Hiring a Second Photographer Vs. Assistant – Wedding Photography

“What’s the difference between a second photographer and an assistant” and “Should I have a Second Photographer at my wedding?” are two of my most frequently asked questions and it’s time they get their own blog!

The Second Photographer

A second photographer is a trained wedding and event photographer who is able to work independently to accurately capture the intricate details of your wedding day. My second photographers are usually independent wedding photographers themselves and my years of experience have taught me how to be very selective in choosing who to work with. I look for someone with a style similar to my own, but with a unique eye that will help to deliver a slightly different perspective to your photos.

One of the most important aspects of a having second photographer is our ability to give you greater photo coverage and depth. While my second photographer focuses on the Groom and Groomsmen getting ready (or sneaking off to toss a football or what have you), I’m able to spend most of my time with the Bride and Bridesmaids to capture every intricate detail. Also, using a second photographer for the ceremony allows us to capture multiple angles to ensure that we don’t miss the perfect shot while minimizing how much we need to move around.

When it comes time for the posed and bridal party shots, the second photographer generally plays the role of my assistant, but also continues to capture those candid and personal shots that may otherwise be missed.

The Assistant

The assistant is essentially a “photographer in training” and their purpose is to be with me at all times to help with lighting, organization, and workflow. For the larger photos (bridal party, family, etc.), they are my second set of eyes. They look for loose strands of hair, misplaced hands, and other imperfections. Depending on their skill level an assistant may take candid photos or detail shots, but their overall role is still an assistant capacity. They mind my equipment and carry my ladder so I can get all of the best angles. They get to move around light stands and chase down your groomsmen or grandparents who wandered off to visit with guests and family. An assistant is very helpful to me, but they rarely increase the amount of finished wedding photos that you receive and they don’t necessarily do a whole lot to speed up the formal wedding photography process. This can be a big concern if you are doing your formal wedding photos during a rushed cocktail hour.

At your wedding there are so intricate details and moments to capture. No matter how talented a photographer is, a second shooter will always make a positive contribution to your wedding day. Even if you are on the fence about it, you know you want to give yourself every opportunity to get the best photos possible. I highly recommend adding a second photographer to your wedding package. You only get married once, so make sure I’ve got you covered from every angle! 

Spokane Valley Wedding

All of these images were taken within minutes of each other thanks to employing a 2nd photographer