The Importance of Second Shooters for Comprehensive Coverage

Benefits of Having Both Partners Get Ready at the Same Venue

As a wedding photographer, I often get asked if I can also cover the partner getting ready. The answer is always yes, as long as they are getting ready at the same place. Otherwise, you may need a second shooter! My advice, if this is important to you, is for both partners to get ready at the same venue the night before the wedding. This is a great way to save money because it eliminates the need for a second shooter or additional professional in the team, to capture the partner getting ready if they plan to get ready at a different location. In this article, I will explain why having both partners stay at the same venue the night before the wedding is a smart move and how it can help you save money on wedding photography coverage.

Firstly, let me explain what second shooters are and why they are necessary. Second shooters are assistant photographers who work alongside the main photographer to capture different angles and moments of the wedding day. They are essential in capturing all aspects of the wedding day, including the partner getting ready. Without a second shooter, it is impossible to capture both partners getting ready if they are in completely different places, as well as bridal preparation, the ceremony, and the reception in detail. Also, bear in mind that when it comes to videography, videographers, unlike photographers, just can’t rock up seconds before a ceremony. They need time to set up set up.

( If you have booked one of hybrid packages which includes a second shooter - remember they are with me in the morning as they help me be able to capture photography and film at the same time. If you have booked a multi-fomat option where there is me and either one of my photographers or videographers capturing one of my larger options, unless your partner is just around the corner you may still need to book an additional professional, as it may interrupt the coverage you have already booked with me )

However, hiring a second shooter can be a good idea if this is what you want to do and you have chosen to get ready at different locations for the morning of the wedding. Albeit costly, it can be a big expense! On average, the cost of a second shooter ranges from £200 to £500, depending on the number of hours required and who your photographer can have available for you. Many photographers charge a premium for second shooting simply because they forego their own potential bookings to assist. If you haven’t got the money set aside for this, you may want to consider getting ready at the venue in separate rooms as ultimately a room at the venue is likely to be cheaper than the cost of a second shooter to go and shoot the partner preparations. Plus, your primary photographer can easily move between you in the morning to capture what’s going on without the need for someone else to be booked to do it.

Wedding preparations at Pauntley Court Wedding
Wedding Preparation at Bourton Hall Wedding
Wedding Preparation at Manor By The Lake Wedding

If you have already chosen to get ready at separate locations the morning of the wedding, it's likely many photographers will do what I class as “James Bond shots” these are shots of the partner when they arrive at the venue. These shots add an element of story to your wedding photography collection and highlight the partner in an amazing elegant and desirable way.

If you are considering getting ready in different places, adding on a second shooter may be something to think about, especially if capturing the partner getting ready is a big deal for you. But just a note here, if you are a bride and groom, grooms take literally all of 20 mins to get ready, and in most cases spend the hours before they get ready sitting around drinking beer and chatting. (a slight generalisation there) but in comparison to other women on a wedding morning, they take no time at all to get ready, and the cost of a second shooter to go to a separate venue might not be money well spent for you. But if you feel it is I can organise this and its something to let me know well in advance of your schedule being set out.

Having both partners stay at the same venue the night before the wedding is a practical way to ensure comprehensive coverage and save costs. It allows both partners to prepare for the wedding in one location, eliminating the need for a second photographer to travel to different locations to capture both getting-ready moments. Staying in the same location also saves time on travel and minimises the risk of delays due to traffic or unforeseen circumstances. This approach offers ample time to capture beautiful and intimate moments without feeling rushed or stressed on the wedding day, and your photographer can easily move between both partners.

Another benefit of staying in the same location is that it creates a relaxed and stress-free environment on the morning of the wedding for both partners. You can wake up and prepare at your own pace without worrying about one partner traveling or rushing to another location. Remember, unexpected events can occur, and it is crucial to eliminate any potential challenges.

Wedding Preparation at Coombe Lodge Blagdon Wedding
Wedding Preparation at Pauntley Court Wedding
Wedding Preparation at Coombe Lodge Blagdon

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