I just came back from a Bridal Show where I got this question a lot: “Why do I need a second shooter?” Also, I would hear this objection, a lot: “My wedding is too small for two photographers”. Here is a breakdown of reasons why you always will be better off with a second shooter for your wedding.

Groom waiting for bride black and white
Father walking the bride down the isle black and white

1. Telling the story.

You hire a professional photographer for many reasons, not the least of which is her experience, technical prowess, creativity and a winning personality, but also for her ability to see your story and capture it in a way that will speak to you and your future generations in all the art she and her team will create for you. A story is made up of precious moments that a photographer’s eye catches continuously throughout your wedding day. Moments happen to you, your partner and your friends and family, but they also happen to those reacting to them, simultaneously. This is why to capture the whole story takes at least two photographers. Can you imagine how much more powerful your albums or wall displays will be, when both sides of that moment are presented in a gorgeous layout?

Bride walking down isle
Groom waiting for bride

2.       Time and Geographic Constraints.

Often due to the location or venue time constraints, there is not enough time for one photographer to get to both locations for the getting ready photos. The same can be true for covering the details you spent so much time picking out and designing. When I am busy with the bridal party, my second shooter can more easily find a some time to get these detail shots, when the interval between the ceremony and the reception is too short, or when the venue does not allow the photographers advance set-up time before the wedding party arrives.

3. Combination of journalistic and classic portraiture.

In this day and age, everyone asks for a journalistic style photographer. We understand what you are asking, but I am sure you don’t want every single photo to be the wedding party and guests looking silly while talking or eating their dinner. I am sure what you mean is you want to preserve the feelings and emotions of the day, as well as planned and unexpected moments, showcasing the expressions of all those people that are most important to you. This is best done in a combination of candid and classic portraiture. Candids are just those photos taken when the guests or bride and groom don’t realize they are being photographed. Classic portraiture doesn’t mean stogy, boring poses, however. It just means arranging the wedding party group or the bride and groom in a way that makes them look and feel beautiful on the inside and the outside. To get both, it often helps to have two photographers, as well.

4. Cover the tables.

Here is an argument for a larger wedding. When you have a lot of guests, it does help to have two photographers to cover the merriment of most of the tables. However, even in a smaller wedding, it is very difficult to cover the speeches journalistically, as well as the on-looking guests’ reactions with just one photographer.

Groomsman doing a handsand on top of Vail Mountain

5. Don’t miss any moments.

Last, but not least, we don’t want to miss any important moments. Your professional wedding photographer will ask you for an order of important events and a schedule of the day to make sure to capture every moment. However, though weddings are highly planned, they do bring out the unexpected in people because of all the fun and emotions they involve. With two photographers covering the event, it is so much more likely that one of us would be on hand to capture that impromptu precious moment and then include it in your artistic story.

Well, there you have it. Whether your wedding has 20 guests or 220, this photographer’s recommendation is always ask for a second shooter, and you will be happy that you did!

Pastry Chef decorating weddin cake
eclectic high heel shoes