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  • Writer's picture Becka Mckiness

Do You Need A Second Shooter?

In my career I've captured many weddings both with and without a second shooter. I'm absolutely able to capture your day solo, but I just want to make sure we are on the same page of what your day might look like.

Getting Ready:

If there is no second shooter coverage for this part might be kept to a minimal. It just depends on the timeline, locations, if there is a large wedding party, and preferences. I have captured weddings with getting ready coverage for both bride and groom when everything takes place at one location. A common way to fit getting ready coverage in is to capture full getting ready coverage for the bride and minimal coverage for the groom. Typically this entails just a few quick photos after the groom is completely ready. Often I will stage a couple photos with a family member or the Best Man.

Other times I start the brides coverage when she is getting into her dress to help with the timeline.

Wedding Party and Couple Portraits:

If there is a second shooter we would split up to cover the wedding party. This allows for this part of the day to go much quicker. It also allows for more creativity and variety since there will be two photographers capturing your couples portraits. That being said I have captured many weddings with large wedding parties solo. We just had to take away time from other parts of the day. (Mainly getting ready)

Here is a wedding with a second shooter: You can see there tends to be more variety of angles when the same action is taking place.

Here is a wedding with a large wedding party I captured solo. I always work extremely hard to get the most out of every timeline. This wedding was well planned and we had members of the wedding party helping us to keep on track. We spent a good amount of time on portraits for this wedding. It also is helpful when you can capture additional photos later in the day during sunset to provide more variety.


During the ceremony having a second shooter is helpful in capturing all the little moments. Such as capturing the back of the brides dress when she is walking down the aisle and a variety of moments. Such as candid moments from family members during the ceremony. I also typically have my second shooters follow the bride and groom after the ceremony to capture that raw excitement after being married.

Here is a ceremony with a second shooter. This is to show how we are able to capture multiple angles at the same time.

On a wedding day I use two cameras. This allows me to capture close up and wide shots easily. I always do my best to include candid moments, even when shooting solo.

Cocktail Hour:

How much of cocktail I am able to capture typically depends on the family shot list and timeline. Often times we capture family photos immediately after the ceremony. If there is a large family photo list I likely will not have a lot of time to capture cocktail hour. If you do not have a first look I will be capturing family photos, couple photos, and wedding party photos. I will likely not have any time to capture cocktail hour in this case. Some couples are totally fine with this. I always do my best to at least capture centerpieces and the cake. I often work with the coordinator to ensure that. I can also capture the reception space, but it might be full of people and not have that polished finished look. During cocktail hour I try to capture photos of guests. If I am unable to capture much of cocktail hour you might opt to have a photo booth or create a hashtag so guests can share photos with you. Some couples might want to add the table shot game. For this the D.J will play a song and I try to capture you and your partner with each table before the song ends. It can be a bit chaotic and silly, but it allows you to have a photo with your guests. Some couples request a large shot with all of their guests. The last two options will take some coordination with your D.J.


For intros, cake cut, speeches, and first dances, I typically have my second shooter for backup and safety. Events can be tricky to predict so it is nice to have that backup in case a shot is missed. Like I said, I always capture weddings with two cameras so I am able to capture a lot during these moments. It's just about preferences.

As your wedding photographer, I'm committed to providing you with the best possible experience and ensuring that your special day is beautifully captured, whether it's just me behind the lens or with the addition of a second shooter. While some couples opt for a second shooter for added coverage, I want you to feel confident that I can handle your wedding day solo with expertise. If you feel like adding a second shooter might better fit your needs, feel free to contact me to discuss the possibility of adding a second shooter.

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