Do I need a second wedding photographer? This is a question I go over with my clients almost immediately after booking with me. There are a number of factors that go into why you might need a second wedding photographer. One of the obvious is, I can’t be in two places at once. As you’re planning your wedding day though here are a couple of things to think about when choosing if you want a second photographer.
When you opt into a package with a second photographer, there are a couple of specific roles they are given on your wedding day. One of the first and most important is to work as an assistant to me. My second photographers work beside me to make sure your wedding day goes off without a hitch. Second, their primary job is to photograph the moments that I might not be able to. This is perfect if you and your partner plan to get ready simultaneously. It is also great if you’re having a cocktail hour during your portraits.
When you hire a second photographer for your wedding day I do all of the work. I choose the second photographer myself. I make sure they are a trustworthy candidate that can not only take great photos but also be an additional help to you on your wedding day. In most cases, the second photographers I work with are people I have worked with in the past. I make sure to look through their portfolio extensively and make sure they’re a great fit for your day.
Can you believe all three of these images were within seconds of each other? Having a second photographer allows for multiple perspectives of the same moment. For example, to make sure both Cara and Brad’s reactions to walking down the aisle were documented I stood at the front of the aisle and my second photographer stood at the end of the aisle. I was able to photograph Brad the second they laid eyes on each other. Meanwhile, my second photographer was able to do the same for Cara. After that, I was able to document Cara walking down the aisle in the church. During this time my second was able to document the back of her dress and the church’s reactions.
Without a second photographer, I would only have Cara’s reaction about halfway down the aisle and Brad’s initial reaction. Having a second photographer for the first time you see your spouse on your wedding day is super important. It is the only way to document both of your reactions at the same time.
For Krissy and Frank’s wedding, they really wanted to document both of their reactions to seeing one another for the first time. My second shooter stood at the back of the aisle. They were able to document Krissy walking in while I stayed up by Frank. Together we were able to get both their reactions from multiple angles.
Back to one of the more obvious reasons, I can’t be in two places at once! If you and your partner plan to get ready at the same time, you’re going to want a second photographer. Getting ready is a big part of your wedding day. For many, it is the only quality time you have with your family and your wedding party. This is why it is arguably one of the most important parts of your day to be documented.
If you plan to get ready in different rooms or different hotels, as many couples do, you’ll want to have a second photographer. Tricia and Brian spent their mornings about 20 minutes away from each other getting ready simultaneously. With my second shooter over with Brian and his groomsmen, I was able to be with Tricia. We were able to work simultaneously documenting both wedding parties getting ready the afternoon of their wedding.
As you’re getting into your wedding planning, you’ll notice that there’s a lot that goes into a wedding day! Between decorations, food, seating arrangements, and events, you’ll be putting in a lot of work. Before the ceremony and reception, your second photographer will get to the location early before guests arrive. While I’m spending time with the two of you either getting portraits done or organizing the fam for photos, your second photographer be at your venues. Their job will be to document the space and all the work you put into your wedding day.
Without a second photographer, oftentimes I will not have the opportunity to document your space until your guests have already arrived. This is why it’s so important to have a second photographer if your wedding timeline has events that overlap with other parts of your day.
Having a second photographer gives you so much more flexibility when it comes to your wedding day timeline. Because you will have to photographers, you and your partner can get ready simultaneously and also take wedding party photos at the same time. This can give you up to an hour of flexibility and slow your timeline down significantly. For an example of a wedding day timeline check out my blog post outlining how to make the perfect one!
On top of that, having a second photographer can be a HUGE help with last-minute timeline changes. The midwest is known for unruly weather, so I see timeline changes fairly often on wedding days. If we need to rush because of a storm front coming in, or an unexpectedly cold day, we are able to speed up your photos while still keeping the quality high.
On Tricia and Brian’s wedding day, the weather was FREEZING, so we knew we wanted to limit their outdoor portraits. My second photographer and I both worked together to keep the two of them moving while capturing photos of them. Together we were able to get them all the portrait photos they wanted without them freezing!
If you want more photos of your guests and all your favorite people outside your wedding party, you’ll want a second photographer. And if you’re a fan of candids you’re DEFINITELY going to want a second photographer. As the lead photographer, the majority of my focus will be on the two of you throughout your wedding day. This can make it hard for me to snap photos of guests throughout the night. Moments like guests greeting one another, and your flower girl practicing her petal tosses could go undocumented. Having a second photographer means you’re able to see all these moments that you otherwise would never know happened.
For Amanda and Kraig’s wedding day my second photographer zeroed in on Amanda and Kraig’s family members throughout the day. She looked for candid moments and photo opportunities of people outside of the immediate family and wedding party.
One of the best things about having a second wedding photographer is being able to capture both you and your family at the same time on your wedding day. If you’re wanting to see candid reactions to you walking down the aisle or during the speeches at your reception, you’ll need more than one photographer. Throughout your wedding day, my camera will for the most part be glued to you. Having that second shooter will allow you to have some of those intimate moments of your family documented.
After your wedding day is over I will collect the photos from my second photographer and edit them along with the photos I took. I will put all of your wedding photos together in an online album in chronological order so that you can experience your wedding day the way that it happened. Not only will your wedding album be filled with all of the moments you were a part of on your wedding day, but you will also be able to see family and friends experiencing your wedding day in ways that you might have missed.
While not every couple or wedding needs a second photographer I HIGHLY recommend that every couple consider it for their wedding day. There’s only so much that a single photographer can capture, having a second photographer will document so many more of the special moments from your wedding day. If you’re interested in having me be your photographer fill out my inquiry form here and let’s start planning your day!
an illinois Boudoir and Wedding photographer based in bloomington, Il.
Available for travel throughout Chicago, Peoria, and the midwest!