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Do I need a second shooter at my wedding?

Wedding & Elopement Tips


One of the most common questions I get is: do I need a second shooter at my wedding?

I’d say…it depends on a lot of factors. Personally, I love second shooters for weddings with about 50 people or more. I’m going outline the top 3 benefits below. At the end of the day though, it’s all about setting correct expectations and making the decision from there.

sacramento wedding - rachel christopherson photography

Coverage of two events at once

There are multiple events throughout a wedding day that overlap. Your photographer essentially has to be in two places at once. Here are a couple examples!

Getting ready 

If you want photos of both of you getting ready in your separate spaces, I strongly recommend a second shooter. Otherwise, you’ll need to add another hour of coverage to your wedding day so your photographer has enough time to shoot both of you! Ironically, adding another hour of coverage will likely cost you around the same amount as having a second shooter for the whole day!

If you have a second shooter, both you and your partner will have the getting ready photos taken at roughly the same time. Let’s say you need to be heading to your first look at 1pm, then you both can have your getting-ready photos between 11:30-12:30pm. However, if you have only one photographer, one of you will have to be fully dressed and ready early so that your photographer can shoot one of you from about 10:30-11:30. The person with the early slot is in their formal clothes and fully ready about 2 hours before they really need to be!! I don’t know about you, but I want to be in my comfy clothes until I absolutely have to change!!

sacramento wedding - rachel christopherson photography

Candids (like happy hour)

Another example is cocktail hour! Usually the couple will be engaged in some sort of photo activity right after the ceremony during cocktail hour!! During this time, it’s possible for the second shooter to be focused on candids of your guests that you get to see later! 

sacramento wedding - rachel christopherson photography

Different & creative angles 

Your second photographer will get unique angles while your main photographer captures the more front and center ones. Second shooters tend to bring a lot of creativity because they won’t be directing in front of the camera!! Think shooting through the flowers, an above angle for the ceremony, etc.!

There are also events that only happen once and your second will be there to capture the secondary angle. One example is the first look!! A second will capture the other person’s reaction which I think is super sweet and important too! Check out the examples below!  

sacramento wedding - rachel christopherson photography
sacramento wedding - rachel christopherson photography
sacramento wedding - rachel christopherson photography
sacramento wedding - rachel christopherson photography

Super speedy family photos

Trust me on this one, a second shooter makes family photos go WAY faster!!! The second calls out the family members and organizes each upcoming group while the main photographer is shooting!! While I love family photos and believe they are super important, I think we can all agree that all newlyweds want to enjoy that cocktail hour with all their guests!! It’s always my goal to get you to your cocktail hour asap and a second shooter is going to help with that!!! 

These are my top three reasons for including a second shooter automatically in my package!!! I think every couple deserves to have the maximum amount of gorgeous photos while also getting them done super efficiently! 

sacramento wedding - rachel christopherson photography

So…do I need a second shooter at my wedding?

The choice is ultimately yours but as your photographer with your best interest as heart, I think yes for bigger weddings based on the reasons above!!! PS- I had a second shooter at my wedding and am so thankful I did!! Let me know your thoughts!!!!

Click here for my advice on when to hire your wedding photographer or here for some wedding album tips!!

Photos by Rachel Christopherson Photography

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