Every superhero needs their trusty sidekick – and that doesn’t stop with comics! As wedding photographers we also need a trusty sidekick – and not just to run and get batteries when you forgot them on the kitchen counter (although that helps!).
At first, it may look like the company is “losing” money by hiring a second shooter (especially a good second shooter with experience), but in the end you could be leaving money on the table, and forfeiting a great customer experience for your clients.
I started shooting weddings on my own in college – and after two weddings I quickly realized that I needed help. No matter how great the photographer is, you simply cannot be in two places at once. I was capturing images of the bride getting ready, but the groom was left out. I was getting great images of the bride coming down the aisle, but what about the moment between her and her father before they stepped onto the red aisle runner?
So I hired an assistant and saw what I was missing – she could shoot the groom and the guys, and I could shoot the bride and the girls. She could shoot from the balcony of the church, and I could shoot from the front, while the bride walked down the aisle. I was at a cousin’s wedding years ago and was amazed when I saw his photographer had two assistants – giving my cousin tons of great photos to choose from for his wedding album!
When I combined my photography company with another photographer to create one business together we wanted to create a lot of options in our packages. In the beginning, one concern was whether to build two photographers into all our packages. The first few years we kept it as an option, and in the past few years we took the risk and made all packages with two photographers.
My wedding photography partner and I learned quickly that you really need two shooters to be able to achieve the variety of high-quality images we want to produce. This not only increased our package prices, but in the end we’re now giving our clients exactly what they want (whether they know it in the beginning or not).
As a vendor, we are giving our clients more images with a better variety – and in turn they are buying bigger photo albums and spending more money. Our customers are happier because we captured every aspect of their big day, and we have gotten more referrals by operating as a dynamic duo.
Let’s hear from you – do you shoot with one or two photographers, and what has worked well for you?