What is a second shooter?
A second shooter is the name for a photographer who comes along with your main photographer to assist and shoot on your wedding day. Sometimes you'll have two photographers included already, and sometimes they'll be an optional extra. Although I shoot about 2/3 of my weddings by myself and I am more than confident to do so, sometimes a second shooter can be very beneficial. It's never compulsory but if you're planning a wedding with 100+ guests or having a ceremony later in the day and therefore less reception time, I do recommend thinking about adding one to the package.
The photos on this post are a mixture of mine and my second shooter Naomi Jane Photography at Izzy & Will's wedding last year, and show an example of what's been captured at the exact same time.
Below Naomi was snapping away with the boys while I was at Izzy's house photographing her giving her gifts to the flower girls!
So, what does a second shooter do?
Essentially, take more photos! This is the obvious bonus - more guest candids, more photos of you and your loved ones having fun, more couple photos. The best thing is they’re all from a different angle than the one I’ll be shooting from too, giving more variation and capturing another side of the room. I can only be in one place at once and if your wedding is spread out over several venues or you have lots of guests it’s great to know that nothing is missed.
Two angles is particularly useful for the ceremony where we might be restricted in movement as well. I for one don't like moving much at all during the ceremony as I find it can be distracting for you and your guests, so having two shooting points is great. A particular favourite is a photo capturing the face of your nearly wed and having a photo of you walking down the isle too!
In the morning, it means one of us can be in the pub with you capturing a nervous pre-ceremony pint and the other one can snap your other half walking to the venue. Why should one of you miss out?!
For the speeches it means I’m trained on shooting the speaker and my second photographer will be focused on the photos of people (hopefully!) cracking up with laughter.
Another favourite is the bouquet throw! One of my favourite traditions and always hilarious to document.
Who is my second shooter?
I don't have one sole person I use, although I do have a list of photographers I know and trust on hand if someone decides to book. I seriously consider who I use for a second shooter and only use other professional photographers who shoot in a very similar style to me, so when I edit all the photos together they are seamless in shooting and editing style.
I personally really enjoy working with someone else, it's also very handy to have someone to hold flashes, set up lights for you, and carry any extra things if you're venturing outside (particular on winter weddings when I use a lot more kit)
Below - more lovely snaps of your guests while we take ten minutes for some couple photos...
Here are some more weddings where I've used second shooters:
And you can see some of my own second shooting work on the links below:
Read on for more wedding planning advice...