Is it worth having two photographers?

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Is it worth having two photographers at your wedding? Why would you?
As usual it depends on the size of your wedding and preferences, although having two has a higher cost it also comes with certain benefits.
Some photographers work as a standard as a team of two. You’ll find that it’s usually a team of man and wife although there is the odd exception here and there and they usually cost around £1800.

For those who offer themselves as a sole photographer, you can ask them if they can add a second shooter and some may say it’s not their style while some may say they’re more than happy to. Adding a second photographer will cost you around £250 to £400 normally varying depending on who you’re asking and I strongly advise in this case to make sure your photographer has worked with the assistant before so they know they’re reliable, match style, can assure quality and work well together.

As many others I prefer the a la carte option. I’d rather give couples the option and inform them of what adding a second shooter means so they can make an informed decision if that’s right for them, but enough of the introduction.

Here are 5 reasons why it’s a fantastic idea to have 2 photographers:

1. The other side of the morning: You can get images of your groom’s morning or mucking about, them getting ready, empty church or grounds, and the guests arriving at the church.

2. Variety: You can get more variety in the images as the day’s events are being followed by 2 cameras. You have more chances of getting informal images of all your guests with 2 since one person can only be in one place at a time. While your main photographer is taking you away for your private photoshoot (anything between 20min to 1h depending on their style) you’re missing quite a lot of photo ops and the same goes for when your group photos take place. Furthermore, with 2, while one is keeping an eye on guests mingling at the cocktail hour, the other is capturing all your details or reception room before they all go in.

3. Gone missing: As is true in many situations, it’s easier to fix a problem if you prepared in some way for it in the first place. What if your main photographer gets lost in an area without reception, gets stranded with a broken car waiting for the AA in the morning on the way to you or in an accident or stuck on the motorway? (gloomy I know, but worth considering the possibility) If things out of their control and unpredictable were to happen and they go missing the second shooter can take front row and keep things on track. They should usually agree to keep in touch so your second shooter will be able to know if something’s up and they need to switch locations.

4. Travel to the ceremony: This can face traffic jams to or even worse depending on your venue after your guests have arrived: parking issues. If you reach the church before your photographer, no problem! Their partner is already there so nothing is missed.

5. Backup of crucial moments. If a memory card is damaged, lost, stolen or fails beyond recovery there’s a second set of all the images.

All this being said, a single photographer can capture a wedding beautifully and it can all go out without a glitch so consider the impact of having one or not before making a decision. 1 and 2 will always be an added benefit of having a second shooter whilst 3 to 5 are insurance policies.
The bigger the wedding, the more strongly I advise on having one though as a general rule just because of the sheer size that would have to be captured. The usual drawbacks are: the fee for having one and having to pay for the second photographer’s meal as well (if there are any I’ve missed, do let me know so I can add them to the list).

Finally, a few questions to help your decision:

1. Would you like to see the guys getting ready too? (it’s sometimes possible for one photographer to cover a little of both if you’re getting ready at the same venue)

2. Would you like the extra safety?

3. Would you like to see the expressions of your loved ones as you walked down the isle?

4. Would you like someone to keep an eye on your guests while you’re away?

TIP: ask to see a wedding your photographer has shot with their second photographer to see if the style/quality match or if you can tell the difference at all.

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In loving memory of my beloved Arnie