If you've ever had a wedding, ever, then you are familiar with the idea of paying a photographer to be a your wedding. You want to capture images of the most important day of your life. But what about this 'second shooter' business? Do you really need TWO people photographing you every step of the way on your wedding day?
As I work my way through my first year as both a family AND wedding photographer, I have done more second shooter job, as I have first shooter jobs. That's the way it should be. It helps me to learn the ropes, get inspiration, learn from mistakes without having the responsibility solely on my shoulders. I have learned that a second shooter, can be extremely valuable to both a bride/groom, as well as a photographer.
When you hire a photographer for your wedding day, you should choose someone who fits your personality, your style, your tastes, and your budget. If that photographer offers an option to add a second shooter in your package deal...you should most likely take it. Think of that magical moment, you are waiting to walk down the aisle, your arm in your father's, as you await the doors opening into the church. But where is your photographer? S/He is most likely up in the front of the church waiting for everyone to walk down the aisle...an important part of the ceremony. But what about that moment? The absolute silence as they close the doors behind the flower girl and a hush falls over the crowd. The music changes and you breathe in....
What about the moment that you share with your brand new spouse, your photographer is doing what s/he was hired to do and arranging the wedding party for portraits, or getting the dress just right for the perfect image, and then life happens.
Doing what is called a 'first look' on your wedding day has become a big part of many brides' days. It's an opportunity to see your groom before you walk down the aisle, to get a private moment with them to soak up and enjoy each other. Doing these without a second shooter, only shows the reaction of one of you! That emotional reaction is so priceless and shouldn't be missed.
You never want to wonder where your photographer is on your wedding day, they are always on and walking around to capture every moment as best as they can. Having a second shooter creates the allowance for someone to step back away from the party and give a different perspective.
So for your wedding, do your photographer, and most importantly YOURSELF a big favor and make sure to include a second shooter. You'll never regret another set of eyes, another input on creativity, and another vantage point.