The Ill-defined Role of the “Almost” Second Shooter…….

Having previously spoken about the delicious/difficult joy of having a daughter who is also a photographer – I trod into uncharted territory this week when I was commissioned to be the “almost second shooter” at a wedding that Nicola was covering.  As those of you in the wedding industry would know, a photographic second shooter is one who assists the commissioned photographer by picking up alternate shots (usually from a different direction/perspective/angle), or attending the less important location when there is a clash of photo opportunity.  I was invited to a nephew’s wedding and Nicola was commissioned to record the occasion.  A set-up for the classic Wedding Uncle scenario!  The type of situation that is written about (in bitter angst) on photography forums, on an hourly basis, all around the world!  Having done more weddings (in a previous lifetime and century) than I care to remember, the lack of full responsibility was a blessing; BUT the constraints that were placed upon me by said Daughter were daunting:


The Bride and her Father; © Ian Poole, 2013.

  • Don’t get in my way;
  • Don’t distract the Bride when I am shooting;
  • No, I don’t need you when we leave to take the real photos at another location;
  • etc, etc, etc, etc.


    Dress Detail; © Ian Poole, 2013.

A few days before this event I was fortunately distracted from these photographic imposts by the loan of a lens in a style with which I rarely work.  Most of my photography is done with prime lenses in the standard to wide angle area (20/35/60mm Nikon).  Tony Holden, Queensland Area Manager at C.R. Kennedy & Co Pty Ltd was kind enough to share with me a Sigma APO 70-200mm F2.8 lens.  Whilst I have on occasions desired a longer than standard lens, it has never been of great concern for me to have one in my camera bag.  So coupling a new photographic toy with photographic constraints – I was on a roll.

Working from my allocated position, I was able to record the detail in Kira’s dress.  The Sigma lens performed well – have a look at the detail from a crop showing the bow.


Wedding Ceremony; © Ian Poole, 2013.

The second shot that this lens enabled me to achieve was the discrete reaction that only a telephoto can achieve.  The genuine joy on the faces of the Bride and Groom is placed in the context of the Maleny hinterland location, and despite an autumnal haze, the coastal seaside can be viewed in the background of the ceremony.

Of course, the creative photographer in me wouldn’t allow the opportunity to pass without putting my photographic finger prints on the occasion.  Dragging a more familiar 20mm lens from the camera bag I was able to grab this one.  I have owned a variation of this lens since the early 1970s and have fond memories of being given access to its Leica 21mm equivalent a long time before I could even afford to buy a Nikon…… It is more my style, and probably why I am not in demand for wedding bookings these days.


Kira and Daniel, Maleny; © Ian Poole, 2013.

Thank goodness!

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