Last Sunday I was at the Event Nation Bridal Expo and I got the chance to talk to a lot of brides. One thing that came up more than once was if I included a second shooter. There are some photographers that work by themselves and others that always bring a second shooter. The question I often ask brides when they bring this up is, “Do you need a second shooter?”
Do You Need a Second Shooter?
I guess before we can really answer that question, we need to look at the good things about having a second shooter. The biggest benefit of having a second shooter is the chance to get more photos. With two photographers, you get two different positions, two angles, and two creative viewpoints on everything. The example I often get is of coming down the aisle. One photographer can be in front of the bride and the other photographer can be behind the bride. The second reason is that having a second shooter can be a safety net. With two people shooting you’ll always have a backup in case the first shooter misses something. Stuff does happen, so it can be nice to have that protection. The last real benefit is it can save time. If you aren’t doing a first look, you can divide and conquer. When we do this, I go with the bride and do photos, and the second shooter will go with the guys. We also do this for other things. I’ll be doing something and the second shooter will go off and cover something else like details, meaning I don’t have to do it.
So that’s the good side of it, but let’s look at the other side. Can one photographer take care of everything? Yes, I’ve actually been shooting weddings by myself for the past 5 years. Occasionally I will have a second photographer, and it is a nice thing but not a necessity. Second photographers cost more money. It will vary from photographer to photographer, but it’s probably somewhere around $100-$200 an hour extra. With that money, you could buy a nice canvas print, maybe an album, or someone to do video.
Like all things, it really comes down to personal preference. I can’t personally answer the question, “Do you need a second shooter?’ for you. You need to look at the pros and cons and decide what is really important and what isn’t. If anyone else has any thoughts or personal experiences, I’d love to hear it.