Second Shooter: What is it and do I need one?

You’re sitting there looking at my wedding pricing guide and you see this option for “second shooter.” You see the price. Then you’re like… what is that? Do I need that? Will I be missing out without that? I’m here to answer your questions!

A second shooter is what it sounds like. It’s a second photographer for your wedding day. The second photographer is typically a professional photographer who is working under the primary photographer for the day (or wedding season). This photographer does not do any of the business things. They don’t really talk to you about money or contracts or directly send you their final images or blog posts. The most they talk to you is during the wedding. BUTTTTT you will receive images they took during the day and they’re there as back up.

Have you seen photographs from a wedding where there are images of the bride walking toward the camera as well as images of the bride walking down the aisle from behind? That is pretty much only possible if there are two photographers. Second shooters guarantee that you get dynamic images like that.

Have you ever had a piece of technology just stop working? That is a photographer’s biggest fear. That our camera’s will malfunction, our cards won’t read, our flashes wont trigger, our lens won’t focus. Having a second shooter is a bit of a “peace of mind” type of back up as well as a “get all the images” back up. Having a second shooter means having extra equipment so in the case that a card fails, there are still images from that time that the card was being used.

Do you need a second shooter?

Simply the answer is no, but more often than not it’s a nice to have and provides more images and more confidence in the fact that everything is covered. While I’m confident in my work and my wedding photography coverage, I am just one person. I can’t be photographing the bride from the front and from the back at the same time… if I could that’d be a miracle.

So really, the answer is up to you and your desires for your wedding photography. If you’re okay with not having those shots that would require the photographer to be in two places at once, then you don’t need to worry about adding on a second shooter. If you want those images, and are expecting those images, I highly recommend you add a second shooter onto your package.

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