Should You Hire a Second Wedding Photographer?

Get all the facts so you can decide if it's worth working with a second shooter.
by The Knot
couple walking down the aisle

We get asked all the time: Do we really need to have a second photographer at our wedding? We understand—finding, booking and paying for one shooter is enough work. But before you brush off the idea of multiple photographers as unnecessary, know there are some very valid reasons for having more than one to capture your day. 

Many couples admit that not spending more on photography is one of their biggest wedding day regrets—and we tend to agree. In most cases, you'll want a second shooter for a number of practical reasons. For one, there's the challenge of how to photograph your ceremony. There's something so special about being able to capture multiple emotional moments throughout. You'll want your walk down the aisle and your partner's reaction to it, your vows and your parents' reactions. You get the point—so much happens simultaneously at weddings and they're all worth remembering, from getting ready to the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception.

If you're wedding is on the larger side, you can hardly expect one shutterbug, no matter how swift and talented, to snap every memorable moment happening in every corner of the room. We think a second shooter is always worth it, even if you're only inviting a small number of guests. For example, with two shooters, one can take your postceremony portraits while the other snaps photos of your guests at cocktail hour. Also, if you and your partner both love the idea of taking getting-ready photos, but you're getting ready in two separate spaces, having two photographers snap your wedding prep at the same time will be a godsend.

Of course, there are a few tweaks you can make to your day-of timeline so a second shooter is a little less necessary. For instance, coordinate your getting-ready times so one of you and your wedding party can primp first, followed by the other and their crew. That way, one photographer can capture both scenes. Just remember, stacking your getting ready sessions will add waiting time to your busy day, whether it's on the front or back end.

If your budget is the sole reason you want to ditch a second photographer, we totally understand. One trick is to consider cutting down the amount of time you need a photographer. Many photographers understand this factor, and can work with you to make sure they take all necessary photos first thing at the reception, so you can get on with the party. 

Lastly, you can (and should) invite your guests to download Veri, the private photo-sharing app that automatically aggregates everyone's iPhone and Android snaps in real time—it's kind of like a hashtag, only 10 times better (think: no uploading, tagging and no separate camera apps). That means you can see all those hilarious, candid dance-floor photos your photographers didn't capture.


Haven't found a shooter you love yet? Time to look for amazing photographers in your area.

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