I recently asked Christine of Christine Burns Photography to be a guest blogger and to my delight she said yes! Christine second shot Karen and Frankie’s wedding with me in September. I asked Christine a few questions about second shooting and here’s what she has to say, she’s super awesome!

What did you find most beneficial about second shooting?
It is a wonderful opportunity to watch a professional photographer working and over a long period of time – it is a long day!
You get to shoot such a variety of photos (detail shots, portraits, candids, group shoots etc), in a variety of locations under various lighting conditions, it really is such great experience all in one day.

You get to discuss camera settings, equipment, ways to improve a photo etc with the photographer during the day and even afterwards while reviewing/processing your images.

The best bit – the real pressure is on the main photographer!

What’s your advice for someone who has never second shot before?
Try it, second shooting is so much fun!

I think it is important to like the photographer’s style, but remember you don’t have to take the shots that they are taking. Find a different angle, an alternative view, work with the photographer so that perhaps they are inside the church for the brides entrance and you are outside, etc.

I found it a little strange at the start of the day when we first arrived at the bride’s house, but soon relaxed and was able to take my own shots.

When positioning yourself for a photo make sure you are not in the main photographer’s way – don’t leave it to them to keep asking you to move, they are busy enough!

Be willing to put your camera down and help out (either the main photographer or a member of the wedding party), it is a special day for the couple and their families, but also a stressful one. So if you can help out in some way do, they are after all giving you this great opportunity.

You may not get to shoot all the time. We knew the church was small, with no side aisles so I was going to stay down the back of the church and shoot from there. However as it turned out not only was it a small church but also a big crowd so there really was no room for me – without getting in peoples way. I decided to stay outside (along with a few guests!) while the ceremony was on and enjoyed the break in the sunshine! The important moments would be caught by Christina, I was not going to make a nuisance of myself so I could get some of my own.

Discuss with the photographer what will happen to your images after, what you can and can not use them for etc. I loved the fact that I was able to edit my photos myself, the way I wanted them to look.

I then forwarded my selection on to Christina, leaving out ones I knew for sure she would have. It was such a thrill to see them in the online gallery along side Christina’s photographs.

Finally bring a few snacks and some water to keep you going, a good chance to eat them is while driving between house/church/venue!

Did you pick up any good tips?
Christina was very helpful on the day answering any questions I had, and afterwards as I reviewed my photos from the day.

Before second shooting I always shot in aperture mode, after chatting with Christina I switched to manual mode, since then I have more or less left my camera on manual.
This forces me to keep an eye on all my settings while shooting, ensuring I get the result I want (mostly!).

Two things I love when on a photo shoot are the use of natural light and prime lenses.
So I was delighted to see Christina using both of these for the majority of the day. I am trying to learn more about the use of lighting, both natural and artificial, so it was great to see how she dealt with the strong sunshine and the indoor photos.

Your additional equipment should be very accessible. If you are the type of photographer who does not want 2/3 camera bodies on you for the day, you need to be able to change lenses and memory cards very easily and very fast. Most of the time I didn’t even notice Christina switching lenses.

Having second shot your first wedding is wedding photography what you expected?

I always thought it must be all go for a wedding photographer but it really is, with no time for little breaks!

You need to mange your time well and have a reliable watch! First off arrive at the bride’s house to get the detail shots, the bride getting her hair and makeup done etc, then maybe a trip to the Groom’s house if nearby. Back to the Bride’s house in time to watch her getting dressed, leave the bride’s house to allow time at church before the bride arrives – and so it continues for the day.

Christina’s style of photography means she is very quietly shooting away as the day unfolds and capturing lots of wonderful images without anyone knowing she is there! This is a lovely way of working as I think it helps the day flow along nicely, allowing the couple to relax and enjoy their day. Also she enjoys herself, not sure if this is true for every wedding photographer but Christina really seems to enjoy each wedding she shoots!

Thank you Karen and Frankie for allowing me to be part of your wonderful day. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Christina Brosnan so much for inviting me to second shoot with her, it was a great privilege and great fun.

~ Christine

Thanks Christine for sharing your insight to second shooting! All photos were taken by Christine at Karen and Frankie’s wedding.