Do We Need to Book a Second Photographer for Our Wedding?

bride and groom at the alter with the bride glancing behind her towards the second photographer at her wedding

“Laura, do we need to book a second photographer for our wedding?” (Also referred to as a “second shooter”).

This is the one question I ALWAYS get asked by couples when they are booking their wedding photographer!

My answer is – it’s up to you! There’s no right or wrong decision. I’m happy to work a wedding alone and I’m also happy to work alongside a colleague. 

In this blog post I’ll share some of the reasons why you may need to book a second photographer. This will help you decide whether booking one is the best option for your wedding day. 

a bridesmaid holds her face in her hands as she is embarrassed about something someone said in a speech at a wedding

Firstly, what is a second wedding photographer? 

A second photographer (or “shooter”) works alongside me, the main photographer. They are hired by – and in a contract with – me.

They’re not there to act as an assistant or helper – they are there to photograph. 

I collect their memory cards at the end of the day and then cull and edit alongside the images I’ve captured, so your final wedding gallery will look consistent – you shouldn’t know who photographed what! 

4 reasons to book a second wedding photographer

Now you know what a second wedding photographer does, now let’s look at some of the reasons for why you might book a second photographer for your wedding.  

1. Extra coverage

…which I may not otherwise be able to capture myself as I can only be in one place at one time. The second photographer starts with your partner, while I’m with you; so that part of the day would be captured to add to the overall story of your wedding day.

When I’m photographing portraits with both of you or capturing group photos, the second photographer can photograph your guests enjoying the reception. Or, during speeches, I can focus on capturing you and the top table, while the second shooter photographs the guests laughing. Having two photographers also means we can capture images during the ceremony from different angles.

These two images are from the same wedding. I am at the front capturing the couple, and Charlotte (the second photographer) was at the back capturing the reading. I couldn’t get a great shot of the reading as I was stuck behind the lady with the book – you can just see me on the left edge of the photo.

The image below was captured by me when I was working as a second photographer, so I spent the morning with the groom while the main photographer who was booked by the couple was with the bride.

a groom looks at a card as he prepares for his wedding

2. If time is tight

Time is a key factor on your wedding day, which I speak to you about during our initial meeting call. As mentioned above, if time is tight from the end of the ceremony to when you sit down for food, I can’t be in multiple places at the same time! So, while I’m capturing portraits and groups, having a second photographer means you’ll definitely have some images of your guests enjoying the lawn games and canapés! 

guests enjoy the lawn games at the wedding

3. Number of guests

If you’re having more than 60 day guests (and if budget allows) I suggest you opt for a second photographer. This means there’s an extra set of eyes documenting your day. 

Another idea is to book a videographer

While I *ahem* love photography, having a film of your day is something you’ll never regret. Rewatching and listening to your nearest and dearest on your wedding day? Priceless! 

Booking a second photographer comes down to your personal preferences. I’m happy to chat about your own personal needs for your wedding day to see if you think it would be a worthy investment! 

Remember, it’s your wedding day – so do what’s right for you and within your budget. 

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