(Closed) 1 vs. 2 Photographers

posted 9 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 17
4122 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@mellyrose: Valid points, however, the insinuation that an equipment failure for a single photographer would equal loss of coverage is false. Any professional, whether single or tandem shooters, should have more than ample backup equipment and it is more than easy for a shooter to get the first dance and those watching.

“The main focus for a single photographer is the couple and almost solely the couple.”

This is false

“With a second photographer you get reaction shots from parents, friends, and family. Who doesn’t love remembering a father or mother crying over a first dance?”

This is also false. A single photographer can get that as well. Quite easily, too.

 “having two photographers is like an insurance policy. Though uncommon, if for some reason there is equipment failure, someone gets in the way of an important shot, or any number of “hazards” that can occur at an event, there is another person to capture that moment.”

False. A single photographer, and tandem shooters, should have more than ample backup equipment. Also, if someone jumps in front of the person shooting, and the tandem is off photographing DIFFERENT things or people which is supposedly the advantage, the moment is still lost.

In some situations, it can definitely be a plus to have a 2nd shooter. However, the way you have worded your answer on your website promotes false information. Everything you mention, from the single photographer being focused only on the couple to loss of images of emotions and equipment hazards is false. 

The one sentence that DOES make sense, is “In addition to two different vantage points, with us being two primary photographers, you get two distinct styles of photography that complement each other.”

Yes, THAT is an advantage of two photographers. Vantage points and styles. However, one photographer is more than capable of getting different vantage points and parts of the story as well. 

If for you, the tandem shooting workers better then speak to how it benefits you as a photographer and team and then your client. But, I would advise you and thank you to not make broad generalizations that lead to even more false beliefs about parts of our industry.

Post # 18
5976 posts
Bee Keeper

@KLP2010: Though I appreciate your argument for a single photographer, I personally had two photographers who were great. I hired my first and ordered the package that included a second photographer of his choosing, that he trusted.

Some shots that I received that a single photographer wouldn’t have been able to get:

  • A photo of our first kiss from the 1st floor of the church as well as one from the choir loft. Both amazing shots, but I would’ve gotten only one or the other if I had one photographer.
  • Photo of my dad walking me in from the front and the back of our church. Again…one photographer can’t be two places at once. This was important to me b/c in an orthodox church, there are icons everywhere in the church, and I really wanted the one in the back when we walked in.
  • Photo of my late priest who married us – the second got a photo of him facing us while my first got a photo of us. This was during the blessing of the rings. Another example of one photog not being in 2 places at once.
  • Side shots of us posing for our formals. Definitely wouldn’t have been able to get had I only hired 1 photographer.
  • Extremely funny photos of our guests outside of the reception – these were going on during our reception where our primary photographer was…the second took the hilarious photos outside which made an awesome album
  • Photos of me getting ready at the salon while my husband got ready in the hotel. One photog got me while the other got my husband. Since we were getting ready at the same time for our 1:30pm ceremony, he would’ve missed important shots with one or the other had he traveled back and forth between the sites. Saved tons of time.

In all, I’m extremely happy that I hired 2 photographers. While I could’ve gone with one, the shots above would’ve been missed. You can tell me that’s false, but one photographer can’t be in 2 places at one time.

Post # 19
463 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I think not only budget, but how many people you have.  if you are having a small wedding, you might not really need two.  if your having a large wedding and a large bridal party, two might help especially when you are taking bridal party photos.  main photographer with you and the second shooter with your party.

personally our wedding was only sixty something people and we did one.  and we couldn’t be happier with our photos.

Post # 20
7 posts
  • Wedding: November 2011

@KLP2010: I agree that one photographer is fully capable of shooting a wedding. I’ve done it for years before forming this duo. I shoot with 2 cameras and work quickly and stealthily. I am capable of covering a whole wedding, not just the couple. 


That said, it’s impossible to be at two places at once. How is one photographer supposed to photograph the bride and groom getting ready at 2 different locations and other situations like this? At much larger weddings, it’s very difficult to try and get natural photos of everyone at the wedding. And regarding equipment failure, I’m talking about after the fact. While it’s never happened to me personally, I’ve heard plenty of stories about corrupted and unrecoverable CF cards – many of which had ceremony photos on them. If shooting with 2 cameras and it were my own wedding, I’d hate to take the gamble that the other camera only had the wide shots.


I’m not saying it can’t be done with one photographer and we aren’t trying to falsely advertise…my outlook has just changed greatly since becoming a Maid/Matron of Honor (in April), and then a planning bride recently. 

Post # 21
1641 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I’m having a very small wedding and am only having one. I did interview one photographer who insisted on having someone else with her, but I decided that the single shooter would be better. With only 16 or so people in the whole wedding, I just thought it was overkill.

Photography is a hobby of mine (I’m a graphic designer by profession and I do sell some stock photography on the side). I disagree with those saying there is a possibility of equipment failure. Any photographer worth his or her salt would not show up without alternative equipment. One of the first questions I asked the photographers I interviewed was how many batteries do they carry? They should have at least two. They should also have a backup camera body.

You don’t hire two guitar players or two harpists or two jps, why would you hire two photographers. It is, IMO, a way for them to charge higher prices.



Post # 22
5151 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

I had two and I did like that everytime a picture was taken we got a formal/posed and a candid OR when they weren’t taking the same photos they got to take two different things going on at the same time.

Post # 23
271 posts
Helper bee

I think the question you want to ask yourself, is, are you after quality, or quantity? Look at the work of the very best photographers across the globe. Do you go a little weak at the knees over their work? Or do you just shrug your shoulders and wince at the low handover count of 300+ photos as opposed to 500+? 


If you are after quality and a specific look, then you should be looking for an ‘eye’, if you are after quantity and plain ol documenting of the day from tip to toe, then find a second shooter. There are so many top photographers I’d love to have shoot my wedding, all are single shooters, and it’s because I want their personal artistic eye to shoot my day, not their business savvy sense of having another shooter on hand. 


Post # 24
4122 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@mellyrose: MY D3’s have 2 card slots and record duplicate images to each card. As I said above, there are times it IS beneficail (i.e. @2PeasinaPod: who had a large venue and specific wishes). The vantage points were also the one thing I mentioned they had right.

My point was that in what was listed above, there were very broad generalizations that aren’t exactly true. I also posted before that in this thread higher up about reasons when 2 photographers are necessary and helpful, etc. And that includes getting ready in two separate locations.

There ARE perks to two photographers. I was mainly pointing out that we (photographers) need to be careful about what we say about it and be truthful about it. We have enough issues going on within our industry as it is. I was merely pointing out, that as phrased above, it leads consumers to a false belief about their wedding coverage. 

Bottom line, is that every wedding is unique, and what every client actually needs is unique. For years and years there’s only been one shooter, and the tandem teams are pretty new in the industry. There ARE perks to it, we just need to make sure we tell the truth about them.

Post # 25
2344 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

We did have a second shooter that our photographer brought with her, and while it wasn’t my first priority when looking for a photographer, I think it was really good that it turned out that way for these two reasons:

  • The second shooter went to our cocktail hour while our main photographer shot our formal pictures. Our cocktail hour had lots of fun stuff that I’m glad was captured!

  • Our second shooter shot pictures of Darling Husband before the ceremony while the main photographer stuck with the girls. If you aren’t seeing each other before the ceremony, this really helps, especially if you are short on time like we were.

Otherwise, we’ll have to see if the quantity/quality was really that enhanced because the second shooter was there. In regards to KLP2010’s comment about not knowing the skill level or style of your second shooter, I think our confidence in our main photographer’s skill and judgment based on meeting with her and seeing her work was enough to justify the extra cost for someone who shoots with a partner. 

Post # 26
7 posts
  • Wedding: November 2011

@KLP2010: I agree re: our industry. This is my only source of income and especially being in NYC, it is extremely cut-throat. 

Re: 2 card slots. I shoot with a 5DMarkII, which you know is top of the line…but still, it unfortunately doesn’t have 2 slots for redundancy.

As for the quality vs quantity argument, just because someone likes to shoot with another photographer for more coverage, it doesn’t mean they are doing it for more photos. I would much rather present a client with 400 FABULOUS, tear inducing photos (which I do – my style is very impressionistic), than 2000 so-so, blah ones. 

Perhaps we can word it better. Our intentions are not to take stabs at solo photographers. We still shoot alone at times…I wouldn’t want to do that!

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