Second Shooter: Why Two are Better than One

There are many benefits to having two photographers, and it’s becoming more and more common in modern weddings. Why do some couples decide to have a second shooter at their wedding?

1. Logistics.

One photographer just can’t be in two places at the same time, which can be a problem if you want pictures of the bride and groom getting ready. Since the bride and groom get ready in different locations, this means one of them probably won’t get professional pictures. With two photographers, you won’t miss any of those special and fun moments. You can also get pictures of the bride and groom’s faces at the exact same moment as the bride enters the room, a feat which is difficult for a single photographer.

Having two shooters is also helpful at the reception. With so much going on, it can be hard for one photographer to catch every interesting moment as it happens.

Also, some churches are very strict on their photographers. For any church who places restrictions on where the photographer can go during the ceremony, you will want a second shooter. Some strict churches will not even let a photographer move from one spot the entire ceremony.

2. Candid shots

While one photographer is focusing on the more formal pictures, the other one can walk around getting candid shots. These pictures are usually very fun and lively, and are great for your wedding album.

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With a second shooter, you can get different picture styles at the same time. Two photographers can shoot the ceremony from different perspectives, giving you a wider variety of images to enjoy later. For example, you may want some close-ups of the ceremony, but you think it would also be neat to have pictures taken from above in the balcony too. With two photographers, this is easy. One can take pictures from the balcony while the other takes them from below.

4. Backup

You have an automatic backup on site at your wedding in case one photographer falls and breaks a leg or gets food poisoning. Yuck. Plus, you have a backup of every major event of the day in case of camera failure.

I love having a second shooter work with me. It allows me to divide and conquer. This person can step in and act as a lighting assistant when needed, and various other roles that can help execute a creative shot. If you can afford it, adding a second shooter is great for rounding out your entire collection. Just make sure the person who will be second shooting is also a professional photographer (So glad I met Nick!), as this will get you the most from your investment. Sadly, some photographers are known to book a random second photographer just days before your wedding!

Don’t forget to ask about the second shooter’s experience! When considering a package that offers multiple shooters, brides need to remember to add inquiring about the second shooter to their list of consultation questions. For brides that consider packages offering additional shooters, make sure they discuss the second shooter, their experience and the level of their involvement with their main photographer before making any final decisions. We would hate to see a bride waste precious budget on someone to just hold a camera. Brides should remember to ask about this and not assume that the second photographer has experience.

If you feel that your wedding is too small to have two photographers and it would be a distraction. Think again. Melanie and Nick have photographed extremely small weddings together and the coverage is always better when we work together. Check out this small wedding and the coverage we provided, here.

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First Look: Wedding Photos You Won’t Want to Miss

Wedding photos always have a touch of magic in them. They capture some of the most special moments of a new couple’s lives. But few wedding pictures truly capture the magic of the “First Look” shots.

What is the first look? Although this is a popular wedding photo choice, many people don’t actually know what it means. Basically, the first look is a staged moment before the ceremony where the bride and groom see each other for the first time. Usually these pictures exclude friends and family, and occur either privately or at least a few feet away from everyone else. These pictures are all about the bride and groom seeing each other for the first time on their wedding day. They capture the intimacy, love, and passion between the couple.

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Picture this. The groom is looking at the photographer as the bride begins to walk towards him. She’ll tap him on the shoulder, and he turns to see her. His faces captures the wonder at seeing his gorgeous bride for the first time, and her face shows her excitement and love for him.

Once these intimate pictures are finished, the photographer takes the traditional bride and groom portraits, then the group pictures of the bridal party and family.

Although some couples dislike the idea of seeing each other before the ceremony, most couples who have done it say that they are glad they did it this way because it allowed them to relax for the rest of the wedding. And most couples find that taking their pictures first does not take away from the magic of the bride’s appearance at the beginning of the ceremony.

In the end, you get to choose how you want your wedding pictures taken. But if you want truly magical pictures of you and your spouse, we highly recommend the first look pictures.

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