Erika Lagy Photography | Calgary Wedding Photography » Photojournalistic imagery with a touch of fine art for the stylish & modern bride

Hiring a Second Shooter; Is it worth it?

I have had many couples ask me this same question many times: “Why should I hire a second shooter?” or “Do we really need a second shooter?” My answer to the latter is it really depends on you and your wedding day needs. You don’t have to have a second shooter, but at times it can be beneficial:

Your photographer can’t be in two places at once

Weddings happen quickly. There is so much going on, so many moments with family members, especially on the wedding morning. In situations like this, a second shooter can assist with capturing these candid moments as they unfold naturally. While I’m upstairs photographing the bride getting ready, it can be helpful to have a second photographer downstairs capturing the candids of those still getting hair/makeup done. They can also be sent to start the day capturing the groom and groomsmen getting ready (if at separate locations).

A different perspective of the day

When I first got started in wedding photography I did a lot of second shooting for other photographers. I captured candids and in-between moments during formal portraits which added a bit of a fun factor in the photos the bride and groom received. No two photographers will photograph something the same way. Because of this, it will make for more interesting photographs, so I always try to hire a second shooter who’s style is similar to mine. This way our work blends seamlessly together when the final product is delivered.

Backup to the primary

Sometimes as the wedding day progresses, lenses need changing. During this time there is a chance some moments may be missed. A second photographer can keep shooting while the primary is doing any gear changes, thus minimizing missing moments.

With all that said, there are some cons to hiring a second shooter:

Hiring a second shooter does not double the images you will receive. 

This is a common misconception and I have had brides ask me “will I get double the images hiring a second shooter vs. not?” The answer is no. Only photos deemed professional in quality will be sent off to my clients. It doubles the amount of photos I need to go through and remove the not so great ones through a process called “culling.” The finished product will include the second photographer’s photos which should compliment the primary photographer’s not mimic it.

A second shooter can be overwhelming

Are you more of a timid bride? Shy about being photographed? Although I do my best to make all my clients feel beautiful and relaxed on their wedding day, a second shooter can take away from that. If your venue and bridal suite are smaller, two photographers can make that already tiny room feel that much more confined.

Budget

 Budgets can be tight when planning a wedding so hiring a second photographer depends not only on your wedding day needs but also whether or not your budget will allow for it. Keep in mind that the primary photographer has to pay the second photographer for their time. Hiring a second photographer also means an extra plate at dinner. (please don’t forget about us, we really do appreciate a hot meal near the end of the day!) Costs do add up and I understand how costly a wedding can be. You will never be obligated to hire a second photographer when booking with me.

If you’re thinking about having a second shooter assist with capturing your day let’s get in touch!

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