Today on The Capture Crew Podcast Christora and Tom are chatting with Andrea Malakoff on the importance of second shooting.
Andrea’s story is unique but also not uncommon from what we hear in wedding photography in that she didn’t initially set out with the goal of being a photographer.
Due to a terrible trainer she had in high school, she decided to pursue athletic training so that she could invest in students in a way that she wish she was.
Quickly after she began her studies she realized her weak stomach was not going to be supportive of this decision.
Unsure of what she wanted to do next she began taking courses that sounded interesting to see what she might like. That’s where she found film photography.
Receiving positive feedback from her instructor and genuinely enjoying the process of film and the art of storytelling through photography, she was hooked.
After school, she took a job working on editorials but wasn’t feeling fulfilled.
Thanks to a push from her husband, she realized the alternative to staying at a job that wasn’t satisfying was never getting to feel truly happy, she made the decision to quit her job and pursue wedding photography.
Through Andrea’s connection to Tom from her previous job, she was able to begin second shooting with him.
It’s now been a year since she quit her job and she is feeling more and more like herself and she is joining the podcast today to share some of her tips and ideas on second shooting for anyone who is considering this path.
Andrea attests to her personal growth to the importance of second shooting.
Through her journey, she has been able to work with several different photographers and doing so gave her an insight into small little important details and things that she would eventually have to learn if she decides to step out on her own.
Things like how they communicate with clients, how they run their business, and how to diversely work with different clients.
There is of course a trade-off to being a second shooter and sometimes it means that you’re missing the key moments that may be happening while you’re in a different spot doing your shooting.
For example, being sent to take groom photos while the bride photos are happening.
Such things will ebb and flow and hopefully, you will find a good cadence where you can have insight into both, which has been Andrea’s experience working with Tom.
Because they’ve worked together so much, Andrea knows what types of photos Tom is looking for and she knows how to quickly get the shots needed so she can come back and assist Tom with his photos giving him space to be more creative.
This is one of the reasons Tom loves having a second shooter like Andrea because it gives him more time and space to be creative and he can focus on the details.
Andrea recommends checking in with yourself on your journey. You don’t want to lose yourself in being so busy for others that you neglect to grow your own brand, if that’s what you want, of course.
But as Christora shared, that’s the importance of the self-check-in. She has had second shooters who initially wanted to be wedding photographers, but after seeing what was needed to do that they decided they would continue to be second shooters.
Both are okay goals! It’s just important to know what you want first and foremost and to make sure you stay that course.
If you’re wanting to become a second shooter, research photographers who match the style that you want to portray.
If you’re dark and moody, don’t solicit a wedding photographer whose brand is bright and airy.
Once you find photographers who match your style, give them a follow to see when they’re looking for second shooters. You can also send an email to introduce yourself.
There are varying opinions here, Christora doesn’t like to be solicited by anyone there’s no connection to but Tom and Andrea both recommend this route.
If you are going to reach out make sure you are telling the photographer you’re contacting what drew you to them specifically. Be detailed but concise. Remember, you’re basically asking them to take you on to intern, shadow, or work and they don’t even know you yet!
Make sure to include your dates available and share your portfolio. And be respectful of what they ask for their requirements, they’re asking for a reason.
Lastly, we are left with the reminder to “Let your faith be bigger than your fear. The best risk you can take is on yourself.”
Read Andrea’s bio below and then click the links to give her a follow!
Hi, I’m Andrea Malakoff! I am an intimate wedding photographer based in New Jersey & I travel worldwide! Relationships are the most important aspect of life to me, and to maintain and cherish them until the end of time. That’s why I take pride in creating true genuine connections with my couples so I can capture authentic memories to look back on for years to come!
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