We are all familiar with the saying “you can’t be in two places at once”. I don’t think anything describes being the only photographer at a wedding quite as perfectly as this. There’s a lot that needs to get done in a fairly short amount of time and you can definitely find us asking ourselves how some things will be possible (I swear this is when my serious super powers come out). Well this is exactly why it’s great having a second photographer around.
In case you’re not quite sure what that is, a second photographer is someone that I(or the lead photographer) hire to come on your wedding day and be my assistant/second pair of eyes. When you have 2 photographers that means you have 2 cameras, 2 perspectives, and I absolutely CAN be in 2 places at once. They can be so beneficial for so many parts throughout the day that it’s hard to think of any reason not to have one. Having that assistance can really help to fill in any holes that may be in your gallery from me not being able to catch everything, and on your big day, you definitely don’t wanna miss a thing.
So if you’re reading this and thinking “no, I still just don’t get it”, I’ve provided more explanations below for how useful a second photographer can be during each part of a wedding day.
The “getting ready” part of a wedding day is one of my favorite times. All the excitement and anticipation; I love seeing each of you around all of your friends and family, helping each other get ready. It’s like all the best parts of a sleepover condensed into a few hours!
For a photographer sometimes this can be the most stressful part of the day. There’s a lot that needs to get done in such a short amount of time and many times, those things require me to be in two places at once. The bride is on one side of the venue getting ready with the girls while the groom is on the other side getting ready with his guys. Both parties need photos of details, candids, gifts, toasts, getting dressed, and any reveals you want. That’s a lot to get done in 1.5-2 hours for one person.
When I’m the only photographer on the job I always tell my couples that one person is going to get more attention while getting ready than the other. Usually that means I stick with the bride for the majority of the time and then get a couple shots of the groom once I see him right before the ceremony. When you add a second photographer, that reduces my work in half. That means that while I get to be with the bride, my second is with the groom, and each of us is able to dedicate our full attention to capturing the entirety of both getting ready experiences. This would be the time of the day that I would say a second photographer is most useful and can be beneficial for a wedding as small as 30 people or as large as 250 people.
Here’s an example of a first look captured with a second photographer. Same moment, 2 different perspectives. Check out this full wedding gallery here!
A few weeks after the wedding goes by, you get your gallery, and you can’t wait to check it out to see photos of the most special moments! In particular, you search for the photos of you walking down the aisle and of the groom’s face the moment he sees you for the first time. You also want to see photos of your grandma crying, your niece cheering, and your friends smiling as you say your vows. You also want photos of you tearing up as you say your vows, laughing at the silly joke your partner just made, and a perfect photo of your first kiss. So how’s all this possible to capture during a 15 minute ceremony??
Don’t get me wrong, when I’m the only photographer I make sure to capture everything I can! You will get photos of those moments, but I definitely don’t want you to miss out on everything that’s possible. When you add a second photographer, automatically the amount of photos doubles. You get double the amount of all the moments you want captured. I can dedicate my energy to getting the perfect shots of you guys at the altar while my second walks around getting photos of your guests’ reactions. This is so much more efficient rather than having to focus on doing both at the same time and risk missing something important. When it comes to saying “I do”, you’re gonna want to make sure to have every moment frozen in time so you can always look back and remember how special it was.
Here’s an example of an elopement ceremony captured with a second photographer. Check out this full wedding gallery here!
Right after the ceremony, we’ve got work to do. We’ve got your family photos, any remaining wedding party photos, and your bride and groom portraits; it’s a busy busy time. But wait… what about all your guests mingling at cocktail hour?? What about all the fun lawn games you set out that you want people to enjoy?? Or the delicious appetizer buffet?? Having a second photographer allows me to be with you guys getting all the photos done as fast as we can, while my second spends time at cocktail hour photographing the part that you don’t get to be there for. You will be able to look back on your gallery, find those photos, and be really happy to see all your family become best friends and all the silly things they do together!
If you’re having a big reception, a second photographer will be the most beneficial for you. Receptions with 200 people can be so much fun, but what makes them the best is that there’s so many things going on. There’s a dance floor, lawn games, an ice cream bar, a lounge area, a photobooth and so much more that you can do to make it a great experience for your guests. Having a second photographer at your reception means you can get photos of the entire experience and all your guests can see themselves in your gallery.
If you’re having a smaller reception, a second photographer is definitely not as necessary here, but still can be super useful. This is why I always offer the option to have a second for the full day or just until dinner. Having one for half the day condenses their time to when they will be most useful for you and now you have the freedom to decide what will best suit your wedding.
Having a second photographer is great for special moments during the reception. Check out this full wedding gallery here!
In case I really haven’t driven the point home yet, ADD A SECOND PHOTOGRAPHER! Is it necessary? Technically no. Have I successfully worked many weddings without one? Absolutely! But at the end of the day, it definitely makes a difference. The day will flow much smoother and there will be nothing you feel is missing from your gallery! The whole purpose for adding one is really just to help me make sure your wedding is perfectly captured, I mean… that’s really why we’re all here anyways.
If you’ve booked your photographer already and did not initially ask to include a second photographer, don’t worry about it. You can always bring it up to them and ask for an upgrade. Throughout the process of planning your wedding there’s a good chance things will change a few times before you make the final decisions. We(us photographers/other vendors) understand this completely! And we will always do everything we can to make your wedding day the best day it can possibly be.