Do You Need a 2nd Photographer or Videographer?

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April 7, 2017 1:08 pm Published by

2nd Photographer001Is two better than one?  The Bible says in the context of a marriage situation, two are better than one; however in deciding on a photographer for your wedding,  maybe not.  If the girls and the guys are getting ready at two completely different location than I would say, book the 2nd photographer.  If your wedding is at a very restrictive church, than it can be helpful to have the 2nd photographer, because they may limit our movements.   It would also depend on how experienced, knowledgeable, and quick the main photographer is.  Before you waste your money, understand there can be a downside to having a 2nd photographer.

Two photographers may mean they will be talking to each other when they should be focused on your wedding.  As a videographer, I can name you wedding after wedding where the bride had 2 or sometimes 3 photographers, and they all missed something important, but I as one videographer captured it.  This just happened recently and the bride asked me “is it possible to get a picture from the video, because I have a feeling they (her photographers) missed a lot”.   When a photographer has their fellow associate there, it is too easy to talk to each other and miss an important moment.  As a single photographer or videographer you are more likely to be 100% focused on the wedding.  As an attentive videographer my ears are just as important as my eyes.  For example I’m listening to bridal party talking and may be tipped off about something about to happen that I would otherwise have no knowledge of.  This helps me to be prepared and to be in the right place at the right time.   Talking takes your focus away from your surroundings and tends to make a photographer not as alert as they would be if they were not talking.    A wedding demands your 100% focus and a 2nd photographer can distract the focus of your main photographer.  This is something that happens on a reguar basis.

St Petersburg PhotographersThe other issue you have with a 2nd photographer or videographer is that it can limit what one is able to shoot because you are trying to avoid keeping the 2nd photographer out of the shot.  As a videographer I often work with other photography companies who many times have 2 photographers.  Often, the 2nd photographer is a spouse or boyfriend or girlfriend of the main photographer and are not really a skilled experienced photographer.  It becomes obvious to me by their demeanor that photography is not really their passion.  The majority of the time, they are clueless about ceremony positioning and are more in the way than getting quality shots.  It creates another obstacle to work around.  The video below is an example of an alert videographer (me) capturing precious moments that both photographers are missing due to lack of proper ceremony positioning.

In regards to video especially during the ceremony, there is rarely a need for a 2nd videographer, especially when we are shooting with multiple cameras.  With video, we are constantly recording, so we do not have to be behind the camera to have it recording.  As a result one videographer can easily operate multiple cameras and go from camera to camera to tighten the shot and change the angle or focal length of the shot.  About 98% of our videos you see on our website were shot with one videographer with multiple cameras.

One photographer is going to be less obtrusive for your guests.  Having 2 photographer and maybe 2 videographers can make the ceremony area very crowded.  At a recent wedding I was shooting the toast with the video camera and noticed the 2 photographers who were both shooting away standing in front of guests while I was kneeling trying to be courteous not to block the guests shots.  I was thinking to myself “how many pictures do you have to get of one person speaking”.  It seemed to me it would have been better for them to back off after a few pictures and not be so obtrusive to the guests.  For most receptions, 2 photographers is “overkill”.

I write this article with no agenda, other than to give you my true thoughts.  If you are booking another company who includes 2 photographers in their package, be aware that, there can be a down side to that.  If you are booking us, yes we make more if you do pay for a 2nd Photographer, however, I also do not want you to have to pay for something you do not need.   With all this being said, there are situations where a 2nd photographer may be very useful, but even then you most likely would not need that 2nd person for the reception.  One highly skilled professional is better than two mediocre photographers anyday.   Always feel free to contact us if you have any questions about needing a 2nd photographer.