Bride and Groom FAQ Part 2: Do I NEED a second shooter at my wedding?

Bride and Groom FAQ

Part 2: Do you REALLY need that second shooter at your wedding?

Palm Springs Wedding Photographer_3322


This is definitely one of the most asked questions that I get from newly engaged brides and grooms.“Why should I hire a second shooter?” or “Do we really need a second shooter?” In short, I’d say YES.. but it really depends on your wedding day needs. You don’t HAVE to have a second shooter, but it is definitely beneficial, especially in these circumstances:

Photographers can’t be in two places at once.

Weddings happen quickly. There is SO much going on at one time and so many moments that you won’t get to be around for. In situations like this, a second shooter can assist with capturing these candid moments as they unfold naturally. If it’s important to you to get both the bride AND the groom getting ready at the same time, or in different locations, a second photographer definitely makes this possible. I will always send my second photographer to photograph the boys while they get ready and I am able to completely focus my time on the bride, her bridesmaids, and the rest of the family that she has with her while getting ready.Encinitas-Wedding2000.jpg

You want to make sure to get both angles during the ceremony/first look/speeches etc.

The main focus of a second shooter is to get the candids that the main photographer is at times unable to get.  For example, you know those ADORABLE photos of the groom’s reaction when he first sees the bride walk down the aisle? You’d want to make sure you get YOUR reaction, too, right? Having two photographers makes this possible. It’s also beneficial during a first look (not sure what a first look is or if you should do it? Click HERE to get the low-down on that) for the same reason. You’ll also get photos from different angles INSURING that nothing that is going on will be missed.  If you’re like me, time passed and there were parts of the wedding day I don’t  remember because of pure excitement. I can’t tell you how awesome it was to be able to relive parts of my wedding day that I either was not there for or unable to remember. 

You LOVE those ‘candid’ photos or photos from different angles.

Do you HATE taking photos? To be honest, I’m right there with you…which is why I hide behind the camera instead in front of it ( WHAAAT DO I DO WITH MY HANDS?!). Anyways, often times, I find that couples who are more on the  shy side in front of the camera end up LOVING my second shooter’s images. They are aware that I’m taking pictures of them, they know where I’m at, but my sneaky second shooter is able to get angles and candid moments that I am just unable to get. Also, your second shooter can grab awesome angles like this without compromising your

You worked your BUTT off making those handmade, DIY decorations or you have a kick-ass wedding planner/florist and you want to make sure you get every detail.

Now, this isn’t always IMPOSSIBLE to get if there is just one photographer. If you jimmy your schedule just so, you are able to enable your photographer to get photos of your decor. However, the most common issue is that when your florist/wedding coordinator is finished making your wedding reception PERFECT, it usually coincides with family photos or the time you’ve set aside for your portraits. This goes back to ‘you can’t be in two places at once’.. and if you’re wanting a reception shot without any of your guests in it, I HIGHLY recommend a second photographer. Here’s an example of a photo that definitely could not have been taken had it not been for Trent. I was busy finishing up portraits and had NO time to photograph the beautiful set up for Chuck and Lauren (and their awesome wedding planners Celebrations of Joy) so he went down to make sure every detail was photographed!Palm Springs Wedding Photographer_3302

backup to the primary.

Sometimes as the wedding day progresses, lenses need changing. During this time there is a chance some moments may be missed. A second photographer can keep shooting while the primary is doing any gear changes, thus minimizing missing moments.

Yeah, yeah yeah, I hear ya…. but do I NEED one?


Although I am ALL for a second shooter, there are times when you can get by with just one. For example, if you’re eloping or if your wedding has less than 50 people. I know there are many in the industry that disagree, but I believe that as long as you are aware of the restrictions that it might cause your main photographer and you’re ok with them, it’s definitely doable. It also helps if you have your heart SET on a photographer, but you might not be able to afford a second shooter. Fear not, it is doable.  An example of one of my favorite weddings, shot with just yours truly!The Kiss


It really is your decision. A second photographer makes your wedding day much less stressful and you’re able to have piece of mind that all of your hard work, your moments, and your guests are photographed in the way they should be…but if you’re eloping, don’t have a bridal party, are keeping it small or if you are OK with not getting every angle and every moment, then you’re able to get away with just one.