Class Review - {hive-certified} Photography & 2nd Shooter Training - By: Megan Peters

In my early career as a photographer, I’ve learned a few basic lessons. One is photography is a profession where art meets business. On a daily basis, I have the opportunity to connect with other photographers, many of whom create art I admire and which pulls on my heart strings. But what I didn’t realize was how much work these artists must do behind the scenes to make their photography dreams into a career. And as I work toward my own goals for my studio and my craft, I am often faced with roadblocks that seem insurmountable. One of these is the idea of “experience.”


This is a roller coaster we’ve all been on at one time or another. We want to work in a certain industry, but to get a foot in the door, we have to have good experience. However, to get good experience, we have to have a foot in the door. It’s a merry-go-round that unfortunately can turn people away. But if you’re passionate enough, and have the drive to really, truly go for it, you’ll find a way. And lucky for me (and YOU!), there are organizations like {Hive-Workshops} that give you the opportunity to get that foot in the door while learning and growing as a creative.


Wedding photography has always been something that I’ve found very intimidating. I’m a portrait photographer, and the idea of photographing the most important day in someone’s life is both thrilling and terrifying! I’ve done a few, very small weddings for friends, but I’ve never had the opportunity to break into the larger wedding market. So when I saw that {Hive-Workshops} was hosting a two-part series on Assisting for Photography and Second Shooting, I immediately booked my slot!


Melissa Slater wedding photographer hive workshops slater studios

International destination wedding photographer, Melissa Slater of Slater Studios of Photography & Design led the workshop filled with creatives ready to learn and absorb as much information as possible. A few of the creatives in attendance had assisted and second shot before, and some even had their own wedding photography businesses, but many, like myself, were looking to break into this industry. Melissa got right down to the nitty gritty in the first session, focused on Assisting for Photography. She talked about the “Do’s and Don’ts” for assisting, with real life examples she received straight from the most lucrative photographers in Kansas City and beyond. Her real life tips, such as arrive early, be polite to the other vendors and compliment people, will help you not only get hired, but be a sought after Photography Assistant in the fields of wedding, portrait and commercial photography.


“Be your photographer’s eyes, ears and hands,” said Melissa. “Work hard, move fast, and do for your photographer what you would want done for you!”


Then Melissa took the creatives through real-life scenarios with off-camera lighting, reflectors and equipment. Practical tips, like how to best hand off a new lens to your lead photographer, were priceless!


Melissa Slater

The second session was focused around Second Shooting, especially for weddings. Second shooting can seem like an unattainable goal for new photographers, especially when they lack experience. Melissa went through how to get a job second shooting, from first contact to payment, giving the creatives in attendance a game plan for the future. Melissa is a sought-after second shooter, travelling all over the world to second shoot for some of the most successful wedding photographers. She shared how she built her reputation as a go-to second shooter and a trusted resource for other photographers. When asked the best way to get second shooting jobs, she told the creatives to network! “Go to every event, introduce yourself and ask for contact information,” she said. “Then follow up, send your resume and blow them away!”


Modern Bride  Melissa Slater
modern bride melissa slater

I was amazed to learn that most of the images published from weddings in magazines and on websites are taken by second shooters! Turns out, when you are a second shooter, you are the one who often gets the opportunity to play and get creative. Most second shooters shoot the wedding details, including the food, florals and accessories. Second shooters also get the opportunity to tell incredible stories through their work. While the lead photographer must focus on capturing the scheduled shots, the second shooter can look for candid moments as they are happening and capture them for the client to cherish forever.


As with the photo assisting workshop, the creatives were provided with a fantastic list of ways to get hired over and over again. These included the creative (follow the emotion!) and the simple (turn off the ringer on your cell phone!). All the tips were provided by regarded professionals and gave the creatives in attendance an awesome checklist to keep the jobs coming in!


As of today, I’m officially {Hive-Certified} as a Photography Assistant and Second Shooter! I’m so grateful! {Hive-Workshops} has given me the opportunity to move forward in my career when I didn’t know how I would get over what seemed to be an insurmountable roadblock. After the course, I was added to a list of certified professionals that was provided to photographers all across Kansas City. I have already been contacted to assist on a photo shoot, and I have a couple more inquiries coming in as well. I’m so excited to keep learning and growing as I add to my photography resume!



Megan Peters hive workshops blogger

Written by:  {hive-workshops} blogger Megan Peters.

 Check out more of Megan's awesomeness on her BLOG Crazy Bananas and read another one of her {hive-blog} posts entitled:  Comparison is the Thief of Joy - here.