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Rhiamae
Devoted February 2021

Hiring a beginning photographer as a second photographer for your wedding

Rhiamae, on June 6, 2020 at 1:12 PM Posted in Planning 0 18
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Now before anyone asks, I already have a professional wedding photographer booked for my wedding. I just want to know what your opinions are in hiring a second photographer who doesn't have prior experience in shooting weddings. I know that my fiance and I don't NEED a second photographer when we already have a professional photographer and videographer hired for our wedding day, but me being a former art student, am all about helping fellow artists expand their portfolio.


My question is, has having a second photographer helped you in ways you didn't realize, and capture some parts of the wedding you don't get to see?



I ask this because the way we have our photographer currently scheduled, means we won't be getting any getting ready photos at all for our wedding day, and while it doesn't suck too much because we'll have our videographer be there for the getting ready portions, it does bother me that I won't get any photos of the whole getting ready process.


Anyway, I found this beginning photographer, who takes some real good maternity and family portraits, and she's willing to charge my fiancee and I $500 to shoot 6-7 hours of our wedding? Does this seem like a good option? Currently, we don't have that much room in our budget, but we may be able to squeeze it into our budget if I relay the candy table costs to members of the bridal party.


Edit: I have talked to my primary photographer and have looked at the contract, and they are fine with working with another photographer, and the contract does not state that I am not allowed to hire another photographer.

18 Comments

Latest activity by Marisa, on June 7, 2020 at 9:10 AM
  • Leanne
    Rockstar September 2020
    Leanne ·
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    I think the sentiment is good, but if I was the professional photographer, I would be irked. They may end up in each other’s way trying to get key shots.
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  • FirstTimeMOB
    October 2018
    FirstTimeMOB ·
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    Many photography contracts will have specific language that says you agree they are the only professional photographer for your event. Pull your contract out and read it before you hire a second, separate photographer.

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  • Rhiamae
    Devoted February 2021
    Rhiamae ·
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    Great suggestion, I read the contract that my professional photographer had me sign and their contract didn't say anything prohibiting me from signing with another photographer, but yeah, I'll definitely check with my professional one to make sure they're okay with me making this decision.

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  • Rhiamae
    Devoted February 2021
    Rhiamae ·
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    I guess to each their own, while it is true that they may get in each other's way during some key moments. I have read articles that having a second photographer may help in some cases. For example, if I were to hire the second photographer, I can have them be present in cocktail hour taking candid shots of all the guests, while the professional photographer will be too busy taking family portraits. But I will definitely check to see if they'll be comfortable with the idea of having another photographer on board.

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  • Jana
    Rockstar October 2022
    Jana ·
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    Most pro photographers have their own second photographer and won't allow someone else to take pictures along side them. Talk to your main photographer first.
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  • Melle
    Rockstar June 2019
    Melle ·
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    I think the price wise is good and a second photographer does usually help but I would also ask your first photographer how they feel about a second photographer cause sometimes they may even bring or have one themselves
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  • Leanne
    Rockstar September 2020
    Leanne ·
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    Yeah I think if your primary photog doesn’t have a second shooter with them, it would be nice to have. But give them a heads up and see what the think.
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  • V
    Master July 2019
    Veronica ·
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    I definitely think a second photographer is worth it, but like others have mentioned you will need to check with your main photographer to see if they will allow this.

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  • Rhiamae
    Devoted February 2021
    Rhiamae ·
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    I did ask my professional photographer if they did have a second shooter, but they told me that they didn't have one, nor would they bring one. I will definitely ask my professional photographer, if they're okay with me hiring a different second photographer.

    I'm mainly having them be there to get the getting ready shots that my professional one won't even be present in, and for taking some pictures of the bridal party members, detail shots, etc. They'll also be there taking candids during cocktail hour, while the professional photographer will be taking family photos.

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  • Rhiamae
    Devoted February 2021
    Rhiamae ·
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    My pro photographer doesn't have a second photographer, but I will be talking to my pro photographer about hiring a second shooter.

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  • Kari
    VIP May 2020
    Kari ·
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    If you want a second shooter, you need to talk with your primary photographer (read through your comments and saw you plan on doing this). Photographers shooting a wedding work in tandem - there is a choreography between what they do and they coordinate shots and work together. A second photographer who is not used to working with your primary shooter can actually get in the way and cause problems, causing you to miss valuable photo ops. Also if your primary shooter doesn't usually shoot with a second, having another person around can throw them off.

    Wedding vendors such as photographers, videographers, and stylists usually have non-complete clauses meaning in the contract it states that you cannot hire another person (professional or not) to provide the same services. Even if your contract does not have this, there is NO WAY I would have another photographer there without consulting with my pro/main photographer first.

    Also how big is your wedding? Unless your wedding is particularly big or really spread out, having multiple photographers plus a video team can sometimes feel overwhelming. For more intimate weddings, a single photographer and videographer is about all you need - more and it feels a bit like paparazzi.

    In lieu of a second shooter, I'd find a way to have your guests more involved in capturing aspects of the wedding you don't see. Whether it's disposable cameras on tables (like in the 90s), a polaroid camera and scrapbook, or using an app or just having a hashtag on social media, I'd encourage friends to snap and post photos during cocktail hour and other parts of the wedding. Creating an awesome "selfie" wall area, or even doing something like a photo scavenger hunt (photo of you and your date, picture of the person you think is "best dressed", favorite floral arrangement, best decor item, favorite spot at the venue, etc) can be a great way to get different perspectives on the day.

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  • Rhiamae
    Devoted February 2021
    Rhiamae ·
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    I have contacted my pro photographer and they are fine with me hiring a second shooter, and their contract does not force me to have them as my only shooter.

    My wedding is going to have around 150 guests in total, and it will be in held in a large venue with two garden areas and a barn. The venue is pretty spread out, so the cocktail hour space will be in a completely different area from the ceremony space where family photos will be taken. The ceremony space itself is also pretty spacious.

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  • Kari
    VIP May 2020
    Kari ·
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    If your photographer is on board with it, then great. I do think it would be helpful for you to set clear expectations with both photographers ahead of time - having clear roles during times like your ceremony or other moments when both photographers will be in the same place will ensure that they aren't getting in the way of one another. With 150 guests and the spread out nature of your venue I think having two photographers would definitely be beneficial.

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  • Gen
    Champion June 2019
    Gen ·
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    I would speak to your professional photographer about it, and make sure they are in touch with each other. While a second shooter is great, if they are not on the same page as the photographer, they could end up doing more harm than good, like getting in the way of the professional photographer's shots. I would say during the reception, there is definitely no harm in having more people taking photos, but during the ceremony it could be a problem if the two are not in sync.

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  • H
    Super June 2019
    Hanna Online ·
    • Flag

    I have never heard of a professional photographer allowing a second shooter that he/she is not affiliated with to cover the same wedding. So this seems kind of strange, but to each their own. I would second Gen's concern about the second photographer not being on the same page as the pro and thus throwing the photos out of sync. Most professional photographers have very specific plans and guidelines as to how to stay in sync with the second shooter. I would worry about them getting in the way of each other, and resulting in you not getting key shots. If the second shooter is only capturing the getting ready photos before the pro arrives, then that would be a different story.

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  • Elizabeth
    Super June 2021
    Elizabeth ·
    • Flag

    I think all the advice here is great about talking to the primary, but just to be encouraging - I think this is a wonderful idea! I think the second photog is really important; it was a must for me in our package. Let us know how it works out!

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  • Devoted August 2021
    ·
    • Flag
    You should talk to your photographer, and see if they can use that extra $500 towards a sort of add on to your current package. So for example it could buy you a few extra hours to get those important shots in. Without bringing on a 2nd photographer.
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  • Marisa
    Rockstar May 2021
    Marisa ·
    • Flag

    Having worked as a photographer in the industry and now a bride, I would suggest that you ask your photographer just as you’ve asked us here.

    Personally I would be open to it especially if it means getting more coverage throughout the day for getting ready, etc. I certainly wouldn’t hold this inexperienced photographer to the same standards though as you would your seasoned photographer.

    As long as your photographer is okay with it, then I would definitely opt for it.

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