When deciding if you should hire a second shooter for your wedding, there is a lot to consider: budget, quantity of photos, perspective, style, and more. Whether you are a bride, a groom, or a professional photographer yourself, we think you should absolutely consider hiring a second shooter.
1. Your photographer can’t be in two places at once...
...but you will want multiple locations captured at once. Think about it: You will want getting ready images taken before the ceremony with the bridal party and the same photos with the groomsman. You will want your fiance’s heartfelt reaction to you walking down the aisle captured, but also a shot of you entering the ceremony site. You will want some pictures of cocktail hour taken while you may be in family formals.
All of these moments are worth capturing, but with things happening simultaneously, you will need two photographers so no moments are missed.
2. You will end up with photos from different perspectives.
Many photographers perceive the role of the second shooter differently, but we think their role is just as important as the main photographer. They’re more of a team member, less of a camera holder and lens fetcher. We think it is important to like your second shooter’s photography style because they are responsible for capturing just as much of the day as the principal photographer.
Our tip: Hire a second shooter whose strength is your main photographer’s weakness. This way, your day is captured from complementary perspectives.
3. You will capture a greater volume of photos.
To ensure you get more images, your second shooter’s job should be to shadow the groom. While the principal shooter is photographing the bride (and what the day looks like from her perspective), the second shooter should do the same for the groom.
By the end of the night, you will have double the photos! While looking through your wedding album, you will love to be able to see the day from each other's eyes as well as all of the overlap when they are both shooting in the same room.
4. Two cameras are better than one.
We mean this literally and figuratively. We love the idea of having a team be there to help each other and to ensure the day runs as smooth as possible. Photographers don't need another person to stand around and hold their camera bags; they can do that themselves.
What they do need is someone who can photograph the reception details while portraits are being shot. Having a team that works cohesively will ensure that each photographer can focus on their job, and capture the day’s sweetest moments.
When searching for the perfect team to capture your wedding, make sure you are hiring a second photographer, not an assistant! A wedding certainly can be shot alone, but we think you can optimize the experience and get more photos with a second shooter on your big day! What do you think? Would you consider hiring a second shooter or is one photographer enough?
Special thanks to Nations Photo Lab featured photographer, Sam Stroud from Sam Stroud Photography for collaborating on and providing imagery for this post.