First of all, let clear a big misconception: “Having a 2nd photographer will double the total received photos.”
Although it’s true that it costs you more to have more photographers, it is NOT true that the photos you receive will be doubled. Let say with one photographer, you will receive 400 photos. With two photographers, you won’t receive 800 photos. Why so?
A good 2nd photographer won’t shoot exactly the same shots as the main photographer does. He/she must take the shots that compliment the main photographer’s shots. After the wedding, during the photo selection process, the repetitive shots will be removed. Which means even if two photographers take the same shot, only one photo is delivered. I hope you can see why the total amount of delivered photos will not be doubled. It might be more but nowhere near double.
If there is any photographer telling you that you should pay for a 2nd photographer because this will double the photos you receive, it’s a LIE. He/she is just trying to get more of your money. PERIOD!
So… Why do you even need a second photographer?
There are many things that one photographer cannot do:
Shoot at two different locations at the same time
During getting ready, the main photographer is with the bride while the other photographer is with the groom taking photos simultaneously. This saves time and lets bride & groom get ready at the same time.
After the ceremony, when the main photographer is taking family photos, the other photographer can take photos of details, decoration before guests take their seat. With one photographer, you won’t have a nice and clean detail shots because guests might already take their seat by the time you finish family photos.
Shoot two different angles simultaneously
During the speeches or the First Look, two photographers make it possible to capture simultaneous reactions.
At some critical points, it might be impossible for one photographer to switch lenses without missing moments. Two photographers with two different lenses (tele and wide) will add a nice touch to the result. Or even during normal events, like portraits, for instance, while the main photographer is doing a full body shot, the other photographer can do some close-up shots.
Without a 2nd photographer, the main photographer has to focus on getting standard/safe shots to deliver. It’s too risky for him/her to try something new or to be creative. This is an example of a creative shot my 2nd photographer did while I was taking safe shots.
Here is another example:
A nice backup for the main photographer.
Any professional photographer should have backup equipment for himself/herself. But in case (even though unlikely) the backup doesn’t work as expected, or the main photographer twists his/her ankle, the 2nd photographer can be the backup.
So tell me… “Do I need a 2nd photographer?”
You probably won’t need two photographers if your wedding:
- Doesn’t need anything above.
- Is intimate and small, about 50 people or less.
- Has slow pace and relaxed setting.
- Has plenty of room for the main photographer to freely move (some churches don’t allow photographers to move a lot, some cultural events happen at a tiny space where a photographer can hardly move).