Welcome to our online guide for Clark+Walker 2nd shooters. This is a reference for both experienced contractors, as well as new shooters.
What we need for ‘getting ready’ shots with the guys:
– detail shots: cufflinks, tie and jacket being put on, close-up of the boutonniere
– suggest that the guys do a toast
– ring shots if the guys have them
– a finished portrait or two of the groom, shots with all the guys together, and/or his dad
We have more notes below on this, but it’s important to note that it’s our job to find the best spot for the guys getting ready. Don’t just allow them to get ready in a spot/room/location that has bad lighting. Move them if necessary.
You can always grab extra shots like the ones below later in the day (it literally takes one minute, so why not?). As the first shooter took some solo shots of the bride, the second shooter took advantage of the great outdoor light and grabbed extra detail shots of the groom.
Make sure to get a few tight detail shots of the boutineer and if the groom has some awesome cufflinks – grab a shot of those too! For this shot – the lighting INSIDE the getting ready room was awful, so we brought him out onto a little covered porch. Just speak up and just let the groom know your thoughts. “I’m going to sneak you outside for just a minute to grab a few shots, the light is great out there.” Done. Nobody argues and the shot is worth it. Once the groom is ready, take a few finished portraits. Bring him over to a window, into a doorway, or outside so you’ve got great light and mix it up (some smiling, some serious, looking at the camera, and looking away) . Remember that tight detail shots and shooting into the window light can help eliminate details in the room that you DON’T want in the photos (a mess, too many people, TV’s, etc). Even though we generally shoot great weddings, we do have some uninspired hotel rooms sometimes so eliminating the background with light and shallow depth of field can be key.
Always grab a shot of the guys toasting and laughing. First off, it carries a candid and casual feel as well as being an additional shot you can get of the guys together. This is a MUST for the guys. A great, straight-on, everyone looking at the camera, EVERYONE doing the SAME thing with with their hands (all straight down, or all in the pockets) – consistency is key here. The next MUST shot. This one is easy, once you get your straight-up shot like the one above, ask the groom to take 5-6 steps forward, get the focus on him, and have the guys in the back either talk amongst themselves or look at the camera – and remember to keep ALL of their hands consistent. This is the time to mix it up a bit. Grab a shot that is out of the norm, look for something creative. In this example Andrew had the guys all sit on this bench in Central Park.
Or, if you’re in a spot like the one below, where some people can sit at different heights – make that your creative shot. Both of these shots needed the right surroundings, but that’s the point, keep your eyes open, notice what’s around and use it to your advantage! If it’s in Central Park maybe there’s a cool bench, at the Aurora Inn a stone wall, in Lake George a cool dock, or in a mansion a cool couch (or piano).
If the guys have all of the rings when they are getting ready, which they occasionally do, grab a few quick detail ring shots.
Sometimes instead of shooting the guys, you’ll be in the same room as the main photographer capturing the girls getting ready. If so:
1. The main shooter will photograph the important details (bouquets, shoes, dress) while the 2nd shooter will need to get candids of the people
2. If we’re shooting the dress being put on together we need you to shoot the opposite of what the main photographer is capturing. This often times means getting closer up details like the first shot, and reaction shots by the important people in the room (like the shot below that)
What we need for ceremony shots: wide shots of the ceremony, BOTH horizontal and vertical (notice ceiling detail, lighting, or get really low with your camera right on the floor to mix it up)
What we need during portraits: a different angle than the main shooter. Both sets of images below have the main shooter image on the right and second shooter image on the left. If the main photographer is shooting with a 135 then you know he’s tight, see if you can find a creative angle with the 35 or 50. Or vice versa.
What we need during cocktail hour: group shots of guests, family, and ideally, the bride/groom with them if they’re at cocktail hour. Instead of shooting over someones shoulder and getting a blank stare in a shot, ask people that are grouped together talking if you can get a quick photo of them (they look better and the couple will appreciate these photos, no question). If you can grab a cute candid, go for it, but don’t hesitate to grab groups of people for more purposeful shots. Most people don’t mind and will appreciate it later.
Thanks and we look forward to rocking the house together!