Hello, my fellow photographer!
I've been described as "bomb-diggity" and "stealth like a ninja," which sums me up pretty well. When you hire me as your second shooter or assistant, you can count on a punctual, reliable, unobtrusive, and flexible photographer who knows his stuff, and has you and your clients' best interest in mind. I can be discreet (see ninja reference), or I can take charge and direct a group of people for a family formal. I'm pretty low-key and relaxed, and generally do best when working together, yet independently. I'm comfortable covering the bride or groom getting ready alone, photographing details while you're with the couple, getting candids during cocktail hour, or stepping up as the main shooter if you're ill or have an accident. If you haven't already, please check out my wedding gallery to get a sense of my style. I also have full wedding galleries available upon request. As far as my expectations go as your second shooter, they essentially mirror what I've outlined for my own second shooters below, so take a look at that section, and if you have different expectations or work in a wildly different manner, please let me know!
I've had the opportunity to work with some truly talented professionals the past several years, and have shot over 200 weddings, about half of which as a second shooter. You're welcome to contact any of these great folks I regularly work with if you're interested in a reference (clicking their names will take you to their website):
I shoot with Canon gear; here's a peek inside my camera bag. This is what I bring to each and every wedding:
Canon 5D Mark IV and Canon 5D Mark III
16-35mm f/4L IS
24-70mm f/2.8L II
70-200mm f/2.8L IS II
15mm f/2.8 Fisheye
85mm f/1.2L II
100mm f/2.8L IS Macro
6 x Godox/Cheetah V860II Speedlites
Lightstands and other various accessories
I also have a Godox/Cheetah 600w/s strobe that I can bring upon request if you need more power than speedlites can provide, just let me know beforehand so I can make sure the battery is charged up and ready to go.
If you're a Canon shooter as well, you're welcome to borrow any of my stuff when we work together, I know how fun it is to play with a new lens or other piece of gear!
My rate for second shooting is $50/Hr, with a $300 minimum. If the location is over an hour's drive from New Haven, I may ask for a little extra for travel/gas.
Rates for associate/lead shooting are determined on a case-by-case basis, since it can vary from simply "show up and shoot," to being much more involved, including meeting with the clients, helping to plan their timeline, shooting an engagement session, culling the photos, etc. Please contact me and we can work out the specifics to find an agreeable compensation.
To book me as your second shooter, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out my contact form. To keep my schedule open, and also be loyal to you, I typically book second shooting dates not more than two months in advance. If you're interested in booking me more than two months in advance, I'm happy to mark my calendar on a "tentative" basis.
First and foremost, expect to have fun and make some great images together! You're being hired for you creative eye and technical expertise, so if you have a shot you want to try or a pose you want to set up, I encourage you to go for it. I may ask you to get a specific shot here and there, but in general, we'll mostly be working independently, but as a team. You won't be micromanaged, and you won't be set up for failure without any direction. Here's a rundown of the typical wedding day with me:
You'll probably be covering the groom and groomsmen by yourself, assuming it's in a different location than the bride. Before the start of the day, please make sure you're shooting in full-size RAW format, and set your camera clock to www.time.gov. Depending on the amount of time allotted, these are the typical shots to get:
Groom getting ready/getting dressed
Any meaningful details (watch, cufflinks, tie, shoes, etc.)
Candids of guys hanging out
Portraits of the groom alone
Group photos of the groom with groomsmen and/or parents (if time allows)
Individual photos of groom with each groomsman and/or parents (if time allows)
After that, we'll rendezvous at the first look or ceremony location. You're generally free to just do your thing as a creative professional. I just ask that you don't shoot over my shoulder (getting the same shot as me) or directly across from me (getting in each others photos).
When taking portraits (or during any other time of the day, really), your input is always welcome - if you think of a cool shot or pose for the couple, go for it! If you notice a crooked tie, out of place hand, sunglasses left on, etc. don't be afraid to speak up; it's always great to have a second pair of eyes while taking portraits. Depending on the schedule, I may ask to go the reception and get detail shots and/or candids during cocktail hour, or possibly call out family members' names and be on "shot list duty" if the couple has a particularly lengthy or complicated number of family combinations.
Equipment: Please bring your own equipment and whatever lighting setup you want to use. I use speedlites at most reception venues for OCF. I've found that with two people using the same speedlites at the same time, long recycle times result in lot of missed shots, so please bring whatever OCF system you're comfortable using.
Meals: Unless it's an unusually short day, we'll be having dinner, per my contract with the couple - yay! If you have any specific dietary needs, please let me know as soon as possible so that arrangements can be made with the couple/venue.
Payment/Image Delivery: In most cases, you can take off after the formal events of the reception. We'll download your images onto a portable hard drive, and I'll send you payment via PayPal or Venmo, so you'll go home with both payment and your memory cards (if you need a physical check, please let me know beforehand). I ask that you not format your memory cards until 24 hours after the wedding to ensure they are backed up on my end.
Attire: There's no need to be a dressed-in-all-black ninja photographer, but please wear professional looking trousers/skirt and button-down shirt/blouse or dress. No jeans or polos, please. Ties are optional, and bow ties are, of course, encouraged :)
Image Usage: You're welcome to use any of your images for your website/portfolio/blog/social media. I ask that you wait 6 weeks before posting anything online, and please include "Shot for Stephen Wang Photography" and link to my website for anything posted on a blog or social media. Private or unflattering images (e.g., partially nude or embarrassing expressions) should not be shared online at all. If I post any of your images online, I will give proper credit and link to your website as well.
Please do not tag or send friend requests to my clients on social media. If they send you a friend request however, you're welcome to accept it if you wish.
Please do not share images with other vendors. If a vendor requests images for their use, please give them my contact information and I will work with them directly.
Second shooter's payment is commensurate with experience, skill, and hours worked. In general though, payment is usually the same as the rates I've outlined for myself above.
Non-shooting assistants are paid a rate of $20/hr. Your duties will include hauling gear, holding light stands, calling out names for family photos, transferring files to a hard drive, fixing dress trains, fetching me a soda, and other stuff like that :)
I'm looking forward to working with you!