I'll take a step back really quick and let you know - I understand how stressful it can be to plan a wedding, and to have crazy amounts of vendors around and having this chaos that feels so real (even if your guests can't tell) and you may be thinking "Why in the world would I add another body to this strange condition of weddings?".
It's time for some real talk about second shooters.
Your wedding photographer is a bad-ass. They're powering through this amazing day carrying like 40 pounds of mechanical gear that they know front to back. They probably won't eat more than two granola bars, and their plated dinner is usually cold by the time they can eat it. Yet they are making absolutely breathtaking images that show just how perfect your time there was. They're appeasing your family who used to see weddings shot on film. They're making a whole variance of personalities in your bridal party laugh and actually enjoy themselves during the portrait part of your day. And they're doing it all while remembering "This is their one wedding day, I can't mess this up". NO PRESSURE Y'ALL.
Here's why asking your photographer to bring a second shooter is literally the coolest thing ever:
1. Your photographer has a companion.
As much as we love our couples, they are spending their day with their families, and their families are talking amongst themselves, and sometimes weddings can be incredibly lonely as the photographer. When we have a second shooter with us, we have someone to bounce ideas off of, eat dinner with, someone that understands exactly what we're going through at that moment. And sometimes this is enough to totally jack up our creativity.
2. You get more images on your wedding day, and your photographer can be in two places at once.
If I'm shooting alone, I can't photograph you coming down the aisle from the front and the back. There's no way I'd have enough space to run (or enough stamina for that matter) so I'm forced to decide creatively which one I'd prefer. But not if I have a second shooter! I know that they'll have the opposite angle than me, and I'll be able to fulfill my creative need to have all the variations of an image that I want to create.
3. They smooth out the organization.
My favorite task for a second shooter actually comes during the family portrait section of your day. I always have them put their camera down, and actually serve as the maestro for officiating our lineup of family photographs. It's far easier to have somebody else calling off names and groups, so I can focus on having the perfect lighting and setup, rather than making sure Great Aunt Sally made it into the image. This helps me, and it makes the portraits go faster, therefore helping you.
4. Together, we're helping someone gain more experience in the industry.
A huge percentage of wedding photographers actually start by assisting other photographers - but trouble starts when inexperienced photographers start shooting weddings with NO background knowledge. They have no clue what they're doing, and they're usually way cheaper than they should be. A lot of couples make mistakes by hiring these folks as their main photographer, only to come to regret their decision later on with low quality photographs. By giving your photographer a second shooter, you're actually giving somebody who wants to jump into the industry the ability to practice and build their portfolio, without risking the photographs of a day that can't be recreated. You receive their best, and give them the opportunity to learn from the person they were assisting.
Did you have two photographers at your wedding? Share your experience below!