Second shooter: Yay or Nay?

Congrats on your engagement! So you’re getting married and you’ve chosen your awesome wedding photographer. You like their shooting style, their editing, and you really connect personally. Great! Now you have to make the decision whether or not you want a second shooter to be added to the package. Is it worth the extra investment? For so many couples, budget is an important factor in making this decision. However, if you ask most people what they wish they spent more money on concerning their wedding, most will say “photography.” I know for me that is the number one regret.

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  1. Will there be a first look?

    There’s a decision to be made when making a wedding timeline whether or not to do a first look privately as a husband and wife or to leave that moment special for walking down the aisle. I have couples that choose to do it both ways, though, logistically, it makes a difference which you choose. For couples that do a first look, perhaps the walking down the aisle moment isn’t as important and having one photographer is do-able. Though, for couples that decide to forgo the first look, I generally recommend a second wedding photographer for the sake of capturing both the bride walking down the aisle and the groom’s expression.

  2. How large is the wedding?

    Here’s the deal: no matter how talented your photographer is, they are only one person. You may have a wedding guest list of 100, and that is totally do-able. Though, if you get larger than 150, there may be moments that are missed. You may not get pictures of every guest. For some brides and grooms, that’s okay, for others, they know how special those people are to their day and they desire them to be captured as well. With that, one photographer can tackle the task of after the ceremony portraits while the other shooter is capturing the cocktail hour. Like I said before, one photographer cannot be in two places at one time.

  3. How important are the “big” moments?

    I want you to think about what moments are super important for you to capture. Think bride and groom expressions walking down the aisle, “the kiss,” exchanging of rings and vows, the processional. Do you want only one angle of these moments? Are you willing to risk not getting a major moment due to logistics such as the simple idea that the one photographer cannot be in two places at one time? When making the decision, you should take into account how significant these photos are to you and the risk it may be to only have one photographer to capture them.

  4. “What about my budget?”

    You’ve probably picked up on my bias towards adding a second photographer onto your wedding package. Though, I understand and validate that it isn’t ideal for every couple to add onto the already-expensive service. Check out my blog post next week about ways to have a great wedding photography experience without a second shooter.