The short answer is no.
I am capable and confident that I can provide excellent wedding day coverage as a solo photographer. (Whoa. That’s a lot of c’s…)
However, there are major benefits to having a second photographer.
so, to answer your “Do I need a second photographer at my Boston wedding?” question. Let’s dive in to reasons why having one is beneficial for you.
I cannot clone myself (yet) and be in multiple places at once.
Here are examples of situations where my second photographer was photographing at the exact same time I was, from a different location/perspective/angle.
Here are common places where it might be nice to have two photographers working concurrently:
- Getting ready: One at couple A’s and one at couple B’s, especially if they’re in different hotel rooms, different locations altogether, etc.
- Important moments: (ie: First Look, Ceremony, First Dance, etc.) During these quick moments, it’s great to get different angles of the same moment. See here for a “Pros and Cons: Should I have a First Look?”
- Cocktail Hour / Formal portraits: If the couple plans to not photograph their portraits prior to the ceremony, the lead photographer typically photographs the couple, wedding party, and family during cocktail hour. It’s ideal to have an additional photographer capture candids and group photos during the cocktail hour, and then also photograph the reception decor (centerpieces, cake, etc.)
- Cultural traditions and religious ceremonies: Often, many of these happen at the same time, and it’s nice to have coverage of both events.
I personally love having multiple angles to tell the story. I believe this provides a more comprehensive wedding coverage day. I’ve never been told that my team and I don’t provide enough photos!
A second photographer can help with gear and lighting for more creative photos
When available light doesn’t exist where I want it to be, I often create my own. This means setting up an additional light source and having a person carry it with me. I affectionately call them my “a voice activated light stand.
This allows for creative portraits – both during the day and night, which I’m often known for.
A second photograph can be my chauffeur in downtown Boston so that my car doesn’t get towed
Sometimes my couples want to go to places where parking is non-existent. The most popular places are Boston Common, Boston Public Gardens, Commonwealth Ave, and Seaport Fan Pier.
Another human that I can trust (and is covered under my insurance) can hang in my car, so that my car (and all of my gear inside of it) doesn’t get towed.
The amount of time that it would take me to drive to an above location, park, and thenmeet you at your portrait spot might take a bit. If we buffer time, then a chauffeur isn’t necessary!
My couples often travel in their trolley or limo, which is wonderfully convenient. When we are returning to the same venue, I’m happy to hop into that trolley or limo with them, but when the final destination is somewhere different, I’ll need a way to get back to my car (and my gear).
Sure, the second photographer at my Boston wedding is now a glorified car-sitter, but I don’t like to take chances at my weddings!
You’re having a BIG wedding!
Indian weddings. Greek wedding. Eastern Asian weddings. I’m looking at you and your 200-600+ person weddings!
Weddings are a big deal. They’re a celebration of two people and two families coming together, but they’re also a family reunion where many people haven’t seen each other for a long while.
It’s nice to be able to get more coverage of your guests, and this can be possible with an additional photographer. Sometimes, depending on size, I’ll even add a third photographer.
You have a parent who tends to have many requests
This is a IFYKYK kind of situation. (“If you know, you know”)
Yes, I’ve tasked my second photographer to follow a mom around with her for the entire cocktail hour and the majority of the reception because mom wanted to photograph with everyone that breathed.
If you have a parent like this, then you know what I’m talking about. It’s often nice to have a professional photographer be with her, so that she’s happy, and then I can hang out with you, photographing what you and your spouse truly want in your wedding photos.
Photograph other stuff while I’m flying my drone
I’ve been really getting into aerial photography – photographing my couples against their venue and giving them photos from a birds-eye view.
My second photographer is often directing them, and getting the classic photos that you’ll love and cherish, while I’m off being creative and a little nutty with my drone. 🙂
At the end of the day, my personal opinion is that I love having my second photographer at my Boston wedding there with me. It allows me to be more creative knowing that I have a trusted person there.
I would like to say that not all second photographers are created equal. Most of my team members are often folks that have been with my team for many years and dozens of weddings. They know what I need before I need it. We have a seamless way of communication. It’s effortless – like a sports team that practices together all the time. There’s trust and a comfort level.
I don’t like grabbing a warm body off of craigslist a couple weeks before your wedding. (Never have done this. Hopefully never will.) I know many photographers are happy to work with new people all the time, but that’s not for me. If there’s anything you should taken away from this site, is that I value and cherish what I do, and I need to be able to trust my team wholeheartedly in order to do the best job that I absolutely can.