Top Five Reasons to Have A Second Shooter At Your Wedding

I know from talking to couples that it can be hard to see the need or value of having a second photographer for their wedding day, which is why I wanted to write a quick post about why I think it’s a great idea.

Most second shooters are photographers who have their own businesses, who are looking to expand their portfolio and learn from another wedding photographer, or who just enjoy the greater creative freedom that comes with second shooting because you don’t have the same responsibility as the lead photographer. I absolutely love to second shoot, I do it all the time! It keeps me on my creative toes, and I love getting to hang out with another photographer and see how they work.

Top Five Reasons To Have A Second Shooter At Your Wedding:

1. Two Photographers, Two Places: The most basic fact is that no photographer can be in two places at once, and there are certain moments during a wedding when you may want your photographer in two places at once.  For example, if the bride and groom are in separate places while getting ready, the second photographer can hang out with the groom while the main photographer is with the bridal party. Or while the main photographer is taking family photos, the second photographer can get shots of guests enjoying the cocktail hour.

2. Two Photographers, Two Vantage Points: Two photographers allows for different angles, different lenses, and different viewpoints of the same scene. This is one of the biggest reasons I love having a second shooter. There are so many times when I want my camera pointed in two directions during a big wedding moment! For example, I often focus on the expression on the bride’s face as she walks down the aisle and have my second shooter capture the groom’s face as he sees her for the first time. While I focus on the Bride from the front-on perspective, my second shooter can capture some wide shots from behind. You’ve hired your lead photographer because you trust in their artistic vision and wedding experience, but having a second photographer just brings another perspective and another creative eye to best tell the story of your wedding day.

3. Cocktail Hour, Candids and Details: The hour after the ceremony is usually the time having a second photographer is key. Some portion of this time is usually when couple portraits are done, and the lead photographer can’t be at the cocktail hour also capturing fun party candids. Your closest friends are all dressed up and celebrating your wedding, it’s definitely worth having someone there to photograph that! Besides the cocktail hour, the lead photographer has so many shots they need to get, that it can be difficult to also grab a ton of candid shots and details throughout the day, whereas the second photographer can focus on these almost exclusively. So having a second photographer is particularly important for couples who have invested a lot of time, thought and love into all the details of their wedding day and couples who appreciate a candid, documentary approach to photography.

4. A Happy, Calm, Lead Photographer:  Having a second shooter makes the lead photographer (me!) feel more calm throughout the day. It’s like having someone on your team, someone supporting you and helping you to do your absolute best work. I know there are some photographers out there who maybe prefer working alone, and I can definitely shoot a wedding on my own if a couple decides not to add a second photographer, but having someone who will run to the cocktail hour to grab Aunt Edna for family photos, who will carry my bag if I need to quickly move somewhere else for a shot, who I can trust to complement my work with lots of beautiful candid and detail shots makes me happier and calmer throughout the day!

5. Double the Photographers, Double the Coverage: You just get more photography coverage on your wedding day. Which is awesome! 🙂

I hope that was helpful for anyone considering wedding packages with and without second photographers. And feel free to post any questions or thoughts about second shooters in the comment section below!

***Some content pulled from – thank you Nicole for explaining the importance of a second shooter so perfectly!***