Do You Need a Second Shooter?
Updated: Feb 12
Do you need a second shooter? It's probably a thought that crosses most brides' minds as they search for a wedding photographer. What is a second shooter, and why is it a thing? Most people assume that having a second shooter means you get more photos, and that's the reason they end up booking one. While this is usually true, I think there's an even better reason to consider having a second shooter on your wedding day - moments and angles. The photos I'm sharing below were taken at Brandon and Alyssa's gorgeous Enchanted Acres wedding in Greenwood, SC. My husband, Kris, was my second shooter, and Alyssa and Brandon decided to book me AND him for their special day. What I want to show in these next several photos is the benefit of having a second shooter. I know it's not necessary or possible for everyone, but if it is in your price range, here's why you might want to go for it.
Moments only happen once, and a good second shooter is able to catch those moments from a different view than the lead photographer. Since I can only focus on one person in any given moment, Kris provides a second set of eyes. While I tend to focus straight on the subjects during formal photos, he can get creative with different angles. While I'm out capturing husband and wife photos right before the reception, Kris can cover cocktail hour, guests' interactions, and reception setup. Below are a handful of moments from Brandon and Alyssa's day that showcase the benefits of having a second shooter.
Getting Ready Photos
During the "getting ready" photos, I camped out in the girls' cabin (only the coolest getting ready cabin you've ever seen), and Kris hung out with the guys in their cabin.
Bride and Groom First Look
While Brandon was waiting for the anticipated first look, Kris was able to grab the shot on the left that shows off the beautiful setting we had for this moment. I grabbed the tighter shot on the right.
And then the first look happened. Any of the wide angle shots below were taken by Kris on our wide angle lens, while the tighter shots were taken on a 70-200mm which allowed me to get extra close while being a good distance away. Notice the photos next to each other are of almost the exact same moments. The couple received two pictures of these moments instead of just one, and they're two completely different looks.
Dad and Daughter First Look
First look with dad! Kris was positioned behind dad to get Alyssa's reaction, and I was behind Alyssa to make sure I captured Dad.
Ah the ceremony. The best time to have a second shooter. The system that Kris and I have established consists of a couple different "big" jobs for each of us. Kris knows it's his responsibility to get the shot of the bride walking down the aisle, her face. He also steps into the aisle once dad and bride have passed him to get the shot from behind. My job is always to fix my lens on the groom to capture his reaction. Once we have those important shots, we can get more creative with the extras we shoot during this big moment!
These next four shots were taken during the ceremony, and you guessed it, Kris took the wide angle shots that give a more complete picture of the scene, while I had the zoom to capture emotions and moments. This is just a small sampling of what we got during the ceremony.
During the exit, I grabbed the shot on the left, and Kris grabbed the shot on the right. I love how my shot focuses on those emotions, and his shot captures the beautiful sunset we had!
During the final exit of the evening under sparklers and beautiful clear skies, we took photos at our separate "stations." Kris always takes the front of the line, and I stand towards the back in the aisle and walk backwards with the couple as they approach. So far I've never fallen backwards (knock on wood)! So the two top shots were taken on Kris's camera, and the bottom two were taken with mine.
This bride and groom have 658 photos in their final gallery, so this is just a small portion of the shots they received, but I think these show why Alyssa and Brandon decided to spend a little extra to have a second shooter at their day! If you have any questions about second shooters and if it's right for you, leave a comment or head to my Contact page! Happy wedding planning!