Should you get a second wedding photographer?
The question of adding a second photographer for your wedding is a common one in the Minneapolis area, where our weddings include more guests than the national average, and our wedding photographer options are plentiful. Every photographer does things differently when it comes to second photographers. Even wedding blogs will give you a different opinion on if you need a second photographer. A few years ago it was a popular opinion that you had to have a second wedding photographer. When elopements and intimate weddings became popular again this opinion went away. So how do you know if you need one?
Be aware that no two weddings are exactly the same.
Even at the same venue or with similar schedules. Every wedding is different. The best way to know if you’ll need a second photographer is to talk with your wedding photographer and let them guide you on the decision. Be honest on how many guests you invited, how many locations you’ll travel to the day of the wedding, and what your expectations are for your wedding pictures.
In 2012 I started out shooting weddings mostly by myself. As my business grew and second photographers became “must-haves” in wedding packages I added one. I still shoot weddings by myself today, and know many other experienced professional photographers (that I’d trust with my own wedding) who also shoot solo.
A second photographer can add a lot of value and variety to your pictures, but by no means is a solo wedding photographer unprofessional!
Here are five reasons I recommend a second wedding photographer for your Minnesota Wedding:
1. Your guest count is high.
This the number one reason you should consider a second photographer. The national average wedding guest count is 126 according to the 2019 Wedding Report. I regularly see guest counts of around 250 at Minnesota weddings. If you have over 150 guests a second wedding photographer is worth investing in.
A large guest count means a large venue, big ceremony space, and more action happening all at once. I’ve photographed weddings where I can barely get to the other side of the room because it’s full of people. Two photographers give you the best chance of not missing the moments that happen quickly.
2. Your wedding schedule is hectic.
You’re not having a first look, or you’re having a first look but it needs to be super quick, like two minutes quick. There are points in the day where you’ll be separated from your partner and you want pictures in both locations at once. You only have one hour to get every single family, wedding party, and individual portrait. These are all situations where a second photographer is a good idea. Two photographers can get through portraits faster than one and go to separate locations when needed.
3. You need very large group portraits.
If you need a very large group photographed, a second photographer is a good idea. Chances are this also means you have a high guest count for your wedding anyway. Wedding parties of more than 20 people, or family portrait groups with lots of people in them. All times when a second photographer is very, very helpful. A second photographer will be able to assist in posing the group, wrangle up people, and keep watch for details that one photographer might miss when working with a huge group of people in a time crunch.
4. You want the same shot from multiple angles.
Two photographers mean two different angles of everything, which will give you more variety and more pictures. An experienced second photographer will have their own unique style to contribute to the story of your wedding day.
5. Sometimes everything happens at once.
One photographer can only catch so many moments. If something is happening behind me and in front of me, I have to make a split-second choice on what I’m shooting. My experience can allow me to make the best choice possible, but if I have a second photographer beside me both things can be photographed.
I’d love to talk to you about your wedding plans and help you decide what will be best for your photography.