First of all, let clear a big misconception: “Having a second photographer will double the photos.”
Although it costs 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 second photographer won’t shoot exactly the same shots as the main one does. He must take the shots that compliment the main photographer’s shots. After the wedding, the repetitive shots will be removed. Therefore, 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 second one because this will double the photos you receive, it’s a LIE. That is just a way 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 person is with the bride while the other one is with the groom. This allows them to take photos simultaneously. Therefore, it saves time and lets the bride & groom get ready at the same time.
After the ceremony, when the main person is taking family photos, the other one 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 person is doing a full body shot, the other one can do some close-up shots.
Without a second photographer, the main one has to focus on getting standard/safe shots to deliver. It’s too risky to try something new or to be creative. This is an example of a creative shot my second photographer did while I was taking safe shots.
Here is another example:
If you don’t know, with 30+ wedding per year, I still 2nd shoot for other photographers for that particular reason, to practice the creativity.
A nice backup for the main photographer.
Any professional photographer should have backup equipment for himself. But in case even the backup doesn’t work as expected (unlikely), or the main person twists his ankle, the second one can step in to be the main one.
So tell me… “Do I need a second photographer?”
Nowadays, most weddings need 2 photographers, especially if you are going for photojournalism style. However, you probably don’t need 2 photographers if your wedding:
- Doesn’t need anything above.
- Is intimate and small, less than 30 people.
- Has a 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).