If you read a "Wedding Website" telling you how to plan your wedding, they will sometimes tell you why you NEED a 2nd photographer. However, this isn't always the case. I wanted to write this blog post so you could get the opinion from someone who has actually photographed a wedding :). Either way you can't go wrong. But having a 2nd is definitely not necessary and some of JD's all time favorite weddings were photographed by just him.
Situations where it's good to have a 2nd photographer:
- If you have over 250(ish) guests and really want to try to get photos of as many of them as possible. This is much easier to accomplish with 2 people for obvious reasons. If you have a photo booth though, then this can become a little less relevant of a reason since most guests will also use the photo booth.
- If you are getting married in an extremely strict church. Some catholic churches will restrict photographers and not allow them to move during the ceremony. If this is your church, it's good to have two of us so that one can stay in the aisle and once can be to the side of the altar. That covers all the angles needed. If you are getting married in a catholic church that allows your photographer to move just a little bit, then you really only need 1 photographer because there is really only 1 good angle to photograph the ceremony from at a time anyway, with the only issue being what is mentioned above, if we aren't allowed to move at all.
- Possibly the biggest reason would be if you two are planning on getting ready in separate locations. If you're both in the same hotel it's easy for one photographer to cover. If one of you is getting ready at your home and the other is getting ready at a family members home 30 mins away, this can cause you to have to add time if you don't have a 2nd photographer. Wether it's cheaper to just add time with JD or to add a 2nd photographer, is something JD would be happy to dive into with you both!
Why just JD without a 2nd photographer can be good:
- By the time we get to the wedding day you two will both have had long and extensive conversations with JD. Which can make it a little easier of a process when the wedding day comes around and the only person pointing a camera at you is someone you feel like you already know.
- It can be a really wonderful experience to just have JD there. He is already extremely unobtrusive and by having only one photographer, you won't end up in the situation people feel like there is always a photographer pointing a camera at them. JD will cover all the important and intimate moments while giving everyone room to breath and enjoy the day! This can be especially true if you don't have video as well. Then there is only one person there with a camera and you don't have a situation where there are 4 or 5 people with cameras surrounding the head table during toasts. Instead it's just JD blending in allowing for more of a "we don't have a photographer" vibe. Even though you do and he is still documenting everything!!!!
- You can ask JD, but even with larger weddings, there has never been a wedding that he documented, without a 2nd photographer, where he felt like the final product suffered in any way. So if you want a more low key vibe than what you've seen at other weddings. Or you're stretching a budget to get better quality photos and don't want to add a 2nd to those costs. You won't find any issues with just having JD there and no 2nd.
It can be really difficult to wrap your head around what is better for you two without having photographed 100's of weddings. So I figure the best way to show the difference is with photos, that is, if you can even tell.... Below are the links to 5 full weddings. Three of them were photographed by only JD. Two of them were photographed with JD & a 2nd Photographer. After you've made your guesses, click the link below to be taken to a page with the right answers :).