Should I hire a 2nd photographer?

Lately, I’ve been wanting to write a series of posts answering some of the frequent questions I get along with some examples and hopefully help current and future brides with some of the decisions they need to make for their wedding day.   All of our wedding packages include wedding day coverage by one, primary photographer but a second photographer may be added for an additional fee.   Many people ask me why they would need one and I thought it would be fun to put together some of my favorite shots that my second photographers have captured over the last year or so.

First, I’ll introduce them to you … Amanda is my sister and has been second shooting with me almost from the beginning … I think she’s been with me about 7 years now.  She was trained by myself and has been with me so long, I’m confident that she could step in and shoot as a primary, if I ever needed her.   Carley is a good friend who used to be a photographer in Texas years ago but is now a realtor.   She began stepping in when Amanda couldn’t work with me and has now been with us for about 1 1/2 years.   Both of them mainly work with the grooms on a wedding day except before the ceremony, when they stay with the bride before she walks down the aisle.

So, now that you know who may be photographing your wedding, let me tell you a little about why you may want them there:

The groom gets his own getting ready photos.  The second photographer will meet the groom and his attendants wherever they are getting dressed and get candids of them hanging out as well as getting ready (we just ask that they at least have pants on – trust me, there’s a reason I mention that!).  Once the groom is dressed, the second photographer will take all of their group / formal photos as well as the groom’s family.  The reason this is beneficial is because it gives the groom and his family / friends more time to take these photos instead of having to rush to take them before the ceremony.

Here are some quiet moments of the groom getting ready with his family and attendants before the ceremony:And a groom reading a letter from his bride in the moments before heading to the ceremony:
And a groom having a fun candid moment with some of his friends:
Here are a few of the group photos the 2nd photographers have taken over the last year:
If the bride and groom choose to do a first look, we will each focus on one person to ensure we capture both the bride and groom’s reaction to seeing each other: Once everyone has arrived at the ceremony site, the 2nd photographer then stays with the bride.   I will be at the front of the church capturing the procession of the grandparents, parents, bridal party, etc.   I will also be sure to get the groom’s face as the bride walks down the aisle.   Some of my favorite moments that my 2nd photographers have captured are the ones of the bride with her father before she walks down the aisle:Or just the bride by herself, quiet in her thoughts before the ceremony:They’ll also be capturing the bride’s arrival, like this bride arriving in the middle of a storm during Hurricane Nate:
There are so many moments that would be missed without the 2nd photographer because at this time, I’m already standing at the front of the church, photographing the processionals:Another popular image that a lot of brides love but that isn’t possibly without the 2nd photographer are the sweeping, wide angle views of the bride and her father walking down the aisle:

During the ceremony, the 2nd photographer will be capturing different view points and angles.   And when there are 2 photographers present, we know that someone will always be capturing the main action, leaving the other to capture little moments that may be missed otherwise:
During short ceremonies, sometimes its hard to find the time to back up and get such wide angle images when there is only one photographer:
And then there are little moments like these, a great-grandmother and her great-granddaughter interacting during the ceremony:During the reception, both photographers work to capture events together, giving our clients unique perspectives and a variety of images:
During the money dance, one of us stays with the bride and the other with the groom, ensuring no special moment is missed!Again, having 2 photographers, frees us up to capture little moments that might otherwise be missed if its just a primary photographer focusing on the main event – in this case, the bride was dancing with her father and the 2nd photographer was focused on capturing that important moment, when I noticed the groom and his father standing like this, watching the father / daughter dance.
Then there was this cute moment captured by the 2nd photographer while I was capturing the bridal party toast:So while I am very capable of capturing the complete picture of a wedding day by myself and have plenty of experience doing so, I always love the extra details that having a second photographer with me adds to the coverage.  I feel like it just adds a little something extra to the wedding gallery and ensures that you’ll be able to look back on your wedding day and not only remember the moments that you experienced but also some of the ones you may have missed or not noticed at all.  Choosing to hire a second photographer is a decision that can be made at any time between signing your contract and paying your balance, 3 weeks before the wedding day.   If you still aren’t sure, feel free to contact me to discuss any questions you may have!

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