Do I Need a Second Photographer For My Wedding?

So you’ve started looking for wedding photographers and you may keep seeing or hearing about the option to include a second photographer and you don’t know if this is something you need or should prioritize.

Don’t worry, as an experienced wedding photography professional who has shot over 125+ weddings myself, I’m here to help break it down for you!

do you need a second photographer

What is a second photographer?

A second photographer is as straightforward as it sounds. Rather than being limited to only one wedding photographer, you’ll end up with two photographers covering the events as they unfold on your wedding day.

How do I decide if I need one?

  • A second photographer is critical when you want getting ready photos of both partners at the same time, but you’re getting ready at separate locations – even if you’re at the same hotel or resort beforehand, but you want coverage of getting ready that is happening simultaneously
  • You want reaction shots of the first look, whether this is a pre-ceremony first look or the first look while walking down the aisle, a second photographer is essential to ensure you get those reaction shots of both partners at the same time.
  • You want to get through photos quickly so you can enjoy the party. A 2nd photographer can oftentimes photograph one group – i.e. the groom with his groomsmen while the other photographer is taking photos of the other partner, i.e. the bride and her bridesmaids. This tag-team approach can be essential if you don’t have a ton of time set aside for these photos
  • You want detail photos of your ceremony and reception to capture all the intricate planning and personalized details you’ve spent months pouring time, consideration and money into including on your big day. The 2nd photographer will frequently photograph these details and cocktail hour candids while the primary photographer captures the post-ceremony family portraits.
  • You want more versatile shots and artistic perspectives in your overall gallery – 2 sets of artistic eyes are better than one!
  • BACK UP – Knowing a 2nd photographer is included serves as a safety net for worst-case scenarios if anything were to happen to your primary photographer, you know that another capable photographer will be present compared to a package that includes only one photographer.
  • Taking that a step further, having a second photographer also covers unpredictable events like if something were to happen to one of the photographer’s cameras or a memory card were to corrupt, you’d have the other photographer’s camera/cards to fall back on and know that you’ll still receive professional images of the wedding day.

Looking for more wedding planning tips and tricks? Head here next for tips on choosing your wedding photographer.