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Wedding Q&A with Ari- What is a Second Shooter and Do I Need One?

Q: "What is a second shooter and do I need one?" -Brides Everywhere

A: A second shooter is an additional photographer who assists the lead photographer. Their job is to capture the moments that are wanted but happen simultaneously with the must have shots!


First, there are a few questions to ask yourself about your day before committing to a second shooter.

  • Do you plan on having a first look?

  • Do you plan on having 200+ guests?

  • Do you want guest interaction captured or mostly bridal party focused?

  • Are you getting Married in a Church with movement restrictions?

If you said yes to any of those questions, I would suggest booking a second shooter.

If you are working with an experienced photographer, they will have a list of second shooters that they have worked with previously, have a similar style, and they know will deliver to their standards. If you are wanting a second shooter, confirm the second person will be a photographer and not just an assistant.

A second shooter acts as an assistant to the lead photographer throughout the day, helping everything go smoothly and allowing the lead photographer to focus on getting the big, must have shots while capturing the moments that happen simultaneously.

I love having a second shooter for many reasons, but the biggest is because two of the most important photos happen at the exact same time. The look on his face while you walk down the aisle. If you are not doing a first look, I usually would suggest having a second photographer to capture his reaction to seeing you for the first time.

A second shooter delivers an additional 300 or so photos and they would help assist your lead shooter, reading a shot list, posing, capturing candids, capturing the guest experience, etc. Having a second photographer will guarantee you get all the shots you want and helps photos go quickly and smoothly!

Tip: If you want your photos to be captured through the eyes of a guest experiencing your big day, a second shooter makes that possible! A lead photographers main focus is the couple, the bridal party, and family. I love shots of your guests faces and the tears of those you love, while you walk down the aisle.

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