for your business. And if you haven’t already found out, hiring a good quality second shooter can make or break the day. Today I’m sharing not just how to hire a second shooter, but some best practices for working well together and what has worked for me in my business! I’m going to be providing you with some tried and true steps to help make sure that you get the BEST possible second shooters and that you have a great experience working together. 

How To Hire A Second Shooter

Second shooters are such an integral part of your team and your success so making sure you find the right people is key! Curious to know, have you ever hired a second shooter or have you yourself ever been a second shooter? If so, I would LOVE to hear all about your experience! 

Below I’m sharing all about 3 of my best tips when it comes it comes to hiring second shooters. 

1. Use A Contract 

This is the absolute first step and something that I think many photographers skip. Especially in the beginning because maybe you are hiring a friend or maybe you don’t think having this second shooter is a big deal cause it’s small or unpaid. This is a HUGE pitfall. Be sure to get yourself legally covered. I really love and trust The Legal Paige contracts. You can click HERE to access her shop. Having a contract in place though really helps everyone get on the same page and it covers you both if an incident ever arises. 

2. Set Clear Expectations

It’s super important to set clear expectations right from the start. I personally like to set clear expectations in different categories. I like to let them know:

  • What I expect as far as photographs – will they be working alone or with me throughout the entire wedding day?
  • Are the going to be shooting with their own gear or with your gear? 
  • What is the pay?
  • What is the transportation going to look like? 
  • What is the dress code? (check out today’s video to see how I address this!) 

These are all things you need to be thinking through as you are talking to potential photographers to bring on as second shooters. 

3. Find a good quality second shooter

I always started by asking photographers in my area who I respected if they knew anyone. A personal recommendation is best. Then if I needed to search some more, I would turn to Facebook (both my personal page and groups) to find potential second photographers. Be sure to talk to them and even meet in person if possible. You can expect to pay anywhere from $30 -$55 an hour for a second shooter (depending on your area) and associate shooters are paid closer to $100 an hour.

Once you find your people, treat them very well and hold on to them tightly. Your team on a wedding day is a big deal and having good second shooters and an incredible assistant is what I attribute a huge amount of my success to. If I didn’t have them, I couldn’t create the work I did. Realizing the importance and honoring that second shooter in your life and business is going to be a very big help to your success in business. 

Have you ever hired a second shooter? Or have you’ve been hired as a second shooter? What was your experience like? 


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