wedding ceremony at Oshawa Botanical Gardens

The Common Misconception of Hiring a Second Photographer for Your Wedding Day 

I hear the most that couples need a second wedding photographer just for large weddings, or for a separate getting ready with two locations very far from each other (the second one is true).

Close your eyes and think, would your photography wants vary much depending on your 50 or 500 wedding guests list? From what I hear from my couples, there is not that much of a difference. You still want 95% of your pictures to be two of you, your closest friends and immediate family. Your wedding size doesn’t matter at all.

On the other hand, if you are planning a large wedding and want to make sure the majority of your guests are captured on photographs, you need a second shooter.

One of the top wedding regrets heard across the industry is that the couple didn’t hire a second wedding photographer or first cinematographer. They didn’t even know a second shooter or affordable videographer was an option. 

If you have a massive budget, you don’t even have to think about it, you just hire two photographers and videographers. But what if your budget is limited, and you need to make sure you locate your money in the right place?

Does the Groom like to Wake up Super Early? Bride & Groom Getting Ready Shots

When it comes to your wedding day, there are so many options for pictures and they may not be in the same location or could have overlapping times. If the bride and groom are getting ready at the same time, but in different places, which one would a single photographer pick to shoot? Usually, the photographer goes first to see the groom, and after the bride. It means that the groom has to be ready way before he actually has to be ready. It does influence not only a groom but all wedding party and family. If you want to take many family pictures before the ceremony, there is a chance, that your mom will not be very happy to have her hair and make-up ready 4 hours before the ceremony starts. With a second wedding shooter, couples don’t have to rush – they can have pictures taken organically and simultaneously. 

On the other hand, if you have a small and well-disciplined wedding party, and are happy to take your family pictures after the ceremony or during the photoshoot, you may not need a second shooter for the getting ready part.

Two Wedding Photographers: Two Different Shots of the Same Moment 

A single photographer literally cannot be in two places at once, so each moment can only be captured from one angle. When you have two photographers, they can capture every moment from different perspectives. For example, when the bridal party and bride are getting ready to walk down the aisle you can have one photographer at the front and another at the back. If you have a balcony at your ceremony location, you can get an epic, wide shot of all your guests and your wedding dress and veil when walking down the aisle.

If you are into capturing emotions, one photographer can focus on wider shots, when the other one captures close-up shots of your and your family’s reactions like tears and smiles during reading vows.

The moment I miss the second shooter the most during the wedding day is for the first look. I can’t be at two spots at the same time, so I can either capture the couple from the side, or focus on just one person, and have no reaction of the other partner on photos.

Are you Family Oriented and Want to See Your Closest Ones and Their Reactions on Many Photos?

The first wedding photographer is usually so focused on getting a bride & groom pictures like exchanging vows, first kiss, putting the dress or suit on that they don’t have the chance to get the candid moments shared between family members, friends and the couple. I’m not able to take simultaneously pictures of the couple exchanging vows, and your parents or best friends smiling or crying from happiness witnessing the moment. I can’t take photos during speeches of the couple, the person giving the speech, and your family members located on the other side of the venue.

While having a second photographer at your wedding may increase the budget a little, you’ll get so many more memories with your friends and family captured than you imagined. 

Two Wedding Photographers: Two Unique Perspectives

When you have two wedding photographers you get double the skills, double the experience and double the creativity. Each photographer will have their own style and ideas for shooting, and they will bring that to your special day.

The main photographer on a wedding day captures must have moments, the bride and groom getting ready, the wedding party, and all their emotions. Having two photographers means getting two artistic interpretations of the same event.

While one photographer makes sure to have the important moment captured in a proper, classic way, the second shooter can focus on creative and fun shots. The second wedding photographer has time and chance to push the creativity and look for unique lighting, perspectives and play with lenses and angles. The first shooter can’t allow himself for that most of the time. There is only one chance to capture the first kiss and believe me, no experienced photographer will do anything super creative or unique with that shot, as the risk is too big.

With two wedding photographers, you have way more flexibility

Besides getting ready happening at the same time, there are many other moments during the wedding day that happen at one time.

After the ceremony is the best moment to take family pictures. It is also the best time to capture your venue and all the details you put so much time and effort into creating. And there is a cocktail hour and wedding photoshoot happening at the same time. With one photographer you usually have to choose between one and the other, or get a little of this, and a little of that.

Even if your schedule is not that tight, and there is enough time for everything, most weddings are getting late at some point. With two shooters, they can easily split, and one can stay at the church to cover for example the family photos when the other can drive to the venue location and take a cocktail hour and empty hall photos.