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Do I need a second shooter for photography and videography?

One of the most frequently asked questions we get from our clients is, “Do I need a second photographer or videographer at my wedding?” The answer is… maybe. Every wedding is different and there are many considerations. Here at Bells & Whistles we shoot weddings with a single shooter just as much as we do with  multiple shooters all the time.  There are many ways to do it. We will help you find the option that is best for you.

What does a second shooter do at a wedding?

A “second shooter” or second photographer/videographer works alongside your primary wedding photographer or videographer to capture different angles, separate getting-ready locations, assist with logistics and basically film aspects of the wedding which your lead shooter cannot cover due to time or space limitations.  


1. GETTING READY: If you have two “getting-ready” locations, the second shooter can cover the other location. Most of the time, the second shooter will be with the groom, for example. It would be impractical for a single shooter to cover two locations at the same time. On the other hand, couples are typically getting ready simultaneously, so if they are both at the same location one shooter may be enough.

2. CEREMONY/FIRST LOOK:: A team can shoot from different angles or perspectives while your lead shooter is focused on the most important. For example, during the ceremony and first look prior, one photographer can focus on the groom’s reaction, and the other can focus on the bride.  One can capture the bride walking down the aisle and the second can focus on the groom’s reaction. With videography, one camera can be focused on the person reading the vows while another is simultaneously capturing the reactions of the other person. One of them can make super-wide shots from the back,  while the other one can take more intimate, emotional images upfront.

3. POST-CEREMONY: The ability to cover two different areas when time is limited. For example, after the ceremony, it’s common to set aside only one hour for cocktails, which leaves little time for family and couples’ formal portraits. The second shooter can cover the cocktail and reception details. This is especially important in large venues or events that are very spread out.

4. RECEPTION: The second shooter enjoy more opportunities for candid shots and behind-the-scene moments. During your reception, one may shoot party dancing while another can capture fun group and candid shots.

5. GENERAL HELP WITH LARGER WEDDINGS: With big wedding parties or a large guest count, the support provided by the second shooter is vital. Not just because of the overall coverage, but also with complex shots, holding lights, ladders and carrying extra gear. If you have over 120 guests, you should seriously consider a second shooter.

Can I afford a second photographer?

We make it very affordable to add a second photographer or videographer. Please reach out if you’re on the fence. Not all weddings need second shooters and many times it boils down to what’s important to you. We’ll be happy to hop on a call with you! Let’s go over your vision and come up with the plan that best suits you.



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Maria & Samuel

THE ABSOLUTE BEST! Chris and his team was the best decision we made. They are super talented professionals who pay close attention to detail, are amazing to work with, and have forever left a beautiful mark in our lives. Their work is impressive and carefully crafted. Our highlight video was absolutely perfect – I cried watching it – and I didn’t even cry at my wedding! Their work is so moving! We get to relive the wedding every time we watch it. Needless to say, we were extremely impressed with their videography and photography. Make sure to hire both services!
But let me tell you what also matters: Chris’ creativity & adaptability. This team isn’t just professional, on time, and caring. But they are smart and quickly change a chaotic situation into something that works for everyone. The day of my wedding, it rained, no, it stormed. Most of the locations for photography were wet and could have derailed the sessions otherwise. However, Chris brought umbrellas for us – and the pictures? So so romantic and beautiful with them. In fact, I dare say I was quite happy it rained – they made sure we got awesome and unique shots by working with the rain and given the rushed circumstances – the little amount of light, the puddles, you name it, THEY made sure it didn’t matter. Everything came together amazingly. WE HAD A BLAST! Taking photos and videos. They give you GREAT direction and have a wonderful eye for incredible and unique shots. We couldn’t be happier. Truly, best decision ever. Also – what a pleasure to work with! They were so responsible and full of knowledge and reassurance. Omg, what else can I say? THEY ARE THE ABSOLUTE BEST. I am grateful for that I was able to work with them – all our family members enjoyed them. Do yourself a favor and get them – worth every single dollar.