Wedding photography can be expensive yes, this is because you are paying for the photographer's skills, years of experience, insurance on very expensive equipment, at least 10 hours a full day's wedding coverage, plus days and days of editing time. When you break it down your wedding photographer isn't earning that much at all, though we do appreciate that it can be a lot for you on top of all the other wedding expenses. So why would you pay extra to have a second shooter at your wedding??? That's crazy right?
Paying a little extra (prices vary from £150-£250) for an experienced second shooter to assist and help your main photographer can be the best investment of your wedding. Here's 5 good reasons why:
1. A lot goes on at a wedding and within the celebrations there are a number of 'stories' happening at the same time. There is a much greater chance of documenting your day to the best capacity if there are 2 photographers. The second also picks up where the main photographer can't. For example; I recently assisted a fellow photographer who was covering the ceremony from the front. Unknown to both of us the bride's sister had planned to sing a song to whilst her husband played the guitar instead of doing a reading. The main photographer was stuck behind them and there was no way she could take the photographs without making it obvious and walking across them. Noticing this I was able to sneak (crawl) down the aisle and capture the moment undetected, of which meant the world to the bride.
2. Time is short for formal photographs at a wedding and a second can help move things along more effectively. Details are important in photography so the second will ensure your dress is carefully shown to its absolute best, tidying and fluffing the train. The second photographer will help get little children's attention during group portraits so the main photographer can concentrate of getting the shot and help move people to be in the best spot.
3. You get 2 perspectives: a second can capture the same images from different angles creating depth and interest to your over all wedding gallery. This is particularly great for the couple photos
4. A second photographer can cover groom prep! This really should be number one.. bridal prep is such a wonderful time and often included in wedding photography bookings. A second will be able to capture the lads getting ready before the ceremony too.
5. Value for money. A second photographer on average will cost you around £200. You are not paying for an assistant but in most cases an additional experienced photographer who also shoots their own weddings at full premium prices. This is absolute gold and the results will show in the quality of your gallery and finished products.
I recently assisted my good friend and fellow photographer Steph Kiely near her home in Aylesbury (Click on her name to go into her website). It was my first time being a second but it won't be my last because it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. We worked as a team and I was able to shoot my own way though also respecting and following her lead. Collectively we ended up with many many images and a lot of mine made it into the final gallery for the couple. I offered a different perspective, support, and the ability to capture moments amongst the guests. Everyone was captured on camera, which sometimes doesn't happen when there is one photographer working a large wedding.
I highly recommend getting a second photographer, which really doesn't cost that much when you consider all the additional benefits, especially if you are having a large wedding.
Here are some of the images I took whilst working for Steph. All images are my own but credit to Steph Kiely for posing group and couple shots.