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Bride and groom having their first dance at The Powder Mills Hotel, East Sussex. Wedding referrals scheme from previous clients.

Second Shooters - Why You Should Consider One At Your Wedding

Have you considered a second shooter for your wedding photography? This may seem a strange question, but please bear with us…

What is a second shooter – and why might I need one?

Many wedding photographers work alone, and this works perfectly well. When you book your photographer you will usually have a pre-wedding meeting to discuss the timeline for your wedding. There will be a run through of what your photographer will be covering and specific shots that you would like. You will also get an idea when your final set of edited images will be available.

Sometimes capturing the images you require may prove difficult in the allocated time and venue location(s). For example, you may wish to have the wedding photographer photograph the bride and groom preparations but this may occur at different times and at different venues. Alternatively you may want photographs of the bride’s arrival at the church and walking down the aisle. You may also want a capture of the view of the back of your wedding dress as you go down the aisle! Having a second photographer present might be the only way to achieve this.

The role of a second shooter

There will be greater coverage of your wedding day with a second shooter. The main wedding photographer will concentrate on photographing the bride, groom, parents, etc. after the wedding ceremony. However, the second shooter is then free to informally photograph guests mingling and enjoying the day.

The second shooter will help carry photographic equipment,  set-up lights and check schedules. He or she will also assist in arranging the group shots at the wedding and reception venues.

At the end of your wedding day, the main photographer will receive the second shooter’s memory cards or transfer them to their laptop. They will process the final images in their style for you.

So do I need a second shooter?

That is entirely your choice. A second shooter will not really provide great benefit to couples who choose to have ceremony only photography collections, but it would be highly desirable to have one when you are looking to include a full storybook of your wedding day, especially if you are planning on having a wedding album.

When considering whether to opt for a second shooter you need to ask yourselves the following:

  • How many venues will our bridal/groom preparations, ceremony, reception and evening celebrations be at?
  • Do we want both bridal and groom preparations photographed?
  • How much detail will our wedding have and can one photographer cover all of the elements of this?
  • Are we ordering a wedding album and do we want the fullest possible coverage of our wedding day?

How much would this cost?

You can expect to pay £250 upwards for a second shooter for your wedding, but some wedding photographers will include the cost of these within their collections.

Who is responsible for the second shooter and who owns the copyright to their images?

The contract is provided by the main photographer and they will be responsible for the edited and finished images of your wedding day. The second shooter is not there as a back-up but rather to provide the extended coverage you require of your wedding and to assist the main photographer as required throughout the day.

The main photographer will normally have a contract with the second shooter and will retain full copyright for the images taken as they are employing the second shooter. However, we recommend that you ask your chosen photographer to confirm that they have this in place prior to the wedding to ensure that they will receive all of the images from the wedding day.

As a wedding photographer, do you second shoot?

Yes we do. There are many reasons why we do this but the main reason is that we love photographing weddings and are more than happy to assist fellow photographers when required to help a capture a couple’s special day.

Here are some of the images from second shooting with fellow wedding photographers in the South East of England in recent times:


Photography: Oakhouse Photography

Special Thanks To: Mercedes Evans Photography | Sam Gavins Photography | Ernie Savarese Photography | Ann Aveyard Photography

Are you looking for a documentary wedding photographer or second shooter?

Are you a bride or groom looking for a documentary wedding photographer or are you another photographer looking for an experienced second shooter? If so, please feel free to email me or check my availability clicking the button below: