As a wedding photographer, I am often asked whether couples should pay for a second shooter for their wedding. While it's not a necessity, having a second shooter can have so many benefits and can make a significant difference to the final product. I personally much prefer having a second shooter with me.

Here are some reasons why you might consider paying for a second shooter for your wedding:

Capturing different perspectives

A second shooter can provide a different perspective to the primary photographer. They can capture moments and angles that the main photographer might not be able to get to, such as a wide shot of the ceremony or reception, while the main photographer focuses on the bride and groom.

Covering multiple locations

If your wedding has multiple locations or events happening simultaneously, a second shooter can cover the additional locations while the main photographer focuses on the main event. The logistics are very important here, so you'll need to communicate very effectively with your photographer.

Couple looking attentively toward the vicar

These two shots were taken seconds apart. We co-ordinate very effectively between us - notice how in the birds-eye shot you can't see me. That's the work of our 'creative' hand-signalling!

Birds-eye shot of the ceremony

My assistant on this day was able to get a birds-eye shot of the ceremony & audience that I never would've been able to get, as I would've missed crucial close-ups.

Make better use out of the lead photographer

There are many parts of the wedding day that force the lead photographer to miss out on moments. Comfort breaks, taking camera backups, changing batteries, changing lenses, the list goes on. This does add up to a surprising amount of time as the day goes on. In this time, shots are being missed! With a second shooter, there is always a camera on the go throughout the day. The second shooter can also take up the mantle with important tasks on the day, such as discussing logistics with the venue/planner, registrars, taking backups etc. to allow the lead photographer to focus on taking photos.

Capturing more details

With a second shooter, there is an opportunity to capture more details such as decorations, guest interactions, and candid moments. This ensures that the final product has a more comprehensive representation of the day.

More photos and varied shots

Having a second shooter means there will be more photos for you to choose from. With two photographers, you'll end up with a broader range of shots and a more extensive collection of images.

Prosecco on a side table
Key of love
Wreath in the ceremony

Backup and peace of mind

A second shooter can also serve as a backup in case of equipment failure or an emergency. This provides peace of mind for both the photographer and the couple, knowing that there is an extra backup plan in place.

In conclusion - while there are many benefits to having a second shooter, it is not always necessary, and the decision should ultimately come down to your budget and preferences. A single photographer can still provide an excellent final product and capture all the important moments of your special day. However from my personal opinion, if you can afford a second photographer, you should absolutely get one with your photographer.