I get this question asked a lot more than you think I would. And I answer it every single time with the same response, “It depends”. It makes me cringe to say it, but it’s entirely true. While I would love to have a second shooter with me for every wedding, I understand it isn’t feasible. So, before you start worrying your little completely burnt out wedding planning hearts about needing a second photographer, let throw a couple of questions at you.
Are there going to be multiple things going on at once?
For instance, are you and your fiance getting ready at the same time in two separate locations? Logistics is the number one reason I highly recommend a second shooter at all of my weddings. When I’m capturing the bride and her girls at the venue, I can send my second to the separate hotel to capture the guys getting ready and hanging out (and maybe drinking a couple of beers?). Or even if you are in the same place and are separated to each corner of the venue. Having someone else I trust to be able to go capture it is priceless.
Maybe you are going to be in the same venue and have enough time for me to capture both of you getting ready. Well are there any other moments during your day that two things will happen at once? Think about the moment you see each other. Do you want both of your faces captured? If its a first looks, it should be pretty simple, but if you guys see each other for the first time walking down the aisle, that makes it a little harder. Also will you have any room flips? Do you have a lot of details that you want captured, but need me to take your family formals at the same time? Think about things like that.
How about the number of people you are going to invite?
If you are going to have a massive reception, I would highly recommend a second photographer! I can’t be in two places at once (I tried it once. It didn’t work out very well cause I’m not able to apparate). Its super helpful for me to have another person who can grab something from a different angle or being at a happening spot when I’m simply not there!
Speaking of angles, want more candids?
I always encourage my seconds to grab candids! These are typically my brides favorite shots and my second is typically the one to grab them. I might be coaching you into a certain position, and your groom says something that makes you both die laughing. My second would be the one to capture it because they were waiting for it with their camera up!
How about finances? Can you afford it?
This is typically the number one reason why my couples worry about having a second photographer. And that totally makes sense! But if you answered any of the above question with “Yes! That is what is going on for my wedding day!”. Then we should figure out a way to include a second photographer! Here are a couple of options that we could do:
- What if we move my timeline around? Do you need me for the WHOLE reception? There are ways to work around this like capturing the reception shots early before the ceremony or having a faux exit so that I’m not needed for the whole time.
- What if we had a second for just a couple of hours? A second doesn’t have to technically be there for the whole time! I make sure to include the rate we would pay them by the hour so you can have them for as many hours as you like! While I have some recommended packages, I always let my couples customize their own package if needed.
Not sure what a second shooter can capture? All of the below images are from me second shooting with Laura Watson Photography last year!
Also! Want other helpful tips? Check out all of my posts for my Soon-To-Be-Married!