(Closed) How essential is a second shooter?

posted 7 years ago in Photos/Videos
  • poll: How important is a second shooter?
    VERY important - you need another eye to capture more 'moments' : (49 votes)
    43 %
    Somewhat important - if you can find someone you like, prioritize it : (33 votes)
    29 %
    Not that important - if you love a photog's work and you can afford it, one shooter is fine : (29 votes)
    25 %
    Other (below) : (3 votes)
    3 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    303 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    I’m thinking the second shooter has a slightly different style and has a knack of shooting certain types of photos that are better than the main photographer. I’m not an expert though

    Post # 4
    Member
    10851 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2010

    The second shooter in my mind was invaluable for us. Our photographer could be with me getting ready while the 2nd shot details around the venue or was with the guys getting ready, etc. The 2nd shooter’s work should feel seamless from the main photographer, you shouldn’t even be able to tell the difference.

    Why not ask the photographer you love if she has an assistant she could bring and how much extra it would cost?

    Post # 6
    Member
    4137 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: May 2011

    i decided to forgo the second shooter. if it’s really important for you to have pictures of the ceremony from 2 different angles or to have a photog with you the entire time you and fi are getting ready, 2 shooters are important. for me, i know we’ll get 700+ images from our photog…do we really need more photos from a second shooter? plus we’ll ask our guests to upload their pictures. so i feel okay about only having one and keeping it in budget, but how important is a second shooter to you? i say go for the photog you LOVE- you’d rather have one photog taking GREAT pictures than 2 photogs taking okay pics.

    Post # 8
    Member
    10367 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2010

    It depends on how big your wedding was. We got total coverage with one shooter (Lisa Rigby, who I know you’ve reserached but wasn;t available 🙂 ). We had 70 people at our wedding. She was like a photo ninja – there isn’t a moment she didn’t capture.

    If you do get a second shooter, make sure and ask about *who they are*. Are they an established photographer who just happens to second shoot occasionally? Or are they a novice trying to get some extra experience? It’ll make a big difference in the possible quality of second shooter shots. Some photogs use one, some use the other. It’s important to know the difference.

    You are hiring a specific photog for their eye and expertise – often a second shooter won’t match that. That’s why most of the best work alone – their work is of a more consistent quality that way.

    Post # 9
    Member
    1222 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    Our package came w/ a second shooter and I’m so glad to be able to have the photos she took. The main photographer was w/ me and my girls, the 2nd was w/ my Darling Husband and his guys. She took some awesome shots and we definitely wouldn’t have had any of those w/out her. The 2nd photographer’s style is a little different than our main photographer, but I love that as well. Plus w/ 2 of them, we got over 3,000 photos from different angles and they were able to capture different things at the same time.

    Post # 9
    Member
    4123 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    “all things being equal, if the price is the same and I like the pics on the website better of one over another, but the other has a 2nd shooter, who do I pick!?”

    You go with the one who has images you like better. A second shooter will never be BETTER than the main photog. If you don’t like the work of the main photog the second is not going to make it better. 

    Post # 10
    Member
    3314 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    We thought that having a 2nd shooter was really really important, and while we might have missed SOME things by not having one, we are so glad that we went with a photographer that we loved not only for style but for personality!  

    Post # 10
    Member
    10367 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2010

    Oh! And I should add that most photogs recommend second shooters for Catholic weddings, since the photog is usually – but not always – limited in where they can stand. They are typically only allowed above and/or in the back, and if you only have one photog, it can be really difficult to get from one angle to the other without missing critical moments. If you have 2 photogs, they can be perched in place the whole time.

    Post # 11
    Member
    1995 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    I’m torn with your situation.  hmmmmm

    I’ve been a second shooter before yet I’ve also seen wedding portfolios done without a second shooter.  If they’re good enough they can make up for not having 2 shooters but I won’t be the first to say they’re awesome!  You can’t be in 2 places at one and you can’t get everyone’s reaction at once.  Even if the photographer carries 2 cameras with plenty of lenses they can’t get everything.  Think of: brides entrance/grooms face, toasts/couple’s reaction, bouquet toss/them catching it.  It can be done but it can be done with more coverage with 2 people.  Also depending on your logistics they can shoot you and Fiance getting ready. 

    With NO wedding party like yourself I would lean towards saving $ and not getting 2nd shooter.  Only since it often takes 2 people to coordinate large wedding parties that are rambunctious, drinking, nervous, family drama etc a second shooter also acts as people coordinator which is extremely valuable.  Last wedding Darling Husband and I shot there was a huge wedding party and always someone acting out, making a different face, not paying attention, lost somone.  I acted as a buffer and art director for my husband.  Telling where people to stand and to look, who’s coming up in the next photo etc. 

    Make sure they’re good enough to do it by themselves.  I think you’ll be fine with 1 since its small.

    Post # 13
    Member
    1815 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I really wish a second shooter was in my budget, but unfortunately it’s not. I would totally jump on it if I could!

    Post # 14
    Member
    7695 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2010

    We paid extra for a second shooter and Im really glad I did. Our timeline would not have worked without her! Our 2nd shoot shot all of my getting ready and pre-ceremony bridesmaids/me shots while our main photog was shooting my husband and his Groomsmen getting ready, toasting and pre-ceremony GM/DH shots. We did not do a first look and I did not want to feel like we were rushing around so this was really essential for us!

    In addition to that I am really glad we had a second shooter. It allowed for shots like the back of my dress while I was walking down the aisle with my dad but also from the front of our faces. We just got a really good range of shots and I was really happy that we did it!

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