You’re ready to make it official with that wedding photographer you’ve been drooling over. Their images are gorgeous, and you’re sure they’re the “one” to tell your wedding day story.
You sit down with them, their vibe is off the charts, but then they throw in the option for a second shooter.
Second what? Is that something people do? Why would you even need someone else with a camera? Isn’t one enough?
Let’s break this down so you can be confident you have the correct number of wedding photographers for your wedding day!
Get Your Mind Straight
Before we get into any of this, you need to get your mind straight, sis. You can’t be making these big money decisions based on what other people think is good for you.
No one knows your money situation like you and your partner, so have a chat and figure out where you two sit.
Now Get Your Budget Straight
Take a look at what you can feasibly spend and go from there.
Hopefully, you’ve already worked on a wedding budget, but if not, think about it. If photography is a high priority for you, you may decide to bump up your budget to afford multiple photographers and cut back elsewhere.
Quality and Quantity
It will always be better to have one stellar photographer than two or three mediocre ones.
But, if your wallet is saying don’t stretch it, then make sure that your chosen one isn’t just an average wedding photographer! Aim for quality!
Why Would You Want Multiple Wedding Photographers?
It Might Be Required
Some photographers won’t shoot without a second shooter or assistant; it’s that important to them.
Why is it so important?
Well, you have expectations, right?
You want your wedding photos to be full of those special little moments. All of those in-betweens are what really make the day, but…the big moments matter too.
Your photographer is not going to want to under-deliver on your expectations. A second shooter allows them to more accurately capture the fullness of your wedding day.
A team approach will also help everything move more efficiently, time and logistic wise!
Need a bunch of family formals done? One photographer will be snapping away while the other wrangles Uncle Ed (you know how he loves to talk), and you’ll get them all done in half the time.
Also, think about those detailed photos you want of the wedding ceremony and reception. It’s next to impossible for one photographer to capture all of those special wedding details, undisturbed, while also keeping up with you throughout the day.
You’re going to need a second shooter.
Plus, they’ll probably have them carry their enormous bag of equipment, and really, can you blame them for that?
Multiple photographers will also help capture the entire picture. So what does this mean for you exactly?
More photos! Since there will be times where all photographers are shooting the same moment, you’ll get multiple perspectives and angles.
Think about your ceremony for instance. With more than one photographer, you’ll get that first kiss as a wide shot, a close-up, and maybe with your wedding guests in the background!
Variety is the name of the game here.
A second or third shooter will also help capture more of the whole day.
Do you want to get the exact moment that your partner sees his bride walking down the aisle? But do you also want your reaction to their reaction?
Well, you may not have thought about this, but one person can’t capture both of those moments.
Maybe you want photos of both you, your wedding party, and your partner during wedding preparation. If you’re all getting ready at the same time, you’re going to need at least 2 photographers.
The bottom line: a cohesive team equals more of a cohesive story. Another person will inevitably help collect more moments which will add up to a more well-rounded narrative in the end!
Listen real close to this one. Multiple photographers are great in unpredictable situations!
If something goes wrong with your primary shooter’s camera during the wedding ceremony, they’ll probably have a backup camera. But, it may take them a moment to get it set up.
That handy second shooter will be covering all of those moments that would have been missed.
What if your photographer gets in an accident on the way to the wedding, gets sick, OR GETS COVID?
These are real-life situations, and unfortunately, sometimes these things occur. Having a team of photographers will leave you a little bit more prepared for the unexpected.
How Many Photographers Do You Need?
Well, that’s the big question! But the answer here is dependent on the size and type of wedding you’re planning.
Generally, the more people, the more photographers you should have. An intimate wedding with a small wedding party may be fine with one, a mid-size wedding might require two, and a larger wedding could call for three or more.
But really, it comes back to your preferences again.
If you’re planning a mountain-top elopement and you want photos from a bunch of different angles, then you might consider a second or third shooter.
Or, perhaps, you’re having a larger wedding, but you really only care about family portraits, a few bride shots, and the cake-cutting moment. Maybe you’d be good with one photographer.
Also, let’s point out that you don’t really need any of this.
So, think about what you care about and decide what your priorities are. How much wedding day coverage are you expecting? The question you should really be asking yourself is how many photographers do you want?