I thought I’d write some more on the four reasons my wedding photography is different from just about all the other photographers out there. This time, I’d like to chat about having a second photographer at your wedding.
Sure, the benefits are pretty obvious, right? Two people, two brains, two sets of eyes, twice the coverage, more special moments captured etc etc. Having someone to assist me also makes the logistical details go more smoothly, for example setting up or moving equipment, corralling family and bridal party for group shots, and allowing me to be in two places at once (because I’m still working out the kinks in my dual-purpose time machine/cloning device).
Yeah ok big deal, but wait…here’s where it gets interesting. I don’t charge for a second photographer. It’s included with every package!
Why do I do that? Simple: I don’t see it as an “option”. I think having a ‘second shooter’ at a wedding is soooooo important for good results, that I’ve built it in to my services.
If you’re not convinced this is a big deal, think about this: you want “getting ready” shots of your big day. It’s such a special moment, shared with your bridesmaids, your mother, your grandmother perhaps…wait, you say you’re the groom, not the bride? Oh well, you’re out of luck. Dude, you gotta just sit there and hope there’s time to grab a few shots before the ceremony. But wait! [sound of trumpets] There are two photographers! Problem solved.
How about this? While many couples realize they can get some wonderfully touching and romantic photography by scheduling their “first look” before the ceremony (not to mention, more time to enjoy the cocktail hour!), a few couples still like to keep the tradition of waiting until the ceremony. The bride walks down the aisle, the groom sees her in her dress for the first time, everyone cries. You might not realize it though, but this moment seems to fly by! If there’s just one photographer, it’s a little like photographing a tennis match. Snap! Get the bride. Snap! Back to the groom. Snap! Back to the bride etc. Not a lot of time to capture everything, with just one photographer.
The solution of course, is that I assign my assistant to capture the groom’s expression, and I capture the bride walking down the aisle. Problem solved.
Want another one? Ok how about this: for some reason, reception venues really like to turn the lights down low. Something about making it more romantic, I suppose. Unfortunately, low light means difficult photography problems, and that usually requires a flash or video light for the First Dance and other special moments. But flash looks much better if it’s coming from a different direction than the camera (which is why snapshots with flash often look, well, snapshot-y). Having an assistant along means I can hand her/him the flash, and trigger it remotely for some dramatic lighting. Problem solved.
If your wedding photographer doesn’t have a ‘second shooter’, or charges extra for it, think about what might get missed at your wedding. Can you afford that?