What about…second shooters?

March 20, 2018


A common question I get asked is “What about a second shooter?” This is a completely legitimate question, but one that, for me, is a “yes, but…

A beautiful aspect of our industry is how lovely it is to couples. Not just the wedding experience itself, but how it allows couples and partners to work together in beautiful tandem to tell the love stories of their brides and grooms. It allows the photographer team to model marriage values to the newest set of spouses. It also allows friends to help out other friends. The professional can mentor the hobbyist, giving them not only experience, but the confidence that comes with it. A mom can make a little extra money for their family’s vacation fund in helping out for a Saturday.

So why is this a “yes, but…” in my book? For several reasons.

There is a lot of benefit to a second shooter:

  • You receive a different perspective of the day. With one photographer in one vantage point, the other can creep closer, farther away, above, below…it does provide another look at your lovely day.
  • It allows your photographer to be in two places at once. When one is shooting one side of the wedding party getting ready, the other can shoot everyone else, or details, or candids. It does extend your photographer’s reach, which can be beneficial.
  • It does capture more candids. With the main photographer occupied with official wedding day business, the second shooter can meander and mill around, photographing guests enjoying themselves.

But that doesn’t mean there are cons, even if the second shooter is included for free in the package

  • Second shooters may be obtrusive. In some cases, space is confined as it is; adding another body with a bag of gear may make it that much smaller and confined, diminishing the quality of images.
  • There is a liability factor. If the second shooter is not an official employee of the photographer, they may not be covered by insurance, which could cause issues with venues, planners, etc.
  • It could delay gallery delivery. Two shooters does not necessarily mean two editors of images. If the main photographer has to cull double the photos, it could delay final delivery of all your images.
  • It does not guarantee double images. If the second shooter is inexperienced, there is no guarantee the main photographer–the one responsible for the selection of edited images –will select every single images that was shot. The primary shooter will be looking for images that are consistent with their brand; the goal will most likely be quality over quantity, which does not guarantee twice as many photos, especially if the main photographer is efficient (I deliver on average 800 photos per six hours of coverage, and that is as a solo shooter).

So do I have a second shooters available? Yes, several friends that I have vetted for their processes and style to be sure the experience (and product) they provide would come very close to mine. This is also added as an a la carte item, as I do not want any of my brides and grooms to pay for any more coverage than they need. So know that if you are seeking second shooter coverage, it is an option with you Kayla Lee Wedding Photography Experience, but it is not one that is force, but available if it fits vision of your wedding day. In the end, that’s what matters most: What fits YOUR vision, not someone else’s.

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At home on the road. Forever-focused on authenticity and the thrilling art of creation; always found in the moments that leave me breathless and in awe. 

After fourteen years as a high school educator, I stepped back through a door I thought was closed. Journalism came back into my life. Armed with a Masters of Arts in Communication, I was again challenged and prepared to tell the stories that would become history, but with a twist: It is now your legacy of love that I document. The tension I seek is that from every tear, smile, laugh, and moment of love on your wedding day. 


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