Everyone has seen weddings photographers who offer to shoot your wedding with TWO photographers, instead of just one. Well, there is a reason for that, a few actually; and they're pretty important reasons, too.
ONE - TIGHT TIMELINE
If you have a limited amount of time on your timeline for photos then a second photographer is probably ideal. This way two different things can be getting checked off your photographer's checklist at the same time. Sometimes this works great for things like the Bride and Groom getting ready at two different locations. Or knocking out bridal party and individual family photos in half the time.
It is suggested to have the timeline conversation with your photographer very early on. In doing so you may be able to avoid the extra cost of a needed second photographer by planning out your timeline with the photography in mind. While I know people think photography is instantaneous now days with the technology, it is not. It's still an art form and takes time to set things up in the manner that will lend to the best photo. Especially if you want those unique photos that truly showcase the day, and not the ones that every other bride might have from that same venue.
TWO- DIFFERENT ANGLES
Different angles can be particularly helpful during the ceremony. Photographers have a job of capturing the different moments from different angles with different perspectives etc etc. When I photograph weddings by myself I'm constantly on the move. Unless you're having an hour long religious service chances are the moments are rather quick with nothing happening twice or for too long. Having a second photographer can mean less movement amongst the crowd, which can mean less distraction for your guests. Though again, if your photographer is one of those artistic ones that's I talked about before then they most certainly will be thinking of ways to create different images throughout your wedding. While they should do this in the most discreet ways sometimes during your ceremony this means laying on the ground or shooting from weird places. I believe this can be a distraction to guests for a moment but let's hope everyone has their focus where it should be during the important moments.
THREE- DIFFERENT MOMENTS
Your photographer cannot be in two places at once. So what about all those moments with grandma and the grandbabies? Or your friends who are playing corn hole and laughing so hard they're spilling drinks. Or the moments your bride is having with her girls off to the side while you and your groomsmen are having your portraits taken? All of these are moments that your photographer might not be able to catch. I mean, we strive for perfection and to be able to capture multiple things happening around us at the same time but it's just impossible to be able to get things that are happening at the exact same time as each other.
When you hire a wedding photographer with their second photographer these two units should work as one well oiled machine on your wedding day. The second photographer is to be an extension of your primary photographer. Not someone there with their own agenda, business, etc. This way you know that they will work as a team and continue putting your needs first. The last thing you want is to hire a second photographer outside of your primary photographer's contract.
FOUR- MORE CREATIVE LIGHTING TECHNIQUES
You know the saying "two is better than one"? Well that is absolutely true when it comes to utilizing multiple light sources to create unique photographs on your wedding day. Now don't get me wrong, a photographer who knows what they're doing can set some of these up on their own. But it'll take so much longer and be more difficult for them to get set-up initially and make changes to quickly. Unless it's an image they create often, which most of the time the goal is to create something unique for your couple, it takes a little bit of trial and error. Your photographer could be farther away from you to capture a wide, environmental photo but the couple being lit usually needs to have a light source much closer to them. So in situations like this, a second photographer is very useful and able to manage the lights near the couple so that the main photographer can continue to take images and get that creative photo they are envisioning.
Like I said, creatively lit photographs can be done with just one photographer. But the most epic photographs that you see that make you do a double take and get blown up to be exceptionally large framed prints in your home are usually made with a team of photographers. Some of these photographs are simply unable to even be attempted on a wedding day without two photographers to set them up.
FIVE- PEACE OF MIND
Two photographers means double the chance that the bride's father's tear got photographed before he wiped it away during the ceremony. It means that it is more likely those fleeting moments that happen in a matter of seconds before they are gone during a wedding day got captured. One photographer can most definitely tell the story of your wedding day. But no one knows the moments that were missed until they see the images that the second photographer was able to capture.
If these unexpected moments are the ones you will cherish the most then I highly recommend adding a second photographer to your wedding photography budget. Second photographers are hired solely through your main photographer so all you have to do is ask for a second photographer to be added to your package if one isn't already included. Some photographers included them in their wedding packages but almost all photographers have them as an optional add on. Second photographers are an inexpensive addition to your day and it is almost guaranteed that you will get beyond your money's worth in value from them and from your main photographer having them there.
If you'd like to see more of Nat's work click here for past client's sample albums.
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Nat Moore Photography is a Colorado based Wedding & Elopement Photographer and works with couples who are wildly in love and adventurous at heart.
Not having your wedding in Colorado but want Nat to capture it? That's okay, contact her with the details as she