Earlier this year I had the privilege of photographing a wedding with Joe Dolen Photography. I really enjoy being the 'second photographer' on occasion, there are angles and moments I'm able to capture that aren't always possible as the main photographer, and it was a lot of fun working with Joe.
I'm asked regularly about the value of a second photographer on a wedding day. So, I thought that sharing this wedding with you might actually be a good way to illustrate what a second photographer adds to the day and also briefly touch on that question - Do I need a second photographer?
One of the more obvious advantages to having another photographer around is the ability to capture both halves of the getting ready process. In the wedding below I was able to photograph John, the groom, and the rest of the guys getting ready. It was fun to watch the tie tutorials and the guys grouping together in front of the one bathroom mirror. And how can I forget those Lego man cufflinks? Not to mention that beautiful corvette! Typically, due to travel and time, a single photographer can't capture both people at the beginning of the day.
At the cathedral, St. Spyridon in Worcester, Joe and I captured different angles throughout the ceremony. To start, I photographed the bride and her brother from behind as they made their way to the front of the cathedral while Joe was up front photographing the couple's expressions as they saw each other. From my vantage point, you can see the expressions on the guests faces as they see Melissa, the bride, coming down the aisle. I was also able to utilize the balcony at the cathedral, without worrying that I would miss a moment while I was in the stairwell on the way up or down because Joe had things covered below. Throughout the ceremony we photographed angles that would compliment each others images later.
When we arrived at White Cliffs in Northborough Massachusetts for the cocktail hour and reception, I went right in to capture all of those carefully chosen wedding details (the place settings, center pieces, cake, etc.) before guests had a chance to settle in and put their drinks and coats down. I have to say - I was absolutely in love with the little lego bride and groom they had at their head table! It was so much fun setting up a photo with that little Lego couple and the wedding rings. I also liked how each guest would take a polaroid of themselves and leave it in place of the escort cards when they arrived at the reception. It was a cute addition to their traditional guestbook. And while I was inside capturing all of this, Joe was outside photographing those priceless family portraits.
After capturing the details, I was able to photograph guests mingling at the cocktail hour and I went outside to capture different angles and details of some of the formal photos of Melissa and John. And as the night went on, from dinner to entertainment, speeches to dancing, Joe and I each captured different pieces of the party, getting a full feel for the night and all of the guests who were there. There was even a first for me - the couple hired a belly dancer as entertainment at the reception! She put on quite the show too! She even gave guests a few lessons.
All of that said, a second photographer for your day isn't an actual necessity, just like a wedding album or a set number of hours. Every couple and celebration is different - that's what makes each day so beautiful. And it's why I'll customize collections for couples and try to provide as much information as I can to help in making decisions. Typically, the number of guests coming to your wedding, your timeline, and the types of wedding images you enjoy the most are good places to start in considering a second photographer for the day.
Hopefully, some of that information is helpful to you as you're planning. It was an incredibly fun wedding, not only are Melissa and John a great couple with wonderful friends and family members but I loved working with Mr. Joe Dolen for the day. There were a number of surprises and details that I really enjoyed - I hope you do as well!