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One shooter versus two shooters

Hey all, we finally picked our wedding date and booked our ceremony location! So exciting! Our date is about nine months away so the first thing I did was start reaching out to some of the photographers I like in the area. Wow. Apparently nine months out is cutting it really close and a lot of folks are booked, especially those in our budget who have two shooters ($2,000 max, although we really wish this would include 8 hours of shooting a photo booth, with engagement shots being a plus).

I have found some in my price range who are single shooters. I like their photos but want some input on the one versus two shooters question -- how helpful is it? In my limited experience as a BM and guest it seems like a really good thing to have two people shooting, especially during the ceremony. For example, at one wedding where I was a BM, the second shooter was with the BM's and brides in the moments before she walked down the aisle and got some really awesome shots. Obviously one shooter would need to be in the chapel during that time. 

Thoughts? 
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Re: One shooter versus two shooters

  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    We had one shooter.  The getting ready photos weren't important to me, but our photographer managed to get some anyways.  The girls got ready in a hotel room that was right down the hall from the guy's room, so our photographer just ran down the hallway.

    We did not get the point of view of both me and my DH as I walked down the aisle, but that's ok, because we have our expressions captured wonderfully during our first look.

    It all comes down to preference and how much you want to spend. 

  • I can't speak as of already having our wedding photos taken, but our photographer for our wedding is a single shooter, and he has given us an outline for our entire day. Something like this:

    6:45 - 9:00 Julian Photo Dress shoes and rings

    10:00 - 10:30 Guys Dressing
    10:30 - 10:45 Drive to shoot location
    10:45 - 11:30 Guys shoot together
    11:30 - 12:00 - Julian drive to girls location
    12:15 - 12:45 Bridesmaids and Mom dress before bride.
    12:45 - 1:45 Bride Dressing @ ?
    1:45 - 2:00 Travel to Shoot location
    2:00 - 2:30 Bride with Parents @ cute location
    2:30 - 3:15 Girls Shoot @ cute location
    3:15 - 4:00 Travel to Darby House
    4:00 - 4:30 Bride and Groom reveal @ Darby house
    4:30 - 5:30 Bridal Party shoot @ Darby House
    5:30 - 6:00 - Guests arriving Bridal party waits in ready room
    6:00 - 6:30 Ceremony - Patio or Piano Room
    6:30 - 7:00 Family shots
    7:00 - 7:30 Gride and Groom shots alone on Bridge
    7:30 - Bride & Groom enter Reception (Guests seated at 7:00)

    So granted, we don't have an aspect how the ceremony and 1 shooter will work out, but from what I have seen by my photographers photos, it looks like it doesn't hold him back.

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  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I think it is important to have a second shooter during the ceremony and the beginning/ key points of the reception. 
    It's nice to have two while you are getting ready, if you want those shots, so one can be with each of you. 
    The backup and second angle was very important to me. 
    Personally, I would not have consider my photog if they hadn't had a second shooter option. I just like the reassurance that comes with a second shooter :) GL!
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

    japrincess24
  • We had a second shooter, so I can't comment on how 1 would have worked out, but I am happy we had 2.  We got ready at separate locations so we were able to have pictures of each of us getting ready, as well as all the shots with me and the bridesmaids, him and the groomsmen before the ceremony, saving time later.  I really wanted to get to the cocktail hour at least for a  few min just to see how it turned out, so we were able to breeze through the shots of the full bridal party and familes with about 15 min to spare to get to the tail end of the cocktail hour.  It was also nice to have the ceremony shots from both angels - therefore capturing both of our facial expressions when we were looking at each other.
  • rswed072014rswed072014 member
    Third Anniversary 10 Comments Name Dropper
    edited September 2014
    You may be able to get a 2nd shooter for part of the day, it might be worth it to have a 2nd while taking the important photos. We had one photographer and the memory card our family formal pics (which were really important to us to get) were on got corrupted so they are lost forever, she did a great job, but if we had a 2nd shooter we would have those pics...
  • You may be able to get a 2nd shooter for part of the day, it might be worth it to have a 2nd while taking the important photos. We had one photographer and the memory card our family formal pics (which were really important to us to get) were on got corrupted so they are lost forever, she did a great job, but if we had a 2nd shooter we would have those pics...
    A lot of the affordable single shooters around here don't seem to work with a partner. I'm wondering if I could hire someone I know who is a good (but amateur) photographer to just shoot for about 2 hours around the time of the ceremony. I could pay her maybe $150 or so and invite her to attend the reception as a guest. Do you guys think a professional photographer would find that odd? 


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  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    It is common for professional photographers to have a clause in their contract that states exclusive rights. I don't see why they would have this clause since you are still paying them for their work, but you should talk to them about this option before signing a contract. Be sure to ask the photogs if they offer a second shooter add on - just bc they typically shoot alone doesn't mean they can't hire someone for the day. Most photogs know other photogs, especially those who don't want to go into busy for themselves by will do side work.
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

  • @Knottie83906351 Our photographer works with other photographers so if we wanted one, she would have hired one. Based on our contract we could not hire one on our own, in fact she stated she was to have exclusive rights for photos directed by her... Which I'd imagine is fairly standard. When you talk to photographers, ask them if the package includes a 2nd shooter or if you can upgrade your pkg to include one. Can't hurt to ask.
  • I'm having a second shooter to be able to capture everything we want but we have them for only 6 hours. I am not concerned about pictures of my dress and shoes so we are meeting the photographers at the venue about an hour before the ceremony starts. They'll be there until an hour before the reception ends. @caitlinmca‌ based on the timeline your photographer is going to be working about 15 hours (presuming he/she stays at least two hours after you enter the reception)? That's amazing.
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  • @Kerigirl9 At our rehearsal we will give our photographer my dress, shoes, and our rings and he will photograph that on his own time thankfully, as I am not a morning person. When I saw the 6:45 AM I was scared that I would be up and about by then, no way would that work for me, he thankfully reassured me that 6:45-9 AM would be just him by himself photographing my dress hung up nicely, he does shots of wedding rings on flowers, tree branches and in books with the bands around special words, rings with the shoes, etc. 

    As far as how long he stays into the night, I'm not too sure, I believe he said he would stay pretty late into the night though, as I had this departure that I wanted to do with Chinese lanterns but sadly our venue does not allow them, and he said if I still wanted to do it, we could find another spot. We have our venue from 4PM-midnight. 
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    Kerigirl9
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