Why Hire a Second Shooter?


What changes when you have a second shooter on your wedding day? This is probably the most commonly asked question I receive, so I figured it’s time I summarize my answer here on the blog! As most of you who follow along on Facebook or Instagram probably know, my husband, Ben, shoots with me virtually every wedding now and we LOVE working together! I’ve had the opportunity to work with some great (and talented!) photographers over the course of the last several years, but I will say without a doubt, that working with Ben as a team on wedding days has proved invaluable. No one but your spouse can quite decipher a face expression shot across the reception hall as meaning:



Haha… we’ve worked together so much in so many different situations that wedding days have just become FUN for us and an opportunity to challenge each other to grow creatively and personally!

But down to how this matters to you.

There are about 5 times in particular throughout a wedding day where you’ll see a significant difference when I have a second with me on a wedding day:

Left photo: primary shooter Right photo: second shooter

1) During the Preparation 

After securing all the detail shots are gotten, I’ll be getting candids of you with your bridesmaids talking, laughing, opening gifts, having your hair done, etc. During that time, Ben will typically be with the groom and his friends capturing the candid moments unfolding while I’m busy with the girls. This is especially helpful if you’ll be preparing in different locations at the same time or if I’d have to run from one building to another in middle of a hail storm in order to capture both of you (true story). If it’s just me: I’ll usually spend an hour on detail shots, get a few token photos of the groom tying his tie, fixing his cuff links, etc. before running over in time to capture you putting your dress on. So not as many candid moments or preparation shots with just one photographer, but you should still get preparation shots of at least the bride and hopefully the groom if he prepares on site.


Left photo: second shooter Right photo: primary shooter

2) During the First Look

The goal: to capture both the look of awe on your man’s face when he sees you for the very first time in your wedding dress AND to capture the excitement on your face as you approach your groom. Preferably without crying. That is, without ME crying. You can cry. And he can cry. In fact, crying is good. Crying makes for fabulous pictures, so cry on.


 3) During Family Photos

Ben always has the master list during family photos and the master voice! He helps gather people for this section of the day and when we’re ready to roll, he’ll call out the next set of family groups needed to be at the ready so I can focus on arranging poses and snapping away as efficiently as possible. We do our best to be a lean, mean working machine so your family can come out of family portrait time smiling as big as when they came in.

Left photo: second shooter Right photo: primary shooter

4) Walking down the Aisle

I always shoot from the front of the ceremony area close enough to capture the groom’s emotion as you come down the aisle with your dad and a front view of your walk in-between all your friends and family. If Ben is with me, he’s usually in the back capturing the groom’s face and a wider angle of the ceremony area from the back showing your wedding dress train and the groom in the background.

  Left photo: primary shooter Right photo: second shooter

5) During the Ceremony

I do my best to capture the ceremony from all angles as it transpires, but if I have Ben there, we’ve each got our stations. He knows he’s in charge of capturing the groom during the vows and I’ve got you. He’ll be watching for tears in the groom’s parents’ eyes, I’ll be watching for yours. I’ll capture the first kiss mid-aisle to be ready for your pronouncement as husband and wife, he’ll be capturing it from a different angle and with a longer lens so you potentially will have the first kiss captured close up and farther away (or simply from different angles, depending on the venue).


I think it goes without saying that wedding days are full of ALL kinds of variables, so while we can’t guarantee any given shot, you can rest in good faith that we’ll do all we can to capture all that we can. While having a second photographer does help flesh out having a more complete perspective of your wedding day by capturing moments happening at the same time in different rooms/from different angles, I will say – I’ve shot plenty of weddings solo, so if you decide to just stick with one photographer, no worries, you’re still in good hands.

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