Do we really need a second Photographer for our wedding?

Stress Free Friday - Second Photographers - Do we need one?

Some wedding photographers will insist on it while other photographers I know prefer shooting alone.  At the end of the day you are the one hiring the photographer and it will be up to you if you want one or two people photographing your wedding.  To help make a decision, here are some factors to consider.

Location

Two photographers’ means you can both get ready in a different location, and have coverage of both at the same time. If you prefer to only have coverage of one person, or you are getting ready together before the ceremony, then one photographer may be enough.

iceland-wedding-groom
 For this recent wedding in Iceland, I spend the morning with the Bride and her girls, while my second shooter hung out with the guys. We both stopped at different locations for photos.

For this recent wedding in Iceland, I spend the morning with the Bride and her girls, while my second shooter hung out with the guys. We both stopped at different locations for photos.

Time

Is your wedding a long day requiring coverage for 10 or more hours? For a long wedding day two photographers may be ideal as they can allow each other to have little breaks and avoid burnout. (Weddings are a lot of work physically for a photographer!).  If you wedding is a quick elopement or intimate wedding, you probably only need one photographer to cover the entire day

Perspective

Two photographers means two different viewpoints during your day.  One photographer can capture the walk down the aisle, while the other can capture the reaction of their partner, or the reactions of the guests.  It also allows for more candid images throughout your day, as often the main photographer is making sure to capture all the “mandatory” shots.

Or like this first dance below, capture the same moment from a balcony and the ground level.

first-dance-two-perspectives-second-photographer

Creativity

Having a buddy to shoot with gives me someone to bounce ideas off of, help with setting up lighting if needed, even just having someone to grab a lens or piece of equipment for the main photographer.  Personally I choose my second photographer by their creativity as well as technical skill so that they can create some unique shots and think outside the box during the day.

love bee photography documentary wedding photography-10.jpg

Budget

Having two photographers all day is going to cost you more money. If your budget is tight, ask your photographer about the possibility of having the second photographer for a limited amount of hours. Often I hire someone to shoot with me for the Getting ready, ceremony and portrait part of the day only, or even just until the end of the ceremony.  This option always depends on the layout of your day and the photographer’s comfort level, although any professional wedding photographer should be capable of shooting alone if needed.