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written by a small town girl with big dreams & a law degree


5 Reasons Why You NEED a Second Shooter!

If you’ve recently seen on my Instagram or Facebook account, my good friend Tessa Jessop has officially decided to combine forces with me this year as my second shooter at every single wedding! Woo!  So, I thought it was an appropriate time to tell all my brides, future brides, and photographer friends why second shooters are super important!

For my first few years photographing weddings, I didn’t require a second photographer in my wedding packages and the lowest priced packages did not even include a second shooter.  But, I quickly realized that a second set of hands on wedding days was PRICELESS and, in hindsight, I have no idea how I photographed an entire 10 hour wedding alone! Now, I all of my packages include a second shooter because I believe that it is the best way to capture each wedding perfectly–and leaves me as the main photographer feeling WAY less stressed!

If you are a wedding photographer, or are even a bride trying to decide whether to pay for the extra amount to have a second shooter, here’s my 5 big reasons I believe that you SHOULD have a second photographer!


I mean, every photographer’s nightmare is to have their bride feel undervalued.  So, my second shooter’s number one priority on wedding days (besides photographing) is to help remove distractions so that I can focus on loving and serving my brides and grooms.  She carries equipment, sets up lighting, runs errands, gets our meals and works super hard behind the scenes to allow me to focus on my big job which is to ensure my clients day is captured perfectly! Tessa is literally my saving grace on this one.


I can’t tell you how many of my brides have contacted me after viewing their wedding albums… and the pictures they love and cherish the most are the CANDID shots!  Its because those shots bring them right back into the moment and help them relive their favorite day.  Lets be really honest here, unless you have about 6 hands, one photographer cannot capture the bride and groom AND the grandmother’s endearing looks all at the same time.  That’s what I love about having a second shooter next to me.  While I am making sure all the portraits are on point, my second shooter is looking around to capture the emotions of all the guests.


Aside from the candid shots, I believe the other main reason a second shooter is NEEDED is because of the ability to shoot various angles with various lenses.  If I’m using a portrait lens, my second is always working with a wide angle lens.  This allows our photos to have that beautiful bokeh effect while also having the crisp-and-clear portraits and long shots.  Now, when I review my wedding albums, they have SO MUCH MORE variety than ones I shot 4 years ago.


Another big one for me is that having a second shooter allows me more time with my bride and her bridesmaids.  After we arrive on a wedding day and do details shots, my second shooter always goes and finds the groom.  She’s able to hang with him and the groomsmen, check on how their doing, and capture some neat candids of the guys fooling around (aka drinking and playing pool).  Meanwhile, I am attending to the bride and ensuring that I snap all the best getting ready photos.  I make it a point to never leave the brides side so she feels 100% taken care of.

Also… if your bride and groom are getting ready and two different locations, having a second shooter saves you TONS of time! We can both capture the same photos with the two different groups at the same time.


Okay, now this is the real winner.  My second shooter is able to grab behind-the-scenes shots of me doing my thang!  She also takes Instagram stories of the wedding day.  These two things alone helped grow my business this year.  Also, its soooo nice to have these photos for marketing and advertising purposes.  I’m a huge proponent of making my photography business a PERSONAL business.  So, when my future clients can see ME in photos, instead of just the beautiful couples I capture images of, my future clients are able to envision their photography experience with ME!  [P.S. This was a turning point for me in my business this year.  I was always super scared to show who I was as the lady behind the lens.  But, I booked double, if not triple, the amount of clients in 2017 and 2018 than I have in past years all from switching over to the PERSONAL business! I highly recommend you try it!]

Case in point, I truly, truly, believe a second shooter is a MUST and not a WANT.  Having Tessa next to me at every wedding this year is going to be incredible! Don’t forget to check out my Instagram stories { –> @paigemariephoto} every weekend for our fun-filled adventures together. 🙂



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