"Should I get 2 photographers?" is definitely in the top 3 of questions I regularly get asked from brides when they start to look at wedding packages.
Many brides confidently tell me from the beginning that they will need 2 wedding photographers and 8+ hours of wedding coverage. In this case, I usually say ok and help them make sure they have the right number of hours to cover the entire wedding. I can tell you I have done many weddings where having a 2nd photographer was nice, but definitely overkill. In my next post, I will tell you what I have found is the magic number of hours for a wedding and you will be surprised by the number!
I have others that are on the fence about whether one photographer or two is the right thing. It is my job to help the couple understand their options based on the type of wedding they are having and give them my professional opinion.
Of course, this advice isn't for all photographers, I can only speak for how I cover a wedding and my capabilities to cover many areas and angles quickly.
I believe many brides THINK they are supposed to want 2 photographers because it's the right thing to do. They may have read articles that say it's a must do or see wedding photography packages that include two photographers, so it must be the way to have perfect wedding photos.
My unpopular opinion is that most weddings only need 1 wedding photographer.
Top 5 Reasons you might need a 2nd wedding photographer:
Large Guest List: If you are having a huge wedding party or more than 150 guests, you might need a 2nd photographer. This will ensure you get more coverage of more of your guests.
If you only have 1 photographer, then I will cover what I can in the time I have.
Exclusive Getting Ready: This one goes with the short time frame reason. If you want a dedicated photographer for both the bride and groom before the wedding ceremony, then you definitely need 2 photographers.
If you only have 1 photographer, then I usually bounce between both the bride and groom rooms and get a little of both.
Multiple Locations: If you are getting ready at different locations, you will need 2 photographers. If you are changing locations for the ceremony and reception, you might need 2 photographers so that one can capture what's happening each location or get those detail shots before the wedding guests enter the room.
If you only have 1 photographer, then you prioritize which getting ready coverage you want to have photos of and focus on that.
Short Time Frame: If you have a limited number of hours before your wedding and want getting ready for both bride and groom, first looks and detail shots, then you might need 2 photographers. The less time, the more need for 2.
If you only have 1 photographer, then add an additional hour prior to the wedding to cover more vs booking a 2nd photographer. I mean... how many getting ready photos do you need!
Cocktail Hour: If cocktail hour photos are important to you, then you will definitely need 2 photographers. During cocktail hour, I will be with you while we take the family, wedding party and couple photos.
If you only have 1 photographer, then your guests get a break and time to relax without photos. Candid photos will be taken at the reception, so it usually works out ok to skip cocktail hour coverage.
For me personally, I do 90% of my wedding as the single photographer and it works out pretty well. It's completely a personal preference as to whether you want the extra coverage.
Tiffany Hopwood Photography is a ninja photographer that shoots quickly with a variety of angles to make it look like 2 photographers were present. We specialize in intimate weddings, elopements and destination weddings. www.TiffanyHopwoodPhotography.com