I have always kept my pricing simple as I am not one for after sales, and don’t want to make choosing the right package another complicated decision in your wedding planning process. So I have always offered everything I think you need in one simple price. However, one of the extras I do offer is the use of a second shooter at your wedding. I think I shot about 80% of my weddings this year with a second shooter. A second shooter is a another professional photographer with a similar style to my own to accompany me on your wedding day, and take photos from start to finish. When I meet my potential clients, many are uncertain as to whether this is something they want to book, and so I thought I should write this post, illustrating some of the benefits with photographs from a wedding where I was the second shooter for Matt Willis at one of his weddings earlier in the year. Matt has second shot for me a number of times, and is an excellent photographer so I was delighted to be asked to shoot with him at one of his weddings. The photos below are from Angie and James’ wedding and if you wish to see Matt’s pictures from the same wedding, you can see his blog post here.
I really love the above pictures. I took these straight after the ceremony. If had started to rain, and Matt was frantically trying to get the family group shots organised before everyone got too wet. Organising group shots is a hard enough task in fine whether, let alone in the rain, so whilst he was occupied with the difficult task of organising family members, I took a moment to get some candid shots of people sheltering from the rain. I noticed one of the guests with this big bright rainbow umbrella, so I borrowed it for the bride and groom to take a few colourful shots. This is the sort of spontaneous thing a second photographer might be able to do during some of the busier times in the day.
I often ask my second photographer to get detailed shots whilst I am photographing groups or whilst I am taking candid shots of the drinks reception. I know that a lot of love and care has gone into the planning of all the little details to make your wedding pretty, and I will always photograph the details, whether I have a second shooter with me or not. However, sometimes I am very pushed for time, and it helps having my second photographer do this. It means I don’t miss anything in my rush, as I trust my second shooter to take their time photographing all the little details. Sometimes we will do this together to get everything shot quickly before the guests are called into the wedding breakfast.
During the couple shoot (this is the bit where I take you away for 20 minutes or so to take some lovely romantic shots of you together) two things can happen. Sometimes my second shooter stays with the guests to get loads of lovely candid relaxed shots of all your friends and family enjoying themselves. Sometimes they accompany me to offer a second perspective. It is nice during this time to have loads of pictures to choose for my final edit, and I often find my second shooter has found a different angle or has some wide shots where I was shooting close. I really love going through my second shooter’s images and selecting some lovely shots of the bride and groom to add to my edit. Its brilliant having two pairs of eyes and really adds to the creative vision and scope of the day as we often bat ideas back and forth to get the best shots.
Sometimes getting all the group shots can take some time, and it normally happens during the drinks reception, when the rest of your guests are busy enjoying themselves. It is during this time that I really love being the second shooter, as while the main photographer is busy getting shots of groups in a line, I can drop back and get loads of natural shots and beautiful moments, like the one below of the best man playing with his little boy. I also sometimes take the opportunity to get other couples together in an informal way, such as groups of friends or parents (like the above shot of the bride’s parents)
Other benefits are the more obvious ones including two perspectives in the church or ceremony venue (normally one shooting from the back and one from the front) and normally my second photographer will cover the groom preparations, whilst I am with the bride getting ready. Often the groom is not interested in getting ready shots, and when this is the case, my second shooter will meet the groom and best man either wherever they are before the wedding starts (sometimes the pub!) or at the church, waiting nervously for his bride. These are lovely moments to capture, and as I spend a lot of time with the bride in the morning, and generally only arrive just before she does, I often don’t get loads of pictures of the groom before hand, and this is where a second shooter can really focus on the groom and that lovely relationship between him and his best man before the bride’s entrance.
I often use a second photographer and always credit them in my blog posts, so you can check out the work of some of my seconds by visiting the links. You can also see some of the weddings I have second shot at on my website. Indeed some of my earlier blog posts are from weddings I have second shot. Check out the lovely details I got when I was second shooting for the amazing Lisa Devlin at one of her weddings here.