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Should you hire a second shooter for your wedding?

Updated: Sep 13, 2023

Groom and his groomsmen are walking down an escalator in a tube station

Image Via Marta Ilardo Photos

This topic comes up repeatedly when I speak to my couples - are second shooters necessary? After all, a good wedding photographer takes a large chunk out of the wedding budget. But trust me when I say you should reconsider this option carefully.

Here are the main reasons why I think a second shooter is a good investment.

Prep locations

Most couples get ready at two different locations, which means that your photographer will only be able to cover one of the prep and travel to the ceremony times. Usually, the bride wins this one, leaving the groom and the lads out of the picture. Wouldn't you like to see how the day unfolded for your other half too?

The ceremony

While your photographer is concentrating on you coming down the aisle, the second shooter is there to capture the entrance from a different angle, shooting the partner's reaction/emotion and those of your guests.

This shot was taken by the main photographer, Marta. You can see the second shooter, Jess in the corner to the right, shooting from a different angle.

The venue

After the ceremony you will nip off for the couple's shoot, leaving the guests to travel to the venue for the reception. A second shooter will be able to dash over, before anyone arrives at the venue, and take detailed shots of your gloriously styled reception.

If you have hired a venue with different spaces/halls/rooms, that's great, as guests can have their canapes and bubbles at the bar or terrace while waiting for you to arrive. Just like Lara & Gus did. They got to appreciate what they paid me to do fully. Seeing the happy surprise (and tears of joy) is why I do what I do.

A different perspective

A second shooter is like having a second pair of eyes (and hands) at your wedding. While your photographer is solely concentrating on you, a second shooter will be able to capture everything and everyone else celebrating and having a good time. These lead to some excellent creative shots, which would otherwise go amiss.


A second shooter is there to assist your main photographer with everything they might need, from a different lens to bathroom brakes, faulty equipment and quick battery pack changes to the time-saving group shot arranging. Also, if the worst happens and their camera packs up, there will be a backup camera at the ready.


Investing in a second shooter is well worth it. Their cost won't set you back that much (they are usually there for half a day, charging per hour) as they don't do any of the editing. They are hired by your main photographer, who trusts them to do a brilliant job. All the images are edited by the main photographer making them their intellectual property.

Full coverage means more photos of your day and you don't miss a thing - a win-win!

Images via Marta Ilardo Photos and her second shooter Jess Sommerville


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