This is one question I get a lot. Do I need a second shooter? The answer isn't a simple yes or no. It's a depends.
Second shooters are awesome and I do prefer working with one on your wedding day. But I understand being on a budget (I certainly have one!) and exploring all of your options. If you decide not to include a second shooter in your coverage, I still bring a non-shooting assistant because I need the extra set of hands.
So, in no particular order, here are some things to consider when making the second shooter decision.
- Guest Count
Expecting 50-100? That's totally manageable for one photographer. Are you looking at 250+? That's a lot of people. And while I've certainly shot weddings of that size myself, having a second shooter to help photograph everything that's going on and capture as many guests as possible is vastly preferred.
Super tight or room to breathe? If it's super tight, a second shooter and I can be two places at once. If I'm the only shooter present, you might have to make some sacrifices on what gets covered. Often this ends up meaning I'm with the bride getting ready and the guys are on their own. If your timeline is a little more spread out, that gives me more time to spend time with everybody getting ready, and to spend more time setting up and photographing details. But, more often than not, timelines aren't ideal and having a second shooter makes capturing every single detail a whole lot easier.
- Another Perspective
You know that shot of the groom in tears as his bride walks down the aisle? Chances are that was shot by a second shooter. Most primary photographers are focused on the bride at that moment in the processional. But if you have a second shooter, you get both points of view. Plus, my second shooters are incredible, creative photographers in their own right. And while they shoot in similar styles to me (and I always edit all of the images so they stay consistent and cohesive), they bring a unique perspective to your wedding day, resulting in a wider variety of shots and angles.
Ultimately, the decision is up to you and what works for your wedding day. I'll never pressure you to include a second shooter in your coverage and I'll be up front and honest about whether or not I think you HAVE to have one. I hope this helps! If you have more questions, I'm always happy to discuss second shooters further!
Here are some awesome images that my couples wouldn't have received if it wasn't for my equally awesome second shooters.