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The Role of a Second photographer in  Wedding Photography: Do I need one ?



As a South Wales wedding photographer, I understand the importance of capturing every moment of a couple's special day. While the bride typically receives most of the attention on the morning of the wedding, it's essential not to overlook the groom's preparations. Here's why...


Firstly, the groom's preparations provide an opportunity to capture intimate moments between him and his groomsmen. Whether they're sharing a laugh or putting on their suits, these moments are priceless and offer a glimpse into the groom's personality and relationships. Furthermore, photographing the groom getting ready adds a layer of depth to the wedding album. It's not just about the ceremony and reception; it's about the entire experience, from the nerves and excitement of the morning to the joy and celebration of the evening. There also tends to be a fair amount of detailed macro images that can be captured from the wedding rings, which traditionally tend to be with the best man on the morning of the wedding, to shoes, suits, buttonholes and bow ties or ties. These make for great album detail shots that will look great alongside the brides details such as the wedding dress, wedding shoes, jewellery and perfume.


These details are often overlooked, but they can add an extra touch of personality to the wedding album. By having a second photographer, we can ensure that every detail is captured and preserved for years to come.

A black and white photo of a groom doing up cufflinks on a wedding morning
A black and white photo of a groom on his wedding day getting ready looking out of a window

In addition to the benefits of having a second photographer, there are several reasons why the groom preparations are important on a wedding day. Firstly, it allows the groom to have his own special moments and memories from the day. Often, the bride's preparations are the focus of the day, and the groom can feel left out. By having his own preparations, the groom can feel included and valued.


Secondly, the groom preparations can be a time for the groom and his groomsmen to bond and relax before the ceremony. This can help to ease any nerves and ensure that everyone is in a positive frame of mind before the big event. As a South Wales wedding photographer, I have seen firsthand how important it is for the groom and his groomsmen to have some time to themselves before the ceremony. Finally, the groom preparations can provide some unique and interesting photo opportunities. From shots of the groom tying his tie to candid moments with his groomsmen, the groom preparations can be a treasure trove of beautiful and memorable photos. As a wedding photographer, I always aim to capture these moments in a way that is natural and unobtrusive.


Once groom prep is covered another advantage is that the second photographer can stick with the men up until the start of the ceremony capturing other moments on the morning of the wedding day that the main photographer cannot do. Usually this also allows the main photographer to also stay with the bride too to capture last minute bridal prep images such as the buttoning up of the dress, a mirror shot and first look with her dad or bridesmaids, These last minute bridal prep shots  are sometimes not possible at all weddings especially the ones where the main photographer has to travel from bridal prep at a house by car to a venue in a different location and is too risky and can be cutting it too fine. This again is one situation where a second photographer already at the venue allows the first photographer the risk to maybe stay a little longer with the bride knowing there is the security of a second photographer already at the ceremony. I must add here that these are normal logistal issues that any good wedding photographer will absorb and have the experience of dealing with; its part and parcel of being a good wedding photographer. These are behind the scenes normal wedding morning logistsics, but its worth explaining.


During this time the second photographer will also capture other natural and candid photos of the wedding guests arriving at the ceremony. Overall adding on a second wedding photographer can be a much more solid option of larger weddings.


Throughout the rest of the wedding day of course you will also have two angles on the day, this can be important for key action photos such as the confetti shot allowing both wide angle and zoom photos to be taken by each photographer. Whilst zoom is my prefered way of shooting confetti at 200mm as it gives a punchier shot, wide allows the full photo and dress details and flowers to show through in the photo. The second photographer can sometimes also capture this photo from a higher viewpoint too.


Below: A confetti photo taken at Oldwalls Gower by my second photographer from a higher view point

Fairyhill on the other hand as an example has a semi circular ceremony room called the K room which allows me to walk from the front around to the back by myself and therefore a second photographer at this ceremony location is perhaps not needed. So it all really depends on which venue you are getting married and where the ceremony is taking place. I usually run through these details before booking and offer advice on whether or not two photographer would be of benefit.


Large Bridal parties


Large bridal parties with a crazy amount of ushers and bridesmaids can look amazing in photos, When there are lots of ushers and bridesmaids then it means there will be plenty of great photos to be taken from the morning and right through the day. A second photographer would then also be worth thinking about. Below are two photos taken at weddings with an insane amount of ushers and bridesmaids. The first was taken in Bridgend at Coity Castle and the second at Canada Lodge in Cardiff. For the first photo we had plenty of time and the weather was sunny so I organised and took the first photo by myself, the second photo however was made easier with a second photographer given that I took the photo from about 300 metres away on top of a hill using a big zoom lens. It was also raining so I was thankful to get the photo done and the help of a second in this situation proved invaluable.





















More photos

Having two photographers also means more photos throughout the day. Although it has to be said that for some parts of the day it can also be overkill where both of us are focused on shooting the same thing, such as speeches and first dance. But overall for larger weddings and ones where brides want groom prep covered its worth adding on.


In conclusion, as a South Wales wedding photographer, I believe that the groom preparations are an important part of any wedding day. Not only do they provide an opportunity for the groom and his groomsmen to relax and bond, but they also offer a unique chance to capture some beautiful and natural photos. By having a second photographer on hand to capture these moments, we can ensure that every aspect of the day is documented and preserved for years to come. So, if you're planning your wedding day, don't forget about the groom preparations - they're an essential part of the day that should be celebrated and captured in all their glory!


You can see my two photographer wedding package options here on my prices and packages page!


Ceremony photography


The wedding ceremony is another important part of the wedding day where you can be at an advantage on having two photographers on your wedding day. There are so many moments during a wedding ceremony that simply can't be captured by one photographer. This all depends on what type of ceremony you have though and more importantly where your ceremony is taking place. The obvious photos for a second photographer to take are from the back of the ceremony room or church. In a church you get the back of the dress shot with a long aisle and a huge stain glass window and the whole decor of a church ceremony. These make amazing black and white images for your wedding album.


Below is another image from height, again at Oldwalls, which has the advantage of having a higher viewpoint from the room above which gives the second shooter amazing aisle photo opportunities both on the way in and way out.

a photo of a large bridal party taken at coity castle from a wedding in Bridgend
a photo of 11 bridesmaids and 11 ushers taken at canada lodge and lake in Cardiff