The question "Do we really need to have a second photographer at our wedding?" is one that we get asked quite frequently. We get it; locating, scheduling, and compensating a single shooter is already a lot of work. However, before you dismiss the idea of multiple photographers as being superfluous, you should be aware that there are some very good reasons for having more than one person to capture your special day. If you need advice on your wedding photography, check out our photography packages and services at Wild Romantic Photography.
We tend to agree with the sentiment of many engaged couples who state that one of their biggest wedding day regrets is that they did not spend more money on photography. You should almost always have a second shooter available, as there are a number of practical advantages to doing so. To give one example, there is the difficulty of determining how to photograph your ceremony. There is something so special about being able to capture multiple emotional moments throughout the entirety of the narrative. You'll want to remember your walk down the aisle, as well as the reaction of your partner to it, as well as your vows and the reactions of your parents. You get the picture: a lot of things happen all at once during weddings, and it's important to remember every single one of them, from getting ready to the ceremony to the cocktail hour to the reception.
If your wedding is going to be on the larger side, it is unrealistic to expect that a single photographer, no matter how quick or skilled they are, will be able to capture every memorable moment that takes place in every part of the room. Even if you are only inviting a small number of guests, we believe that investing in a second shooter is always money well spent. If you have two photographers, for instance, you can have one take portraits of you and your spouse after the ceremony while the other photographs your guests during the cocktail hour. Also, if you and your partner are both excited about the prospect of having photos taken of you as you get ready for the wedding but are getting ready in different locations, hiring two photographers to capture your wedding preparations at the same time will be a lifesaver.
Even for a photographer who has done their research and asked their client to provide them with painstakingly detailed timings, it is difficult to be in two places at the same time. Things always come up to thwart a photographer's efforts to capture it all, even when the photographer has done their due diligence. It's one of those major problems where the lone photographer winds up sitting behind a tractor on a single-track country road when they could be shooting amazing moments of your day that are just passing them by uncaptured. Traffic is one of those major problems. You and your future husband or wife might be getting ready in different cities, as is sometimes the case, which makes it physically impossible for your photographer to capture both of your morning preparations and all of the fun photos that come with it. It's possible that a lone photographer will decide to focus solely on the bride because "she's more important." But what happens if there are going to be two brides or two grooms? Who gets priority in that situation? And why should a groom be relegated to a secondary role in the wedding? It's not just all about the bride; it's also about the groom!
When there are two photographers, these issues will go away by themselves. Two professionals who are able to split up and circumvent the traffic issues, circumvent the issue of who gets the majority of the preparation photos, and take control of all the other instances in which a single photographer may end up having to make difficult choices about what moments to capture from your special day.
It goes without saying that we are in no way implying that a single photographer working alone is insufficient; to suggest such a thing is absurd, as there are undoubtedly hundreds of excellent photographers working alone who are doing a fantastic job every day. However, there are situations in which having two makes things so much better for you as well as the photographs that you receive after your wedding.
There are, of course, some adjustments that can be made to the timeline for the day of the event, which will make the need for a second shooter somewhat less urgent. For instance, you should coordinate the times at which you and your wedding party will get ready so that one of you and your wedding party can get ready first, and then the other person and their crew can get ready. In this way, both scenes can be captured by a single photographer. It is important to keep in mind that stacking you are getting ready sessions will add waiting time to your busy day, regardless of whether it is on the front or back end.
If you want to forgo having a second photographer for no other reason than the impact it will have on your finances, we completely understand. One tip that can be helpful is to think about ways to cut down on the amount of time you need a photographer. A great number of photographers are aware of this consideration and are willing to collaborate with you to ensure that they take all of the necessary photos first thing at the reception so that you can get on with the party.
What does a second shooter actually do?
As a wedding photographer, I have both employed the services of other photographers to second shoot for me and served in the same capacity for other wedding photographers. At any given wedding, the primary photographer's prefered method of operation will determine how the second photographer should contribute to the documentation of the event. I am only able to speak about the tasks that I assign to my second photographers; however, there are two primary responsibilities that need to be fulfilled by every second photographer present at a wedding:
- Place yourself in positions where the primary photographer cannot.
- Help the primary photographer with their work. This may look easy, but there are actually quite a few advantages to doing so. For instance, if I'm taking photographs while you're getting ready, my assistant can accompany your significant other to wherever they're getting ready. This is because my assistant is a second shooter.
It is customary for the bride to miss out on seeing the moments leading up to the wedding day when the groom is getting ready to be photographed; however, this can be remedied by hiring a second photographer.
In a similar vein, while I'm photographing the nervousness, smiles, tears, and laughter of the bride or groom as they wait patiently at the altar, my second photographer can be with the bride or groom as they arrive at the church to capture those special first moments. Again, while the group photos and portraits are being taken, a second photographer can be stationed elsewhere to take pictures of the wonderful candid and spontaneous moments that the wedding guests are having. These moments would otherwise likely be missed. To summarise, it is impossible for a photographer to be in two places at the same time. This is an unavoidable reality. Your wedding photographs will become your most prized keepsake after the big day.
Not sure where to start when it comes to looking for your wedding photographer of choice?
A second photographer is an extension of the coverage that is provided by a wedding photographer. I'm sure I'm not the only person who has ever wished they could split themselves in two and be in several places at the same time, but this is what a second photographer is: an extension of the coverage that is provided by a wedding photographer. I feel obligated to mention that at the end of the wedding day, the secondary photographer will give the primary photographer their memory cards so that they can continue to document the event. After that, they will leave and complete all of the editing, during which they will ensure that the final product is uniform throughout the board.
How to make sure you get a good second photographer at your wedding?
It is imperative that the second photographer who shows up to take pictures is not just any random person holding a camera. You've put a lot of work into finding the right photographer for you, but now it's the photographer's job to locate the second person with whom they'll be working. 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.
Therefore, if you and your wedding photographer have come to the conclusion that you would like to have a second person present on your special day, you will want to ensure that you have the following information before moving forwards: - Is there a website that we can visit? (A reliable indication that they have previous work experience and a portfolio) How long have they worked as a photographer specialising in weddings?
How is it that the primary photographer is familiar with them? - Can you tell me the hours that they will be providing coverage? (This is often, but not always, slightly less than what the primary photographer charges.) - Do they take pictures in a style that is comparable to the primary photographer's? And that wraps things up! Questions like "how many weddings have they shot?" tend to be misleading because the quantity of weddings a photographer has covered does not necessarily have a direct correlation to the quality of their work.
(For instance, they might be a successful commercial or events photographer who is transitioning into the wedding industry.) When it comes to the majority of these inquiries, the primary photographer is the one who ought to be asking them. A skilled wedding photographer should be able to locate and recruit a second photographer who meets the requirements in terms of aesthetic and professional experience, and they should be able to provide answers to the questions that were raised above before you even have the opportunity to ask them. I keep a list of screened and vetted seconds who are familiar to me, who I enjoy working with, and who have a style that is comparable to mine. In most cases, all I have to do is send an email to a specific group of people to enquire about their availability, and then voilà! There is now a second photographer available to us:)
You hired a vintage bus to transport everyone from the ceremony to the reception, and you want some photos of everyone on the bus, but your photographer drove to the ceremony and now needs to drive to the reception. No longer do we need to explain to you why having two photographers in a wedding makes sense, do we!?
The benefits of having two photographers come down to having the reassurance and faith that everything you want to be captured will be captured by both of your photographers. This is the case when you have two photographers. Many photographers who work on their own advertise the fact that they have access to a "second shooter" who can assist in covering all of the possible scenarios and moments that may arise.
In spite of this, it is never a bad idea to enquire about the identity of their second shooter, how much experience they have, and whether or not they are merely a glorified bag carrier. When a husband and wife or other couple work together as photographers, they frequently take turns being the "main photographer." Each one of them is capable of taking the lead role in photographing your wedding, and they each bring their own unique body of work and years of experience to the table.
If you require the services of two photographers, you may find that the photography duos offered by these companies offer the best value for your money. This is because the inclusion of two photographers is not an optional extra; rather, it is something that is included by default. They also come with the additional assurance that they will shoot in the same style as each other (as opposed to a "hired in" the second shooter who may just have a similar style). This is a distinct advantage over hiring a second shooter.
With a duo, there is always someone who will produce the same style of photos you initially fell in love with when you booked them, no matter what happens. This is a real benefit when considering what would happen if your solo photographer became ill or couldn't make it to your wedding.
Having only one photographer is perfectly acceptable if your ceremony and reception will be relatively brief. And if you're dead set on having a lone photographer capture your special day, you should absolutely trust your instincts and hire them. There are only a few situations in which the additional assurance is worth more than what you paid for it, and those situations are extremely rare.
We have the best wedding photographer in Yarra Valley to capture your beautiful moments on your wedding day.
What are Your Wedding Photography Dreams?
If I asked you what aspect of your wedding day was the most significant to you, you probably wouldn't say that you desired to have one hundred photographs taken of each of your guests. You'd point out specific moments! If you knew that your This is a Feeling photographer was going to talk to you about your wedding and keep a list of the most important moments to focus on, would that make you feel less anxious about having only one wedding photographer?
Of course not!
When it comes to your wedding, one of our primary goals is to arrive with everything we need. We are well aware that no two weddings are the same and that no two couples are the same. Talk to us about the requirements for your wedding, and you might be surprised to learn that you only need one photographer to cover everything. For instance, if you told me it was imperative for you to get pictures of you both at the moment you walk down the aisle and see each other for the first time, I'd reassure you that it's not going to be a problem at all. You don't have any plans to make a mad dash down the centre aisle, do you? There is plenty of time for me to take photographs of the two of you in the. 5 milliseconds is the amount of time it takes for me to turn and photograph both of your reactions.
Starting to think about hiring a wedding photographer? Check out our range of Mornington Peninsula wedding photography here.
Since it is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, I will conclude this post by including a number of photographs that were taken at a wedding that took place not too long ago. Which is better: one photographer or two? I won't leave you guessing; there is only one photographer responsible for all of them.
In life, as in everything else, the context is of the utmost importance. We do not enjoy providing advice that is too general and does not take into account your unique preferences and requirements.
There are benefits to having a second shooter, but those benefits are highly dependent on the context in which they are applied. It is true that second photographers play an important role in the process of capturing moments; however, this is only the case in situations where a single photographer is insufficient. Are you getting ready in different places at the same time? Are you intending to have a ridiculously quick ceremony, one that would be impossible for a single person to photograph? If that is the case, you might find it helpful, from a logistical standpoint, to bring on another photographer.
But if that isn't the case, let me ask you this: if you could choose between having 1,000 photographs that are acceptable or 200 photographs that are incredible, emotional, and capture the true feeling of your wedding day, which would you choose? I am aware that the current mantra of the business world is "more, more, more," but the reality is that more does not necessarily equate to better. I'll be the first to admit that when I first started out in the wedding photography business, I had a lot of trouble figuring out how to handle an entire wedding by myself. Despite this, I witnessed an unacceptable number of coworkers relying on second shooters for coverage rather than narrowing their attention to what was actually of paramount importance.
It has never been about quantity when it comes to good photography, and that is what separates our documentary-style photography from the rest of the competition. Our number one priority is to cater to your unique requirements and enquire about the aspects of our work that you would like us to emphasise.
If you’d like to work with professional photographers for your wedding, book with us at Wild Romantic Photography.
Lastly, you can (and should) invite your guests to download The Guest app, which is a private photo-sharing app that automatically aggregates everyone's iPhone and Android snaps in real-time — it's kind of like a hashtag, only ten times better. The app is available for free on the App Store and Google Play (think: no uploading, tagging and no separate camera apps). This indicates that you will be able to view all of the hilarious candid photos taken on the dance floor that your photographers did not capture.