A stranger you met in the Whole Foods line told you that their biggest regret from their wedding day is not having a second photographer so now you’re wondering if you need one! Okay, maybe that didn’t happen but you may be asking yourself what that is and do you need it anyways. While a second photographer can bring you tremendous amounts of value in just about any situation, often the answer to “Do you need a second photographer on the wedding day?” is maybe.
First, let’s cover our bases. A second photographer, or a “second shooter,” is just that. They are a second photographer at your wedding working alongside the lead photographer and are there to provide additional coverage of the wedding, a second viewpoint on major events, and frankly, give you the ability to have a photographer in 2 places at once! Wow. At EKP, my 2nd photographers are photographers I’ve brought on and trained to shoot in a similar style to my own that work weddings with me all the time.
Regardless of the size of your wedding, a second photographer is a great investment! To start, galleries of weddings with a second photographer typically have 10-20% more photos due to the sheer fact that there are two of us and we’re both taking photos all day.
One of the best results of having a second photographer is that your gallery will have so much variety! You’ll have a second viewpoint on every major moment of the day as well as more images of guests and their reactions and those little things happening off to the side throughout the day that you otherwise may miss.
Think of it this way. Your brother is giving his hilarious (basically a roast) speech that is simultaneously one of the only times you’ve heard him be so sweet to you in your life. The lead photographer will capture your reactions, the reactions of your wedding party, and photos of your brother giving his amazing speech. Depending on the way the reception is arranged, a 2nd photographer ensures we can position ourselves in a way to see both of your faces well along with your brother. Meanwhile, the second photographer can also turn around to capture images of your guests’ reactions, including aunt Suzie hiding over in the back corner!
Or during your couple portraits, you’ll get the same moment from two angles giving your gallery more variety and a stronger blend of documentary and artistic styles. You’ll get more dancing. More candids. More behind the scenes of the day. To sum it up, a second photographer means more moments photographed. It’s as if your photographer has eyes also in the back of their head. (Okay, that was kinda creepy, but you get the point).
With a second photographer, you have more flexibility with your wedding day timeline and logistics. Because you can have a photographer in two places at once, you can be better prepared for a tight timeline or a large venue that’s very spread out. The most common benefit is that if you’re getting ready in different locations, especially if they’re farther apart, we can have a photographer with each of you while getting ready at the same time rather than need more total hours of photography to allow for travel in between your locations.
A second photographer can also capture ceremony or reception details and decor while the lead photographer is with you for portraits. This helps a lot in giving everyone some time back in the day so that no one has to rush and save everyone from feeling stressed and helps us work around tight venue schedules or room flips. With a second photographer, not only might you get to your reception sooner, but you can get photographs of your guests at cocktail hour while you’re doing, for example, family photos.
Having a second photographer also helps when random things come up that are unplanned and with logistics of things like the first-look, family photos, and the reception. They can also act as an assistant to the lead photographer for more complicated shots or setups.
While a second photographer is always one of the most valuable investments you can make in your photography, there are certain scenarios where you need a second photographer. Those are:
In these situations, a second photographer is pretty much a must in order to ensure all the important events and the most important people of your day are captured!
And one last reason a second photographer is great is that your lead photographer has a backup. While I do everything I can to ensure everything goes smoothly and all your images are backed up (including multiple cameras always, shooting on multiple memory cards throughout the day and frequent changing of cards), at the end of the day, we’re relying on technology and having a backup of a backup of a backup for equipment as well as a backup for key shots never hurts.
That’s why a second photographer is one of the best investments you can make in your wedding photography! You’ll feel more at ease knowing everything’s covered and you’ll have more images and more variety to remember your day for years to come.
For more tips like this and advice on planning your wedding in a way that allows for the most successful photography, be sure to download my free wedding guide! Just snag it using the link below.
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