Do you need a second photographer on your wedding day? There are several reasons why you might want to consider adding a photographer to your wedding photography package. In this post I walk through some of the reasons to consider having two photographers.
Getting ready photos
I can only be in one place at one time and I typically try to spend my time with the bride. My second photographer gets to be the fly in the wall with the guys. Some grooms think that this coverage isn’t as important, or I hear that they won’t be doing anything special. Whatever is happening in the moments before your wedding ceremony is special! If you are sitting around watching football and drinking whiskey, great, do that! If you guys head outside to toss the Frisbee for a bit before getting dressed, perfect. You do you and the second photographer is going to capture that. That photographer will also guide you towards the pretty light when the time comes to put on the cuff links and tie those ties! It’s nice to have balanced coverage of both the guys and the girls getting ready.
I work hard not to be a distraction during the ceremony. That means I’m moving around as little as possible, shooting with two cameras and lenses and not making gear changes. I want to get as much coverage as I can without attracting attention. Having another photographer to shoot wide if I am tight for the kiss, to go in the back if I am in the front and to be looking for moments from guests while I am focused on my couple helps me to tell your entire story during the wedding ceremony.
Cocktail hour is typically your time to be alone (with me) taking photos! Chances are some of good moments that happen as your guests mingle and introduce themselves to each other, or connect again for the first time since college may be happening during your formal photos. You’re not going to want to miss this, so my second photographer is there to capture it all. Sometimes I may ask my second to join me or split the time if we are doing something really different, or if I need assistance. Either way, having a second photographer for a wedding over 100 guests is very helpful during cocktail hour.
Sometimes a card, or even a camera, can fail during a critical moment of a wedding. It’s never actually happened to me, but I’m always prepared for it in case it does. One of the best ways to not miss a beat is to signal to my second to take over while I change a card or grab a back up camera. I also like having a second photographer scheduled who I know could step in to take over if I get sick or hurt at a wedding. A backup plan is essential for a wedding photographer and having a second photographer scheduled is the best way to provided added insurance on your day (and of course I have a backup plan to my backup plan too!!!)
This one is pretty obvious. While most of the images come from me, the gallery is larger when there are two photographers.
I’m going for the ‘must have’ shots, I like to have my second stretch their creative muscle a bit and look for things that may be less obvious during a wedding day. I love seeing the different perspectives that my seconds come up with when I sit down to edit my photos, and so do my couples. I work with professionals who also photograph their own weddings. There is so much value in having a an extra set of creative eyes on a wedding day.
Formals move quickly
For big families with a long list of family photos, it helps to have a person to fetch the uncle who snuck off to the bar and to check off the family combos as we make our way down the list. The second set of eyes is also good for spotting cell photos in pockets and the occasional grasshopper in the gown. My second photographer is also there to grab some of the candids of the wedding party goofing off in between shots while I’m focused on getting the family formals.
Oh the details… can’t forget the details. These are not my favorite things to photograph… I like photos of people. You do put a whole lot of time and planning into these details and having photos of them is important when you look back at your day. I’m all eyes on my bride and groom during the half hour before the ceremony. My second photographer is tasked with capturing the reception area before everyone moves in and puts their purses on the table. I’m always going to capturing the details I come across through out the day, but my second photographer has the job of checking off all the important ones that you’ve asked for, and some that you have not.
Basically, two brains are better than one on a wedding day. Four hands are also better than two. At the end of the night when I light my subjects, my second photographer is there to move the lights and talk through challenging light scenarios. While not always necessary for a wedding with under 100 guests, it is nice to have the extra hands, eyes, brains and cameras on a larger wedding.
My friend Caitie and I teaming up for a on a wedding a couple years ago 🙂