Planning a wedding comes hand in hand with a number of difficult choices and decisions. Picking the right photographer may prove to be one of the toughest. When clients ask me if it is worth to book a second wedding photographer, I mostly answer “it depends”. There are times when booking a second wedding photographer is necessary and then there are times when you can do without him. So when and why should you consider booking a second wedding photographer?
You are planning a large wedding
If you are planning a wedding with more than 80 guests, there is no guarantee that everyone will appear in the photos. In this case, two wedding photographers are always better than one. Likewise, one photographer cannot be expected to capture every memorable moment and have eyes at the back of their head. Two photographers will get more photographs and therefore, they will also provide you with more images of your wedding guests.
Being in two places at the same time
This is a big one. Why? A great example is a situation when the gettings ready of the bride & groom take place at two different places at the same time.
Another such situation may arise during a portrait session of the newlyweds which almost always requires that the bride & groom leave the wedding reception venue and their guests for one or two hours. Having two photographers means that one of them can stay with the guests and document anything that happens in the absence of the newlyweds.
Moreover, two photographers can position themselves strategically when shooting action moments, such as the bouquet/garter toss. Having two photographers may also increase the quality of photographs from the first look, walking down the aisle, the first dance etc.
Two different angles
One of us can concentrate on the groom’s reaction while the other one takes pictures of the bride walking down the aisle. Two photographers can also afford to shoot guests when the bride and groom exchange their rings or the first kiss. Not that one experienced photographer would not be able to record all of the above alone.
The point is that being two, we can focus exclusively on one thing at a time and produce more quality photographs then we would If we turned from one subject to another every now and then. There are many situations two photographers can pay a homage to, but to keep it short, let’s just stick with these two.
Throughout the wedding, the second wedding photographer can take photos from non-traditional angles, unleash their imagination, and create something unique. On the other hand, the main photographer plays it safe and sticks to the proven methods.
Having a backup
Remember, having two cameras and saving images on two two cards simultaneously are a must for a professional wedding photographer. Having a second wedding photographer who is competent enough to fill in for you in case you are at the toilet or sprain an ankle is beyond reassuring. If you have a backup in case your camera breaks down or your card fails (however unlikely these cases are), why not have a backup for yourself?
Serving as an assistant photographer
A second wedding photographer can take the position of an assistant and help out in situations that require more than one person to take the perfect shot. For example, a second photographer can hold the flash, a diffuser, a ladder, or simply carry and pass any equipment that the main photographer needs. More on assistant photographers here.
Getting more quality images
You probably won’t be surprised if you get more photos from two photographers than from one. More important than quantity, however, is the quality of the photographs themselves. One photographer may have captured a certain moment in a better way than the other. When we go through the images and make our selection, it gives us space to choose only the best ones. This way we can present you with truly astonishing wedding stories.
Allows for two different styles
My favourite reason why I like to bring a second wedding photographer with me is the fact that each of us has a different approach to photography. Everyone is creative in their own way. That’s why I usually choose a photographer whose style complements mine. For example, one of us might have a more romantic touch, while the other’s work is more action-packed. This synergy gives birth to more varied and interesting photographs.
To sum things up
Is it necessary to book a second wedding photographer? Probably not. Many photographers work alone or with an assistant and do a great job. On the other hand, is it worth having two photographers at a wedding? Definitely YES. Two photographers can do what one cannot. At this point, the only thing that matters is whether the benefits are attractive enough for you to spend the extra money.