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When Should You Have 1 Photographer vs 2 Photographers On Your Wedding Day? | Interview With Host Sara Zarrella And Co-Host Dan Phillips | Wedding Secrets Unveiled! Podcast

We’re back with episode two of our mini-series about wedding photography! Today, we’re talking with my co-host Dan Phillips about when you should have 1 photographer vs 2 photographers on your wedding day. There’s a few factors that really impact this decision for our couples, including the timeline. So, let’s dive into how to make this decision for your wedding photography! 

When You Should Have 1 Photographer vs 2 Photographers on your wedding day: a Mini-series on Wedding Secrets Unveiled! podcast

What is the purpose of having two wedding photographers? 

It sounds silly, but honestly one person can only be in one place at one time. Having a second photographer allows for different angles in your final gallery. Not to mention, just more coverage on your wedding day in general. We try to avoid standing in the same place, so we’ll capture things differently. However, hiring two photographers will usually mean a higher budget for wedding photography, so just be aware of that. With some photographers, like us, we’re both great photographers individually, so if you wind up booking just one of us, you’re not sacrificing the quality of your images. That may not always be the case, though. 

When You Should Have 1 Photographer vs 2 Photographers on your wedding day: a Mini-series on Wedding Secrets Unveiled! podcast

How do two photographers work together during a wedding day? 

A huge reason to consider two photographers is that it maximizes your timeline. Let’s break down the wedding day and show you how that’s true. 

For the prep: One person can be working with the bridal party while the other is with the groomsmen. If you have two photographers they can simultaneously photograph the prep. This just means you’re still only using up one hour of your timeline. But, if you have only one photographer, you have to build in extra time for them to go see the other half of the wedding party separately. 

During the ceremony, you’ve got someone in the center aisle and someone on the outside. It just allows for more variety. Things happen quickly, and while ceremonies are pretty predictable, it’s nice to have a second photographer there to capture those really emotional moments without taking away from the big picture shots, too! 

For other portrait time with the bridal party or even during first looks, it’s nice to have one person capturing the main image while the second photographer is either working with a smaller group or capturing some of the candid moments happening around us. 

And finally, for the reception, while one of us is finishing the portraits, the other can grab the detail shots of the reception space. This helps to make sure we aren’t holding up the timeline trying to get them later. It also ensures that the images captured of that space are of the details before they’re touched or changed by the guests! Then, during the dances and special moments, we’ve got two sets of eyes in the room to capture reactions, expressions, and the big picture, too.  By the end of the night, we always drop down to one photographer because there’s just no need for both of us when the party really gets going! But, that only happens once the main events are over and it’s just the dancing. 

When You Should Have 1 Photographer vs 2 Photographers on your wedding day: a Mini-series on Wedding Secrets Unveiled! podcast

When does it make sense to hire just one photographer?

Obviously, when your budget is smaller, you should stick with one photographer. There’s still SO much one photographer can do on your wedding day – we want to clear about that. Additionally, if you’re having a smaller, more intimate wedding, one photographer will be plenty! 

How do you need to adjust your timeline if you only have one photographer? 

One of the easiest places to adjust your timeline for one photographer is prep. If you only have one photographer and the couple is prepping in two different places (like a hotel and home), you need to decide if it’s absolutely necessary to capture them both. Because, again, they can’t be in two places at once. So either you eliminate one being photographed (typically the guys!) or you build in extra time for that prep coverage. Now, if you’re getting prepared in the same location as your ceremony or first look, it may be possible to capture both more easily. 

If you’re only going to have one photographer, consider a first look. This will help free up your photographer’s time at cocktail hour to cover the reception space and any final portraits. If you decide not to do a first look, don’t stress. It’s definitely still possible for it all to be done, but things are just a little bit tighter after the ceremony! 

At the end of the day, working with your photographer will be the best way to decide what’s going to be best for you. 

When should you discuss hiring two photographers with your wedding photographer?

A lot of times, we’re asked about it on our initial calls with couples. They start telling us how many people are attending or how big the event it. But, the reality is, that number doesn’t determine if you need two photographers. The timeline and how your day is setup is going to determine it. So, be prepared to talk to your photographer about that if you’re worried about two photographers. 

When You Should Have 1 Photographer vs 2 Photographers on your wedding day: a Mini-series on Wedding Secrets Unveiled! podcast

What other parts of the timeline or wedding day will dictate if you need two wedding photographers? 

So, if you’re having a wedding day with all of your events in one spot, you’re probably okay considering one photographer. But if you’re interested in multiple locations for portraits, or different venues for prep and the rest of your day, you should definitely consider two photographers. 

It’s all about communication. When you start discussing multiple photographers with your wedding photographer, make sure it’s clear what your priorities are. A typical wedding day will last about 8 hours – and that’s without travel time for different locations or between your venue and church. So, if you’re thinking you want a lot of variety or locations, you really need to communicate that so your team can prepare appropriately. 

At the end of the day, it’s important to know that a wedding can be covered by one or two photographers – and it will still be wonderful either way. The decision to hire an extra photographer really comes down to your timeline, your location(s), and your priorities. Take the time to break down what your wedding day is looking like with your photographer. They’ll help you make the right decision! 

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