Documenting Weddings – Second shooters

Do you need a second photographer?

When you book me to photograph your wedding there is one quite important decision to make. Do you book a second shooter? A second shooter is a photographer there to assist the main photographer. This could be just carrying stuff, holding lights or taking pictures. Below I will outline the pros and cons of the second shooter as I see them.

Benefits

1.You will get more photos of your day from different angles. It is impossible for me to be in two places at once. A second photographer can get shots I simply can’t. For example, during the ceremony when the bride walks in I’ll be up near the groom getting shots like this one.

Wedding Processional - the Granary at Fawsley
Wedding Processional – the Granary at Fawsley

The second photographer can be at the back getting shots like this.

2.Groom prep is much easier with a second shooter. I can shoot both Bridal Prep and Groom Prep on my own and have done so many times. However, it’s much easier to do this with two photographers for obvious reasons.

3.A good second shooter is a handy backup in case of a serious problem for the primary. This has never happened to me, but I know of people it has happened to. Most of us will photograph a wedding no matter how ill we are. But if something drastic does happen on the day, the second shooter is a living, breathing backup who can take over in an emergency.

Taken by my second shooter on the day, Helen

4.You can get a subtly different style of photos from the second shooter that really adds another dimension to the book or album you end up with.

Cons

1.They can get in the way and be a distraction. I mostly use the same bunch of second shooters if at all possible, as I know they won’t need babysitting. Occasionally I need to work with someone new though. Most of the time it’s fine, but there have been times when the need to assist/babysit a second shooter has been a distraction for me.

Crockwell Farm – taken by my second shooter while I was busy with the couple shots

2.Editing is harder unless they are using the same system. This isn’t a problem for the client, but it does add an extra layer of difficulty for me. Most second shooters use Canon or Nikon, I don’t. This can lead to issues getting their photos to look just like mine.

3.Cost. It costs more to have a second photographer.

Taken by my second shooter while I was waiting in the Church

Overall, I would recommend having a second shooter if you can afford it. With my current pricing packages ( link ), it is only an extra £100.

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