Do I Need a Second Photographer for My Wedding?
Let me start by saying, every piece of information you find on the internet will most likely tell you something different. But mostly, it will tell you YES, have two photographers for your wedding. A lot of people will tell me they think having a second shooter is completely mandatory. But let me just be totally honest and transparent about my feelings on the necessity of second photographers! I’ve been a full time wedding photographer for a long time. I have about 15 years of experience in wedding photography, starting from assisting a full time wedding photographer for two years, then opening my own business and doing it solo from there on out. I know where I need to be and when I need to be there, I know when the money shots are, I create a detailed timeline so I know the plan and I make a checklist so that I make sure everything is covered, and I know where to place myself to get both YOU walking down the aisle and THEIR reaction to seeing you coming. While the easy answer is yes, having a second photographer is always a great thing – and it absolutely is WONDERFUL to have the extra set of hands and second perspective! – I also don’t ALWAYS find it totally needed. I think it’s entirely dependent on each individual wedding day. That’s why I don’t personally include two professional photographers for every wedding, it is an optional add-on for each couple to choose if they want one or not. And I’m happy to help you with that decision and I’ll be honest if I think I need one or not for your big day! Every wedding is different so here are a few things to ask yourself before deciding if two photographers is the right fit for your wedding:
Will I be getting ready in the same location as my future-spouse?
When you are getting ready in the same hotel, or neighboring Airbnb’s, or even at the venue, it’s SO EASY for me to get between locations and capture both of you getting ready. If one of you is getting ready downtown, and one of you at the beach, that makes it much more challenging, and having two photographers who can drive separate and capture both at the same time, then that will be much simpler. Sometimes, when I work alone, I skip getting ready photos of the guys all together because of time, as long as that’s okay with the couple. So it just depends how important that part is to you!
How large is my wedding party?
I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve had couples choose wedding parties of 25+ people. Not only is that exhausting for your photographer, it’s also exhausting for the couple! Getting ready moments are a lot more chaotic and most of the time, don’t run on time. But if you end up with a giant bridal party, it’s definitely recommended to have two photographers to capture this large of a crowd, and help corral the chaos, too! Then, during group bridal party photos, the photographers can break you into two groups and get photos done in half the time, and then all join together for group shots.
What is the guest count?
Again, every wedding is different, and when you’re having a wedding of only 70 guests, two photographers is almost just completely overdoing it. When you get above 150 guests, closer to that 170 or 200+ range, then I HIGHLY suggest two photographers. It’s next to impossible for one person to be able to catch that much action all by themselves. We spend most of the reception watching the crowd for fun moments, and when it’s that crowded, a lot of things can get missed when it’s only one person!
Are you the type of person who will come to your photographer with a LARGE list of photo requests?
If I’m being fully truthful, this isn’t ideal for a wedding pro anyway. I work best when I’m left to do my thing, it’s what I do for a living, I’m actually really good at it! LOL. When I’m given a very long and detailed list of photo requests, I have to constantly stop what I’m doing naturally and make sure I’m checking off photos from a list over and over, and then I don’t get any space to be creative and do what I do best. Candid moments and genuine memories always look better than a lot of staged Pinterest ideas, anyway. If you will be sending over a large list like this, I usually need help to accomplish it all and to help me check off all these items from a list. We get very limited time on a wedding day and everything is always rushed, so having two people to catch all the requests might make it a little more manageable!