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 highly recommended and then there are times when you can do without one. So when and why should you consider booking a second wedding photographer?
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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. Likewise, one photographer cannot be expected to capture every memorable moment and have eyes at the back of their head. In this case, two wedding photographers are always better than one simply because they will have the ability capture more photographs and therefore deliver more images of your wedding guests.
Two angles & places simultaneously
This is a big one. Why? A great example is a situation when bride & groom are getting ready at two different places at the same time. This applies even when they are getting ready at the same venue.
Moreover, two photographers can position themselves strategically when shooting action moments, such as the bouquet/garter toss. Having two photographers will also increase the quality of photographs from the first look, walking down the aisle, the first dance etc.
During the ceremony, one of the photographers 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 more of the guests’ reactions when the bride and groom are standing in front of the altar.
The overall point is that two photographers can focus exclusively on one thing at a time and produce more quality photographs then one would if he turned from one subject to another every now and then. There are of course many other situations at a wedding that benefit from being shot by a photographic duo. At this point however, it’s more important that you get the concept instead of an exhaustive list of wedding moments.
Getting better quality album
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 cull the images after the wedding, the higher number of photographs gives us space to choose only the best ones. This way we can deliver wedding stories of superior quality.
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
Having two cameras or 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 step in for the other in case they are at the toilet or sprain an ankle is beyond reassuring. It’s the same principle as having a backup camera and cards in case something fails, however unlikely these cases may be.
Assisting with difficult compositions
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.
Two different styles
My favourite reason why I love having a second wedding photographer with me is the fact that each of us has a different artistic feeling. The two of us think creatively in our own way. That’s why I usually choose a photographer whose style complements mine. For example, one of us might give the photographs 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, if you asked me if it’s worth having two photographers at your wedding, I would unequivocally answer 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.