When meeting with couples, I am often asked if it is necessary to include a "second shooter" or additional cameramen. I understand their motives when asking this question - the cost of a wedding is getting more and more expensive these days. So I wanted to explore the benefits to having a second photographer and any upsides to maybe skipping on one.
"I'm getting ready at two locations"
You will want to get pictures of everyone getting ready, and one photographer can only be in one location at a time. Odds are you are going to miss something. With two photographers, you can ensure that a camera is there to capture all the details.
"We are expecting over 200 guests"
Well in this case wouldn't an extra photographer help you capture all of your guests. Actually, when was the last time you looked through wedding photos from a friend's wedding and saw a picture of every guest in attendance.
"We are not going to see each other until I am walking down the aisle at our wedding ceremony"
The first time you see each other on your wedding day is an important moment. You'll want to have photos of your walking down the aisle, the look of anticipation on your face, the joy in your eyes. You may also want to have photos of your fiance as you are walking down the aisle, his reaction and all the emotions on his face. In every moment of your wedding day, many things are happening simultaneously and you will not want to miss any of it.
There are many occasions when a second shooter will be very important. But if budget is the primary reason you are looking to cut out the second shooter, then maybe consider reassessing your wedding photography needs. Some brides have opted to "hack" their wedding day by combining key moments so that they get away with one photographer. Other brides have planned their entire wedding reception around the fact that they are paying for only 6 hours of photography coverage.
In our opinion, a second photographer is very important. If budget is an issue, then there are other ways that we can work within your budget and timeline of your dream wedding to ensure that we capture every moment.