Is it Important to have a Second Photographer

The short answer is no. While there are a couple of scenarios where a second photographer might be needed, for the vast majority the answer is no and here’s why:

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An experienced photographer can get multiple angles throughout the day and know where to be. After 18 years I can anticipate shots and know how to be in the right place at the right time. I will capture the bride coming down the aisle, the groom’s reaction and I always get some shots of the parents and family with tears or laughs during the ceremony. I had one bride call me a ninja because she was surprised at how many angles and different shots I got without ever seeing me move around. (On a side note, I always wear soft soled shoes for creaky churches and I dress in black so I don’t stand out).

When working with couples, I prioritize building a strong relationship and understanding their specific needs and preferences. This allows me to focus on capturing genuine, authentic expressions and moments during the photoshoot without the need for constant communication with a second photographer. By having a singular focus on my clients, I am able to deliver the highest quality images that fully capture their unique personalities and emotions.


Part of the reason you hire your photographer is for their style. You like the types of photos they take, how they are edited and what the final product looks like. A second photographer may not have the style you prefer. Every photographer’s pictures will vary, so hire the photographer you think has the style and work that you love.


A lot of photographers start out as second photographers to gain experience. Weddings are fast-paced, they can be challenging and require intuition to get the shot. I believe that every photographer capturing the wedding should be professional and at the same skill level, you often don’t get that with a second photographer who is working on gaining their own experience.

Often second photographers will use your images as part of their portfolio. So you may find your images being used to advertise for another business.

I have an Assistant at every Wedding

I have only felt I needed a second photographer once, which I will explain below, but I always bring an assistant with me. She is there for you and for me. I bring a lot of stuff – all my gear, towels, umbrellas, ladder etc. My assistant carries and takes care of all my stuff. She will keep bride’s clean. Whenever you see a bride sitting somewhere a little sketchy there are towels under her.

She will make sure you are hydrated, she fixes veils, fluffs dresses and watches for little details like crooked ties, placement of flowers etc. for me. She also switches out my batteries, stops traffic, parks the car, rounds up family members for pictures and even bounces people on the street out of the way if necessary. My assistant does not take any pictures, she is solely there for your benefit and mine.

Getting Ready Pictures

I concentrate mostly on the bride and whoever is with her on her wedding day because, let’s be honest, way more happens with the girls than with the guys. However, I am happy to start 1/2 hour early and go see the guys first. If everyone is in the same hotel it is easy for me to go see the guys for 20 minutes or so while there is a lull in the girls room.

Some Reasons to have a Second Photographer

I shot a wedding a few years back at the Jack Singer Concert Hall Lobby in downtown Calgary. The space where the couple got married had 3 levels of escalators. I realized that it would be impossible for me to get up and down those escalators for different angles as well as cover the ground floor. So I did hire a colleague who covered the escalators for me. In a church with a balcony I will set up a camera and tripod and be able to quietly and quickly run up for those overhead shots during the time when the priest, pastor or officiant are speaking.

Another scenario would be a very large wedding. I’m talking over 400 guests. A second photographer would be helpful here during the ceremony and the reception just due to the vastness of the event.

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