When hiring a wedding photographer, make sure to ask if they’ll be bringing along a second shooter. This is a necessary luxury for several reasons.
First and foremost, there are a bunch of important moments during your day that you want to ensure are captured on film: the first look, walking down the aisle, the kiss, the first dance, etc. Having two photographers shooting these moments is a great insurance policy. We all know the saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” If you only have one photographer, all it takes is a low battery or a full memory card to ruin the moment. Experienced photographers take every precaution to make sure these things don’t happen, but having more than one person shooting is the best way to guarantee you’ll get every unique moment on film.
Secondly, two photographers means two different angles. Two different points of view. This not only refers to the direction from which each photographer is shooting, but also to the focal length each is using. For example, when Moira and I shoot a wedding ceremony, she uses a telephoto lens to capture close-ups of the bride and groom, the rings and other details while I use a wider-angle lens to create mid-range shots and images of the overall scene.
Also, before the ceremony, Moira likes to hang back with the bridal party/family to capture all of the intimate anticipation photos, while I get in position to shoot the processional. If you’re working alone, you pretty much have to choose one or the other.
Thirdly, having two photographers is the best way to capture all the “getting ready” photos. The girls and the guys usually get ready in separate locations and one photographer can’t be two places at once.
Also, most brides-to-be want photos while they’re getting into their wedding dress and might not feel comfortable with a male photographer being in the room when they do so.
Last, but certainly not least, the second shooter almost always doubles as a photo assistant. Inevitably, when it comes time to do formal photos, Grandpa will be halfway to the bar and the best man will have seemingly vanished into thin air. Not to worry! While your primary photographer is setting up lighting, the second shooter will be rounding everyone up for family photos.
And in addition to cat herding, Moira is also a proficient makeup artist…
pocket square folder…
and cake technician!
She’s also great at helping brides climb fences!
When you have a second shooter, she basically becomes your de facto wedding coordinator and helps to fix all of the little problems that will inevitably crop up throughout your wedding day. Two photographers can divide and conquer, taking care of logistical hurdles while simultaneously capturing all the important moments on film.
For these reasons and more, we highly recommend booking a photographer who works with a second shooter. You’ll thank yourself later. I promise.