This is a continuation of our second shooter training for Lin and Jirsa Photography. We’ve decided to share our training guide with you all in hopes that it will benefit our community by giving you some insights into what we do in our studio. Previously, I covered Groom and Groomsman Prep and First Look, and now I want to move into Couples Session.

This section will be short and sweet because as the second shooter, you’ll likely be covering the details of the ceremony site at this point. But if for some reason the timeline allows you to hang out and capture a second angle on the couples session, then take full advantage.

Note: This is a good time to remind you to have key points in the timeline memorized. One of the most important times to memorize is the time between ceremony setup and guest arrival. You’ll likely have a very small window to capture the ceremony site without any guests, so be sure to stay proactive and leave the couples session whenever this happens. Consider setting an alarm. We’ll cover ceremony details in the next article.

Use Foregrounds and Reflections

For the couples session, make sure you’re not duplicating shots that the lead shooter is already getting and make sure you’re not interrupting the flow of the lead shooter. ┬áThe first thing you should do is find another interesting angle. ┬áThis usually involves foregrounds or reflections.

Lead Shooter Angle Shot on a Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 Mark II
Lead Shooter Angle
Second Shooter Angle Shot on a Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 Mark II

Use a Different Lens

Another sure fire way to get a different look is to use a different lens. If your lead is tight, consider going wide. If your lead is wide, consider going tight.

Lead Shooter Angle
Lead Shooter Angle (angles interchangeable) Shot on a Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 Mark II
Second Shooter Angle (angles interchangeable) Shot on a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 Mark II

Explore and Find Other Locations

Also, be sure to stay active and look for other scenes. If you see the perfect opportunity for something, bring it up to the lead and make a quick suggestion. Obviously if you’re running short on time, don’t overstep your role and let the lead do his or her thing. One of our best lighting assistants/third shooters, Tony, was proactive enough to ask security for roof access. The security was kind enough to let us do a quick session up there, which resulted in some of the best shots of the wedding.

Proactively look for Interesting Locations
New Location Found by the 3rd Shooter Shot on a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 Mark II

Perfect Your Shots

The last bit of advice is that make sure you’re perfecting your shots. This means that if you have an amazing shot, but the bride and groom are posed for the lead shooter, you have the permission to ask the couple to adjust after you’re sure the lead has his or her shot. Obviously the more experienced you are with us, the more freedom you’ll have for this and eventually you might feel like you’re co-leading a shoot. But even for our newer shooters, if there isn’t a big time restriction, feel free to make these small adjustments when appropriate to get a perfect the shot.

Check out our Natural Light Couples Workshop DVD to learn how to pose and interact with couples.

Alright, so now that we’ve covered Groom and Groomsmen, First Look, and Couples Session, let’s move onto the Ceremony Coverage! As always, we welcome your comments below.