“Do I really need a second shooter?” I hear this question A LOT! And I get it! When you are planning a wedding, you have to look for ways to save money. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, weddings are EXPENSIVE, no matter how you look at it. I planned a simple (or so I thought), small wedding, had lots of friends pitch in to help, and I was still shocked at the pricetag at the end of it all. I know that most brides will want to opt out of the second photographer to save some money. But before you do that, let me tell you what you will be missing if you choose to have only one shooter at your wedding!
the many benefits of a second shooter…
1. Capturing moments in two places at once
At my wedding, there were SO many things that I simply did not get to see. I didn’t get to see my bridal party walk down the aisle or my guests interacting before the ceremony. I didn’t get to see many decorations that were put out because I was too busy talking to people! While those things were going on, there were a lot of things happening where I was too! There were so many sweet moments with my friends and family that my photographer captured in the room where I was. BUT, since I had a second shooter, I was also able to see moments that I wasn’t a part of later! So much goes on at a wedding. I had so much peace of mind because I knew if I was missing something, my second shooter would capture it!
2. Multiple angles during the ceremony
This one is easy! Several moments happen at once during a ceremony. The biggest moments are the bride’s entrance and the groom’s face when he first sees her! It is impossible to capture these moments at the same time without a second shooter. When I shoot solo, I capture the bride first entering, I turn around quickly and snap the groom’s face a few times, then I focus back on the bride! With a second shooter, all attention is on each moment separately!
I am always very concerned about not disturbing the guests’ experience of the ceremony. I try not to move around a lot! When I shoot alone, I get what I need up close first, and then I move to the back and stay there until the end of the ceremony. With a second shooter, one photographer is always getting close shots while another gets wider shots. All your bases are covered!
3. More Creative Angles during portrait sessions
As the main photographer, I generally focus on getting the “must have” shots at a wedding before I move on to more creative shots. The reality is that wedding timelines move fast and often we don’t have a lot of time for portraits. Sometimes we run out of time for the more creative shots! With a second shooter, my clients can rest assured knowing that they will have ample “must have” shots AND creative shots! We also have the added benefit of a second set of eyes. I’m still a human, and I can’t always see EVERYTHING. Having a second shooter ensures that every detail is captured!
4. Save Time and Shoot Multiple Things Simultaneously
With a second shooter, we are able to shoot things simultaneously! I can photograph the girls getting ready while my second shooter photographs the guys getting ready. I can photograph the bridesmaid portraits while my second shooter photographs the groomsmen. My second shooter can focus on photographing people while I’m doing the detail shots! Without a second shooter, our timelines simply have to be longer to fit in everything!
5. More Photos
This is another no-brainer. Clients often tell me that they loved having the photos of their guests interacting! They love that I deliver so many photos back to them! With a second shooter, you are simply able to have more complete coverage of your day and capture more moments! Which means you will receive more photos with a second shooter! You will never say, “man, I wish I had gotten fewer photos from my wedding.” But without a second shooter it’s very likely that you might say, “I just wish there had been more photos!” Don’t let that be you.
I strongly suggest that all my brides hire a second shooter! If it simply isn’t in the budget, I get that! If that’s the case, I always urge them to at least hire one for the ceremony to capture those ever-fleeting moments. I hope this was helpful and let you see more of the value in having a second shooter!
Come back next week and I’ll be sharing some more of my favorite images from my second shooters that highlight why they are so valuable!