Today we’re answering one of the top questions that we receive when we partner with couples to help them determine the appropriate coverage for their wedding day. Do I need more than one photographer?
What It Means to Have a Second Shooter
Before we jump into the benefits of hiring a second shooter for your wedding, what does that actually mean? This essentially means that instead of having one photographer to capture your big day, you would have two photographers.
Not all companies offer a range of options with customizable packages like we do, but this is one of our optional add-ons. For an additional fee, you could have double the coverage behind the camera. When we partner with Joy couples, we highly recommend having a second photographer. Here’s why.
Reasons to Consider a Second Photographer on the Big Day
Get coverage of the full groom prep. The bridal party typically gets the bulk of the time for getting ready images but a second shooter will allow for full coverage for the guys. The photographer wouldn’t have to rush so they can help capture the genuine moments of the groomsman enjoying each other's company before the ceremony. They can also use this time for some more formal photos of just the groom, and the groom and his guys, which will free up some of the time needed for post-ceremony photos. Lastly, one of the things that often goes unnoticed are the detail shots for him! The second shooter can capture some shots of his accessories—ties, shoes, watches, tie clips, cufflinks, jacket and more.
Capture both of your reactions during the first look. If you opt to have a first look, this will allow for one photographer to focus on each one of you! Your genuine reaction will happen at the same time, and only having one photographer means that you’ll have less photos of each of you. Having both photographers there will also help to capture more angles of that incredible moment. (More on all-things first looks here.)
See the ceremony from different perspectives.
One of the benefits of hiring a second shooter for your wedding is to have extra coverage during the ceremony. Unlike many of the moments that happen on your wedding day which last (like 3-5 minutes for a first dance), the ceremony is strung together by many fast moments. The first glimpse of each other at the end of the aisle. The first kiss. While the main photographer is focusing on the couple, the second photographer can stand on another side for additional diversity in types of photos which get captured. Plus, they can capture the reactions of the crowd! This would allow for photos like Mom watching Dad walking you down the aisle—which wouldn’t be a focus if only one photographer was there, because they would be focused on you! They could also capture the claps and smiles of the guests as the officiant pronounces you as married.
Get more candid shots of the newlyweds. While the main photographer is directing and getting the standard poses, the second photographer has more flexibility to be creative. This is where the sweet candid shots of the couple can get captured. Like when the groom helps his bride pick up her train, or when she whispers something into his ear between formal takes. (Oftentimes our couples share that these are some of their favorite moments, which is why we think it’s one of the benefits of hiring a second shooter for your wedding.)
Get ample coverage of cocktail hour. The timeline for most weddings dictates that the formal wedding party and family photos take place when the guests are at cocktail hour. (Cocktail hour helps to keep them occupied while you’re getting your photos captured!)
Having a second shooter would allow them the ability to step away from the formal photos to help get photos of your guests enjoying their cocktails. This is a laid-back time in the wedding day which can lead to special photos of your guests enjoying the shared experience that they are having at your wedding. (This will also be a way for you to re-live the cocktail hour moments, because you will likely come to the end or just go straight to the reception!)
Speaking of the reception…
Capture double the memories from the wedding reception.
After everything has fallen into place following stress from the planning process, the reception is when you’re able to truly celebrate with the people who matter most. If you have a large wedding, one photographer cannot physically be in two places at once!
Having a team of two photographers will give them the ability to split up and capture double the moments. From the memories made from wild laughter on the dance floor, to the tearful emotion from your spouse and your guests during speeches, there are plenty of important images to capture!
We hope this was helpful for you to better understand the benefits of hiring a second shooter for your wedding.
Custom Texas Wedding Photography and Videography Packages
Still looking for a photographer or videographer? We provide custom wedding photography and videography packages just for you and your wedding day in Texas. We offer packages for many types of weddings, including Elopements and Micro-Weddings.
Depending on your wedding, your package can include audio of vows and speeches, aerial drone coverage, documentary style editing, video live streaming, and extra sessions, and more.
[Photoshoot in the spotlight: Lauren + Jace in Dallas, Texas.]
The Joy Team