Here’s the scenario — You’ve done the research and found a Cleveland wedding photographer who does gorgeous work (hopefully it’s me — wink, wink). You click with them, and their photography style perfectly dovetails your wedding vision. But you wonder, “Will one photographer suffice? Should I hire a second to capture everything?” I’ve heard this question often, so I thought I’d write about it. Please note — These are my thoughts, based on my experience working as a photographer specializing in Cleveland wedding photography for five years, and photographing 90+ weddings.
Second Photographer? Or Assistant?
Working in the Cleveland wedding photography industry, I’ve heard about a situation that’s more common than it ought to be. It’s completely unethical, yet continues to go on. The client requests an additional photographer, and has paid for services, yet they’ve received one photographer and one assistant.
How does this happen? Wedding Photographers often bring an assistant to help carry equipment, pose wedding party members, field guest requests, and to generally lend a hand. The assistant will use the primary photographer’s backup equipment and pose as a second photographer.
- Assistant won’t be experienced in photography, leaving the client with duplicate, carbon-copies of the same moments.
- Assistant may get in the way of the guests’ view, as they may not have a background shooting with telephotos lenses from distances further away (behind guests).
How can you avoid this? When you meet with potential second photographers (if you have opportunity to), ask the same types of questions you’d ask to the primary photographer. Ask to see individual portfolios. Ask about their style. Just keep in mind, that if you truly have hired a full-time, professional second photographer for your wedding day, you’ll probably invest several hundred dollars for their services. A true professional, second photographer will never be “free” or added as a promotion.
300+ Guests = Hire a Second
Bottom line — If you’re having less than 300 guests, one professional photographer (IMHO “professional” means that the photographer has years of experience and training, and should specialize in wedding photography) will do an absolutely wonderful job recording the day’s events. However, if you’re having 300+ guests, I do recommend hiring a second photographer to capture everything.
The benefits of having two photographers will be:
- Ability to cover different locations at the same time, providing unique perspectives.
- Ability to be in the “right place at the right time”.
If you’d like more info, or have questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. (Below: That’s me — Photographing a 2011 wedding)