When To Hire A Second Shooter
Hiring two photographers can seem excessive at first, but you should probably review your rough wedding day timeline to gauge if you’ll need to ease up on your photographer a little bit.
Second shooters accomplish more than just getting additional reception shots, like maybe that picture of little old Grandma Linda busting out moves you thought were condemned and breaking it down on the dance floor with one of the groomsmen (I’ve seen it happen). A second photographer is beneficial for the following instances on your wedding day.
1) Getting Ready
If you and your groom are getting ready at separate locations, but you want pictures of both parties, you’ll probably need to hire a second for the groom. The primary photographer consistently covers the bride and bridesmaids (sorry, guys, but I think the girl deserves a little something extra on her big day), while the second goofs around with the guys and takes candids of them putting on their PBR socks and comically struggling to pin boutonnieres on each other. If the bride and groom are getting ready at the venue and are merely a few doors down from each other, a primary photographer can typically handle this on their own. (It’s just a matter of coordinating when the bride puts on her dress and when the guys take shots.)
I’ve shot some weddings where the pastor or wedding planner has told me to stay glued to the floor in one, single spot the entire ceremony. While you might want to give your photographer more flexibility, you also don’t want them disrupting the service by constantly scooting around. A second can be stationed in the back and freely move around to grab wide-angle shots while your primary can cover detail shots and close-ups of the bride and groom. If your venue/ceremony space is especially dynamic, you’ll more than likely want as much coverage for all the architecture and other relevant details.
3) Portrait Time
Unless you’re doing a first look, you and your husband will be taking pictures together after the ceremony, plus group bridal shots, and large family photos. Meanwhile, your guests will be mingling and enjoying cocktail hour, which your second can cover to maximize time. By the time the bridal party is announced at the reception, the rest of the wedding timeline and events fly by, leaving little room to take pictures of the decor).
After booking with your photographer, try to present them with at least a general timeline so you can gauge if you’re wanting to hire a second. The photographer may feel confident covering all of it, they may want the extra help, or you just might want a second regardless! Ultimately, the second won’t be responsible for any significant moments but is always reliable in catching the little ones and the in-between.