I was meeting with a wedding client the other day and during our discussion I suggested she should think about hiring the second photographer as part of her package. She said something that other clients have said in the past, which is this, “Well, if it makes it easier on you…”
Since she’s not the first bride to say this, I think it is something I should post about, so other brides (even if you’re not hiring me) can have a little more info on the subject.
Let me start by saying that if you’re hiring a photographer, you should be able to trust that they can do the job, or look for someone else. If you’re not sure, ask how many weddings they’ve shot by themselves. Any photographer shooting weddings should be confident in their ability to do it on their own. That being said, OF COURSE it’s easier to have someone to work with, but mostly that is because it practically doubles the “time” you have to shoot. More on that later.
First, let’s start with the finances. If you’re a bride—or groom—on a budget (and who isn’t these days?) I know it seems that most economical thing to do is hire one photographer for your wedding day. But, as a photographer, I always advocate for hiring a pair; and it’s not meant to make your package price higher, I promise. In fact, it creates more work for me. I have to spend time to coordinate with my second shooter, I have more equipment (and backups!) to worry about the day of the wedding, and more pictures to sort through and edit afterwards. I don’t make much money by having the second shooter. A little bit of what you pay for the other photographer goes to cover the hours I spend processing the extra images, and the rest goes straight to paying that person.
Which, for you—the paying client—makes hiring the second photographer the best deal you can get for your wedding. For only a fraction of what you’re paying for one photographer, you get TWICE the opportunity for the perfect shot, twice the angles and twice the vision. With two photographers, you’re sure to get all the safe (traditional) images that your parents expect, plus the more modern, artistic shots.
Add to that the extra time factor. If you have two photographers you BOTH get more individual time for the photos. For the getting ready portion of your day (my favorite time) one photographer can focus on the groom and his guys, and one can focus on the bride and her ladies. Without having to run back and forth, each photographer can stay in the background capturing the essence of your day without interrupting the feel or flow of it. With one photographer, the time you have before the wedding is split between the two groups of people. Double the time means less rush for the portraits after everyone is ready to go.
Of course, this can be done with one person. There’s just more running involved (a LOT more!), and fewer angles and shots in general.
That being said, some people just want the traditional shots. Some couples prefer to have a very intimate wedding and just don’t need two people to cover a small space. BUT, now you have the information to make that decision based on more than just your package price.