No, not everyone needs one. But here’s why YOU might need a second shooter.
A second shooter is great for capturing larger weddings with many guests, wedding details, and a fun dance party. While your primary photographer can focus on capturing photos of you, the second shooter can focus on your guests. While your primary photographer has one angle (e.g. the front of the ceremony with you walking down the aisle), the second shooter has the other (e.g. behind you walking down the aisle, and the reaction of your partner).
I say typically, it’s always helpful (and fun!) to have a second shooter. In my experience, it’s always a great addition to the primary photographer (in case of any gear malfunctions, etc.), and it allows for more varied and creative shots. SO often, we will actually discuss how to get the perfect shot and bounce ideas off of each other. When you hire a second photographer, you’re hiring another set of creative eyes, who can bring some fresh perspectives to the table. They can also assist you and the primary photographer in little ways. Things that I’ve done for people include running a hotel room key, running the wedding rings, fluffing dresses’ trains, tossing the veil for “the shot”, grabbing water for the bride, and taking photos of guests while the primary photographer gets photos of the bride and groom.
As such, I think having a second shooter is so helpful for most weddings over 40 people and over 4 hours. And I have included a second shooter in all of my wedding packages. Yes, ALL. I also pay competitive rates for my second shooters because they are all professional photographers too. You’re getting TWO photographers with full day coverage.
My elopement packages, however, do not include a second shooter. And here’s why.
Often, elopements are an intimate affair. There’s not many guests, just the favourites, and the couple wants a cherished ceremony and reception. In respecting that, it’s important for me not to feel like I’m overwhelming the occasion. In many elopements, the couple wants most of the focus on themselves, the ceremonies and receptions are shorter, and there’s less guests in general. And if this sounds like the wedding you’re planning to have, then maybe a second shooter isn’t for you! And that’s totally ok!
If you’re unsure whether or not you should hire a second shooter, chat with your photographer! I am more than happy to tell you my two cents on whether or not one would be tremendously helpful in your wedding plans. Get in touch today and we can chat more about it!