FAQ: What is the advantage to having a second shooter?
It goes without saying that weddings are expensive. A lot of couples will make a budget and the top expenses often (but not always) go in this order: Venue + Catering, Wedding Dress, Photographer. After those three things, there is often not a lot left in the budget for much else let alone paying extra for a second photographer. However, having a second photographer is hugely valuable and doesn't cost that much more. As my husband would say, it's a massive net positive (meaning that the benefits vastly outweigh the cost).
If you are wondering what the benefits are and why you should consider adding one to your budget, you have come to the right place. I love it when a couple decides they would like a second photographer and here are my reasons why:
1. Groom Prep
Groom prep doesn't really mean groom prep. A second photographer will not literally be photographing the groom getting his shirt and trousers on in the same way that a bride might be photographed getting her dress buttoned up or her shoes put on. There might be an element of photographing the best man helping him with his tie but groom prep is more about that special time before the guests start to arrive (both at the church and before). When it's just him and his groomsmen. They will often be joking around together to distract from the nerves and it's so much fun to photograph; those last 'single man' photos which can be a mixture of posed and candid images. Plus, when will the groom ever have professional photographs taken with just him and his mates? With just one photographer, it is hard to get both the bridal prep and the groom prep - especially if they are getting ready at different venues. There just isn't enough time for both and when it's requested, it often means cutting one or the other short. That is where the second shooter is really valuable. Both photographers can spend as much time as needed getting all the right shots for you to keep and remember your special day.
2. Church/Ceremony angles
Churches and Civil Ceremony rooms can be really tricky places to photograph. More often than not they will either be too small to move around or the venue will have restrictions on what the photographers can or can't do. Moving around also causes a distraction to the guests; instead of focusing on the bride and groom saying their vows, they are focused on a moving photographer and where they are headed next. It can also be quite loud at times - I've been in venues before with stone floors where it is nearly impossible to move around without a noise. With two photographers, we can position ourselves in different places with minimal movement needed meaning no noises or distractions and a more interesting set of photographs for you to take away!
3. Guests Coverage
The photograph below was taken by the talented Eliza Urzica. While I was photographing the speeches during the wedding breakfast, she caught this lovely moment at the back of the hall between the page boys. Similar to the church, we were able to stand in different places in the hall which meant we could photograph different guests reactions, get different angles of those making the speeches and all without moving and causing distractions.
4. More ideas
As well as more coverage and variety of angles for the day, you also get the benefit of two minds. Throughout the day these two minds will be bouncing ideas off each other meaning you get the best of both of them! At my last wedding, when we went to take the 'couples photographs', I had my ideas of what I wanted to do and my second had hers. The end result was a beautiful collection of images that had a real variety to them because it was a combination of both of our creative styles.
- Is a second shooter absolutely necessary? No. Your photographer is more than capable on his/her own and will be brilliant. - Is a second shooter worth the money? Absolutely. The benefits vastly outweigh the extra cost. - Will I regret the money I spend on a second shooter? Never.