Do I really need a second photographer for my wedding day?

This is one of the questions I get asked most often during consultations with my couples. My answer is, and always will be, a loud YES! Can I talk about it?

What exactly is a 2nd photographer? Not a trick question! A 2nd photographer is hired by your main photographer to help cover the wedding day. Simple. They can assist the photographer with equipment setup, help the wedding party by answering some of their questions and dealing with problems as they pop up. They’ll even have portions of the day where they shoot photos solo. Beyond that, they’re there for security. What would happen if your main photographer were to fall into a pool, break a leg, or get sick just before your wedding!? Insurance.

They’re not only there as emotional support for or as a helper to the main photographer (I kid), but they also provide their own unique visions. For instance, during first looks we, as a team, are able to capture both parties’ reactions. These are some of the most emotional, loving, and unforgettable images from a wedding day. Take a look below to see what I’m talking about.

If those aren’t enough to convince you I don’t know what will! I’m literally crying!!!

Another reason I love to have a second is that I’m able to deliver very similar portraits from a different angle. Sometimes, one can shoot from above, and the other below. One from the front, and the other from the side. Whether it’s getting dressed, the portrait section, or the ceremony, we can capture all of the different emotions.

I mean… what’s not to love there?

Another thing to consider is that the main photographer cannot be in two places at once. If you dream of that walking down the aisle shot from the front and from the back, yep…you will need two. Also, one photographer will stay with one wedding party and the other with the other party. I like to call this “divide and conquer.”

The wedding day has its very own rhythm. It goes something like this- Arrive, linger, eat, hair and make up, mimosas (usually), linger some more, hurry and wait, someone is running late, (insert emergency here ie. forgot the dress, flowers are behind, ring bearer is sick. There is always an emergency no matter how well you plan.), then…BAM! The rush begins, putting on dresses, pictures with parents, attendants have 15 minutes to get dressed and have all images taken. “Wait, I wanted that one picture of popping the champagne… COME BACK YOU GUYS!” Then, before you know it, you are walking down the aisle, saying I do to the love of your life, cutting the cake, dancing the night away, and being whisked off into forever through a tunnel made of fire sticks held by 4 year-olds and tipsy cousins on one side, and college friends and grandmas on the other… whew! Just like that, the day is over. All that work, all that anticipation, all those beautiful decisions came together and the day was AMAZING. Having two photographers can guarantee you get twice the images squeezed into that already packed wedding timeline because we divide and conquer! Check it out-

See what I mean? It took two photographers to capture all of these priceless images.

Your 2nd shooter may also have a completely different style. Some photographers shoot moody, and rigid. Some shoot light and airy. Others mix it up based on each individual situation. Having that 2nd shooter helps ensure some diversity you wouldn’t otherwise see in your photos.

I could literally go on forever.

So, going back to the first question, should you? Some people worry about that added cost. Can you afford it? I say, can you afford NOT to with something as priceless as your wedding day memories?

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