Do I need two photographers for my wedding?

There are so many decisions to make when planning your wedding, and wedding photography is one of the biggest! One of the biggest questions from prospective couples is, “Do I need a second photographer at my wedding?” And the answer is actually, ‘Maybe!’

We understand—finding, booking and paying for one shooter is enough work. But before you brush off the idea of multiple photographers as unnecessary, know there are some very valid reasons for having more than one to capture your day. If you need advice on your wedding photography, check out our photography packages and services at Wild Romantic Photography.

Many couples admit that not spending more on photography is one of their biggest wedding day regrets—and we tend to agree. In most cases, you’ll want a second shooter for several practical reasons. For one, there’s the challenge of how to photograph your ceremony. There’s something so special about being able to capture multiple emotional moments throughout. You’ll want your walk down the aisle and your partner’s reaction to it, your vows and your parents’ reactions. You get the point—so much happens simultaneously at weddings, and they’re all worth remembering, from getting ready to the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception.

Why have two wedding photographers?

To start with, what is a ‘second shooter’ or second photographer? A double wedding photographer is someone who works alongside your primary wedding photographer to photograph different angles, separate locations and assist with the logistics of wedding day photography.

If your wedding is on the larger side, you can hardly expect one shutterbug, no matter how swift and talented, to snap every memorable moment happening in every corner of the room. We think a second shooter is always worth it, even if you’re only inviting a small number of guests. For example, one can take your post-ceremony portraits with two shooters while the other snaps photos of your guests at cocktail hour.

Also, if you and your partner both love the idea of taking getting-ready images, but you’re getting ready in two separate spaces, having two photographers snap your wedding prep at the same time will be a godsend.

Of course, there are a few tweaks you can make to your day-of timeline, so a second shooter is a little less necessary. For instance, coordinate your getting-ready times so one of you and your wedding party can primp first, followed by the other and their crew. That way, one photographer can capture both scenes. Just remember, stacking your getting ready sessions will add waiting time to your busy day, whether it’s on the front or back end.

If your budget is the sole reason you want to ditch a second photographer, we understand. One trick is to consider cutting down the amount of time you need a photographer. Many photographers understand this factor and can work with you to make sure they take all the necessary photos first thing at the reception so that you can get on with the party. At Wild Romantic Photography, we have the best Melbourne wedding photographer to take memorable photos on your wedding day.

Pros

Coverage.

Do I need two photographers for my wedding?

There is no arguing that two photographers will give you more coverage of your wedding day than one. There are many practical reasons why you would want, even need, two sets of eyes on the job. There are always multiple things happening simultaneously during a wedding, and they are undoubtedly worth not missing.

Variety

More excellent coverage equals more variety of images. Two photographers can:

  • Capture the intimate details as well as the big picture as it unfolds in real-time.
  • Free the second shooter to get creative & capture more unusual candids while the primary shooter takes care of the must-have shots.
  • Strategically place themselves at different angles to capture the widest variety of pictures possible.

Efficiency

With two photographers, family portraits can be taken in less time and with more options than a single photographer can do. This leaves more time for the more exciting and dramatic images of just you and your partner. A second photographer means that the detailed shots won’t take your photographer away from you, potentially missing spontaneous moments worthy of capture.

Storytelling

Your wedding day story can be told in real-time from both the bride & grooms perspective with more detail.

Less Wear & Tear

For a photographer, shooting a wedding is a challenge both mentally and physically. Having a partner to share the load makes for a less stressful and less tiring day. Having your photographers feeling fresh and energetic can only be a good thing for you!

Cons

Cost.

Having a second wedding photography team means more money out of your pocket.

One too many.

At a small wedding, one could argue that two photographers may feel intrusive and take away from the intimacy of the bride & groom.

Too many chefs?

Photographers who aren’t experienced working with each other have the potential to get in each other’s way. Or worse, they may have creative conflicts over who does what. The last thing you need on your wedding day is to have your photographers at odds with each other. That’s never fun. 

Reasons Why You May Need A Second Photographer At Your Wedding

Here are a few of my favourite reasons to have a second shooter at the wedding! Since wedding planning is all about lists, I’ll list the causes first and then break each one down with a little more detail below.

  • Get images shot from different angles.
  • Able to photograph both the bride and groom with their wedding party as they get ready.
  • Allows two different areas to be covered at once if a venue is huge or spread out.
  • Family formals take less time, getting the couple to their reception sooner.
  • More dancing and party candids.
  • The main photographer has a backup.
  • The second shooter covers the cocktail hour and reception while the primary photographer shoots the couple portraits.
  • The second shooter assists with challenging shots, holding lights, ladders and carrying extra gear.
  • A second photographer adds creativity to your final gallery of images by bringing his/her unique vision.
  • Two photographers give you more images than one photographer would.

Two photographers provide coverage from different angles.

There are lots of times that having photos from different images comes in handy! During the ceremony and first look, one photographer can focus on the groom’s reaction, and the other can photograph the bride. During the ceremony, one can photograph an epic wide shot from the church’s back; one can photograph more intimate, emotional images from the front. During your reception, one may be shooting party dancing while another can be capturing fun group shots and candids. 

A second wedding photographer is helpful when the couple is getting ready in two separate locations.

Two photographers allow one to be with the bride before the wedding and the other to photograph the groom before the wedding. If the bride and groom are getting ready in two separate locations, it may be a good idea to have a second shooter. 

A second shooter is a good idea if your venue is huge or spread out.

The main photographer can’t physically be in two places at once or time travel (yet!) So if your venue is enormous, it’s pretty much a necessity to have two photographers on site.

The second shooter can help get you to your reception sooner.

If you have a large wedding party or a large family, a second shooter saves the day! Two photographers help speed up family portraits, allowing you to get to your reception sooner! During this part of the day, the second photographer is beneficial! If you have a large family or would like many family portraits, a second shooter will be your best option. 

They can assist with rounding up family members for the next photo and keep track of which portraits have been shot and which ones remain. The second photographer also helps line up and pose large groups. 

The second photographer provides another set of eyes to make sure everything in your family formals is perfect, helping me look for things like hairbands on the ladies’ wrists, removing sunglasses, making sure zippers are up, and collars are down! That allows me to focus on composition, pose, and make sure all family members look their best!

Two wedding photographers provide more coverage during the dancing to capture all the candid fun.

One photographer can stand on a chair to get an overview from above, while the other can zoom in on guests who have exceptionally smooth dance moves. One can be out on the dance floor, and another can whisk the couple away for sunset portraits or grab fun candids of all the college friends hanging out by the fire pit. 

A second wedding photographer provides a backup.

I wear two cameras on my harness and shoot with them throughout the day, so I always have a backup camera on me. But the second shooter provides a backup for me! So if something epic happens while I’ve gone to grab a glass of water, or change batteries or camera cards, for example, you’ve still got coverage!

The second shooter can head on to the cocktail hour and reception while the main photographer is shooting portraits.

Generally, the couple goes with me for a few ‘just married’ portraits after their family formals. If you have many guests, the second shooter can head over to the party and start capturing some group shots and candids. This is particularly helpful if your reception is at a separate location from the ceremony! Looking for a Yarra Valley wedding photographer? Look no further! Wild Romantic Photography has you covered.

The second shooter can physically help me get shots that the main photographer has difficulty getting on his own.

Do I need two photographers for my wedding?

Prominent photographers will get some more creative shots when they have another set of hands around. The second shooter can help hold lights at the right angles and hang the wedding dress in places prominent photographers couldn’t reach independently. They stabilize the chair or ladder to get individual shots. 

A second photographer brings their unique vision.

Another reason to have a second wedding photographer is that each photographer brings their unique way of seeing things. You’ll get more variety in your images because of this. Photographers are the creative type, and they pride themselves on seeing things a little differently than other people. They also see things differently from each other!

Choose photographers whose style complements each other. One photographer’s work may be a little more romantic, while the other photographer’s work is more dramatic. The result is more opportunities for images that the couple will love!

Two photographers give you more images than one would.

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Two photographers shooting your wedding will provide more images than one would! 

When To Hire Only One Wedding Photographer

You’re planning an elopement or an intimate wedding in a small space. Photographers would wind up getting in each other’s shots because the venue is so tiny!

Planning your dream wedding and don’t want to miss out on the special moments on your big day? Worry no more, Wild Romantic Photography has you covered.

You have a small guest list and a wedding party. I’m perfectly capable of rounding up the immediate family for your family formals on my own. But if you have 300 guests, 50 cousins and 20 bridesmaids, I may need a little help! 😉

Everything is happening at one location. The bride and groom are getting ready on the same site as the ceremony and reception. Vineyards, plantation houses, beaches often fall into this category! 

Is one wedding photographer enough?

Pros

Need vs. want

Do you need two photographers? I think the simple answer to that question is “No.” While having two may be desirable, the fact of the matter is that many great photographers in the world create beautiful wedding pictures and are killing it all by themselves.

Need is a strong word. 

An experienced, professional photographer can adeptly capture the story of your wedding. With experience comes an understanding of a wedding’s ebb & flow, and a good photographer will have a feeling for where he/she should be and what is going to happen next. If you plan to have the bride & groom get ready at different times and within reasonable proximity of each other, one photographer can capture both partner’s perspectives.

Expense.

Hiring one talented photographer will be less expensive than hiring two. If you are on a tight budget, this alone can be the determining factor.

Quality vs. Quantity

Having one great photographer is worth more than two mediocre ones. You may get more pictures, but are they good pictures? Hiring 2 talented photographers are expensive, and to compensate, some photography studios will hire students or amateurs as second shooters. Investing in 1 quality photographer would make more sense if this is the case. We have an exclusive range of wedding photography Mornington Peninsula services. Check them out here.

Cons

Less Coverage

It is an undisputed fact: One photographer can’t be in two places at once, so by sheer logistics, a one-person/woman show won’t have the same opportunities as a team.

Less Variety

While one photographer with two cameras can capture a wide variety of shots, they can’t compete with two photographers with four cameras regarding the amount and variety two can offer.

Less Efficiency

All things being equal, one photographer can’t move through the family portraits as quickly as two. Nor can he/she shoot the detailed shots and still be available for you.

Superman vs. Batman & Robin

Wedding photographers are on their feet and work 100% pretty much all day with very few breaks. You’d have to be Superman not to get tired!

Can I afford a second photographer?

There’s one reason I didn’t list here—budget Photographers completely understand budgeting, but prioritizing your photography in your budget is something you won’t regret! According to The Knot’s survey, one of the top 5 regrets couples did have about their account was not spending enough on their photography! Many wished they’d spent less on their invitations and dress in this survey, so they’d have had more to spend on their photography. Remember, your photography and videography are among the very few things you’ll keep after the wedding to remember the day! If you’d like to work with professional photographers for your wedding, book with us at Wild Romantic Photography.

In conclusion,

Is it necessary to have two photographers to cover your wedding day? Probably not. Many photographers work alone or with an assistant and do a fantastic job. Are there practical advantages to having two photographers? Clearly! It’s up to you whether these advantages are worth the extra money or not.

It takes two photographers to do a wedding justice. The advantages are too many, and your wedding day only happens once.

There have been countless times when a ceremony was too brief, a first dance too short, or something unexpected happened that I would have missed or not been able to capture the moment in its entirety without a second shooter. Two photographers can mean the difference between a good job and a phenomenal one!