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I capture the unspoken — the glances, the silences — drawing from New York's pulse and the richness of global cultures. Every wedding is its own intricate narrative. Rooted in theatre and life's everyday rhythms, I document moments both transient and timeless. 

Hey, I'm susan!

Do I need a second photographer for my wedding?

The biggest question that potential wedding photography clients ask me is  “Do I need a second photographer for my wedding?”

Every article on wedding photography will offer different advice on hiring a second photographer. Some insist on its necessity, while others suggest relying on the main photographer’s opinion. It’s confusing to know what’s right for you and your event. 

When I began my photography career I was working in a market where second photographers were not the norm in a wedding photography package.  I worked alone because all of the photographers I knew worked alone!  I’ve since moved markets, second photographers have become more popular, but my approach has remained singularly focused.

Why do I continue to offer one-photographer collections? Because I have meticulously honed my skills to cover both the action and reaction, subject and observer, effectively being in multiple places simultaneously. Each wedding I photograph receives my full commitment and dedication as if it were my own, ensuring a complete, excellent solo photography service.

How have I achieved this? Through diligent self-training. I have learned to simultaneously capture significant moments – like someone walking down the aisle and their spouse’s reaction, or both parties during a first look. 

Whether it’s photographing the toast-giver and the toasting party or capturing guest reactions, I have never felt my coverage lacking as a solo photographer. I commit to providing top-notch wedding day photography, and I would never compromise my clients’ expectations by not hiring additional help if it was genuinely needed to ensure complete and satisfying coverage.

To offer more clarity, let’s talk about how my wedding photography packages and coverage are set up.

One photographer coverage of a wedding portrait shot

For this capture I had my assistant holding a light to illuminate the couple.

I work with an assistant at every wedding

Just because I am capable of covering a wedding day by myself as a photographer doesn’t mean that I go to a wedding without any help whatsoever!

For many years I worked with an assistant who did the following things for me:

  • Managed logistics such as GPS directions between locations, parking the car, retrieving cars from valet to change locations, keeping an eye on the gear, and moving the gear from place to place
  • Held any supplemental lighting that I needed for family pictures, portraits, or the reception
  • Helped get groups together for family pictures and group shots

This was a huge help, and really freed me up to think about nothing but shooting the wedding itself. The logistics were taken care of, and it truly opened up my artistic mind and let it run free without thinking about things like “is my gear safe?” and “where is that extra light that I always need at this part of the day?”

Over the years, the job of my assistant evolved. How? Why? Because I noticed parts of the day that could benefit from an extra viewpoint. Just a few of those situations include:

  • A wedding couple who are getting ready in the same hotel but in different rooms
  • The ceremony, when an extra angle is lovely for things like the processional and the ceremony event itself
  • Cocktail hour, when I need to photograph the reception room but guests are mingling in another room entirely
  • The party-dance-drink-dance-some-more part of the reception when there are many guests who need documentation, both on the dance floor and hanging out in their seats

My assistant is there at every wedding to not only help with the coverage of the day when needed, but to help me as needed. It’s the best parts of having a second photographer with all of the benefits of having an assistant as well!

Mother and son dance as captured by one photographer without a second photographer

To create this image, my assistant held a light behind the groom and his mom.

You can also add a second photographer to your wedding day coverage

Ensuring the moments of your wedding day are captured is my utmost priority. If specific aspects of your day, such as simultaneous events or extensive guest lists, determine the need for additional photographic coverage, rest assured that adding a second photographer is a readily available option. 

It’s not solely about preference, but about the logistical aspects of your day that might necessitate another photographer to guarantee comprehensive coverage. Both want and need are taken into account to offer you a flexible and accommodating photography solution.

Your peace of mind remains central to my service, and the option for additional coverage reflects this commitment.

Toasts at a wedding as captured by a solo photographer

I’d love to answer a few additional questions that are common when discussing whether to not to add a second photographer to your wedding coverage.

Can you help us understand how you can document a wedding by yourself?

When asked how I can single-handedly document a wedding, I always emphasize my extensive experience and in-depth knowledge of the intricacies of wedding events. 

Having specialized in solo wedding photography, I have honed a unique approach that allows me to be in the right place at the right time, capturing both broad scenes and minute details. 

I utilize high-quality equipment that facilitates swift and smooth transitions, enabling me to photograph diverse moments without missing a beat. 

Through careful planning, I familiarize myself with the wedding itinerary and venue layout well in advance. This preparation allows me to anticipate key moments and position myself strategically to capture them from the best angles. 

Moreover, I always engage with the couple beforehand to understand their expectations and preferences fully. This dialogue allows me to tailor my approach, ensuring that I focus on the aspects and moments most important to them, providing a comprehensive and personalized documentation of their day, all managed solo with utmost dedication and attention to detail.

One photographer documenting a wedding couple

But will one photographer be able to capture all the important moments and details of our wedding?

Yes, one photographer can undoubtedly capture all the significant moments and details of your wedding. 

My approach involves advanced knowledge of the event’s flow, enabling me to anticipate and be present for each crucial moment. I strategically position myself to seamlessly document the day’s events, from the heartfelt vows to the joyful dances. This focused and efficient approach allows for complete wedding coverage, reflecting the day’s beauty and emotion in every shot, all accomplished by a single dedicated photographer (me!)

Wedding photography with one photographer versus two photographers

Can you help us decided if our wedding is too large for one photographer to handle effectively?

Absolutely, handling a large wedding solo is within my capabilities. However, the need for a second photographer could arise based on the scale and logistics of your event.

While I am adept at managing and documenting expansive events, a second photographer could provide additional coverage when your guest list is especially large. The decision is ultimately yours, and I am committed to offering comprehensive coverage tailored to your wedding’s unique demands, with or without additional assistance.

What happens if the you’re working solo without a second photographer and you have an emergency or equipment failure?

In the rare event of an emergency or equipment failure, rest assured, your wedding coverage will not be compromised. 

When I work as a solo photographer, I always have an assistant on hand for such unforeseen situations. My assistant is well-versed in handling equipment and basic shooting requirements, ensuring that there is no interruption or detriment to the capture of your special day. 

This setup provides a seamless, reliable, and uninterrupted photography experience, safeguarding your memories against unexpected incidents.

If we want to opt for a second photographer who is that photographer?

I have a handful of seasoned, experienced, professional photographers who work on my team as second wedding photographers.  Understanding each wedding’s specific needs helps me determine which member of my team to employ.  

Each photographer that I work with is a professional in their own right, capable to documenting events on their own with extraordinary ability.  Their photography styles are complimentary to mine, ensuring seamless coverage.

Do we have to decide on a second photographer when we book you for our wedding?

You do not!  Sometimes the need for a second photographer emerges as your wedding plans develop.  As long as you let me know more than six weeks out from your event we can add a second photographer to your wedding day coverage.

What do we if we still have questions?

Just ask!  Deciding on your wedding photography coverage is such a personal thing, and I’m here to help you out as much as possible.  No question is too small, so please don’t hesitate to reach out and get in touch.

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