Is it really better to have two photographers? Do you really need two?
While the thought of having more photo coverage is enticing, is that what you actually end up with?
I’m going to expose some facts for you.
Here’s what’s going on that you may not be aware of. This is what other studios will never tell you:
These days the wedding photography industry is over saturated with people with cameras. And one way some studios compete is with heaping in a second photographer.
I understand. It makes it sound as if you’re getting double the value.
Or sometimes they make the wedding couple think they need two photographers to be in two different places (you don’t, that’s a logistics issue. More on that in a bit.)
Your first question ought to be, “so who’s the second photographer?”
Because many times that second photographer is their spouse or significant other. So you need to stop and think on this, because you need to ask yourself, “what are the odds that any one photographer is married to or otherwise in a relationship with another equally talented and skilled photographer?” and the answer becomes obvious.
The odds are almost non-existent.
Yet you see these two photographer teams often. It defies the odds.
Because whether the second photographer is in a relationship with the main photographer or not, every photographer is different.
They have a different eye and a different take. They have different abilities and different styles. They have different levels of experience and skills. Different talent levels.
The way they light their photos are different. The way they compose their photos are different. No two are equal.
And all that shows in their photos. Their photos look different from each other.
So think of what this means to you:
When you have any two photographers shooting one event, their photos look different. Jarringly different. Which means that your wedding coverage, your wedding album, won’t look harmonious or seamless because it will look a mixed bag, it will look like two photographers shot it. Two styles don’t mesh together.
It’s what I call “mutt coverage.” That’s not a good result. You never see two photographers joined together in any other photography endeavor. It’s one photographer doing the fashion shoot for the designer. One photographer is handling the ad campaign. One photographer is photographing the movie stills. One photographer is photographing the magazine cover.
Adding insult to injury, the second photographer is usually lesser experienced, lesser skilled. They’re typically starting out and getting some experience, building a portfolio, which is why they’re a second photographer and not entrusted to be the main photographer.
Again, that shows in their photos. And the difference between their photos and a better skilled, experienced photographer is night and day. The very fact that they make lots of mistakes is why they’re assigned the second photographer spot, so that they’re never shooting anything critical at your wedding.
Now, some may try to sell you by saying the second photographer “rounds out the coverage” or “shoots the photojournal shots” but let me share with you what really happens, and I know this first hand from having worked at other area studios. Very well known ones as a matter of fact. So I’m spilling the beans here and I’m going to get some people upset with me.
When I was the main photographer at other studios, their second photographer typically shot over my shoulder. Literally. In fact I almost tripped over them many times while working. I’d ask them to go shoot something different other than what I was getting, because all they were getting (besides getting in my way) were duplicate shots.
That’s not more coverage. That’s duplicate coverage.
I understand why they did that. I’m getting the best angles, I’m getting the better shots and naturally, they want to get them too. But their drive to satisfy their desire to get images like mine is a disservice to the wedding couple.
Because instead of getting more photos of other moments and adding to the coverage, they’re replicating what I just photographed, like a xerox copy, only from a slight degree difference in angle which doesn’t do anything to make their versions worth it.
Yet studios continue to pitch the second photographer as the one “rounding out the coverage” or “taking the photojournal shots while the main photographer gets the more traditional shots.” That’s their sales ploy. You’re probably hearing that as you interview photographers.
(If you’re looking for photojournal type wedding coverage, then check this out about interviewing photographers for their ability to do that.)
That’s how they sell it to couples. And the couples are led to believe they’re more coverage.
All it does is create more of a paparazzi environment to your wedding.
This so detracts from the unobtrusive fly-on-the-wall approach I’m known for that it absolutely destroys any attempt at being low key at a wedding.
I found they also ruin tons of shots just from being in the way. Sometimes they don’t move because they’re staring at the backs of their cameras after taking a shot, and I need to get the next shot before the action stops, so I have no choice but to take the picture – and they’re in the way.
Fact is, you don’t need two photographers.
Truth is you need one really good one.
Because the fact is one great photographer can do it all.
Let’s face it: if those studios had one great photographer they wouldn’t need to offer two to “round out the coverage.” What are they really saying? That their one photographer isn’t going to get the job done fully?
Their message is clear: their photographers are inadequate.
Even when you think you may need a second photographer because of logistics (told you I’d get to this), such as you want photos of your partner getting ready at the same time you’re getting ready, or because your wedding will take place in more than one room.
Or some couples are told they need a second photographer because of the quantity of guests they have.
Again, for all these situations you don’t need two photographers. There are ways to accomplish all this with one photographer because those are matters of timing, not about having more photographers.
I’ve done it myself so many times I can say it for a fact. You don’t need two photographers. All you need is one photographer who has the right abilities.
And that’s how I get all the photos my clients want AND keep my clients’ weddings from becoming a circus with photographers buzzing around.
My best advice: take the money that would’ve gone to the second photographer and put it all into your photos or wedding album instead.
You’ll thank yourself later in life when you look at your wedding photos again and again.
Simply get a better photographer instead of paying for two inadequate ones.
Let’s get the ball rolling if you’re still looking for a wedding photographer like that.
Call me at 646.543.1321 or contact me here:
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