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Why Having A Second Shooter Is Valuable For Your Wedding

Wedding Tips

April 8, 2020

Why You Won’t Go Wrong Investing in a Second Shooter

It’s inevitable. During each portion of wedding planning, you’ll be making endless amounts of decisions on what you should and should not include when it comes to your big day. One option you’ll definitely go over with your wedding photographer will be if you want to include a second shooter in your wedding day coverage. The answer should be a resounding YES! Today I’m sharing the reasons I believe it is SO valuable to have a second shooter there on your wedding day! Throughout my years of shooting weddings, I’ve noticed it’s such an important detail that will help the day go more smoothly. Especially with any delays that may arise or a tight timeline to work through!

Here’s a look at my top 5 reasons to include a second shooter for your wedding day:

1. They’re an extra pair of hands

They can carry all the things. Your bouquet, your dress, your veil, your second pair of shoes, your makeup, your phone, your keys. They’ll proudly take charge of making sure you have something to nibble on or keep your drink full. One of the things I want to ensure my brides, grooms, AND their family and friends can do is relax and enjoy the day, NOT worry about the little details!

2. They’re part of the backup plan

A second shooter is invaluable to a lead photographer. Just like for you, they’re there to help the lead photographer with bags, reflectors, details, ladders, light stands, dresses, florals, and moving all the things. In every step along the timeline, you’ll find a photo of them testing light for the main photographer to make sure they’re ready to rock and roll. Plus you’ll get extra photos from the best parts of your day, who doesn’t love that?!

But what if a challenge arises? They’re another set of eyes and ears that can help your lead photographer brainstorm/problem solve so you receive the best options asap to overcome those challenges! The seconds I work with and I have seen A LOT so we have tons of great ideas to keep the ship smoothly sailing. Finally, they’re the lead photographer’s insurance. Illness issues? Family emergency arises with one of the kids? I didn’t see that curb, trip, and break my arm? Those are obviously worst-case scenarios, but the second is there to swoop in and take over if the need arises! That way you’re not left in the lurch with no photographer!

3. It allows flexibility in your timeline

We’re talking about wedding days here, where it is inevitable that at some point during the day, things are going to run behind. Having a second photographer there can be so helpful in overcoming those time crunches! As a rule, I try to be the lead shooter and capture each group/set of photos we go through on the timeline. Think…getting ready, details, First Look, bridal party, bride and groom portraits, family formals, etc. But say for example, the morning ran behind as everyone was getting ready. I can double-up with the second during portrait time and they can shoot the groom and groomsmen together while I’m photographing the bride and bridesmaids together. This is a great way for us to make up the time that ran behind earlier so the remaining timeline isn’t affected!

Another time this is great for is during the ceremony/cocktail hour. It’s ideal right after the ceremony to capture the reception space all decked out before guests start arriving. I can send the second photographer over to photograph all the details there while I’m working through other portraits with your bridal party and/or family. Also, depending on the distance between the ceremony and reception locations, I’ve even had second shooters leave before the end of the ceremony and head over to ensure we’re getting those photos before guests who might only be attending the reception arrive.

4. You’ll get multiple angles of the same moment

One of the most valuable times I see this for is during the ceremony. While not impossible, it can be challenging for me to capture reaction shots of the groom and the bride walking down the aisle during the processional. This is especially rough when the aisle is short! Having a second shooter means we can divide and conquer this moment. The second will be focused on capturing the bride walking in while I’m stationed up front focused on the groom’s reaction and additional photos the bride coming down the aisle. This is such an important moment to couples, I love having the extra support to capture it!

5. The groom gets some love!

Having a second photographer means you have someone there to capture the getting ready photos for the groom. Too often when there’s a single shooter it does not work into the timeline to capture these moments before the day really needs start rolling. If you’re getting ready at two different places, it’s almost impossible! I tell each of my grooms they are just as important as the bride (after all, without them there’s no wedding!) and I want to make sure they feel special and included. The second photographer will be there to spend the morning with the guys, capturing their antics and details while I spend time with the girls.


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