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 Would 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. It will also clarify dates for provision of the final set of edited images.
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 the wedding dress and train as you go down the aisle! Having a second photographer present would be the only way to achieve this.
The Role Of A Second Shooter
There will also be greater coverage of your wedding day, especially if you are planning to have lots of guests present. The main wedding photographer will concentrate on photographing the bride, groom, parents, etc. after the wedding ceremony. However, the second shooter can informally photograph guests mingling and their reactions and emotions.
The second shooter will assist with the carrying of equipment, helping with lighting set-ups, checking 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 all of 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 their wedding ceremony only photographed 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 Should I Expect To Pay To Have A Second Shooter For My Wedding?
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.
This year, we have second shoot at several weddings with the lovely Ann Aveyard of Ann Aveyard Photography who is based in Ringwood, Dorset and some of those images are below. We predominantly photographed the groom preparations, groom’s arrival at the wedding venue, the ceremony and wedding reception from a different angle and perspective to Ann.
Here are some of the images from second shooting with Ann from last summer:
Images taken by Oakhouse Photography and appear with the kind permission of Ann Aveyard Photography.
We have also assisted several other photographers in London & Cambridgeshire with wedding photography in the past few years.
If you are unsure whether having a second shooter is right for you, please discuss it with your wedding photographer. They will provide advice on how to create those special memories of your wedding day.