Do I really need Two Photographers at my Wedding?
by Mary Kate Battles of Mary Kate McKenna Photography
As a wedding photographer, one of the most popular questions I’m asked is, “Do I need a second photographer?” The answer is: it depends. Check out the tips below:
Reasons to skip a second photographer:
* You’re having a small wedding
When you’ve got 50 guests or less, having two photographers can be a lot. When you have a small group, one photographer is less obtrusive.
*You’re on a tight budget
If you splurged on your dress and flowers and your budget is at its max, skip the second photographer. Your primary photog is more than capable of documenting your day on his/her own.
Reason to consider a second photographer:
*You’re having a big wedding
No matter how ninja-like your photographer is, capturing images of 250+ guests can be tough. If getting photos of most guests is important to you, having another photographer is something to consider.
*You have several locations for your wedding (hotel, church, etc)
If you’re getting ready in one place, having your ceremony at another, and the reception in still another location, it’s a great idea to have a second photographer. That way there can be a photographer with each person getting ready. It’s nice to have each photographer travel separately in case of a flat tire or other problem as well. You just never know. That way, no matter what, there will always be a photographer ready to go. When photographing a church wedding, many times I have my second shooter take off right after the ceremony to head to the reception site. I do this for a few reasons: to scope it out, to capture the detail shots before guests get there, and to capture some of the cocktail hour while I’m doing formals.
*You’re getting married in a church where you can’t move around
Many churches in Frederick have strict photography rules. Several churches make us photographers stay put in one place. So, if there are two of us, we at least can get two different angles.
*You want to see your wedding from many different angles
Each photographer comes to your wedding with a different perspective and unique eye. What one of us sees, another might not. This is an advantage when it comes to having multiple photographers. I love photos of couples with their family just before they walk down the aisle, but I can’t ever capture that because I’m at the front of the ceremony prepping to capture bridesmaids and groomsmen walking down. That’s when having a second shooter is so great. They can hang back and document those sweet moments, then slide in as the ceremony is going on.
Below are a few of my favorite examples of two shooters/two different perspectives.
Ah! Love this one! The bride reading her vows and then a close up of the groom. How sweet!
Which shot do you like better? The couple’s silhouette leaving the church, or the couple surrounded by their bridal party? Both share fun parts of the day from different perspectives.
This couple was staying at the same hotel, but on different floors that were far away from one another. It was great to tag team the getting ready so we weren’t running around wasting valuable time.
This church didn’t have a place for the bride to wait before the wedding, so they stayed in the party bus. I love the groom nervously looking out the church window, but I also love the bridesmaids on the bus waiting for their big moment.
This ceremony was quickly moved indoors when it started to rain. The aisle was tight as the venue had to pack all the guests into a small space. My second shooter actually stayed outside and hunkered down behind the celebrant to snap some great photos where you can see the couple’s faces.