Should we book in a second photographer?
As this is a question I get a lot, and isn’t a quick answer, I thought I would write this post to help explain it better! A second photographer varies in cost depending on your specific date, but as I know one isn’t in everyone’s budget it’s important to understand whether one is necessary for you or not.
It is all down to personal preference on what is important to you to be captured, but below I will outline when I find second photographers most valuable, how I shoot without one, and when I would recommend one.
Photographing both bridal and groom preparations
Depending on your exact timings and locations, it is possible that I can photograph both. Even if you are getting ready at different places, with careful timings it is often not an issue. I tend to plan it so that I am with the groom 3 hours before the ceremony, for approx 30 minutes before heading over to the bride. As long as the boys are ready in shirt and trousers when I arrive, I never find I need more than 30 minutes to capture all of the important detail shots such as putting on cuff links, ties, shoes etc. This also allows plenty of time with the bride still, enabling me to capture final touches of make-up/hair, and getting dressed. However if there is a significant distance between the two of you or you would prefer there to be a greater amount of coverage of both bridal and groom prep, then a second photographer may be necessary.
Whenever possible I always try to take photos of the ceremony room set up/any details, and guests arriving. However depending on your exact timings, this sometimes isn’t possible. During bridal prep, I suggest that I leave earlier than you in order to get to the ceremony about 30 minutes before it starts to give me plenty of time. My suggestion is for you to plan your bridal prep accordingly so I don’t miss capturing anything. However things can overrun, so if this part of the day is very important to you to be captured then I would recommend a second photographer.
During the ceremony
Depending on your venue, I can often move around for various angles, however it sometimes isn’t possible and I am restricted to one spot. If there was a second photographer it would mean we could stand in two different places for different angles at your ceremony.
During the drinks reception
Yet again this is another one that depends not only on your timings but also on your group shot list and the time of year you plan on getting married. During the drinks reception is the usual time for the group and couple photographs. However it is also an important time for natural candid photographs of your guests. Most people have an hour and a half/2 hour drinks reception, and I usually find I spend around one hour on these photographs leaving enough time for the candid photos. However if you have a particularly large number of group photos or a short drinks reception, it might be better to book a second photographer to be able to capture lots of photos of your guests. Although I am used to large weddings (~100-150 guests) if you have a large number and it’s important that you have a lot of natural photographs of people, then it would be wise to book a second photographer. Another thing to note, is if you are having a summer wedding, I tend to recommend to have the couple portraits after the meal instead of during the drinks reception. This is because the days are much longer, and the light during the evening is much softer and more flattering for photographs. Obviously this is weather dependent, but if it’s good weather this means that it frees up more time during the drinks reception for the candid photography.
And that’s it! As you can see a second photographer is really down to personal preference, however I shoot solo 95% of the time and always make it my priority to capture as much as I possibly can for you. If you haven’t already seen any full galleries then please get in touch, as I can show you what coverage you can expect from just me.