As many of you know, I work full-time for a company managing the sales and marketing team for eCatholic, and most of my photography is done while traveling to Catholic churches and ministries around the country. Taking photos is what I call my professional hobby.
A couple of years ago, Sara and I moved to College Station and about one month after we arrived in Aggieland, I ran into an old college buddy of mine. James Barrett, is an established photographer, and he informed me that he and his wife had also recently moved to College Station, TX. As time went one, we gradually started 2nd shooting for each other at weddings and other major events.
This gives us the opportunity to do what we love, and instead of annoying our wives, we can catch up on all the latest photo gear and gadgets. The fun part is that the bride and groom usually have no idea that they are getting TWO professional photographers that each have top-notch gear, training, and experience.
James called me a while back and asked if I’d help him photograph a wedding, but that there was a catch. (We have a gentlemen’s agreement that we’ll help each other for about 4-6 hours.) The catch was that this was an overnight trip because we needed to attend the rehearsal 3 hours away the night before, and the wedding wasn’t until the next day at 6:45 pm. Because of travel time, this meant that I’d have to be gone for 3 days and 2 nights away from home. I agreed to help out my old college buddy.
This is where the being nice to your photographer part comes into the story. During the rehearsal on Friday evening, the bride and groom were so nice, friendly and appreciative that it made us want to work even harder. I cannot count the number of times we heard the words “Thank you” from Michael and Kristen. I had never met these two before, but yet they made me feel like family. I always work hard when I’m a second shooter, but this time it was even more important that I helped James capture some EPIC shots for them to remember their special day.
I had some portable studio lights with me from a recent trip but didn’t have light stands that would stay upright outside in the wind. The lights would make it possible to extend our shooting time immediately following the evening wedding. So, the morning of the wedding we made a quick trip Competitive Camera and I spent my photo “allowance” from James on some heavy duty light stands, sand bags to keep them steady in the wind, and various other items I deemed essential.
The genuine, kind spirit from Kristen and Michael continued on throughout their wedding day and their contagious attitude was echoed by the wedding party. All of this made for a great day of shooting. I wish you both the best and thanks again for being such a blast to photograph!
If you’ve got a wedding planned soon, just remember to be nice to your wedding photographer(s) and you might end up with more than you expected.
P.S. If you don’t have a photographer lined out yet, I know a guy! 😉