A Note To Second Wedding Photographers

On very rare occasions, a client will request that a second wedding photographer should join me in photographing their wedding. While I work hard to dissuade them from such a choice—working alone is my preferred approach—some circumstances simply necessitate hiring a second wedding photographer. Most exceptions are caused by having too much distance and too little time.

While I typically have a couple reliable wedding photographers in mind, they may not always be available for a particular date. As such, I always welcome applications from interested freelancers. If you would like to be considered, please take note of the requirements, do’s, and don’ts below.


  • a valid Ontario driver’s license
  • access to your own vehicle on the day of the shoot
  • your own photography equipment
    • minimum three (3) professional or semi-professional camera bodies (two  for shooting with and one as a backup; cameras must have two memory card slots and support data mirroring)
    • minimum three (3) lenses (≤f2.0 primes and ≤f2.8 zooms preferred; at least one telephoto zoom)
  • no facial tattoos (believe me, I felt just as awkward writing that as you did reading it; however, weddings are formal events and we have to present ourselves appropriately for the occasion)

Do send

  • a short summary of your photojournalistic wedding photography experience (number of years involved, the number of weddings photographed as the prime or second photographer)
  • link to your photojournalistic wedding photography portfolio
  • link to 3-4 full photojournalistic wedding photography galleries of your work exclusively
    • (I may reverse image search photographs to verify authorship)
  • A list of the equipment you own
    • camera make and model
    • lens make, focal length, and aperture

Do not send

  • an elaborate covering letter (these aren’t read)
  • your educational background (largely irrelevant; great photojournalistic wedding photographers come from a variety of backgrounds)


The Canadian Copyright Act was amended in November 2012 for the benefit of all freelance photographers. By default, and unless otherwise stated or implied by a work-for-hire agreement, the Act “grants ownership of the copyright to professional freelance photographers for work created in the course of their employment”. Unfortunately, this is untenable for most wedding photography businesses for reasons that I won’t go into here. If applying for consideration, please note that your service contract will include a clause that transfers ownership of the copyright to the hiring party (me). This is non-negotiable.

What this means in practice to second wedding photographers

You will be provided with two memory cards for every camera that you use on the wedding day. Your camera should be configured to record the same image to both cards. The cards will be returned to me upon your departure. This contracted work is an opportunity to gain experience in photojournalistic wedding photography, not to build a portfolio. You may not use the wedding photography you produce during the course of the contracted event in your portfolio, social media feeds, and so forth, regardless of whether it is displayed publicly or privately. This is a fair deal considering that I pay above the market rate of other wedding photographers. (Some wedding photographers forego paying assistants or second photographers on their first shoot and require a rights transfer. I’m firmly against such try-before-you-buy arrangements because they’re unfair and a lousy way to attract great talent.)


If you meet the requirements and agree with the copyright provision, then the best way to apply for consideration as a second wedding photographer is by sending an email using this link.