How Many Photographers Do You Need for a Wedding? Determining When and Why Hiring Two Photographers Is Ideal

You’ve likely made tons of decisions during the wedding planning process already. 

Now you’ve got to decide, “How many wedding photographers do I need?” While your gut (and your photo album goals) might say two, the right number of photographers will depend on a few factors. 

Read on to learn about:

  • The benefits of having a second photographer
  • What to consider when deciding if you need two photographers at a wedding
  • And more 
_do you need 2 photographers at a wedding

Table of Contents

Do You Need 2 Photographers at a Wedding?

When you begin to plan your wedding, it’s fair to ask, “Do you really need 2 photographers at a wedding?” 

A second wedding photographer would work alongside your primary wedding photographer to photograph different angles, separate locations, and assist with the logistics of wedding day photography. 

So, the number of photographers you need really depends on:

  • The number of guests
  • Size of your venue; and 
  • How involved your wedding will be

When Should You Have a Second Photographer at Your Wedding?

To put it simply, the larger the wedding, the more important it is to have a second photographer.

Let’s say you’re planning a full-day wedding with a large number of guests and you’re looking for a full day of coverage, with no small moment uncaptured. 

In this scenario, two photographers are generally preferred. This will provide you with more images and allow coverage for different parts of your wedding that may be happening at the same time. 

For example: 

  1. One photographer cannot get photos of both the bride and groom getting ready at the same time. But switching back and forth, especially if the getting ready locations aren’t close by, takes more time, and can make coordinating other events (i.e. a first look) difficult.
  2. Formal family photos are typically more efficient with two photographers. To save time, one photographer can shoot the groomsmen, while the other photographs the bridesmaids. Or, one can take bridal party photos while the other is doing family pictures. 
  3. Simultaneous photo opportunities at the reception can be covered. One photographer may opt to shoot cocktail hour and the other can be taking formal venue or detail photos.
2 photographers at a wedding

7 Benefits of Having a Second Wedding Photographer

If you know you… 

  • Are having a larger guest count
  • Have a big venue; or 
  • Have a long or involved wedding day

… but are still toying with the idea of having one photographer or two for your wedding, read on. 

We’ll share seven benefits of having a second wedding photographer. 

#1: More Coverage

It’s important to note that more coverage doesn’t necessarily mean more images.

Think instead of the number of different moments two photographers will be able to capture over the course of your wedding day.

Especially if you have a long day or a tight timeline, there will likely be events or moments taking place simultaneously.


  • Bride and groom getting ready photos
  • First looks 
  • Family watching the bride 
  • Guests watching the bride and groom enter the reception

There are even more likely scenarios that you would want multiple views or reactions to. 

For example:

  • During your ceremony, two photographers are necessary to capture the bride walking down the aisle and the groom’s reaction.
  • Two photographers allow for close-up and intimate pictures of you saying your vows and your parent’s reactions.
  • If you are going to have a large wedding with 150+ guests, two photographers can ensure none of your guests are left out of the pictures.

#2: Different Perspectives

Think of your favorite movie — whether it’s a rom-com or an action movie, the best scenes are shot from multiple angles. 

This allows us, as the viewer, to see all of the emotion. The same goes for wedding photography.

Weddings are best shot with more than one camera and from different angles. This dual perspective can help paint the picture of the moment captured and take you back, even years later. 

Each photographer can strategically place themselves at different angles for each element of the wedding day to capture the widest variety of pictures possible.

Moreover, every photographer brings their own unique way of seeing things, so having two photographers at your wedding will naturally enable you to get more variety in your images.

#3: Less Time Constraints

Having two photographers allows for more time for candid moments to unfold. 

For example, instead of rushing off to shoot groomsmen photos after the bride gets in her dress, a second photographer might stay with the bridesmaids and watch them interact and share a few small moments before heading to the ceremony venue. 

Or, where one photographer may head right to the reception after the ceremony to start on detailed coverage, the second photographer may stay at the ceremony to finish up formal family photos. 

A second photographer allows for flexibility in the timeline and, generally, a less hectic shooting schedule.

#4: More Footage

Although two photographers don’t always mean more footage, for those who are having a smaller wedding and on the edge of whether or not they should have a second photographer, this can be a perk. 

If maximizing the amount of footage you receive is important, communicate that request to your wedding photographer and see what can be worked out.

A second shooter can also help tell the story of your wedding day from both your new spouse’s and your perspective with more detail.

#5: Ability to Capture the Little Moments

There are so many important exchanges on a wedding day, and no doubt, you want to make sure to get all of them on camera. 

Luckily, there are many moments and events that can be expected, like: 

  • The first dance 
  • Throwing the bouquet; or 
  • Cutting the cake


  • The look on a mother’s face during the father-daughter dance
  • The bride watching her sister give a maid of honor speech
  • The grandpa sitting by himself after the wedding
  • The baby dancing at the reception
  • The groom having a drink with his groomsmen 

simply can’t be planned. 

Having a second photographer provides the ability to have images of the planned moments and the little ones that feel big as they unfold in real-time.

#6: An Extra Layer of Backup

We will say this one and we’ll say it quick. 

In the worst-case scenario,something happens to one of your photographers during your wedding day (i.e. falls ill, has a family emergency, etc.) having that second photographer is a great safety net. 

A second shooter will always provide backup so your guests don’t need to take on the role of photographer, too. 

#7: Increased Efficiency

Formal photos and other photos before the ceremony or before the reception can go much faster with two photographers.

This efficiency can give you more time to celebrate your new chapter. 

For example, if you are opting to take bridal party photos immediately following the ceremony while your guests move on to happy hour, a second shooter can make sure your formal photos are done quickly so you can mix and mingle with your guests. Cheers!

3 Things to Consider When Deciding if You Need 2 Photographers at a Wedding

Still torn about whether you need two photographers at your wedding?

Consider these three factors when deciding. 

#1: There Might Be ‘Too Many Cooks In the Kitchen’

Two photographers working with smaller weddings or at smaller venues may lead to a photography team being on top of each other.

So, if you are having a small, intimate ceremony (i.e. up to ~50 people) with only a few events, you likely won’t need two photographers.

In the worst-case scenario, the photography team could be falling on top of each other, and getting many repetitive shots. 

However, if you’re in the “more is more” camp when it comes to footage, you can always opt for two photographers, but know it is not a necessity. 

#2: Pay Attention to the Price

As with many things in life, when it comes to wedding photography, much of the time you get what you pay for. 

When talking about a second photographer, the lower the price, the more likely it is that the second photographer is a newer photographer with little experience. However, hiring one talented photographer will no doubt be less expensive than hiring two. So, if you are on a tight budget, pricing alone can be the determining factor when deciding how many photographers are needed for your wedding.

#3: Do the Photographers Have the Same Wedding Photography Style?

A good wedding photography team will have a cohesive style and have chemistry when working together. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for images that the photographers took while working together.

You shouldn’t be able to tell when looking at a gallery that multiple photographers contributed. 

A good photography team will shoot and edit seamlessly. 

Julian Ribinik Photography: A Team of 2 Wedding Photographers With Over 10 Years of Chemistry and Experience Shooting Clients’ Love Stories

It’s perfectly normal to feel decision fatigue during wedding planning, and it is understandable if you’re having a hard time answering, “How many wedding photographers do I need?”

If you are looking for a team of two photographers, Julian Ribinik Photography operates as a husband and wife photographer and editor team and focuses on capturing the real emotions and story of your day. 

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Julian Ribinik Wedding Photography

330 E 46th St, New York, NY 10017

(212) 256-1646