Why You Should Have A Second Shooter at Your Wedding

Claudia and Nicola kiss during sunset after their wedding ceremony in Richmond

May 12, 2020

Your wedding photography is one of the biggest investments you will make for your wedding day. There’s already a number of choices to make – the right package, the right style, all sorts, so when you’re asked whether you’d like to book a second shooter on top of that, things can get a little bit complicated. So I’ve put together a few benefits to having a second shooter present on your wedding day, but also when you don’t need one, so you know when to say no and save a little bit of your wedding budget.

What is a second shooter?

A second shooter is like giving me an extra pair of eyes and hands for the day (weird image, I know, but bear with me), essentially allowing me to be in two places at once. They’re a secondary photographer who I know and trust, and who’s way of working and photographic style resonates with my-own. This way, there won’t be any nasty surprises or tell-tale signs as to who took what photos. This will also allow me to deliver more photos, and who wouldn’t want more memories to look back on at the end of the day?

Bethany adjusting her headband in the mirror while her bridesmaid fastens her necklace

Bridal Prep

While I’m in with the gals, capturing the bridesmaids popping champagne while the bride gets dolled up, my second shooter can be in with the lads. That way we can get both of you getting all dapper, ready for your big day. This is particularly handy if you’re getting ready in different locations. And if your groom is a bit camera shy, they can capture the ceremony venue being set up and the behind the scenes of the day.

Ceremony Shots

The big moment. Why we’re all here – the ceremony. While I’m up at the front of the ceremony area, catching your facial expressions as you say your vows, my second shooter will be at the back getting some wider, more dramatic shots of you and your guests in your venue.

Claudia and Nicole leave their wedding ceremony through gold confetti with a choir behind them

Group Shots

Ah yes, everyone’s least favourite part. A second shooter will help speed up the process of rounding up all of the drunk uncles with the help of a close family member – ultimately allowing you and your guests to get to mingling and drinking.

Couple Portraits

When it comes to taking the couple portraits, a second shooter can be useful in a couple of ways. They can act as an extra pair of hands during the portrait session. Or they can stay back at the cocktail reception and capture the party as it begins to unfold.

Guests holding photobooth strips of the bride and groom

Speeches

Speeches are where you really want to capture the emotion and laughter that gets brought out. While I’m focused on the best man giving his speech, my second shooter can get a shot of the mother of the bride cringing. This is the perfect time to capture the true emotion of the day. Having a second shooter will mean we can capture even more of your loved ones laughing and crying together.

Reception

This is when the party is really starting to kick off. And as much as I’d like to be, I can’t be in two places as once. Especially if your reception is in a large venue. So this is when you’ll really see the benefit of having a second shooter around. This way, we can spread out and capture as many drunk reception antics as possible. While I’m photographing a dance between the bride and her father, my second shooter can catch one of the groomsmen knee-sliding across the dance floor. And who doesn’t want more of that?

Guests rock out during the wedding reception

When you don’t need a second shooter

So while there’s a lot of benefits to having a second shooter, they aren’t always necessary. If you’re having an intimate wedding with just a few guests, it’d be overkill. If the plan is to elope, or the whole day is happening in just one location, me and my cameras will be more than enough for the day.

Your wedding photography is the only thing that will be there after the big day. I can’t recommend highly enough the importance of budgeting for the right level of coverage. But only book a second shooter if it’s right for you and your big day.

If you’re still on the hunt for your main photographer for your alternative wedding, take a look at my work here and feel free to get in touch. I’m also happy to take on work as a second shooter, so if you’re an alternative wedding photographer and you like my work, get in touch here!

Why you should have a second shooter at your wedding

  1. Lauren says:

    My photos are my biggest wedding day regret. My dad insisted on using a family friend as a photographer (who had an impressive resume) but we just didn’t gel with him at all and it’s obvious from our photos. As you say – they’re the lasting memory from the day, so choosing the right photographer is one of the most important things when planning a wedding.

    • Jodie Mitchell says:

      Oh Lauren, that’s so upsetting! But at least it’s a great excuse to get your vows renewed and get some beaut photos!

  2. […] When you’re considering your photographer, make sure it’s the final product that you really love. While you might love the shots and the angles of their photos, the editing style is a part of the package – something that is unique to the photographer and likely non-negotiable. Make sure you love their style and want your day to be remembered like that forever. Also consider the packages that they offer – How much coverage will you get? Do they offer bespoke packages? Should you have a second shooter? […]

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