Do I need 2 photographers at my wedding?

Monday, Mar 28, 22 category: Weddings Photography Planning Advice

Photo of a groom watching his bride to be walking down the isle with her father

A common questions that we get from our couples are do I need to have 2 photographers at my wedding. And the answer is yes. We recommend having a 2nd photographer at every wedding that we photograph. Though every wedding might not call for a 2nd photographer (due to size or budget), in a perfect world, we would have always have our clients use a 2nd photographer.

Here are five reasons why we recommend that you have a second photographer at your wedding…

Two photographers means that you can be in two places at once

One a wedding day, a there are hundreds of items that needs to be photographed (details, venues, people, etc.) A photographer is always on the move, but sometimes that isn’t enough. Having two photographers allows you to capture multiple locations and angles at the same time. One person will be getting ready in one hotel room while the other gets ready in their family home, which is across town from each other. During the ceremony, it’s great to have two different angles and views on everything that happens. When a photographer is taking formal photos at the church the second photographer can be at the cocktail hour capturing all of those details that you’ve spent so much time creating. Then at the reception, one photographer can capture the bride throwing the bouquet, while the second shooter can focus on all of the ladies grabbing at it. This is one occasion where more is better. Don’t you want more photos to remember your special day by?

A second photographer provides a different perspective, new style, and fresh eyes throughout the day

Just as no two couples or weddings are identical, no two photographers are exactly the same. They each have different experiences, creativity, and eye for the art. So, with having two photographers at your wedding, you’re really getting two different prospective and interpretations of your special day. Now having two photographers you have twice the experience, twice the creativity and twice the number of photos. All of our photographers has the same aesthetic, style and attention to detail. However, they might use lens differently, different lighting or stand in a different location than the primary photographer. It’s a huge benefit having two photographer at your wedding.

Second photographers can focus on the details while a lead photographer focuses on your shot list

When you’re working with a lead photographer, they are going to be focused on capturing the list of photos that you’ve provided them (parents, grandparents, college friends, etc.). The second photographer can focus on all of the wedding details throughout the day. The 2nd photographer can also keep an eye out for things that shouldn’t be in a photo. For example, ensuring that all of the bouquets are at the same height. It always helps to have a second set of eyes (someone who isn’t focused on the shoot list) during portraits who has time to notice the small details. The lead photographer should notice these things as well but sometimes things can get missed, which bring us to our next point.

Second photographers is a backup

All of your big moments (your first kiss, dance, and other formalities) will be captured. We’re talking about the moments that are constantly happening during a wedding day. You get a lot of emotions when you bring together family and friends who haven’t seen each other in years. There will be LOVE, LAUGHTER, TEARS, and JOY happening all around you day and night. We can’t capture every moment that happens but with two photographers, the odds are pretty good that some of the big moments won’t be missed.

Second photographers are like an insurance policy

We spent a lot of time planning with our couples planning each all of the details to the wedding. Unfortunately, there are times were things are out of our control. A car accident, death in the family, memory card failure, or broken equipment can happen and no matter how much preparation (backup cameras, equipment) or careful we are, they all can still happen at any time.

Having a second photographer at your wedding at least insures that your wedding will still be covered by a professional photographer. Our second photographers are all professional photographers who has been at least shooting weddings for one year so that they have our aesthetic and attention to detail. We also only use full-time photographers as our second photographers to ensure that they can capture the entire wedding, by themselves. That way, if something bad does happen (knock on wood has never happened), you’ve still got a photographer who you can trust to capture the magic of your special day.

We hope this helps you understand why we recommend a second photographer at every wedding we photograph. If you’re photographer offers a 2nd shooter, be sure to ask them what their role will be during the day. There are some photographers who bring an assistant along during the day and not a second photographer. All of our photography options include a 2nd photographer in them, as it does make a big different. We realize that each client’s needs, tastes and budgets are different, we wouldn’t recommend photography be an area that you “try to save” as you will notice a difference in your wedding photos. If you have any questions or want to discuss if you need a 2nd photographer at your wedding, please call us at 412.481.3424 or email us at

Still unsure on why you need a second photographer? Here are a few example images to show the importance of a 2nd photographer:

These two images were captured within moments of each other, but the bride and groom were getting ready miles apart from each other.

Here are two different views of a father walking his daughter down the aisle.

Here are another two very different views of the same moment during a reception.

This is from an older wedding, but it’s still one of my favorite series of images that me and my 2nd shooter have taken.

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