I’m going to start this little blog post with this photo: see that left arm? Yup. Ouch. Let me give you 5 reasons why you need a second shooter at your wedding.

This was me this summer with a pretty freshly broken wrist after trying to prevent my son falling downstairs. Spoiler alert: he bounced, without a scratch, I however was a bit of a mess.

I had this accident three weeks before a wedding at The Manor Barn in Cambridge. To be honest with you I was anxious beyond belief, especially when the doctors suggested surgery.

What are your safety nets?

Thankfully I didn’t need to go under the knife and I actually managed to shoot the wedding without an issue. However, the point I am trying to make is that random things happen in life. So, when it comes to your wedding it is best to put in as many fail safes as possible.

In case you wondered, here’s the couple who’s wedding I shot with a broken-wrist (they were very very happy with their photos)

Here are 5 reasons why I recommend a second shooter at your wedding

1. What if your main photographer is unwell / an emergency happens

Editorial Wedding Photographer

Like breaking my wrist, you don’t ever plan on having accidents, and neither does your photographer.

Your photographer also doesn’t ever plan on getting unwell on your day!

Thankfully, over the 12+ years of photographing them, I have never been too unwell or had an emergency meaning that I haven’t been able to attend a wedding. However, if budget permits, I recommend you to upgrade your package to include a second shooter.

Remember 2020? Yep.

Not even just thinking about coronavirus, have you ever had norovirus? Not fun.

Imagine being the only photographer at a wedding day and having something like this the morning of? Big ol’ bag of nope.

The other thing to note is that I believe in community over competition. Photographers have photographer friends! So, if you didn’t book an associate/second photographer for your day I have a circle of trusted photographers who I can call upon in case of emergency. That’s a fantastic provision to have.

Lastly, if in the event that both photographers are unavailable and a replacement photographer cannot be found then I usually give a full refund.

2. You have a wedding over 5 hours long

If your wedding is under 5 hours, the likelihood of needing two photographers is pretty slim. Usually coverage this short cuts out bridal preparation and evening dancing.

Long Days

On the other hand if your wedding is the full up to 9+ hour day, which is usual for a wedding day, it is so helpful to have a second shooter to cover the whole story of your day. 

3. You have lots of guests

Some of my smaller weddings have anywhere between 30 & 50 guests, but when you start getting to numbers like 80 – 200+ it can be so helpful having another person shooting photos, capturing all the moments as they happen.

The Focus during moments

For example, usually during the ceremony my main focus is the bride and groom – my associates will be looking around the wedding party and seeing the key people who are part of the day (parents, bridal party, cute kiddos!) and getting ready to photograph expressions. So helpful!

4. Multiple angles / I can be in two places at once

A second shooter can help to capture different angles of the same moments, which can give you a more complete and dynamic view of your wedding day. This is literally like having me in two places at once, which means that you won’t miss out on potentially awesome photos.

5. More photographs!

I always send you the absolute best photos from your wedding, not holding anything back, but by having a second photographer I have more photographs to choose from when doing the initial “cull”. More isn’t always better, but it can be so great for me as editor to have a broader choice of images.

If you’re on the fence about whether or not to hire a second shooter for your wedding, I highly recommend it. It’s an investment that will pay off in the long run when you can look back on your wedding photos and see that every moment was captured perfectly. You’re welcome!

March 28, 2024

5 Reasons you NEED a second shooter at your wedding

Helpful Tips, Weddings

Tom Keenan Photography


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