Second shooters. It’s not a minor role. It’s a very important one. It’s SUPER important if you only have a second shooter and not a second shooter PLUS an assistant….because your second shooter ends up wearing both hats (which are big hats friends). I have a core group of second shooters I love to work with. They’re pretty awesome photographers themselves with growing businesses and increasingly less time to second shoot. I could hire new ones every weekend, sure. BUT! I need the perfect fit. I need photographers that blend with my shooting style, share the same working values & boundaries, and put people first in order to give my clients the experience & consistency they deserve.
As my business continues to grow, I lay in bed, sit at dinner, turn down the radio in the car, call in the middle of the work day, pause the latest Netflix show, or wake up first thing in the morning and tell Justin about my new ideas. Or bounce ideas off him. Or send him my pros & cons list. He always listens and offers his two cents (more like 50 cents) and helps me come to the right decision.
He knows the ins & outs of my business like no one else.
He knows my clients like no one else (that’s right guys, I talk about ya).
He knows I get hangry.
He knows I pass out if my blood sugar gets low.
He knows what makes me anxious & how to be a little buddha buddy when need be.
He knows maps. And directions. And how to parallel park like a boss.
He knows every dream and idea in this busy, deep brain of mine.
I was torn on what to do about having a consistent second shooter: should I hire an intern for the year? Should I train someone from the ground up? Should I get a new person yearly?
So when he looked at me one day over dinner and said, “Babe, why don’t I just help second shoot?”
I melted. Like butter.
He’s the perfect fit. He’s isn’t a stranger to weddings, he has shot with me many times before. It’s always the worst when the bride emails me and says “This is my absolute favorite picture!” andddd it was Justin’s.
Will he second shoot every single wedding? No. This is my business and my dream, not his. We will not be going all Justin & Mary or Katelyn & Michael on you :) He just so happens to be a supportive husband who “wants to spend saturdays with my wife,” who can truly work a camera, enjoys photographing weddings, and supports my client experience.
So it’s official: he’s on the calendar, he has his own gear, and his own little bag to put it all in.
Meet Justin. My second shooter husband.
TEN FACTS ABOUT JUSTIN. BY JUSTIN.
1. I prefer the mountains over the beach every time.
2. I’m a glass half full kinda guy.
3. I love sushi, the local Greek restaurant, and I would have spinach turkey meatballs every night of the week if my wife would allow it.
4. I’m an adventure and adrenaline junky. I foresee skydiving on my horizon.
5. I prefer to drive stick shift.
6. My dog & my wife are both love sponges and I love them dearly.
7. I like to rock climb, snowboard, hunt & fish.
8. I want to design & build my own farmhouse someday.
9. I’ve only ever had two jobs in my life: a farm for 7 years & my current engineering job.
10. I was raised on the Grateful Dead, The Band, and everything from Boz Scaggs to Stevie Ray Vaughn.
He also carries all things. Tracks down all my lost lens caps. Keeps snacks and gatorade handy. And makes friends with the groomsman. Disclaimer: he does not always wear camo to shoot weddings. There is a tie peeking out from behind there. It’s just sometimes it pours in Pittsburgh and it’s January and you dont have anything else. Did I mention he’s resourceful?