My most popular wedding photography package includes a "second shooter," and recently I've been getting a lot of questions as to what the difference is between having one wedding photographer vs. two, and why someone would want a second wedding photographer.
As a wedding photographer, I love shooting with a "second"! It makes for such a seamless, efficient day, and I typically find those are the weddings I look back on and say, dang! Everything went so well. It really does make a difference having an extra person on the team!
So why should you hire a second wedding photographer, and what can you expect?
1. More Photos
When people ask what the difference is between having one photographer and having two, the first thing that comes to mind is the sheer volume of photographs you'll receive if you've got two people shooting! It's going to vary from tog to tog on how many more photos this actually is, but I would say it's pretty standard that you'll receive more images than if you just had one person shooting.
2. More Candid Photos
More specifically, second photographers are often in charge of really owning the day's candid photography. With a second shooter, you can be sure you'll not only get great posed/set up shots of the wedding party, but also fun, candid images of the same time. They'll also likely get some close up, detail shots when we're shooting portraits, which are so nice to have since the details of the day become hazy so quickly!
Often times, while I go with the bridal party after the wedding, the second photographer will head to the reception to get reception detail photos (another great perk of a second photographer - who doesn't love those pretty reception photos before the masses descend and start reserving tables!), and then get cocktail hour and mingling. It's nice to have those candids of your guests as they enjoy the day, especially because you're typically not with them then.
3. Photos in Two Places at Once
Often times it's important to brides to have photos of themselves and their girls getting ready, but they don't want to miss the start to the guys' day either! When I work with a second wedding photographer, I will hang with the ladies while my second chills with the men. I have a wedding next year that's planning on having the second photographer ride along for a couple of holes with the groomsmen while they golf the morning of the wedding - so fun!
This is also great during the ceremony. I can only be in one place at one time, and that's just fine, but when you've got two photographers you have double the coverage of your wedding ceremony, which can be really great if your ceremony set up is so that you have a hard time getting a good angle of the bride and groom at once. It's also great because I love getting multiple angles and shots of the first kiss! In the photos above and below, I was on the ground while my second photographer was in the balcony. I love that we were able to send the bride both images!
4. More Efficiency
If brides have tight wedding day timelines, having a second photographer is a huge asset! We can easily split up portraits to have one of us shooting the bridesmaids while the other shoots the groomsmen, which makes for crazy fast portraits! It's a super efficient use of time, and your wedding party will thank you if it's 90 degrees outside and we're shooting in a field somewhere ;)
Having a second photographer can be a huge asset to your wedding day, and a great investment in capturing even more wedding memories. In my opinion, it's totally worth it!