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Thread started 01 Sep 2014 (Monday) 14:18
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Working as a Second Shooter

 
Fettaugraphy
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Sep 01, 2014 14:18 |  #1

I would like to get input from shooters that may be in the same position.

I am planning to become an event/wedding photographer with a timeline of about 2 yrs. I have about 3 event shoots under my belt and need more experience and portfolio material.
With teenage kids, a house and a full time career I do not currently have the time to dedicate to the heavy work load of a wedding photog.

Has anybody on this forum focused solely on being a second shooter? I would love to hear from you. Are you able to make enough money ?

Thanks in advance.


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1000WordsPhotography
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Sep 01, 2014 17:30 |  #2

I've never been a dedicated second, but I've done some of it. And I have a couple of guys that work with me that are pretty much dedicated seconds.

I think "enough" is a relative goal, enough for what.


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juicedownload
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Sep 01, 2014 17:47 |  #3

Fettaugraphy wrote in post #17129838 (external link)
I would like to get input from shooters that may be in the same position.

I am planning to become an event/wedding photographer with a timeline of about 2 yrs. I have about 3 event shoots under my belt and need more experience and portfolio material.
With teenage kids, a house and a full time career I do not currently have the time to dedicate to the heavy work load of a wedding photog.

Has anybody on this forum focused solely on being a second shooter? I would love to hear from you. Are you able to make enough money ?

Thanks in advance.


For my area, including Philly and the surrounding areas, pay ranges from 300-500 from a respectable photographer. That may include lots of driving to get to the location. So you're probably in for a very long day.
To actually make decent money, you'd need a job nearly every weekend. So either connect with a full timer locally, or you may have to drive further distances to get the job from photographers outside your area.
To mix this in with a wife, family, full time job, house, and other responsibilities, I think it may be a bit much, but you do as little or as much as you want.


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the ­ flying ­ moose
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Sep 01, 2014 18:16 |  #4

I agree with 1000words....what is "enough" mean to you? Does it means enough for a Mexican vacation every year? Does it mean enough to buy a larger house?

For me I do a lot of 2nd shooting and event shooting and right now it covers about 3/4 of my monthly bills but I do not live above my means with all kinds of credit cards and fancy toys other than cameras.

For what its worth I very much enjoy being a 2nd shooter. I don't have to deal with the business side of things. I show up where I am told to show up to, do my thing and give the cards to the primary at the end of the night. It works for me as I am not sure I want to get into owning my own business again but I do enjoy photography and meeting all kinds of new people.




  
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Fettaugraphy
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Sep 01, 2014 20:22 as a reply to  @ the flying moose's post |  #5

I should qualify the term " enough".

I wanted to compare it to performing a full wedding which would involve say 40 hrs of your time for $x . Versus 5 hrs for $y . Is it possible to make the same hourly rate.

For me this would be a partial suppliment to my current income for my day job. So I don't need it food and shelter etc.


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the ­ flying ­ moose
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Sep 01, 2014 22:46 |  #6

Fettaugraphy wrote in post #17130492 (external link)
I should qualify the term " enough".

I wanted to compare it to performing a full wedding which would involve say 40 hrs of your time for $x . Versus 5 hrs for $y . Is it possible to make the same hourly rate.

For me this would be a partial suppliment to my current income for my day job. So I don't need it food and shelter etc.

That would be hard to answer as there are many variables to consider. Each location has a different price point. Some photographers offer books as part of their packages and other don't.

Lets say a wedding is $3000 and is 8 hours long.

$3000 amount paid for services
$400 amount deducted for 2nd shooter
$250 amount deducted for wedding album
$50 amount deducted for transportation to and from wedding for photogs
$300 amount deducted for other things I am sure I missed
$2000 left over

Now you have spent 8 hours taking photos. Add to that an average time of 35 hours to for the editing process from start to the finished product and you have spent 43 hours total.

$2000/43 hours = $46.50/hr Primary
$400/08 hours = $50/hr 2nd

Of course this is just a single example and with the amount of variables involved its hard to presume to know what will "pay" more in the end.




  
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memoriesoftomorrow
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Sep 02, 2014 00:40 |  #7

the flying moose wrote in post #17130716 (external link)
$3000 amount paid for services

$300 amount deducted for other things I am sure I missed

You'd allow 10% of your costs for stuff you haven't thought of yet?

35 hours for editing is a ridiculous amount of time. Even half that is slow.


Peter

  
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the ­ flying ­ moose
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Sep 02, 2014 00:41 |  #8

memoriesoftomorrow wrote in post #17130817 (external link)
You'd allow 10% of your costs for stuff you haven't thought of yet?

35 hours for editing is a ridiculous amount of time. Even half that is slow.

I am not a wedding photographer so I did a quick google search pulled numbers from there.




  
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NewCreation
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Sep 02, 2014 06:59 |  #9

Fettaugraphy wrote in post #17130492 (external link)
I should qualify the term " enough".

I wanted to compare it to performing a full wedding which would involve say 40 hrs of your time for $x . Versus 5 hrs for $y . Is it possible to make the same hourly rate.

For me this would be a partial suppliment to my current income for my day job. So I don't need it food and shelter etc.

I've been second shooting this summer and have been paid anywhere from $10-$25/hr. It varied whether I was truly a second or more of an assistant. Although, I'm not likely to accept the $10/hr jobs anymore.

I don't really expect to make the same per hour as the primary. I don't have the same responsibility.


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Christopher ­ Steven ­ b
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Sep 02, 2014 08:16 |  #10

Agreed--I'd say I spend about 10-12 hours processing the average wedding, including occasional post LR edits in PS. And even this feels like a long time. I sincerely hope there aren't people spending 3x the time processing.

memoriesoftomorrow wrote in post #17130817 (external link)
You'd allow 10% of your costs for stuff you haven't thought of yet?

35 hours for editing is a ridiculous amount of time. Even half that is slow.



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memoriesoftomorrow
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Sep 02, 2014 08:41 |  #11

NewCreation wrote in post #17131062 (external link)
I don't really expect to make the same per hour as the primary. I don't have the same responsibility.

Personally I wouldn't hire a second shooter who doesn't place the same value on their time as I do. E.g. if the minimum hourly rate I was prepared to earn as a primary was $50 per hour I'd expect my second to want the same.

Personally I don't see a second as a lesser photographer. I see them as a different photographer who should be equally capable and shoot entirely in their own style.


Peter

  
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NewCreation
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Sep 02, 2014 09:14 |  #12

memoriesoftomorrow wrote in post #17131189 (external link)
Personally I wouldn't hire a second shooter who doesn't place the same value on their time as I do. E.g. if the minimum hourly rate I was prepared to earn as a primary was $50 per hour I'd expect my second to want the same.

Personally I don't see a second as a lesser photographer. I see them as a different photographer who should be equally capable and shoot entirely in their own style.

The context in which I have been hired has been entirely different than that. I have been hired for a couple of weddings mostly as an assistant with no expectations of getting any shots. My primary responsibility was to lug stands, check the shot list,etc. I am now getting bookings as co-shooter and expect the pay to be entirely different. So the context of the arrangement will greatly affect the rate and expectations. I can see, for what you are expecting that the one hired would expect a comparable rate to you.


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S30L28
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Sep 02, 2014 12:37 |  #13

FWIW, I charged $~400 per event about 4 years ago.


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NewCreation
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Sep 02, 2014 12:38 |  #14

S30L28 wrote in post #17131576 (external link)
FWIW, I charged $~400 per event about 4 years ago.

As a second?


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S30L28
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Sep 02, 2014 16:12 |  #15

NewCreation wrote in post #17131580 (external link)
As a second?

Yes. I only took up a few jobs as a second shooter, but not having to deal with post was a dream come true.


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