Using a 2nd Photographer

A Second Photographer

How exciting that you are planning for your wedding and thinking about your wedding photography! As you look around at wedding photography packages, in many cases you may find that you can choose whether you want to have one or two wedding photographers. For example, I am a solo wedding photographer, usually working on my own, but if you wanted, you could choose to have an assistant photographer as well, making two photographers at your wedding.

Deciding whether to have one or two wedding photographers can be difficult if you don’t really know what the advantages and disadvantages are, so this blog post aims to set out the facts to help you make the best choice for you and your wedding.

 

 

The advantages of having two wedding photographers are:

You get two perspectives on everything. This is particularly nice during the wedding ceremony, as you can potentially have one photographer at the front and one at the back of the church/venue for double the coverage.

You can have groom prep covered as well as bridal prep, as your photographers will be able to be in two places at once!

You’ll get more candid shots of your guests during the reception, as the second shooter will be able to capture additional natural shots while the primary shooter is doing the family formals and your bride & groom photos.

The disadvantages of having two wedding photographers are:

You will have two people with cameras pointing at you (and more if you have videographers). This doesn’t have to be a problem, and I always like to be unnoticeable anyway, but if you don’t like having your photo taken you might be more sensitive to it. 

Your guests might be more likely to be aware of the cameras. This might be especially true if you don’t have very many guests, or if you have a small venue, as there are less ways for us to remain invisible! But it is always our aim to remain discreet and not bother your guests if at all possible. 

A second photographer will mean an additional cost on your photography budget. You would need to decide whether a second photographer is going to give you plenty of added value.

As a solo photographer, I am always very happy working on my own, and because I am a bit of a photography ninja (so I’ve been told!) I can cover everything that’s happening on your wedding day myself, as far as is humanly possible. In order to do this, when I am working on my own, it is helpful to be able to have a chat through your wedding day timeline so that I know what is happening when, and also so that we can factor in any parts of the day where we need to make sure that I am able to get the coverage I need. 

For example, this might mean making sure that the bride is ready early so that I have time to get to the church and capture the action there with the groom and the guests arriving before the ceremony. It also means that I will only shoot a limited number of group photographs so that I still have plenty of time left afterwards to capture lots of natural candid shots of you and your guests mingling and having fun, which are the shots that everyone loves! As I have a lot of experience shooting weddings, I am very happy covering the wedding as a solo photographer, as I know what I need to do and where I need to be to achieve this in the best possible way for you.

Having said this, there are times when I would recommend that couples choose to have a second photographer as well. The occasions when I would recommend having two wedding photographers are as follows: 

  • The bride is getting ready a very long way from the ceremony location. 
  • The groom is getting ready in a different location from the bride and you would like groom prep photos. 
  • You have a large number of guests (more than 130). 
  • You have a lot of group photographs you need to do (more than 8), and you have a shorter reception time between the ceremony and the wedding breakfast (less than 1.5 hours). 

My assistant photographers are specially chosen because they work well, have a high level of photography skill, and shoot in a similar style to myself, so you can be confident that you are getting an excellent second shooter if you decide this is the right option for you.