Many of the couples I work with, perhaps like yourself, are surprised when I tell them they need a second photographer at their wedding. Granted, not all couples/weddings do. But unless you’re eloping or hosting a micro wedding, the reality is, you likely do.
Without knowing the pros to why, it’s understandable why you’re hesitant. Shocked or unsure, even. After all, you’re probably already hesitant about having one camera in your face all day. Never mind two. And you’re unsure if you’ll have to give up on other things in your wedding just to afford the photography package you want.
But before you completely brush off the idea, hear me out. Because there really are some good reasons for having a second photographer present at your wedding.
For starters, so much goes on simultaneously at weddings – from the moment you’re getting ready to your final exit. There are so many emotions and reactions happening all around you – and all of them are worth capturing and remembering.
So, let’s take a look at four more reasons why NOT hiring a second photographer is one of the biggest mistakes you can make for your wedding.
Reason #1: A second shooter acts as an assistant.
Film photography is a bit more time-consuming than digital photography. Mainly because you have to swap out rolls of film instead of small cards. So, this is where having a second photographer onsite is especially helpful. Not only for me but for you as well.
While my second photographer helps me change film rolls, carry equipment, and set up my tools, this frees up my time so that I can capture more images for you. AND all that extra time gives me creative brain space to develop new ideas based on the lighting or the setting.
As an assistant, a second photographer can also act as an extra pair of eyes, fixing and adjusting small details I might miss. Like fixing a curl of hair that’s out of place or straightening the guy’s ties.
All of these tiny elements play a huge part in capturing detail-oriented photos. So, it’s important to make sure an assistant is there to help get things in tip-top shape.
Reason #2: A second shooter can get more photos of more moments.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, many moments throughout the day happen at the same time. And because I can’t be in two places at once, a second photographer allows you to get photos of different events that happen simultaneously. Moments like when you and your friends are getting ready while your partner and their friends also get ready. And like family and couple portraits when cocktail hour is taking place.
There are also multiple reactions in the same moments that happen simultaneously that you’ll want captured. For instance, the first look. Which apart from portraits and cocktail hour, is one of the biggest reasons I recommend having a second photographer.
Think about it: Two people. Two reactions. But only one angle is captured if there’s only one photographer? Not on my watch! Instead, you’re going to want detailed photos of you crying happy tears AND pictures of the look on your partner’s face when they see how gorgeous you look. Trust me.
Your ceremony is the third major moment that it’s beneficial to have a second photographer. For example, I’ll get you and your dad or mum walking you down the aisle. While the second photographer will get your partner’s reaction. Both are moments you’ll remember forever. And with a second photographer, are moments you’ll be able to relive from your photos over and over again.
As your lead photographer, my priority is to photograph you and your partner first and foremost. And while I do my best to keep a keen eye on all of the “secret” moments happening between guests (your sister wiping a tear, parents holding hands, the flower girl making a face, etc.), it’s not possible to document everything happening.
But having a second photographer makes it much more likely that you receive images of those candid, special moments. Not only during the ceremony but the cocktail hour and reception too. And by having two photographers, you can always ensure there is someone on the floor scanning the room for those moments. While the other might grab a quick bite to eat or pop into the restroom.
Last but not least, let’s also talk about wedding portraits. Having a second photographer is an excellent choice if you have a larger wedding party. Because, as you can probably imagine, organising a big group of people for photos can be pretty challenging. So, while I’m snapping your picture, if the second photographer isn’t capturing cocktail hour, they’re helping me call out names of the family members who are next on the list. This way, we can keep the ball rolling. And the sooner you can get to enjoying cocktail hour with your family and friends.
Reason #3: A second photographer can get photos of the same moment from a different perspective.
You’ll never regret having more moments captured from multiple perspectives because a different angle can change the whole feeling of it.
Take the first look or ceremony as I mentioned above. The different perspectives of the same moment will reveal something you want to see and remember.
Capturing different moments and angles during the ceremony is also important because it’s such a fast-paced part of the wedding. It helps to have a second photographer there to capture your parent’s faces as you exchange vows. Or of your grandma dabbing at her tears as you say, “I do.”
It’s all these little moments that are so special and worth documenting. And having two people watching out for them for you means that we will almost certainly capture them all.
Reason #4: A second photographer allows your primary photographer to take a break during the day.
This reason may sound like it benefits me more than it does you. But when I say it makes all the difference for both of us, it truly makes all the difference! Especially after eight or ten hours of continuous standing and working with high energy and emotions.
In order to be at my very best and give you the experience you deserve, I need to recharge and refuel my mind and my body. And that means taking time out for a quick bit of food during the reception while the second photographer continues to capture moments.
Even the smallest 15-minute break can create space and freedom to relax and allow creativity to flow.
If you’re still a bit unsure about hiring a second photographer for your wedding, let me leave you with one last thing. Many couples admit that one of their biggest regrets was not spending more on their wedding photography. After all, there are no repeats of this day. And to capture the fleeting moments that quickly pass by, is, essentially, priceless.
I know that sounds biased coming from a wedding photographer. But even a quick internet search will prove the claim.
So, whatever you choose to do, know that as your photographer I promise to capture as much of your wedding day as I can. And also know that if you decide to hire a second photographer, they will follow that same promise. Ready to hire one (or two!) photographer(s)? Go ahead and click here so we can get started.