Before I start today’s post, I just want to say that this is based solely on my experience as a photographer and a bride. Other photographers (or brides) may not agree with me and that’s totally fine. However, I decided to write posts to help educate brides as they plan their wedding and that is exactly what this post does. So on to the good stuff!
If you’re a bride you’ve probably looked at a handful of different photographers (unless you already knew who your photographer was going to be months ago – go you! :)) and you’ve noticed that some (actually most) are sole photographers. They have their different packages you can choose from and you notice that prices increase when adding a second photographer. Or maybe you have to pay a la carte for a second photographer. Maybe it’s an extra $200.00 per hour for a second photographer. After adding up the costs of having one photographer for your 8-hour wedding and then adding the additional costs of having a second photographer you think, “No way. That’s too expensive. I don’t really need a second photographer…I’m sure one will be fine.” If you have ever thought this or are still thinking this way, I’m telling you that you will want a second photographer and the reason we charge more is because it is now two people’s time and hard work going into your wedding.
As the lead photographer at weddings, I can tell you from a photographer’s point of view that it is a relief having Paul by my side for the following reasons:
1.) DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES. I cannot say this one in bigger caps lock or louder (if you could hear me say it).
During ceremonies, I typically sit in one of the first few rows and Paul will wander in the background moving as freely as the officiant lets him. In the photo below (mine is on the left, Paul’s is on the right) you can see clearly our different perspectives of almost the exact same moment. When Paul showed me his (on the right) I was so thrilled because I couldn’t even see Clayton’s face.
During the “first look” Paul and I will station ourselves almost on opposite ends so we get each person’s face. Clearly the left photo is Paul’s (I left myself in it just for the blog so you could see where we are) and mine is on the right. I love that I can clearly see Mark’s reaction through mine and Janelle’s through Paul’s. I’m almost positive that we snapped the photos at the exact same time.
During this ceremony I decided to not sit down in one spot. However because I chose to be in the front and the side I was limited to some shots whereas Paul was able to roam more freely in the back. (left photo is Paul’s, right photo is mine).
Although this is taken at the same angle, this shows how different each of our photos are. We’ve developed our own style while working together. Paul loves using his 70-200mm (zoom) lens and I love using my 50mm lens. I love getting the whole picture and Paul loves close ups. If I didn’t have Paul using such a different lens, I would have to be changing my lens every 5 seconds. This saves time and I love what we come up with.
2.) Time-saving. Because I have Paul with me, I am able to go with the bride and only the bride while she is getting ready and he is able to be with the groom. I don’t have to go back and forth between the bride and groom to make sure I get both of them getting ready. Because I don’t have to leave the bride I’m able to get some moments that I probably would have missed had I left.
3.) Back-up. Paul is my back-up. If I can’t get a photo or if I’m running behind because I’m getting details, I can always count on Paul. Or if some of my photos don’t turn out, I always have Paul’s I can lean on. And vice versa. When we’re doing formal photos we often have people ask us, “Why do you both take the same photos over and over?” Because my friend, I do not want to lose your friend’s/sister’s/brother’s photos and I also do not want to go home, look them over, and realize that every photo has someone looking at something else or has their mouth open. This happens more than you think. Also, although this has never happened to us, there is always the scary possibility that SD cards will crash during a wedding. And then what?! Well, thank goodness for another photographer having almost the same photos.
4.) New and fresh ideas. As much as I hate to admit it, sometimes my ideas get dull, boring, or over-used. Having another brain to bounce ideas off of helps. A lot.
5.) Flexibility. Because I have Paul, I can go on the trolley, bus, or whatever to get photos of you and your bridal party relaxing and having fun. Paul drives behind us and I tag along with you. :)
6.) More photos. Because there are two of us taking photos, my brides and grooms get anywhere from 300-500 edited photos. If it were just me however, the number of edited photos would not be as high.
So these are the big ones that I think matter the most when considering a second shooter. If you decide you really don’t care and don’t need one, then that is your choice and no problem! But if you decide you will want a second photographer, when you meet with a photographer find out who their co-shooter will be. Most photographers have a couple people that are their go-to second shooter so they’ll be able to direct you to their website and you can check out their work for yourself. Do your research and don’t let the extra cost get you down. :)