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  • Writer's picture Becka Mckiness

Capturing A Wedding Day With One Photographer

Updated: May 2

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 a second shooter I will typically cover getting ready coverage with the bride and my second shooter would capture the groomsmen. This can be helpful if getting ready takes place at different locations. 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. For some weddings we skip groomsmen getting ready coverage. Other times we keep groomsmen getting ready coverage to a minimum. Typically this entails just a few quick photos after the groom is completely ready. (Including boutineer) Often I will stage a couple photos with a family member or the Best Man.

Some times I start the brides coverage right when she is getting into her dress to help with the timeline. It is important to make sure the bride does not go last for hair and makeup. If hair and makeup runs late it could easily derail the timeline for the day.

Wedding Party and Couple Portraits:

If there is a second shooter we would split up to cover the wedding party. Typically my second shooter would capture the groom and groomsmen photos. This allows for this part of the day to go 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. This may involve limited locations and less variety of poses. We might have to reserve less time for other parts of the day. (Such as 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 also made sure to leave a cushion of time in case things ran late. 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 or 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. I may not have a lot of time to capture cocktail hour. If I have a second shooter I will have them capture reception decor and cocktail hour while I am capturing family photos. If you do not have a first look I will be capturing family photos, couple photos, and wedding party photos. I likely will not have time to capture cocktail hour in such case. Some couples are totally fine with this. Some couples opt for an extended cocktail hour. 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 or QR code 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.

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, we will just need to coordinate accordingly. I just want to make sure we are on the same page and manage expectations. 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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