I've had a few brides recently asking me about a second shooter. Why don't I always have one? Shouldn't they require one? After all, how can one person possibly cover an entire day of memorable moments without backup? Isn't it overwhelming? Don't I miss key moments? Here's the answer I've come up with:
No, I don't recommend having a second shooter. I'll be honest with you guys. For years, I spent my photographic talents on the dead. Literally. I was a crime scene photographer. And you know what we do as crime scene photographers? We photograph the ever loving daylights out of crime scenes. It's not unusual for a homicide scene to have well over 1200 images at a single location. And trust me, the veterans you want on those scenes don't miss a thing. Not one, fingerprint-sized detail.
When it comes to wedding photography, is that really what you want? Do you want a team of photographers following your every move and just clicking away? Even if they are quiet as can be and considerate, there will be still be that many more people moving around during your ceremony, blocking guests, positioning themselves to get the best shot. If you have a videographer too? Forget about it! Then, this team will go through post of over 3000 images, trying to see if they captured the emotion somewhere in the swamp of files.
If you're looking for your love story to be told through photography, that's the last thing you want. You want an artist on your big day. Someone who knows your story, and knows what's important to you. Would you rather have a few great shots of your adoring great aunt, smiling and tearing up as you say "I do"? Or fifteen shots of you from weird angles as you get ready to say your vows or put on your tie?
I'm not bashing the well established photographers out there that have a team of professionals working with them. That's just not me. Wedding photography is an artistic outlet for me. It's a chance to just do what I do. I don't have to take direction from anyone, I don't have to give it. It's just me. And in the end, I think that's why my brides love me. They love the moments I capture.
That's not to say I'll never bring along a second. My seconds are as passionate as I am. But my point is, they just aren't always necessary.
So when you are looking to book a photographer, look at their work. If they tell a beautiful story for their clients, that should be the selling point for you. Not whether they have a team of technical photographers with them. Quality, not quantity.