Do I Need A Second Photographer?
This is one of the most frequent questions I get asked as a wedding photographer. I’d like to lay out for you the pros and cons of each, and why (while I offer a second shooter when needed) I prefer to work alone on wedding days.
Times when you DEFINITELY need a second photographer
- You have the bride and groom getting ready in two different locations, not all on site
- You have things happening at the SAME time that need photographed
- You have tight time constraints
- You really desire several angles of the same shot (esp. first look)
- If the main photographer is also in the wedding party (yep, I did this)
Times when you DON’T need a second photographer
- You have a smaller budget
- You have plenty of time allowed for the day
- You want a faster processing time (depends on photographer)
- Nothing during your day happens simultaneously
Let me go over a few of the cons of having a second shooter. I’ll try to be unbiased, since I often second shoot for my friends, and do love it! (below is a photo of me being accidentally in the way and embracing it. haha)
One major thing about having a second shooter is that, no matter how hard they try, sometimes they are just in the way! I love to do a large sweeping view of the whole ceremony, and often times you can see the second or main shooter in the photo. This can also happen when you are getting multiple angles of the same shot. If there is a photographer in front of the bride and one behind, neither photo turns out. It is so important, that if you do choose a photographing team, that you know they work well together and anticipate each other’s movements.
Can you spot our wedding videographer? Oops.
Another con is that having two photographers will be more expensive. If you’re looking to be budget friendly, this is one easy thing that can go.
Different photographers will have different styles. Keeping it to one photographer will help your photos all look cohesive.
Okay, are you ready for some pros?! Working with second photographers is fun! They relieve some of the pressure of the main photographer, and are a helping hand! Dress is disheveled? Got it! Bridesmaid gonna pass out if we don’t get her some water? Getting it! They also bring different views and their own creativity to the day. (above pictured is my best friend, and the first associate photographer to GE Photography)
Another pro is different angles! Below are two photos that McKenzie and I took about the same time. If you want lots of variety in your angles, second shooters are the way to go.
You will likely get a lot more photos of the day when working with a second photographer. This can be awesome, but can also slow down the processing time. No photographer can capture every single moment, but with two photographers you have twice the chance.
After this question, the one I get most often is “Can you get his reaction AND me walking down the isle?” The answer is YES! I always capture him first, and then turn and get the bride. I know it doesn’t feel like it in the moment, but there is plenty of time to catch both. Unless, of course, you have an absurdly short isle.
Case and point. Hello again videographer.
In summary, no matter how many photographers you choose for your day, make sure you get along with them! Find the photographer or photographers you really click with that will make your day go smoothly! Whether you have one or two or many, make the right choice for YOU! It will turn out beautifully!