As you’re searching for your wedding photographer, you’ve probably come across multiple photographers who include a second shooter in their wedding collection. I’m sure thoughts like “Do I really need a second shooter?” or “What’s the purpose of a second shooter?” have crossed your mind. In my initial phone call with my couples, I go over why you need a second shooter, what a second shooter does on your wedding day, and why having a second shooter is so important. For these reasons, I include a second shooter for all my wedding collections, except elopements with less than 15 people in attendance. In this post, I dive deeper into the reasons why you need a second shooter.
Two Photographers, Two Vantage Points
Having two photographers on your wedding day allows for different lens, angles, and vantage points of the same scene. This is one of my favorite reasons for having a second shooter accompany me to all of my weddings. So often there are times on a wedding day I want my camera in two different directions. For example, I focus on the bride’s expression as she walks down the aisle while my second shooter is capturing the groom’s face as he sees her for the first time. My second shooter is also able to focus on wide ceremony shots from behind. I always love these images since all eyes are on the bride. Another example would be while I’m photographing the bridal party, my second shooter is able to focus on details on the sides of the bridal party like their beautiful bouquets. You’ve hired your primary photographer because you trust their style, vision, and wedding experience, but having a second shooter brings another perspective and another creative eye to best capture your wedding day.
Two Photographers, Two Different Locations
It’s no secret that your photographer can’t be in two places at once and there are certain moments during a wedding when you may want your photographer in two places at once. For example, if the bride and groom are getting ready in two separate locations, your second shooter can hang out with the groom while your primary photographer is with the bridal party. Or while the primary photographer is taking family photos, the second shooter can get be photographing reception details, candids shots of guests enjoying the cocktail hour, or photographing any other details that need to be captured.
Candid and Detail Photos
Your primary photographer has so many “must-have” images to capture on your wedding day it can be difficult to also grab a ton of candid shots and details throughout the day. This is where a second shooter is key! Your second shooter can exclusively focus on candid and detail photos while the primary photographer is focusing on other “must-have” images. Your family and closest friends are all dressed up and celebrating you! It’s definitely worth having someone there to photograph that! Besides the cocktail hour, having a second photographer is particularly important for couples who have invested a lot of time, thought and love into all the details of their wedding day and couples who appreciate a candid, documentary approach to photography. Wedding days go by in the blink of an eye, even for wedding photographers. The details you’ve worked so hard on may go unnoticed by your primary photographer who is bouncing around capturing everything; however, you second shooter keeps an eye open for these types of detail to make sure it’s captured.
Calm, Happy, Lead Photographer
Believe it or not, having a second shooter makes the primary photographer feel more calm! It’s like being on a team, someone supporting you, has your back, and helps you do your absolute best. I used to photograph weddings on my own and believe me when I say, I do a much better job, especially capturing every moment and detail when I have a second shooter. There is such a peace of mind knowing the second shooter captured all those details for me while I was running around. Having two photographers doesn’t mean you’ll have double the photos, it simply means you’ll have more variety in your photos, because we make sure everything you’ve worked so hard in planning has been captured so we can share your story.
I hope you found this information helpful and realize just how important a second shooter is on your wedding day!
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Sarah Botta is a Northern Virginia based wedding photographer whose work is described as soft, organic, romantic, and timeless. Sarah specializes in capturing people’s stories and building connections with each client to help tell their story. She has photographed over 55 weddings across Virginia, Maryland, and DC from outdoor estate ceremonies to elaborate winery receptions. Her natural timeless style shines brightest with outdoor locations. Sarah is available for travel and is passport ready.
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