Do You need 1 Photographer or 2?
Most of my clients opt to hire a secondary photographer through my studio to capture their big day. While there is no right or wrong answer to whether or not you should hire two photographers to capture your wedding day, it is a somewhat complex question to answer.
Things to consider when asking yourself if you'd like multiple photographers to capture your day:
1. Is it important to you to have you and your fiance photographed while they get ready? Will you be getting ready at the same location? Would you regret not having this imagery for your wedding book if you answered no?
If you are getting ready in the same location, and have plenty of time allowed, it is possible for a single photographer to capture getting ready portions of your day for both you and your fiance. The challenge is that just one photographer is guaranteed to be rushed, and may not be able to capture everything (remember, you can only be one place at a time).
In general, however, I strongly recommend having two photographers with the getting ready portion of your day in mind. This not only allows both you and your fiance to have your very own photographer, but it also assures that you are the center of their attention. No distractions, just you, the photographer, and some creativity. You'll also have a lot more variety of images with to photographers.
2. How many guests are you planning on having?
I highly recommend any couple with a guest list over 150 people to plan on securing a contract with two photographers. Think about it - I will be with you for most all of the day. I will be following you around, because I am capturing your story. At the same time, what about your guests? Friends of your parents? Family members who don't often get to see you? Will one photographer be able to capture all of your guests as you hope? Is this important to you?
3. You have spent the better part of the year, or perhaps even longer, planning all of the little and big details of your day. How important is it to you to have those captured? Your personal items? Your reception venue? Centerpieces? Etc. Similarly, how important is it for you to have your guests photographed during cocktail hour?
In my experience, when a couple decides that I am the only photographer they feel necessary to capture their big day, we talk about the possibility that photographs their details will be captured on a basic level, or sacrificed completely due to time restrictions. We also discuss the possibility of receiving photos of the details, and very few of people enjoying cocktail hour (or portraits with guests during this time).
When I shoot with multiple photographers, it allows me to dedicate one photographer to capturing the wedding details, while I am dedicated to capturing moments and portraits.
The best consideration that I can encourage you to think about is having photographs of all of the details are going to be the only thing you have to look back on after the day is over. Will you regret not having certain elements documented, or will you be okay otherwise? This is a personal question for you to answer.
4. How important is variety to you?
While I am busy photographing, an additional photographer can capture beautiful candid moments of you, the bridal party, and more. They can also work together with me to capture more photography options at the same time. An example is I can capture photographs of the ladies, and the additional photographer can take photographs of the men during the same time. This allows for us to visit more locations in less time, giving you more options!
Another element to consider is moments are more likely to not be missed with more than one person capturing the day. While my eyes may be focused on you during your ceremony, the additional photographer may be taking a beautiful portrait of grandma wiping a tear as she watches you get married.
The additional photographer may also be on a balcony while I am photographing on a lower level during the ceremony. Again, variety!
Overall, there really is much more of a benefit to having two or more photographers photograph your day. It usually ends up being a question of budget and personal preference in the end.