Many photographers offer the option of having a second photographer (second shooter) at your wedding. There are several situations where having a second perspective can add to the overall photographic coverage of your wedding story. Here are some of the times that I, as a wedding photographer, have seen that having a second shooter has been beneficial.
Venue Imposed Restrictions
Sometimes, and for various reasons, wedding venues prefer that the photographer not be mobile during the wedding ceremony. This imposes significant restrictions on the photographer’s availability to capture various expressions and events as they occur during the most significant time of your wedding day. Having an additional photographer, who can capture the ceremony from another perspective can help complete the story of your ceremony without violating the venue’s rules.
During the wedding march, having a second shooter allows for capturing images from both in front of and behind the wedding the party. Each of these positions have very different perspectives. When positioned in front of the bride, the images capture the expressions on dad’s face and his interaction with his daughter.
When positioned towards the rear of the church (or other wedding venue), the image captured shows the groom watching his bride approach as she and her dad proceed toward him. This position also allows capturing the crowd and their expressions and emotions as they look as they watch father and daughter interact.
There are so many things to do on your wedding day. Sometimes getting all those activities done means having to see each other before the actual ceremony. Couples that decide to see each other before the bride’s grand entrance may elect to have quiet time where they get to see each other privately for the first time that day. Making this a private and quiet time allows the couple to be themselves and experience the full emotion that occurs at the first glance of their soon-to-be spouse.
Having a second photographer for the first glance allows for the capture of two completely different perspectives without creating a distraction. When I shoot the first glance with another photographer, one will focus on the bride and the other the groom, capturing the moment from both person’s perspective.
The dreaded formals. Everyone wants them, but no one likes to do them. As a result, the formals often get very little time in the overall schedule. This is a time, however, where all the families and friends are all gathered close by and there is lots of activity among those not actively involved in the current pose being assembled.
A second shooter has the freedom to capture these candid moments that happen while the primary photographer is working with you and your family to arrange the current grouping.
Bouquet and Garter Tosses
Both of these events take a little time and a lot of coaxing to get the single guys and gals out of the crowd, but once ready, they’re over in about four seconds. Having two photographers for these events makes for a much more complete capture of the bouquet and garter leaving the hands of the newly married and into the hands of those (according to legend) who will soon be.
You ever wonder why they call those corny games team “building” exercises? Well, it’s because an effective team doesn’t just “happen.” It takes experience and time together to become a productive team.
Photographers have to work as a team. In order for the team to be effective, it’s important for the members to know the expectations of each other; where each will be and where the memories of your wedding day will occur. My second shooters are all colleagues that I regularly work with who are equally qualified wedding photographers. The result is a team of photography professionals who understand the dynamics of weddings, know were they need to be throughout the day, and ultimately compliment each other’s photography style.
A single shooter can provide complete wedding coverage, but adding an additional photographer is a simple way to expand the photographic perspective and capture more memories of your perfect wedding day.