If you are reading this that means you may be in the midst of planning your wedding and have either already hired your photographer or are looking to hire your wedding photographer.
The first thing I want to clarify is that a second photographer does not mean that you would hire two separate photographers! What it does mean that when you hire your Wedding Photographer they may have the option (if it’s not already included) to add a second shooter to your package. If you were to add this option to your package the lead photographer (aka the photographer you hired) will subcontract out a photographer to come with them on the Wedding Day. In most all cases this will be somebody they frequently have worked with or know very well and trust the quality of their work.
There are benefits to adding a Second Photographer to your package. If you are wondering if its worth it then keep reading to find out how a second shooter can benefit you on your big day.
Wedding Days are so important and certain shots are crucial. That being said many wedding photographers have go to spots they want to be in. They know what spots work best to get the shots they want to get. By having a second shooter with them on the day the lead can focus on getting those main crucial front shots while the second works different angles and perspectives to give more variety in your final gallery.
Ex. This bride requested that at the reception after the main dances we take a giant selfie of all the guests. This Venue (Stone Valley Meadows) has two levels so we were able to accommodate this request. As the lead, I went up to the second floor and called for the guests to come to the dance floor for a giant selfie. My second photographer (Grace Shlonsky Photography) went to the steps to get the photo at another angle. Even though you can’t see all the faces of the guests in the second photo it really gives it a more concert like vibe and adds to the overall gallery for the bride.
You may have a timeline that is very tight and allows for no wiggle room. Or you may be getting ready in separate locations and are wanting somebody to be with both the bride and the groom. It’s impossible to be in two places at once so while you lead will stick with the bride the second photographer can be with the groom and his groomsmen. This will help knock out both individuals and bridal party shots at the same time.
Ex. During this wedding my second photographer (Sydney) was taking photos of the venue and surrounding areas while I worked on the flat-lay photos of the bridal details. This allowed time to be saved by knocking out two things at once!
Things happen very quickly, especially during high emotional moments in the day. For example, one of the biggest photos you will want to get is your significant other’s reaction to you walking down the aisle. You would also want to make sure you got a photo of your first kiss. During this time by having two photographers there should be no reason that you wouldn’t get a good photo of both of these moments. Another example would be while your lead focuses on staged formals or even on the two of you getting married the second can focus on emotional reactions of the crowd. This leads me to my next point.
Ex. This shot to the left was taken by my second photographer. The way the ceremony location was set up I was not able to see the bride or anybody walking up until they close to the aisle. This is a shot that would not have been in their gallery if it had not been for having a second photographer that was able to move to outside the aisles of the ceremony.
Unless you are going for a photo-documentary approach to your wedding there are going to be posed photos. For example, you have your bridal portraits, bridal party, and family formals. During family formals while the lead photographer is getting those shots the second photographer can be getting more candid images of your guests during cocktail hour. You can also get more reactions to events happening during the reception if the second focuses on your guests while the lead focuses on you such as the cake cutting or dancing photos.
Each photographer has their own unique creative style to their work. It’s what makes their brand theirs. Having two photographers at your wedding can help give different points of view in creativity. For example a photographer I work closely with excels at creative angles and shots of the couple and the venue itself. I excel more at the classic poses and prompts and the flat-lays. When we work together the final gallery has a beautiful mix of both classic and creative shots giving it a more well-rounded look overall.
Ex. Up above is the exact same pose but each photo is taken by a different photographer at a different angle. The first image was mine as a straight-on shot while the second image in black and white was the shot of the second photographer while laying on the ground.
Overall having a second photographer is a great way to ensure that you will get lots of images from all different angles. It allows your photographer to have an assistant saving you both time for more portraits and gives you that backup in case of emergencies. When booking your wedding photographer be sure to ask them if a second photographer comes with your package. If not then be sure to ask them what the cost would be to add a second. After-all, wouldn’t you like to have the extra insurance for your once-in-a-lifetime gallery?