This week I’ve been thinking about all the other great photographers out there that I am so lucky to know and work with. This city is SOOOO full of photographers. It is almost comical if you think about it. I mean… just check out the photographers section of MySeattleWedding .com … and that is just in the wedding section! It’s not surprising if you really think about it. Seattle is home to two fantastic photography programs. You have the Commercial Photography program out of Seattle Central Community College (which I am a happy alum of !!) and you have the photo program at the Art Institute of Seattle… and that doesn’t even mention all the other great programs like at UW, the Photographic Center Northwest and more. It’s not surprising that there are butt loads of talented people out there trying to carve out their little niche. Heck… I am one of them right? Well, I realized a long time ago that it is silly to be upset/disgruntled/put off by all the other amazing talent in this (surprisingly small!) city. Instead, I decided to embrace it.
I launched myself out in the photography world looking to meet and become friends with anybody else that holds the same passion for creating imagery as I do. I stopped looking at all the other photographers that photograph weddings and portraiture in my area as competitors, and started looking at them as potential colleagues, friends, and allies in this game of life. I realized that, since we are in the creative world we are in, we are all different and so not competitors. All of these other amazing people are not competitors because, when you hire me to photograph your wedding, event or family, you are hiring me… not the photograph that I take. You trust that I will be able to give you the type of memories that you will treasure. That makes all of us providing something completely different! So, in becoming friends with all of these other talented people in the area, we create a great sense of community and inspiration! There is a group of photographers that we help eachother out. Many of us have single person businesses. We do it all, be it the booking , the shooting, the editing, the print orders, the accounting, the blogging, the everything! And many of us offer second photographers for our brides and grooms for their weddings. The reason for that, is that there is so much more coverage that can be captured with two people there. So, we have to hire freelance work to have that second photographer. But none of us want to hire an untested, unknown photographer for something as big and as important as a wedding… so many of us hire eachother. It ends up such a good trade for all the photographers and for the bride and groom expecting two photographers.
This way, the bride and groom are covered during their memorable day, and, as the main photographer, I know that if I am in another room, I know my second photographer can cover whatever might come up. So, at times, I am the one hiring them, and other times they hire me. It can be a very calming and inspirational thing to not be in the hot seat as the photographer. As the second photographer, I know I can play a bit more and do a bit more different, and fun shots as I am not the person that needs to get the “main” shots. I am a person who loves to learn and is always *trying* to look at life and work in a learning way. Working as a second photographer (just on the dates that I don’t book a wedding myself) lets me work the wedding day from a different seat, so it keeps things new and interesting and inspiring! I love it!
To give a shout out to some of the photographers that I have worked as a second photographer, and some of them have for me:
All these people are amazing photographers and I am lucky to have them (along with a slew of others too) as friends and people to “talk shop” with and find inspiration through.