Best of 2013 second shooting

Val & Adam's San Francisco wedding

Last year I had the privilege of assisting some wonderful wedding photographers, acting as a “second shooter” at weddings all around the San Francisco Bay Area.

Many wedding photographers get their start as second shooters, then focus exclusively on shooting weddings they book for themselves. I’m well beyond getting my start, but I still love doing second shooting, because it allows me to try new things, take some risks and keep developing my skills. It also allows me to see some amazing weddings and work for some great friends.

Lat year those friends were Sonia Savio, Jen Paschal and Conner Jay. Through them I photographed two same-sex weddings, I heard the most epic Best Man speech of my career, I flew to San Diego, I photographed a groom with the best dance moves I’ve ever seen, I participated in my first styled shoot … among many other amazing memories.

The photos in the gallery below are presented in chronological order, but I pulled out the photo of Adam and his groomsmen for the top of this post because it has special significance for me, and relates well to the job of a second shooter. Often at weddings, the main photographer is with the bride while the second hangs out with the groom. We’ve never met before, and I’m about to photograph him getting dressed on one of the most important days of his life. Adam and I hit it off right away, and spent a lot more time together than anticipated because of how the schedule of the day ended up playing out. We talked about some serious stuff, shared some of our views on life. At the end of the night Adam wanted to memorialize the experience we had by having a beer together, but our ride was waiting outside and I had to pass. (Someday, Adam!) But that’s one of the things I love so much about wedding photography — the brief time together is so laden with emotional significance that it leads to memories that last a lifetime. I was just hired help at these weddings, but I will remember every one of these people and be forever grateful that I got to play a small part in such an important day in their lives.

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