Second Photographer for Your Wedding
Is is all the buzz to get a second photographer for a wedding is appears to add value to your day. Why not? If one is good, then isn’t two even better? I am not going to make any friends in the wedding photographer community but I am going to just go ahead and say this: You don’t need a second photographer at your wedding…and by the time you are done reading this you may not even WANT a second photographer for your wedding.
Second Photographer for a Wedding – Needed?
The buzz is that you want a second photographer to get another point of view. To get the shots that the other photographer missed. Well, most of that boils down to logisitics, but we’ll get to that later. I submit to you that what you really end up with is redundant coverage. I have been the second photographer at the wedding. More often than not, the primary photographer just said, “I don’t care if you shoot over my shoulder”. This was great for me when I was starting out because I needed images for my portfolio, but what did I bring to those clients? Zilch! I have even been told from the primary, “I don’t care if you get any shots, I will take care of that.” I was there to basically help carry gear. Well, that’s all good but the client really got was sporadic redundant coverage. There wasn’t a thing I photographed that the primary didn’t already photograph.
Now occasionally I have photographed with someone who gave me a bit more free reign on what and where I could photograph. However, this didn’t solve the difference in our style and talent.
Artistic Style & Talent
One of the reasons you choose your photographer is because of their artistic style and talent. What do you think the odds are of two photographers having the exact same style and exact same talent level? Unless you are paying double, you’re not likely to get the same talent level and there is no way on earth your going to get two photographers with the exact same artistic talent. But what does that matter to you? Well, anytime you go back and look through your wedding album those photos from the second photographer are either likely not to have been included because they weren’t as good or if they are in there, are going to stick out like a sore thumb on the page. The flow and continuity will be lost.
OK, there are times when you want some things photographed that, at first blush appears that you need to people. A perfect example is a couple I just recently booked. Their reception is in Muskegon and their ceremony is in Grand Rapids. The guests will get to the reception location before the bride and groom but the bride would like photos of the set up. No problem, I will stop there first before heading up to Grand Rapids. We’ll work out your schedule in a similar fashion.
How I work
For weddings that are 8 hours or more, I bring a well-skilled assistant with me who will usually photograph during the ceremony and assist the rest of the time. Their goal is to help me get all the coverage you need in a manner that is meeting with my standards and vision. My assistants often follow me around with lighting or other needed equipment. That person is there to help you look good…keeping an eye out for the little details that end up being a distraction in an image. So yes, technically, you still get two people. But the main goal is for you to have a final product that is not only cohesive but beautiful throughout.