Published by Sam, Editor - July 13, 2016

So should you pay for a second photography shooter at your wedding? Having a second photographer is becoming more and more popular and also seen a lot in photographer pricing packages. Whether you should decide to have a second shooter depends on a number of things where it can certainly benefit from having a another photographer there.

Do I Need A Second Photographer for my Wedding?

The benefits of a second shooter are useful for…

Getting Ready Shots

With the bride and bridesmaids all getting ready together these can make for some fun and lovely photos, shots of the bridesmaids helping the bride put the dress on, drinking wine together with the emotion and excitement of the day captured through photos. With a single photographer they will be with the bride all morning as they get ready capturing those beautiful moments.

Groom getting ready
Photo by Sergio Cueto from Laura & Toni’s Wedding in Gijón

However, what about he groom? If they are getting ready somewhere else then this is where a second shooter is useful, you have your main photographer capturing the bride getting ready, with a second shooter with the groom, best man and the rest of the guys. In this instance it depends how important some photos of the guys getting ready is, their getting ready shots maybe more limited, and lets be honest they don’t take that long to get ready. That being said there are still some great moments for great shots so why shouldn’t they be captured too?

Your guests

If you have a very large number of guests at your wedding you may benefit from a second shooter that allows you to capture more of your guests and the emotion of the day. This is not to say a single photographer cannot or won’t do this, however a second shooter allows the other photographer to focus on the bride and groom during the ceremony allowing the second shooter to focus on the guests only. The more guests you have, the more tricky it is to capture those fun moments, emotions and joy on your guests faces while also doing formal shots for example.

If you are having a large number of guests at your wedding, 150-200 people, and love the photojournalism style then a second shooter is a huge benefit here. While group and family shots are done, your second shooter can capture unseen moments of your guests chatting away and enjoying the day while this goes on.

The Venue

Be it for the ceremony or the reception, large venues that have a few different vantage points allow for a range of different shots, having a second shooter allows your to capitalise on this and benefits from being able to capture the same moment from different angles. This could be shots of of the bride and groom walking down the aisle with shots from a photographer on the ground level and a second shooter capturing the moment from a balcony above for example.

Photo by Kristian Leven
Photo by Kristian Leven

What about smaller venues? If you are getting married in a very small church where there isn’t much room then your photographer may not be able to move around easily or freely without getting in the way or blocking the view of your guests. Of course the photographer will do the best they can to get the best shots from the best angle without getting in the way, however if the venue is very tight then a second shooter can be useful here  so that photos can be captured from two different points without having to move around.

Should you pay for a second photography shooter at your wedding?

This really comes down to whether one is needed and the benefits of a second shooter for your wedding. How big is your wedding and how many guests will there be? Small intimate weddings may not need a second photographer, however what about groom shots? How important are they to you? If you would like some of these and the guys are getting ready in a completely different location to the girls then a second shooter maybe required.

Overall it comes down to whether you need one and the budget for it. In many cases a second shooter is not needed, however there are certainly benefits if you do have one.

Things to consider

If you have found your perfect wedding photographer and are considering a second shooter then speak to them, see what they think in terms of your venue, the number of guests and see what they think. They may have shot before at your venue with a second photographer and may think it would be beneficial for your wedding day, or they may say it is not needed for what you have planned.

If you will be having a second shooter, view their work and view completed albums from your photographer where they also had a second shooter so you can check the overall quality of their work and the album once completed. You want to make sure the quality is consistent throughout and that the second shooter is of the same high standard.

Your photos will be the lasting thing once the day is over so it is better to have to many than to few photos, that doesn’t mean you should or must have a second shooter but it is certainly worth bearing in mind when looking at different photographers and their packages.



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