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Do I really need a 2nd Photographer?

Wedding Myths: Two Mediocre Photographers vs. One Amazing Artist

The topic of “1 wedding photographer vs. 2″ has been a hot one for several years now.  We recently saw a local post from a bride requiring a second shooter for her wedding; saying she only wanted to book a photographer who provides two.  A quick google search will provide hundreds of topics from around the globe on this very topic.

You don’t need a second photographer.  However, it appears that brides still choose to take quantity over quality when it comes to 1 versus 2 photographer packages.   It’s true!

The key word in that last paragraph is “quality”.  For those photographers who offer two, highly-trained, professional quality photographers (with the proper price tag associated with it), I tip my hat at you for keeping quality an important aspect of your business model.  However, for those photographers who offer 2-photographer packages for cheap, it only cheapens you and the industry.

We see it all the time….budget photographers offering “2-shooter wedding packages” for half the cost of the competition.  Sure, the photos might be under/over exposed, off-coloured and composed poorly, but somehow they still manage to book up year after year.  Why is that?  Because they have recognized the “quantity vs. quality” bride has made her mark in the wedding world.

But, here’s the scoop……Two mediocre photographers are as one as one fabulous photographer.   A real good one can can capture your entire day including formals as well as candids and can edit those images to perfection.   It’s true they can’t be in two places at once,  but they are experienced at moving through crowds, time management and possess ninja like skills….and make it all look natural.  More often than not, we’ve seen the two shooters not be in two places; instead they follow each other around.

Still don’t buy it?  Here’s the reality and it is blunt.  If you still want that super-cheap 2nd photographer here’s what you’ll probably get:

  • The 2nd shooter is simply an avid amateur posing as a true professional
  • The 2nd shooter is a highschool or college student getting their co-op hours
  • The 2nd shooter is an untrained friend or spouse of the primary photographer
  • The 2nd shooter simply responded to a Kijiji ad request for a 2nd shooter job that offered a few bucks and may have never worked with the primary photographer before (No relationship between photographers = many photo bombs!  Do you really want to have that happen?)
  • The 2nd shooter probably doesn’t have pro level gear and probably has no backup gear, either!
  • The 2nd shooter more than likely doesn’t have liability insurance
  • Did you want that 2nd shooter because you wanted each photographer in a different place at a different time?  Well…
    • The primary photographer may still insist on shooting everything themselves (ie: groom in the morning + bride in the morning) because they know the 2nd shooter can’t pose people as well as them and that their work isn’t consistent or reliable
    • This means that your wedding day schedule will end up the same as it would have been had you simply hired the 1 amazing photographer instead!

These shoe-string budget photographers who offer 2 photographers for the price of one probably won’t be around in 3 or 4 years.  – how would you feel if your “cheap and affordable” wedding photography went out of business before delivering your final product to you?   We need to see a re-emergence of the quality over quantity bride – the bride who values the true artistry and talent in her vendors.  The wedding industry showcases some of the most exquisitely talented individuals; whether it’s chefs, photographers, decorators or florists, and these talent vendors are taking a hit with the disappearance of the quality bride.

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