Second Photographer: Luxury or Requirement?

Weddings are expensive. Period. They can be $107 or $1.7 million expensive. After the delectable food is eaten, the guests are in their dance coma, the bride cannot feel her feet, the tuxedos are soaking wet with sweat and someone has misplaced their phone, the thing you will have after are the photos. There are many different styles of photography and these “styles” are often misspoken about because when I narrow the photography preferences down with couple, they want their memories captured. Period. That is it. The comments I commonly hear are “traditional with candids”, ” capture the emotion”, ” not a lot of “poses” just snap”, “don’t make the photos like 10 hours long (Trust me, the photographer would get bored looking at the same faces for that duration of time. Not to mention, it is rude as all get out to leave your guests for 10 hours when they came to celebrate you)”, “make me look 10 lbs skinnier” and my personal favorite ” It is not like I will look at these photos every day (possibly, but you will definitely look at them once per year)”.

After the wedding, I always find it interesting when clients send me “memory” photos in the event that my memory deleted the day out of my mind (honestly, I forget to get the mail, send cards (amen to social media and texting) and what my family has requested from the grocery store. Forget weddings- nope. I am wired a bit differently. The photos they send with big smiles are the ones from the second shooter. Don’t get me wrong, they love the required photos (bride with attendants, bride and groom, extended family etc.), but they comment on the second shooters. These are ones like: grandma with her arm around her husband, the bridesmaids gracefully tackling the stairs, the excited flower girl who is waiting for her turn in the photos, the bride gazing at all the guests walking down the aisle with her dad seeing her as a toddler, a grandfather waiting for the processional, the detailed room shots upon completion before the room turns into a hot mess and my personal favorite- the second shooter taking a picture of the lead photographer working.  All of these second shooter photos capture the day.  Nope, they are not perfectly posed and not everyone is looking at the camera but they are extremely memorable.

Therefore, regardless of the size of your event and what used to seem like a luxury is a requirement. You must factor a second shooter into your budget. You will not regret it. Photos by Geoff Duncan Photography.