Today on Monday Wedding Madness we will discuss what a second shooter/photographer is and why they add value to your wedding photos.
*Both images on the right were taken by one photographer and both images on the left were taken by the other photographer at the same time.
What is a second shooter/photographer? A lot of times wedding photographers will work with a group of second shooters. A photographer can have one dedicated second shooter or a few different ones that they work with. Second shooters are oftentimes already built into a wedding photographer's wedding package or they are a add on service that you can add onto the wedding package that you choose. Second shooters assist the main photographer and capture different angles, details, and more images.
The benefits of adding a second shooter to your wedding package (in no particular order):
1. Your photographer can be in two different places at the same time with a second shooter. For example, the getting ready portraits. Normally, the bride and groom will be in separate places while they are getting ready. With a second shooter one photographer can be with the bride and the second photographer can be with the groom. Another example is the cocktail hour. Oftentimes, this will be when the bride and groom are taking their couple portraits. With two photographers, while the main photographer is photographing the bride and groom the second shooter can be photographing the decor and guests during the cocktail hour. This will allow you to get more photos during your wedding as well as some different images that one photographer wouldn't be able to capture.
2. You will get two different vantage points. During the ceremony and reception both photographers can be stationed at different places which will allow you to get different angles of the same event as well as more images. An example is during the ceremony, one photographer can capture the bride's reaction and the other photographer can capture the grooms reaction. *You can view an example of this with the images above.
3. Your main photographer will have a helper. Now, I know you might be thinking, but how does this help me and my images? A second shooter not only will help capture more images during the day but they are also a huge help for the main photographer. A couple examples are as follows. During the family/group portraits the second photographer can assist calling out the different group combinations, corralling people, and helping everyone get into position. This helps with cutting down on the time needed for the formal portraits and helps make sure the images look great. Another great reason is bathroom breaks. During your wedding your photographer is going to have to go to the bathroom at one point or another. Your photographer will try to time this to happen when there is a down point in the wedding, but surprises can happen at any time during your wedding. With a second shooter, while one photographer is away there will always be one present to capture those special candid moments that may occur. They can also help hold reflectors and lights, as needed, to produce amazing images.
4. More images. This has been mentioned in all the points above, but with a second shooter you will have more images from your wedding.
5. They are a backup. Most wedding photographers, myself included, bring a set of backup equipment in case something malfunctions or gets damaged. However, if something were to happen to their equipment and they need to switch to their backups they may miss a special moment. With a second shooter its an extra piece of mind that everything will get covered. Again, this is a worst case scenario, I personally have never had this happen to me at an event, but it can happen.
Overall, adding a second shooter/photographer is completely up to you. You will have to decide what is important to you for your wedding and budget. Hopefully the points above will give you more information on the benefits of a second shooter and can help you with your decision.
Monday Wedding Madness is a blog series that occurs every Monday and answers the questions you have about wedding photography. Have a question you would like to have answered or something that you wish you would have known before your wedding or are you a wedding professional who would like to contribute? Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.