When planning your wedding, you consider all the details. From floral arrangements to location, how many guests are invited, and the overall style. There's so much to consider. One of the most important elements is your photographer. Your photos are the one item you'll continue to use after the wedding day ends. One of the top 5 regrets newlyweds had about their weddings was not spending enough on their photography. “Overall, 76 percent of people confessed there were things about their wedding they should have done differently. Nearly half of respondents (43 percent) claimed there are elements of their day they flat-out regret (oops). But, it's not all bad news—90 percent reassured that all the positives outweigh any negatives, and 72 percent say they consider their wedding day one of the best of their lives.”
Finding the right photographer is essential, but who do you choose, and how many photographers do you need for your wedding?
Why is Wedding Photography Important?
The average wedding cost in 2022 was $30,000 (including the ceremony and reception). With the countless hours you’re researching and planning to create the wedding of your dreams, an essential step is capturing the magic and joy of your wedding experience and preserving those details for years.
Your photos are the deciding factor when it comes to how you'll remember and enjoy your wedding after the day ends.
So you want great pictures, but (much like Mr. Owl in the Tootsie Roll commercial, wondering how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop), you may be asking, how many photographers do we need to get fantastic wedding photos? Here are some things to consider.
When Having One Photographer Is Best
I photograph upwards of 35 weddings a year. More than half of those are captured as a solo photographer. I appreciate working by myself because it allows me to fully tune in to my couples and the people around me without the distraction of directing a second photographer. Working this way enables me to focus on the moment and flow with the wedding as it unfolds.
One photographer is perfect if:
Your wedding has less than 150 guests
The ceremony, reception, and getting ready locations are the same
You want to keep personal moments during the wedding day intimate
The timeline is logistically simple
The Advantage of Having Multiple Wedding Photographers
Certain weddings can benefit from having more than one photographer. Here are some logistics to consider.
Photos from Multiple Viewpoints and Angles
When you have multiple wedding photographers, you'll receive epic shots of your first dance dip and images of the simultaneous wedding guests' reactions to your dance moves. Your gallery will include a wider variety of pictures from the same moments. I always ask second photographers to capture a different angle than I am to give two viewpoints of the same moment.
Increased Efficiency and Fewer Time Constraints
With two photographers on board, you can capture wedding party photos of you and your partner's separate wedding party in half the time. A second photographer can be with your fiancee at their getting-ready location, photographing a special moment between them and their grandparents. At the same time, you can be photographed by the main photographer getting into your dress. While your primary photographer organizes family photos, the second photographer can get candids of your wedding guests enjoying cocktail hour. If you need to take family photos before the wedding ceremony and use separate locations, two photographers can accomplish that smoothly.
Having a second photographer minimizes the risk of missing essential moments and details. It's also reassuring to know that backup and assistance are already present if something happens to your lead photographer or their equipment.
Increased Wedding Coverage and Final Image Count
You'll receive more pictures! I typically deliver between 500-800 images for an 8-hour wedding. With a second photographer, that number goes to 800-1200 images for the same hours of coverage.
Add More Creativity and Depth to Your Wedding Story
I think of weddings photographed by one photographer as having a first-person narrative. With a second photographer, you have another perspective and retelling of your wedding story from multiple angles woven into one narrative.
Choosing to have two photographers will give your lead photographer the option of picking another artist to assist them in telling the story of your celebration and make sure there is an abundance of detail shots as well as extra photos of all your guests and your interactions with them. It’s deeply satisfying to deliver galleries with multiple viewpoints from the big moments of a wedding day.
Additionally, your wedding photos will include the creativity of two artists. The primary photographer determines the style and look of your pictures. However, I enjoy bringing second photographers along who shoot in a different way to add their creative spin to the wedding ceremony and to mix up bridal parties with creative posing.
Make Your Wedding Photography Yours with One or Two Photographers
Whether you decide to book one photographer or two, picking an artist you can trust and feel comfortable with is essential. Ask them for recommendations based on your specific wedding. Consider practicalities like guest count, how many special moments you have planned, locations, and whether you would like multiple angles of things like your wedding ceremony. Asking these questions will guide you in answering whether or not you need a second photographer.
Are you having a wedding in Virginia? Let’s schedule a call.
FAQs About How Many Photographers Do You Need for Your Wedding?
Q. How important is it to have two photographers at a wedding?
The size of your wedding is the most significant factor. Two photographers are optimal for weddings with over 150 guests or a large wedding party of more than 12 people to ensure every important moment and detail gets captured.
Q. For how many hours should you book a photographer for a wedding?
8-hours of photography coverage is the perfect amount for most weddings. 8-hours will allow the photographer to capture getting the getting ready process and details to the decor and toasts etc during the reception and the dance floor, particularly if your wedding takes place in one location.
Q. Do wedding photographers send all the photos?
No! And this is a good thing. A professional photographer will select properly exposed images from the wedding day, removing duplicates and unflattering poses + facial expressions. They will deliver a beautiful and cohesive gallery that shows the story of your wedding while highlighting the essential moments.
Q. Do wedding photographers give unedited photos?
A professional photographer worth their salt will only deliver images that have been edited and retouched. These images will match their portfolio and overall style. Receiving RAW photos from a photographer is the equivalent of ordering a meal at a restaurant and having the chef send out raw vegetables with spices and uncooked pasta stacked in neat piles beside them on the plate. Those are the uncooked ingredients, not the meal you ordered. The same is true of unedited photos.