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Should we have a second photographer for our wedding?

Two photographers are better than one, right? Not necessarily! As an experienced wedding and elopement photographer, I’ve found that sometimes having an additional photographer can be helpful, but most times it can actually be bad for the quality of your photos. Keep reading to find out my thoughts on why you may not want an additional photographer.

Bride and groom joining the dance floor.

The Pros of Having a Second Photographer

To have two places covered at once. The number one reason I recommend having a second professional photographer at your wedding. For instance, if you’re getting ready in one location at a certain time, and your partner is getting ready in a separate location, and the locations are not near each other, and you really want “getting ready” photos of both locations, at the same time. A second photographer can be at the second location to ensure no moments are missed there.

Typically I will travel to one partner’s pre-ceremony location to document their “getting ready”, then travel to the other location and spend the rest of the time before the ceremony there. This works perfectly as long as there aren’t any special moments happening at the same times in both places.

Additional angles and viewpoints. An additional photographer will be photographing different angles and views than me. They’ll keep an eye on where I’m at and what I’m doing, and try to photograph from a different perspective.

More photos delivered. Having a second professional photographer means additional photos for you. Normally, for an 8-hour wedding experience with me, you can expect around 600-800 photos delivered. With another photographer, that number will be closer to 1000. You might love the idea of having more photos of your wedding day, but some people (me included) might cringe at the idea of having a thousand (plus) photos to go through!

Family laying hands on bride's shoulders while praying.

The Cons of Having a Second Photographer

Less natural photos. Over the years I’ve come to realize that when it’s just me documenting a wedding day, I’m able to blend in seamlessly and capture natural moments, emotions, and reactions. When I add another photographer, the whole energy gets thrown off- now it’s more like a “photography crew” and people are less likely to act natural and forget about the camera.

More pressure. When it’s just me, I guarantee you’ll forget I’m there for a lot of the day. You won’t feel a lot of pressure to be “on” for the camera, and you won’t be super nervous because we’ll have already met and established a relationship well before your wedding day. When another photographer is added to the mix- especially one you don’t know- that’s going to make it more likely that you’ll feel nervous, pressure to look good for your photos, etc.

Beware of inexperienced photographers. Some wedding photographers will hire cheap or free second photographers who are looking to build their portfolio or gain experience at weddings. A lot of times, you won’t even know this, and lots can go wrong. An inexperienced wedding photographer is liable to make a lot of mistakes with their photos, but also not understand the “ins and outs” of a wedding day. You could be expecting a professional but getting an amateur.

When I hire a second photographer to accompany me on a wedding day, it’s going to be one of my associates. If they’re not available, then it will be one of a few other highly experienced, professional wedding photographers that I work with on a regular basis. That way I can guarantee you’ll be getting the best experience and photos possible.

I photograph most weddings on my own, because I prefer the more intimate and relaxed atmosphere when it’s just me. I’m confident I can document any wedding or elopement by myself.

If you feel you need a second photographer, I encourage you to reach out to me and I can tell you if I’d recommend adding one to your wedding photography package.

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