Do I Need A Wedding Second Photographer?
Beginning your search for wedding photography has probably brought up the question, “Do I need a second photographer at my wedding?” I’m going to begin this post with the disclaimer that these are my personal opinions on wedding second photographers. Every photographer has different needs and will have a different opinion on this.
Reasons To Have a Wedding Second Photographers:
1) Groom Getting Ready. Wedding second photographers provide dedicated coverage of the groom and groomsmen getting ready. This also allows the main photographer to cover the bride and bridesmaids getting ready. If you’re getting ready at totally different locations you will probably want a second photographer. If you are getting ready at the same location you can possibly do it with one photographer, however, the time with the Bride will be interrupted for 30-45 minutes or so.
2) Multiple Angles. Second photographers also provide different angles than the main photographer of the same moment. This allows for more candid images. For example, let’s say I am setting up a group shot of the girls and at the same time the groom’s father arrives. I can’t photograph that moment of the groom greeting his father while also setting up a group shot.
3) Reception Detail Shots. You’ll want beautiful reception room details. When everything is at the same location I can often get details done earlier in the day (30-45 minutes prior to the ceremony). However, if your ceremony and reception are at separate locations you may want a second photographer. In many instances I’m photographing the family or the wedding party while guests are entering the reception room for cocktail hour. A second shooter can go immediately to the reception after the ceremony to grab all those gorgeous deal shots before guests enter the space.
4) Cocktail Hour. A second photographer can be photographing your guests at cocktail hour while we are still photographing the family and/or the wedding party photos. This will give you more candid and posed photos of your guests.
5) Emergency Situations. If I were sick a few days prior to your wedding the likelihood that I could find a replacement photographer for you is great. I know many wonderful photographers in the industry that would help. Now let’s say I was on the way to your wedding and got into a major accident. A second photographer would be a valuable thing to have. If I’m hospitalized I obviously wouldn’t be able to make it to your wedding. With a second photographer, you’d have that emergency photography coverage for the day. This situation has never happened to me, but rare things such as this can still happen.
Why you may not want a wedding second photographer:
The only reason not to have wedding second photographers is the budget. The budget, however, is a pretty huge factor and having a second photographer can be costly. I price my second photographers separately for this reason. Although I could raise prices and include a second photographer with every package, in many situations a second shooter is a want rather than a need. I photograph 90% of weddings solo, so it’s definitely not an impossible task.
The biggest concern couples have is that I can’t capture the groom’s reaction while the bride comes down the aisle. This is a myth. In most cases, I will be near the front of the aisle as the bride is walking down. This allows me to capture the bride coming down the aisle and, with a simple turn to the side, I can capture the groom’s reaction as well. The second photographer during this time is generally getting a shot of the bride from the back of the church. This includes the back of the bride’s dress and the groom’s reaction from the back of the aisle.