Recently, I was a second shooter at a wedding. In my blog, I talked about the advantages of being a second shooter - photos for my portfolio, less pressure, different angles, etc. But what about as a bride? What are the advantages of hiring a second shooter? Is it worth it? Do I need a second shooter? Yes. And no.
How Much Should I Plan To Pay A Second Shooter?
Most second shooters in the Atlanta, GA area charge $50 per hour. You can find newer photographers looking to expand their portfolio for $25, and more seasoned second shooters for higher than $50, but the average is $50. Usually, 4 hours is enough time for a second to shoot the groom / groomsmen, ceremony, and an hour or two of the reception, so you're likely looking at $200. You do NOT have to hire the second shooter for the specific shots listed here, and a good main photographer can help you decide when the second would be most beneficial.
**Google second shooter prices near you to see what the going rate is for your area.
When You Need A Second Shooter:
- You have over 100 guests. It helps to hire a second shooter during the ceremony and part of the reception if you have 100+ guests, especially if you want a lot of candids and posed photos. Is it possible for a GOOD photographer to capture all this for you? Absolutely. Is it easy / possible to overlook a few people? Yes.
- You have $200 extra in your budget. Memories fade, but photos last a lifetime. While your main photographer is photographing your bridal / groomsmen portraits, your second shooter can be on the sidelines photographing from different angles. The second will get more angles during the ceremony and part of the reception. Most seconds shoot for $50 an hour, so that's 4 hours of different angles / reactions from guests that your main photog cannot get, due to the fact that we cannot be in two places at once (I wish).
- You have A LOT going on. More than a traditional American wedding. I cannot think of one instance where I couldn't keep up, but I'm sure there are weddings out there with activities back-to-back-to-back. Hiring a second shooter for a couple of hours may be beneficial.
What Else Does A Second Shooter Do?
The second shooter will often be assigned to groomsmen, meaning the main shooter will be with the bride. Instead of the main shooter splitting her time between the two, each shooter will get a TON of candids for the gallery.
If you're doing a second look with your groom / bridesmaids / parent(s), each photographer will photograph a reaction. One will get the bride's reaction, the other photographs the groom (or whoever the first look is with).
a good photographer will NOT miss important shots, but if something unexplainable happens, the second shooter will likely have the missed shot.
There are many benefits to hiring a second shooter, IMO, and for $200 extra, can add a TON of photos to your gallery. If you're on a tight budget, however, it is NOT necessary. A good photographer will not miss important shots, and will be prepared to photograph your wedding day with ease.