On a wedding day, there are SO many amazing moments. Sometimes everything is happening in one place, but sometimes there is just so much happening (often in separate locations) that it makes it physically impossible for one person to capture it all. I thought that rather than just talk about how great second photographers are, I would show you with examples from my 2013 season! Here are some reasons why it’s so important to have two photographers shooting on your wedding day…
1. Getting Ready Photos
A lot of times, brides & grooms get ready in locations separate from each other so they don’t run the risk of seeing each other before the first look or ceremony. If there’s only one photographer, trying to divide yourself between the two spaces can be tricky. These two photos of Danielle & Josh were taken around the same time after they had just put on their finishing touches, but the locations were about 15 minutes apart from each other. With two of us, we were both able to capture these portraits before the ceremony began.
2. The First Look
If you decide to have a first look, having two photographers present during that special moment gives you two vantage points. One photographer focuses on the groom’s reaction, while the other captures the bride.
3. The Ceremony
2 Vantage Points: One of my FAVORITE moments of a wedding day is watching the bride walk down the aisle as her groom anxiously awaits her arrival. In that moment, I love the groom’s face as he watches her walk towards him. I love the father’s (or parent’s) face as he walks with his daughter in the moment he’s been waiting for since she was a little girl. And I love watching the bride as she clings to her dad, but so anxiously walks towards the man she will spend the rest of her life with. SO many emotions. SO helpful to have two photographers from two angles to capture it all.
2 Perspectives: With two photographers at a ceremony, I really try to take full advantage of that and cover a wide range of focal lengths to get a variety of shots. I love a close up photo of the facial expressions being exchanged between the bride & groom as they share their vows just as much as I love a wide-angle shot of the whole ceremony to capture the scenery, all of the guests & the couple. I always have my second-photographer use a wider angle lens to capture more shots of the scene while I have a zoom lens on my camera to capture facial expressions & emotions. Here are some examples of what I’m talking about…
While I stood down by the gazebo with my long lens, I could capture Cameron’s reaction to seeing Laura and Laura walking up to Cameron, while I had my second photographer stand at the top of the hill and capture a wide-angle shot of Laura walking down towards all of her guests & Cameron surrounded by the gorgeous Maine foliage.
2 Different Photos from 2 Different Lenses – captured just moments apart. Both are important & both I love!
4. Cocktail Hour
Quite often brides & grooms don’t attend the cocktail hour they host for their guests after the ceremony. Depending on how you schedule your wedding day with your photographer, often times family, wedding party & couple portraits happen between your ceremony & reception. If you have two photographers covering your wedding day, the second photographer can be sent to cocktail hour to document that time & take photos of your guests so that you’ll be able to see every moment of your wedding day, even if you couldn’t be there for parts of it! Above was the cocktail hour from Steven & Lydia’s wedding being covered by my second photographer, and below are the portraits that I was taking of the bride & groom while cocktail hour was going on.
5. Unique Shots
On a wedding day, sometimes I feel like the day flies by as fast for me as it does for the bride. As a main photographer, there’s a lot to think about it terms of making sure everything is running smoothly, planning ahead so that you’ll have time for all your photos, making sure you’re capturing all the details & big moments, scouting & re-scouting locations for portraits… As a second photographer, you don’t have to worry about any of the logistics – you’re there to document the day, be wherever the main photographers asks you to be, and then hand over your photos at the end of the night… much less pressure which means more time for some creativity! (One of the reasons why I LOVE being a second photographer myself when I have a weekend off from weddings of my own). Above are some of my favorite photos from the 2013 season and I’m more than happy to admit that I didn’t take them! On the left, Kinsey (my second photographer & baby sister) had some downtime before the ceremony and captured the fall foliage with the venue in the background – love it! And on the right, Sienna captured the kilts of the bagpipers at Steven & Lydia’s wedding while they stood around at cocktail hour.
For Photographers – Behind-the-Scenes Photos!
Okay, you caught me. This one really more benefits the photographer, but it’s so fun to be going through your second photographer’s photos from a wedding day and find some behind-the-scenes shots of yourself! Looking at these photos gets me all giddy because it just makes me realize how extremely blessed I am to have a career that I absolutely love! I get to meet the most amazing people and document love in really awesome places all over the place. At the end of the year, I put all the behind-the-scenes shots together in my year-end blog post… You can see 2013’s photos HERE.
2nd Photographer. Good for you. Good for your photographer. The end.