Should You Have Two Wedding Photographers? Here's Our Expert Advice

Learn the pros and cons.
Two photographers looking over wedding day photos
Photo: Westend61 / Getty Images
Sarah Title - Bridal Fashion & Shopping Expert.
Sarah Title
Sarah Title - Bridal Fashion & Shopping Expert.
Sarah Title
Bridal Fashion & Shopping Expert
  • Sarah writes a variety of content for The Knot and WeddingWire, including bridal fashion advice and product recommendations.
  • Sarah’s work has also been featured in Brides, Nicki Swift, Betches and Style Me Pretty.
  • Sarah lives in Alexandria, VA with her (new) husband and golden retriever named Brady.
Updated Jan 23, 2024

One commonly asked question when it comes to planning a wedding is if having two photographers is necessary. Like most answers to wedding-related questions, it depends on the type and size of the event. For example, if you have a big wedding at a big venue, hiring a second shooter would help capture more activities throughout the day. However, if your wedding is more intimate, one might get the job done.

Since you probably have more questions, we tapped a few wedding photographers to give us more photography advice. Once you read their tips, head to The Knot Vendor Marketplace to find a photographer in your area.

In this article:

How Many Photographers Should You Have for a Wedding?

Short answer: It depends. If you have a big guest list and your wedding location is spread out, having two photographers will help you capture the breadth of your wedding day. However, if you're having a more intimate wedding with fewer guests at a cozy location, one might be enough. "One is capable if your budget is enough, but two is nice to have as it covers more angles," explains Villa Li, owner of Villa Li Photography.

What Does a Second Photographer Do?

A second photographer is usually there to capture what the first photographer cannot. "They work alongside the main photographer to capture different angles, such as during the ceremony," explains Allie Dearie, owner of Allie Dearie Photography. "They will also split up to capture photos in two different locations at once, like during the getting ready portion of the day when you and your partner may be in two different locations. And they can capture multiple moments happening at the same time. For example, the main photographer can take family photos during cocktail hour, while the second can capture reception details and candids for the rest of your guests at cocktail hour."

Pros of Having Two Wedding Photographers

Having two wedding photographers will allow them to capture more of what's happening during the day. If you're in multiple locations or the cocktail hour is spread out, you might not capture everything with just one photographer. They can also cover different angles or get different kinds of photos.

More Photos

"Having two photographers means more pictures from your wedding day overall," says Dearie. This one's pretty straightforward, the more people you have taking pictures, the more you'll have to look at. If you and your significant other are getting ready in different places, having a second shooter means they'll be able to capture both of your special memories. Also, during the reception one photographer can capture the first dance and speeches, while the other can capture guest reactions. It'll give you a more 360-degree look back at your wedding.

Your Photographer Will Pick the Right Person

"Typically your wedding photographer will hire a second photographer who they trust and have worked with before. This is great, because you want people who are used to working together as a team. If your package does not already include a second photographer, you can ask them about adding one," explains Dearie. "Most photographers actually have a clause about their team being the only professional photographers on site, so you definitely don't want to hire a separate second photographer yourself as this could create a breach of contract."

More Variety

"[They will capture] a variety of angles and more activities that are going on during the wedding," says Li. You'll also get different angles by having two photographers. While one photographer is capturing the "I do's" the other might be snapping the reactions of friends and family.

Built-in Backup.

"If an emergency happens to your main photographer during the day, the second photographer could step up to continue coverage," explains Dearie. You can never be too prepared.

Cons of Having Two Wedding Photographers

Having a second photographer may affect your budget or could even make you and your significant other feel overwhelmed on your wedding day.

Better for a Smaller Guest Count

"If your wedding has a small guest count (about 75 guests or less), two photographers can sometimes feel like too much," says Dearie. "You don't want to overwhelm your guests if you have a smaller crowd. For small weddings, one photographer can capture everything needed if you work with them on creating your timeline."


Adding a second photographer means paying a second photographer (and paying for a second vendor meal and tipping them) so keep that in mind when you're considering hiring a second wedding photographer for your wedding day.

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