When working as a duo on special events, such as a wedding, figuring out what responsibilities to give to each photographer can be tricky. Photographer Jasmine Star and her partner JD have been photographing weddings since 2006. They have mastered juggling who takes which pictures when and have it down to a science.
Since a couple will book photographers for a certain number of hours, Jasmine’s strategy is to “divide and conquer.” She takes pictures of the bride getting ready, while JD shoots snapshots of the groom. Logistics need to be figured out before the day of the wedding; communicating these stipulations with the bride and groom is crucial to avoid any confusion. For example, if there are separate prep locations for the bride and groom and they are more than 30 minutes apart, there is no sense in separating the first and second shooters. Jasmine and JD usually designate 45 minutes each for prep photos—if most of the time is spent driving back and forth between locations it’s not worth it. If worst comes to worst, the groom will need to make his final dressing prep at the ceremony location in order for JD to snap some detailed photos of him.
If there is only one car you’re both using, transportation for the first shooter need to be organized. In Jasmine’s case, she sometimes rides with the bride to the ceremony (which gives her more opportunities to snap some shots), or she will have JD pick her up after they have both finished shooting prep photos.
Jasmine recommends shooting both bridesmaids and groomsmen at the same time for better lighting and location continuity. The scenery and lighting continuity make for a more balanced arrangement of photos, and the final album will be more appealing. While the first shooter is taking the traditional photos of the bridal party, the second shooter resides on the sidelines, taking pictures of candid moments. Only using one photographer for group photos can limit the different types of photographs that would have been possible to capture with two shooters, so using two is always beneficial.
One of the most important things to remember as a photography team is to communicate with the bride and groom before the day of the wedding and go over all the abovementioned arrangements, so the day can run smoothly, all parties are satisfied and memories that will last a lifetime can be made.
Jasmine Star is one of the most celebrated wedding photographers in the US. Resource interviewed her for our current Spring wedding issue, which is available here.