One of the questions that I get asked over and over when people contact me is Do I need a second photographer? I know you just got engaged and you are discovering the whole world of possibilities for your wedding and it’s probably confusing. That’s why I create a blog post explaining in what cases having a second photographer can be the right decision for your wedding day.

Do I need a second photographer?

The answer for a lot of couples is no, but there are some exceptions. Through my years of experience photographing weddings, I put a list together of when would be best to have a second photographer at your wedding.

I know some couples have a feeling of more security with 2 photographers working on their wedding day to make sure any moment wouldn’t be missed. But if you hire a good professional wedding photographer you won’t have to worry about that either. In my case, I make sure my couples get ALL the moments. Trust me, as a solo professional wedding photographer, I’ll go beyond your photography expectations.

Let’s review the different parts of a wedding day of how will look like with just one photographer.

Yes getting ready can be done with a solo photographer. How? I usually go to one of the partners first and then to the other one. In a heterosexual couple, usually the groom go first because they take less time to get ready. If you are both girls or both boys it’s up to you who can go first.

I moved a lot, making sure you have your ceremony recording for different angles. You will get different perspectives and all kind of photos too. I always shot with two cameras with different lenses. So you will get photographies that are very wide where you can see the whole ceremony up to a very close up of how you guys hold hands together.

Reception photography is very documental. I also got candid pictures of your guess but I’m mostly focus on the couple or the things that are happening in the moment.

Yes. I get candid photos of most of your guests at different times. A good opportunity for me to get these candid shots is when your guest are arriving and they are sitting waiting for the ceremony. After that, during the ceremony, I keep shooting at the couple and the reaction of your guest. I always started with your close family and friend and those who are more important to you.

Another moment to capture candids is during cocktail hour and during the reception. I keep following you during the whole day so for example if, during the reception you are saying hi to someone, I’ll make sure you have that photo. And I’ll be close to you every time in case you want a more formal portrait with your guests.

Having said that, I also agree that a second photographer will allow us to capture more candid pictures but sometimes it’s the same picture with a different angle. Take into consideration that wedding photography is about quality, not quantity.

- You are having a large wedding. I’ll start considering a second photographer for weddings with up to 130 people. That way with a second photographer you will make sure you capture all your guesses.

- If you really want a picture of your back walking down the aisle. Yes, I moved a lot but for this specific moment, I just wait up front to document the reaction of the partner seeing you walking down the aisle and capture how you hug the person who walks with you.

- If you have to get ready at the same time in different locations and your schedule is not flexible. Or if you get ready in different locations that are very far from each other. That way the main photographer will go to one person and the second photographer to another one.

- If you don’t want to do a first look and you want to capture the cocktail hour. A first look is a great opportunity to do the portrait session of the two of you. That allows you to be free after the ceremony being present with your guess at the cocktail hour and the photographer will capture the cocktail hour with you in it. But if you don’t want to have a first look, that means that we’ll have to do the portrait session during the cocktail hour. That’s why a second photographer will be helpful to capture candid pictures of your guests at cocktail hour.

I hope you find all this info helpful. Please if you have any more questions, I’ll be so happy to help you with ANYTHING in your wedding photography journey. I always would advise you on what’s best for you. Every couple and every wedding is different. Exciting to hear from you.

Please have a look at my website.

Happy wedding planning!

This is me at the end of a wedding with one of my brides.

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Cristina Velasco is a wedding photographer based in Toronto. She values telling your story in a candid way creating emotional imagines. She photographs weddings, elopements, engagement sessions and family sessions.

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173 Emerson Ave, Toronto, M6H 3T4, ON