My goal as your wedding photographer isn’t just to document this amazing moment for you, but to also provide you with the best experience possible. To answer questions you haven’t yet asked or might not even think of asking – and to give professional advice in an unbiased way.

Because when it comes to having a second photographer, we are talking about an added luxury rather than an absolute necessity. And I want to be transparent about that. I’ve photographed more weddings on my own than with a second photographer, and I don’t think most weddings need one. But due to time constraints, locations, and your personal desires, having a second photographer can be of HUGE benefit.

Benefits of having a second photographer

So to help you decide if it’s worth investing in a second photographer for your wedding, I’ve outlined 4 potential benefits. If any of these resonate with you, you have your answer on whether to book one or not!

  1. Less intrusive and more relaxed flow to the day

It might seem counterintuitive, but two photographers mean more angles and locations are covered, and thus less scurrying about.

If you are having coverage anytime prior to the ceremony, a photographer with each partner usually results in events unfolding at a more natural pace. 

One major benefit is that you can get a lot of bridal party and family portraits done prior to the ceremony and only have to do a few after  – thus being able to enjoy your drink receptions and truly celebrate with loved ones.

But there are other benefits too. I often split time between couples when they both get ready at the same venue, and thus everything has to be a bit better timed to ensure no key events are happening whilst I’m with the other person. This has never caused major issues or complaints with my couples, but it’s still a nice perk of having two photographs. That’s because you both can go at your own pace without the added worry any hiccups may cause issues with your partner’s coverage.

For those not getting ready at the same venue, there are many cases I’ve found where one partner wants getting ready photography coverage up until the minute they get in the car, but also wants photographs at the ceremony location 20 minutes away of the decor, their partner with bridal party and family, and the arrival of guests. Both can’t be done without alterations to the timeline and compromises. I’ve always been able to find a workable solution my couples have been happy with, but if you have a specific vision, it’s worth giving pause to go over the logistics of what’s possible.

And then there is the actual ceremony, where a lot happens in a short amount of time. Often there are also rules or physical limitations in regards to where photographers can stand and if they can move from those spots if indoors (outside there usually isn’t too many issues, if any). And churches in particular can have a lot of rules, so if this applies to you, make sure you ask the person who is officiating your ceremony what rules they have regarding photography (make sure it’s the person officiating as each can have different rules!). Add in a videographer or two, and vantage points can become even more limiting to try and avoid getting in the video footage! All that combined with the fact you really want an epic shot of your grand entrance and partner’s reaction, it might make it worthwhile having two photographers.

Plus, during events like the ceremony, first dance or speeches, you’ll find two photographers aren’t moving around as much as one – the other great angle is already covered. 

  1. More photographs of loved ones

During family portraits, I always give my second the special task of getting portraits of just mum and dad together and any grandparents during family portraits, at minimum. Aside from your own couple portraits, those will be or become incredibly invaluable to you.

And if you know your parents or other family members are going to want certain photographs, but you don’t plan to do anything yourself with the portrait and don’t want to be in it, we can assign this to the second photographer. For example, a photograph of your mum with her siblings. Or a photograph with Dad and his work colleagues if your parents are having a big say in those attending!

I also ensure my second knows everyone who is most important to you, and ask them to focus a bit more on those individuals throughout the day. That way I can stay focused on yourselves and they can get the reactions of your loved ones at key moments.

  1. Photographs of your amazing decor and wedding day details

Depending on how many group portraits you want done with family and your bridal party (and if it rains), there might not be much – if any – time to photograph your amazing decor, venue and wedding day details. Sometimes I’m literally running into the reception or ceremony seconds before the guests to take photographs.

So when there is a second photographer, I often have them photographing decor while I do group portraits. Then when they are done with details, they photograph the drinks reception and photograph any group portraits I request on your behalf.

  1. Extra backup and security

A second photographer ensures there is always someone nearby to cover the action. While breaks to the loo or a change in gear are all well timed, moments can happen when they are least expected. 

Then there is also the question of what happens if I get deathly ill or get a flat tyre? While this has never happened, having a second hired and already on their way, can be a huge relief. While I have a wonderful network I could call on at the last minute to find someone suitable, they might be later than planned or might not be as carefully vetted if you have a really popular wedding date.

And then there are the possibilities of technical failures or guests or videographers stepping into the frame at the worst possible times. While I know how to mitigate both these issues so that the occurrence is rare, they are still possible – and having a backup to capture a once in a lifetime event is something worth considering.

So should you have a second photographer?

If you’re not sure if you should have one, I’m happy to chat through your thoughts. I can also give the best advice once we do your wedding day timeline.

If you like the idea of having a second for the ceremony and to ensure drinks reception is more enjoyable, I recommend having a photographer for half day coverage. It’s the perfect length of time for the vast majority of weddings. 99% of my weddings that have a second opt for getting ready up to the start of the wedding breakfast.

Till next time,
Kelsie Scully Photography