Is a second shooter necessary? Is it possible for one photographer to capture all the special candid moments from your big day while also allowing time to capture all the details you’ll want to remember for years to come? Some couples don’t see the value in having two professional photographers at their wedding but if your budget allows it might be worth considering. In many instances, one photographer is enough but if you’re unsure consider these key factors to help you decide. **Fun fact: all the photos in todays post were taken by a second photographer.
1. Number of Guests.
If you are expecting more than 150 people to attend your wedding a second shooter could be a good idea. Having two photographers allows the main photographer to focus on the bride and groom while the second photographer can focus on capturing all the interesting moments with your guests.
2. Getting Ready Location.
If the bride and groom are getting ready in separate locations having a second shooter ensures that both parties are covered. While you can schedule one shooter to be with the bride and bridesmaids first and then head over to the groom’s place this can mean missing out on a number of key moments and limits opportunities for detail shots.
If you are having a relaxed and casual wedding then one shooter can handle the day but if you have a number of activities planned then a second shooter might be necessary. Also, consider all the time your photographer will be off shooting you and your portraits and missing out on all the reception fun. A second photographer could possibly cover the reception area set up and cocktail hour while the main photographer is capturing the post ceremony formals. Or while one photographer is photographing the bride and bridesmaids, the second photographer could photograph the groom and groomsmen to save time (especially great if you are not doing a first look!).
4. Ceremony Restrictions.
Some ceremony locations will have specific rules for photographers to follow when shooting on location. This can mean your photographer not being allowed to move around while the ceremony is taking place or only being able to shoot from a designated location. If you had two photographers in this situation you could benefit from having your ceremony shot from two different perspectives.
5. Ceremony and Reception Locations.
If you have separate locations for your ceremony and reception your photographer might not be able to arrive at your reception until long after your guests have arrived, especially if you scheduled portraits to take place after the ceremony. If you have your ceremony and reception at the same location you still may want to have a second photographer. If guests are going to be pouring into the reception hall right after the ceremony you might not get any shots of the whole place decorated and untouched with a single photographer.
As the primary first photographer, it is that persons job to capture all the “must have” photos or the main center of attention of whatever is happening. The second photographer however can photograph something else or a different angle of what is happening. For example during the toasts, the first photographer is focusing on the toaster. The second photographer can focus on the reactions from the guests and family members or even the bride and groom at a different angle. Or during bride and groom portraits the second photographer can get another angle or be creative and shoot them in a different way.