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  • Writer's pictureBree Renee

Do You Need a Second Shooter?

Updated: Jan 5

A second shooter (another photographer) is a popular addition to wedding packages, but do you need one?
Wedding party on balcony at Elmira College

A lot of photographers will offer a second shooter in at least one of their packages and/or have it as an add-on option. It has become more popular in recent years but if you don't have a clue what a second shooter is or why you may or may not need one - no worries!

What is a Second Shooter?

A second shooter is another photographer that is a trusted colleague of the lead photographer and they work along side them throughout your wedding day to capture different angles and situations. They have been vetted to make sure they know their stuff - they have the right gear, know what to capture, when to capture it and are trustworthy. It's someone that knows what to do without needing direction.

Why You Might Need One!

Your photographer can't be in two places at once.

This one is pretty simple!

Say you and your partner are getting ready in two different locations and you both want getting ready photos but you don't have room in your timeline. While your lead photographer is with one side of the party, the second can be with the other side.

Your lead photographer can take care of family portraits after your ceremony while the second photographer captures your guests enjoying cocktail hour.

Those pictures with the veil magically floating behind the bride...who do you think is tossing it? The second.

Things tend to be happening simultaneously at weddings and having a second photographer ensures not a moment is missed while keeping everything on time!

Detail shot of wedding rings in olive green ring box

It's all about perspective!

Your lead photographer and second photographer will capture your day in different ways. You'll end up with photos from different angles (ie; bride walking down the aisle from the front and from the back) and the second photographer can capture all the "little" moments during the "big" moments the lead photographer is catching! Which brings me to my next point...

You get more photos of your day.

This one isn't important to everyone - and that's okay! With two photographers, you'll end up with a greater volume of photos with tons of variety. I find that it's typically around 20-30% more photos which can really add up!

You want photos of all the details.

It's no secret that a ton of time, energy and sometimes tears goes into planning a wedding day. There are a million little details you added to make your wedding day extra special. Personally, I think those details deserve to be captured and remembered. Even when there is time set aside for it, things don't always go according to plan and your lead photographer my not have time to capture all those little details. Having a second shooter makes that a sure thing.

Situations where I always recommend a second shooter:

  • your guest list is 100+

  • you and your partner are getting ready in different locations

  • you have a large family or wedding party

Wedding ring on hand grasping the arm of their partner

Why You Might Not Need One!

You're not concerned about quantity of photos or capturing every single detail.

Rest assured, the quality will always be there but you're okay with having fewer photos in your final gallery because you know all the big moments will be there. Photos of your guests at cocktail hour, the decorations or invitation suite isn't your priority - and like I said before, that's okay!

There's typically an additional cost.

Having two talented photographers definitely costs more than just one and that might not be in your budget. My couples tend to find the extra investment worth it for the flexibility and the added benefit!

Delivery of your final gallery may take longer.

More photos means more editing time. I guarantee a 6-8 week timeline to deliver my couples their final gallery but with a second shooter, it's more likely to be closer to the 8 week mark.

More cameras on you.

This may be a big one for you if you tend to feel a bit shy in the spotlight. Having a second photographer will mean another camera on you, which can add up if you're also planning on having a videographer (we're talking 3+ cameras). I take pride in being able to have my couples relax in font of the camera and be able to enjoy the experience - but something to keep in mind!

Like most things wedding - what you need will be unique...

No matter which way you go, just know it's the right decision for you and your partner because that's really what your wedding day is about.

Still not sure if you need a second shooter or not?

I'm Bree from Bree Renee Photography and I'm a documentary wedding photographer serving New York: Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, New York City, Finger Lakes, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Central PA and Beyond.

If you're still looking for your wedding photographer - I would love to hear more about your wedding day and figure out a plan of action to cover everything you want captured. Plus, I'll share all my tips and tricks I've learned along the way. Let's make magic together!

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