Do I need two wedding photographers?
One of the most common questions I get asked is, do I need a second photographer? Firstly before I give my opinion on this topic I should say I have recently changed how I work on wedding days. Previously I always had a second photographer with me on wedding days. However from 2018 onwards I have photographed most of my weddings on my own. This fits with my style of documentary photography and helps me to stay out of the way and capture those natural moments. That being said, some weddings do benefit from two photographers and I have outlined my opinions on the subject below.
On a wedding day there is so much going on and sometimes parts are out of our control. As much time as I take to prepare, there is only so much that can be done prior to the day. If you have a large wedding (over 250 guests) or a large number of group photographs, it can be beneficial to have a second photographer. As I photograph in a documentary style, I usually try to limit the number of group photos I do, having a second photographer can help fit more formal group photos in a quicker time.
Having a second photographer with me allows me to be in two places at once and cover more angles, allowing for better cover of the couple, guests and all the gorgeous details that make your wedding day complete. I am used to covering everything alone and the way I photograph weddings usually suits this better but I cannot be everywhere. The biggest reason for a second photographer is during the preparation phases. When the couple are in two different places getting ready, sometimes not in the same venue, it can make it impossible to capture both sets of preparation. Often I will capture the groom or partner who I didn’t capture getting ready once they arrive at the venue, but you may want images before that of both parties.
In most venues it is almost impossible to be at the front during the ceremony to capture the brides entrance and the rear to capture the grooms reaction to seeing his soon to be bride for the first time. These can make for amazing emotional photos and would otherwise be missed. I try most of the day to be watching for those special shots, those that are not planned and just happen.
It is most important on a large wedding. Over 250 guests and it becomes harder to cover everyone and be able to focus on the most important people on the day, the couple. It is often said that the guests make the day so of course images of them are important and I want to able to capture as many of the moments as I can.
As well as all the above I find it is much more efficient to have someone available to hold flashes and help with organising the groups for family formal pictures. The formals are the part of the day the guests hate (trust me it’s true), especially if it’s cold outside! Being organised is key to getting amazing family photos without keeping people stood around for hours. Anything that helps me on a wedding day is something I am definitely going to take seriously. Everyone has their own way of working that suits them, for me I have found that working alone allows me to capture the moments in my style but for others having a second photographer can work really well.
I have some amazing second photographers that work with me if you decide you want to book a second photographer. This is something that can be discussed during the initial consultation anyway.