Second Shooting for Stevi Sayler Photoraphy
Two words: BREAKFAST WEDDING…
It was a double-header weekend in Southern Oregon as Stevi and I second’ed for each other on back-to-back weddings. My wedding with Rosie + Greg at Buckhorn Springs was first with a full fiesta theme at the rustic yoga retreat lodge. After most of the dancing died down I turned in so that I could be at the historic Ashland Springs Hotel downtown for Jenna + Andrew’s elegant breakfast wedding bright and early. Admittedly we were both really excited by the concept of a morning wedding. The breeze was still cool, we had Lithia Park to ourselves, and the breakfast buffet was delicious. Their ceremony was held at the enclosed patio garden under a rose pergola in full bloom; literally surrounded by their loved ones Jenna + Andrew said I do.
I hope there are more breakfast weddings in my future. ::wink wink::
Second shooting for Stevi Sayler Photography
One area of being a small business owner in a highly competitive field is knowing that you won’t always win. …sometimes your photo-BFF will win and hire you as her second. Stevi and I each, along with a handful of other photographers, met with Azita + Evan while they were planning their wedding about being their photographer. For myself I met them at Off The Waffle in Eugene and we talked for like a million hours. There was so much laughter and connection; I thought for sure that I landed the job. Then I found out that they’d also met with Stevi and were having trouble choosing between the two of us. Now you might think that this would set off our inner competitive natures, but we were both so excited for each other and decided that either way we would hire each other so we could both be there.
It was a soggy afternoon in May, but Azita + Evan had all their little ducks in a row including a tent for the patio ceremony. Everything had a movie element from the red carpet and velvet ropes, to the romance movie cover table numbers complete with Azita + Evan photoshopped in as the main characters. lol! Azita danced her way up to Evan after walking down the aisle with the Dads inspiring everyone in the wedding party to start dancing. Yes! My favorite part of the whole day was the sheer amount of laughter over the course of the day! So. Much. Laughing!
A small selection from another wedding that I second shot for Ashley Cook Photography last summer.
The little boys totally stole the show in their adorable red suspenders!
Happy Wedding Wednesday!!!
Second Shooting for Ashley Cook Photography
Another Wedding Wednesday another beautiful couple on their very special day.
Last summer I worked with a number of other photographers as their second shooter. It’s loads of fun, a great way to work at new venues, an opportunity to learn (there’s always more to learn) by watching another pro at work, and my favorite – the perfect time to experiment with new styles, techniques, and compositions. One of the best things about have a second shooter with you is that, as the primary, you can focus on the must have photos without sacrificing the creative, alternative, and candid. You also get to spend more time shooting, because your second is handling the crowd, the dress, the veil, pinning boutonnieres, and all those other things that distract you from your creative flow and take up valuable minutes in a very busy day.
To me the most valuable thing a second shooter can do for their primary is give them variety. My goal for this day was to not give Ashley any doubles or anything repetitive of what she already photographed herself. These are some of my favorite shots from Christine + Ben’s wedding at Sweet Cheeks Winery just outside Eugene.
Last year I had the very good fortune to work with a new (to me) photographer as her second shooter. Even though I’d obviously prefer to book my own weddings to photograph I really enjoy second shooting, especially when I get to work with friends, at new locations, and/or with AWESOME Oceanside, California photographers like Heather Vallentyne Moreau of Vallentyne Photography. PS I’m super jealous of her name!
Her couple, Anne Leigh + Jonathan, were having their destination wedding in Pacific City, Oregon where the bride’s family lives (again, jealous) with the reception at the ever popular Pelican Brewery + Pub. While Pacific City has its share of tourists, it actually doesn’t for how completely beautiful it is. Since it’s not right on Hwy 101 I think a lot of people drive right by not knowing what they’re missing – like THE DUNE, or one of Oregon’s Haystack Rocks, a very tasty cream ale, and rolling ocean view meadows on the cliffs above. One challenge with working at the coast is that the wind can be a bit strong as can the light… if you happen to get a sunny day. However this can also be an opportunity to try some new locations, poses, and work some serious action/drama/emotion into the photography.
Anna Leigh + Jonathan were surrounded by their family and friends while they said their vows over the Pacific Ocean. Deer munched on grass just out of sight in the tall grass, and the sun warmed everyone as it gently came through the trees. Kids and grown-ups alike played in the sand just off the brewery patio, and A+J danced on the beach as the sun went down. Congratulations!!!
Happy Wedding Wednesday!!!
Today I’m sharing photos from another wedding where I was the second shooter, this time for the ever lovely Stevi Sayler of Stevi Sayler Photography.
I had JUST returned from my adventure shooting The Big Fake Wedding – Phoenix and was oh so excited to immediately return to a beautiful (high) desert. Broken Top Club is one of the area’s many resort, country club, golf course venues. As you might imagine based on the name they have a wonderful view of Broken Top Mountain. Stevi and I started our day with a trip around the venue in one of their golf carts to scout out some portrait locations and check on the ceremony site. Once we knew where we wanted to shoot it was a full day of laughing, sparkles, happy tears, dogs, beautiful views, great food, and dancing! Here are a few of my favorites from the day. Enjoy!
If you’d like to see Stevi’s blog post from this wedding click here.
I’m going to keep saying this for awhile: John and I moved to Bend, Oregon on New Year’s Eve! I’m very excited to work in this new landscape… like really really excited! So if you’re recently engaged or know someone who is, especially in Central Oregon, I’d love to hear all about your wedding day vision and how I can tell your love story with my photography. I have several dates this summer and fall still available. Contact me for booking and details!
…but first I’d like to answer a couple common questions that photographers get about second shooting. 1. Do you work for (primary photographer) all the time or do you have your own business? If you’re reading this then you know that I have my own business, but when I’m second’ing for another photographer I’m theirs for the day. I do not promote or talk about (if I can at all avoid it) my business; I don’t even bring business cards with me. Nope nope nope. It’s even better when the primary photographer seconds for me also so then we both get to experience working with and for each other. For myself hiring a second shooter, it’s critical that they are experienced enough to work on their own; I didn’t hire them so I could babysit and tell them what to do. I give general directions, make sure that they’re familiar with my style and expectations, then walk away. …which is why I only hire other professionals. If an inexperienced photographer wants to second for me I ask them to come as an assistant first, or work on a wedding or project where I’m still covering the whole wedding on my own and their photos are a bonus. You might say, “How’s someone supposed to get experience if nobody will hire them?” and I’ll answer that I will hire them, but not for a wedding where I neeeeeed them. It’s too high risk, and if you know me you know that I’m not much of a risk taker when it comes to my business (read: baby). 2. Who’s in charge here? They (primary photographer) are! Unless it’s just me there, then I am, but I’m still working from the primary’s instructions/guidelines. 3. You guys make a really good team. Why don’t you just have a business together? This gets asked A LOT when I work with Stevi Sayler. No matter who’s primary or second we are a great team and work together as often as we can. We both not-so-secretly wish that the other didn’t want to be a primary photographer so that we could always work together, but we’re too happy that each others’ businesses are doing well to mess with it. Plus when you’ve worked so hard to build a business, a brand, and a style …let’s just say you’ll have to pry it from our cold undead zombie fingers. Then we’ll eat you.
Anyway… back in March I needed a second shooter for Rosalinda + Jeremy’s DIY Portland Pi Day wedding. Since this was a geeky, colorful, offbeat couple I knew just who to call for my #2 – Beth Olson of Beth Olson Creative. I don’t recall the order of events, but she also needed a second shooter for this wedding in May so we worked out an even wedding for wedding trade. Easy peasy. Usually, as the second shooter, I’m hanging out the Groom + Groomsmen before the wedding while the primary hangs with the Bride. One thing that I enjoy most about working with a second shooter (besides getting double the awesome varied photography during the ceremony) is that both people get a photographer’s full attention. Folks often say that it’s the Bride’s day, but photographers know that it takes at least two people to make a marriage and that both of them are equally deserving of our thoughtful service. Grooms are NOT props. John + Erin are such a fun and laid-back couple; the day was full of love, laughter, and happy tears. Their ceremony and reception was at the beautiful, urban-rustic Union Pine in Portland’s East Side. Even though it was early May we can all recall what a screamin’ hot spring/summer/fall we had last year… this day was no exception. Everyone stayed in good spirits as we routinely and gently dabbed sweat off the wedding party’s faces.
Here are a few of my personal favorites from the day. Enjoy!
Want to see Beth’s blog post from this wedding? Click here.
As you may have read in my previous blog post John and I moved to Bend, Oregon on New Year’s Eve. I’m very excited to work in this new landscape… like really really excited! So if you’re recently engaged or know someone who is, especially in Central Oregon, I’d love to hear all about your wedding day vision and how I can tell your love story with my photography. I have several dates this summer and fall still available. Contact me for booking and details!
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again [man do I love being a turtle?], man do I love second shooting!
Last summer I had a wonderful opportunity to work with Jonathan and Josh of Atelier Pictures at an Oregon Coast wedding in Cannon Beach at the Surfsands Resort for just about the nicest couple ever. Seriously, they were sooooooo nice. …Oh and the Groom’s sister was even more hilarious than Jennifer Lawrence [who is the funniest person on the planet and my secret celebrity BFF with Kristen Bell].
It was my first time working with them and my first time working with a photo [Jonathan] + video [Josh] team. I was Jonathan’s #2 and another Josh was Josh’s #2… There were FOUR people covering all things visual for this special day. Wow! It was a very different way of working compared to my typical Amanda + Second Shooter scenario. We started by all meeting in Portland at Atelier Picture studio and carpooling out to Cannon Beach, a quick bit to eat at a local cafe, then it was off to check in with the Bride 🙂 The hotel room was giggly with excited bridesmaids getting their hair and make up done. After working with the ladies for awhile we moved over to the other side of the hotel to meet up with the Groom and his guys. A short walk down the street and we were at The Haystack Gardens… a lovely hidden gem in a just off the main street running through Cannon Beach. After the ceremony it was all about having fun with their family photos and a walk down to the beach for more photos with the very picturesque Haystack Rock. The whole day was full of laughter, smiles, and happiness… just like it should be. I’m excited to share with you some of the photos I made that day!
Last June I had the great pleasure of working with Rosalie Black for a Columbia Gorge wedding at Cave B Inn [next door to the Gorge Amphitheatre]. It was a long drive – 6 hours away – but the views alone were worth it! I’ve always loved second shooting. It gives photographers of all levels an opportunity to work in a location that might be out of their geographic range or style, the freedom to experiment, the chance to learn [there’s always more to learn], and of course the opportunity to make new connections within our industry. When you’re second shooting you spend a lot of time holding the primary’s gear, fixing hair and dresses, gathering family members, etc. It makes the primary’s job easier and gives them more freedom as well to focus on shooting when a second shooter is right behind them making sure everything is just right. The right combination of primary + second shoots can be magical. Once a good match is established you’ll rarely see them apart.
I had never worked in the gorge before, at least not that far north, and the canyon/desert scenery looked like it was in the Southwest as opposed to Eastern Washington. Cave B Inn is also a vineyard/winery. The grounds are actually quite expansive and varied – from rows of grapes, to Tuscan styled lawns, yurts + cabins for the guests, and a cliff side patio for ceremonies. Wow! With a very accommodating staff running support Katie and Justin were up for anything! We had a sunny day with a lively wedding party that made for excellent posed and candid portraits. When it was time for the ceremony the Gorge kicked up it’s [im]famous wind that ended Katie’s veil, but she didn’t miss a beat when it was time to say, “I do.”
Are you ready to book your wedding photographer in Oregon, Washington, Arizona, or New Mexico? Amanda Photographic is now booking for 2015 + 2016 and is available for travel throughout the Pacific Northwest, Southwest, and anywhere else your wedding dreams take you! Contact me today for details + booking… dates are filling quickly.