The Pros + Cons Of Having A Second Shooter

I get asked by my couples all the time: Do you think we need a second shooter?

Since I recently 2nd shot for Taylor Bean Photography I thought I would write about the difference of having a second shooter on your wedding day vs not having one and my personal opinion on the whole thing!

The Cons:

  • Usually costs more

  • Another person to include in your count for food and tables

The Pros:

  • Maximize your timeline

  • Two cameras are better than one

  • Lots of backup equipment

  • Extra person to herd people for photos

  • Capture more candids

  • Get a fuller gallery and higher volume of photos

  • Get a different perspective

Photo by Good Photography Co.

Photo by Good Photography Co.

As you can see there are more pros than cons. I won’t go too in-depth on the cons because they are pretty self explanatory. If your budget simply doesn’t allow for a 2nd shooter than it doesn’t allow it. There’s nothing wrong with that. I have covered MANY weddings all by myself and trust me, I’m capable. This article isn’t here to worry you that one photographer can’t handle your wedding by themself, it’s to show you the value added by having a 2nd shooter on top of what I already provide.

So, let’s dive in to the pros!

Maximize Your Timeline

There are a lot of things to fit into a wedding day (as if I need to tell you that)! A huge benefit to having a second shooter is when it comes to trying to stretch your timeline. Instead of having to allow for time for a single photographer to get back and forth from various places during the getting ready time, or having them rush to the reception to get detail shots of the decor, or worrying about how to squeeze in time everything having a 2nd Shooter can alleviate that.

The 2nd shooter can capture the guys getting ready while I’m with the girls. They can also make sure they are at the reception site to capture all those decor and detail shots before any guests arrive. It also means that bridal party photo time can be cut in half as one of us can capture the girls together and the other can capture the guys. Same with family photos!

Photo by Good Photography Co.

Photo by Good Photography Co.

Two Camera Are Better Than One

I mean this one figuratively and literally. Kind of going off of what I said in the first “pro,” of maximizing your timeline having two photographer really allows you to get a lot more coverage in less time. Also, no one can be in two places at once. Having a 2nd Shooter makes it possible to capture simultaneous moments like BOTH of your faces when you see each other for the first time (whether during a first look or coming down the aisle), and so many other little moments.

This leads into my next point…

Lot’s Of Backup Equipment

It sucks when it happens (thought it doesn’t happen often) and most good photographers will have backup equipment, but it never hurts to have a back up to the back up. 2nd Shooters bring more cameras and lenses meaning less chance of a hardware malfunction from ruining your day.

Photo by Good Photography Co.

Photo by Good Photography Co.

Extra Person To Herd People For Photos

1 Bride + 1 Groom (or 2 Brides/2 Grooms) + an entire bridal party + both sides of families + ring bearers + flower girls… things can get hairy quick! Having a 2nd shooter means you have one extra person to keep track of everyone. Like I mentioned earlier, they can cut down photo time by getting shots of as many groupings as possible at the same time other groupings are happenings, but they can also just keep things organized while the big family photo time is happening. They can make sure the checklist of images is being captured so nothing is missed too!

Capture More Candids

I always tell my couples that it’s my job to get all the pictures you want and the ones you don’t even know you want. I have a traditional/journalistic approach to all my weddings. I know your Grandma wants the family photos (Who can blame her? How often does everyone have a chance to get together? Not to mention how much people change over the years!) also, I do it for my couples too - great family photos means great Christmas/Birthday/Mother’s Day/Father’s Day gift options right off the bat! Plus, I know that family photos are what hang on most people’s walls in the years following their wedding.

But I also know you want to remember the day FULLY. The cute way the kiddos are playing together. The side eye you give your new husband or wife while they are cracking jokes. The little moments between the two of you no one else might notice. The sweet hug your dad shares with your new spouse. The little details here and there you worked so hard on. I’m there to capture all that stuff in between. I call it the liquid moments, it’s all the other things that fill in around the scheduled out things on the timeline. Having a second person to capture these liquid moments means you get more of them! You will be surprised the things a 2nd Shooter can capture that you won’t even see happening on your wedding day (and that I may not either as my primary focus is capturing what’s going on around you and sticking close to you two!)

Photo by Good Photography Co.

Photo by Good Photography Co.

Get A Fuller Gallery And Higher Volume Of Photos

I am a big believer in quality over quantity - especially when it comes to your wedding photos. Would you rather have 2000 mediocre pictures or 500 pictures you all love so much you can’t wait to hang up every single one? Call me crazy, I’d rather have the 500.

But quantity is a big deal for some people. Like I just mentioned, the 2nd shooter can capture moments you and I may never even see so that’s more images right off the bat. Everything the 2nd shooter captures is the gravy on top of what I’m already capturing throughout the day. You will get, on average 700-1000 photos from a wedding day (I do not promise certain quantities because every wedding is different). With a 2nd Shooter you can expect approximately 1000-1750 images in your final gallery.

If quantity AND quality is important to you a 2nd Shooter is definitely the way to go.

This bring me to my last point:

Get A Different Perspective

This one is two fold.

First off, no one can capture images the way I do and I can’t capture images the same way another photographer does. That’s just facts. Seeing the same day through two different eyes can be a really special thing. The way I frame things or play with light can be totally different than how my 2nd shooter does and that makes for such an awesome thing in your final gallery. I truly appreciate the way someone else creates art and am a big believer in #communityovercompetition and I work with some amazingly talented photographers who add so many beautiful images to the galleries I create for my couples. It seriously blows me away.

The second aspect to this point is literally getting different angles on shots that I can’t get. There are certain times during a wedding day where I can take my time and shoot things from many different perspectives and angles. But there are a lot of moments you only get on shot at (namely the first time you see each other that day or the first kiss or anything involving little kids - just so. many. things.) so having another person who can capture it from a view or vantage point I’m not in is seriously priceless.

Photo by Good Photography Co.

Photo by Good Photography Co.

As you can see there are so many pros to having a 2nd Shooter. I do offer the ability to add on a 2nd Shooter to all of my packages or to purchase hours a la carte (minumum 4 hours).

Some things to know about booking a 2nd Shooter with me:

  • I only book shooters who I completely trust

  • I still edit all of the photos myself for consistency and to match my portfolio style (Disclaimer: the images in this post were used as examples but were not edited the same as they were part of a collective styled shoot. All client images will be edited consistently by me.)

  • I have all my 2nd shooters sign a contract with me and with you

  • I let my 2nd shooters also use the images for their portfolio and promotional use only if you allow it

  • I require my 2nd Shooters to provide the same level of service I do to all my couples

If you have any questions about 2nd Shooters please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask me! I’m always here to guide you through this entire process. I always consider myself more than just one of your vendors. I am YOUR photographer. I’m with you all day and I’m there for you 100% before, during, and after your wedding day.

Soon I will be offering packages that include 2nd Shooters and I am SO excited about it! So tell me - after reading this what do you think? Second Shooters - Must Have or Can Do Without for your big day?