When you have an idea, a big idea, it’s hard to know where to start sometimes. And writing this blog post today is no different because I’m so excited to share with everyone the “big idea” that I’ve been secretly working on behind the scenes here for the past several months.
You know, I can’t even say when it started, but I’ve just had this feeling that there needed to be something more within the wedding photography industry. A better way to “be”. At first, I wasn’t exactly sure what it was. So I’d write myself a little note here, another thought there. I wrote down so much of what has on my heart and tried to formulate an idea of how all those thoughts could manifest themselves into something greater. And then all that ended up crumpled on the floor, several times, as I tried again to make it clear.
As all these thoughts swirled around in my head, I was fortunate to have the mentoring and guidance of some of the photographers I’ve looked up to and gotten to know over the years. People like Mary Marantz, Katelyn James, and Melissa Jill (to name a few) were instrumental in helping me clear the clutter and find a path when I was too bogged down and too close to the details of it all. What came from all my brainstorming and all my hopes for the wedding photography industry is what I’ve been working on.
I am so thrilled to finally announce The Second Shooter Society!
Of course, the natural question then is just what is that? The short answer is that The Second Shooter Society was created to be the leading resource for growing wedding photographers to find support, education, and opportunities as interns, assistants, associates, and second shooters.
The longer answer lies in the “why” behind it all. Over the years, I had the same struggles and self-doubt as any other beginning photographer. Am I good enough? Is it worth all the time and effort? Will I succeed? I also had difficulty finding a reliable way to hire second shooters during wedding season. What if my usual choices weren’t available? Will my friends share their recommendations? Will Facebook postings and scouring websites result in any good matches?
Of course we also all learn that being a good photographer is more than just taking good photos. It’s doing things like helping a bride repair her dress when she was in tears because it ripped early in the day. It’s taking photos that are the last photos a family has together before a loved one passed away. It’s seeing my second shooter calm a mother by showing a sneak peek on the back of her camera to reassure her that photos weren’t going to be ruined just because power had been knocked out for the entire reception.
A big part of my success has been exceptionally serving my clients like this and in so many other ways. Which means I need to work with second shooters who share those same values. Who can best represent my business, who can provide the same care and thoughtfulness, and who can capture photos with the same anticipation and excitement.
Recently, I realized that all these are related. The new photographer looking to grow, the established photographer looking for help, the clients needing our very best – it’s all related because it’s all about making a connection and serving others. I realized there needed to be a better solution for all of us.
That’s where The Second Shooter Society was created. To create a resource for the new photographer to be welcomed and embraced. To have a thoughtful platform to make connections between photographers. To raise others up through education and community. Because at the heart of it all, if we can create a better community and a more educated industry of photographers, then we can better connect and serve one another (and our clients) when it comes to working together on wedding days!
So I welcome you to check out our sneak peek! As we prepare for our full launch, I invite you to download our free ebook and learn about “The Best Advice I’ve Ever Received” from myself along with some of the industry’s top leaders including Abby Grace, Amy and Jordan Demos, Caroline Logan, Erin Youngren, Jamie Delaine, Jasmine Star, Katelyn James, Mary Marantz, and Melissa Jill. Come see what has most impacted their growth as a photographer over the years and has helped them achieve some of the success they enjoy today.
In the meantime, I can’t wait to celebrate all within our industry and lift up those around us as we all continue to grow as wedding photographers!
Meet the Photographer: Hey there! I’m Kelly Ewell, a Northern Virginia wedding photographer who specializes in engagement, wedding, and anniversary photography. I live in Leesburg, VA with my husband and rescue pup, Piper. When I’m not at weddings, you can find me at the local wineries or renovating our farm, 48 Fields! I’d love for you to connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.