A second shooter is a professional photographer who works alongside the lead photographer to provide additional images to supplement the images of the lead. They also act as an assistant to the lead photographer to help the day run more smoothly. The second shooter is picked by your wedding photographer and is typically someone they have worked with before and trust.
1) Two is better than one! There is A LOT going on during a wedding day and the lead photographer simply cannot be everywhere at once. For example, while the lead photographer is photographing the bride and her bridesmaids preparing for the big event, the second shooter will be covering the groom and his groomsmen. When the lead photographer is recording your newlywed photos, the second shooter will be capturing your quests at cocktail hour.
2) A second shooter helps get more angles, which in turn can lead to a more well-rounded gallery and a more complete telling of your story. While the lead photographer is getting a picture of the bride coming down the aisle, the second shooter will be documenting the groom’s reaction. Or when the lead photographer is capturing you and your fiancée saying your vows, the second shooter will be snapping the reaction of your guests.
3) The photographers work together to give you a seamless gallery but, we all see things in a unique way. The second shooter might think of something the lead did not and vice versa. Having two photographers who complement each other will give you the benefit of two creative minds bringing your wedding day to life.
4) Second shooters can help the day run more smoothly, which allows for less stress for everyone and more time for fun! They can help carry equipment, or hand the photographer a lens they need from their bag so the lead photographer can continue shooting without breaking the flow. Or they can help wrangle family members during family photos so you can get through them quicker and get everyone off to cocktail hour.
5) Technical difficulties happen. No matter how much you prepare, technology can fail on you from time to time, and while any professional wedding photographer will have back up equipment, it is always good to have someone else there photographing just in case to make sure nothing gets missed.
Elopements typically do not require a second shooter as they are very small and do not have the same amount of details and events of a full blown wedding.