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Do I really need a second photographer on my wedding day or is an upsell?

Robin Sloan, The Uncorked Project
Verified Robin Sloan, The Uncorked Project



This topic isn’t as simple as it sounds.  Our pros explain why you really need a second shooter… and they spill the truth about when you do NOT need one.

WATCH: “Are second photographers really necessary or are the a way for the photographer to increase the price?

⬆️ This video is so good!


    Robin Sloan, The Uncorked ProjectVerifiedRobin Sloan, The Uncorked Project

    I never shot a wedding without a second photographer. I understand why some of our pros say it is doable, but I was always too nervous to put all the eggs in one basket. For me, as the lead photographer, I needed to know I had a backup in case LIFE happened and I was not able to get the shot. No matter how good your photographer is- they are still human- and they can have off days, not feel well, have an accident... those things kept me up at night so I would not shoot a wedding solo.

    But the biggest reason was my location- weddings in downtown Chicago have too many moving pieces for me to capture. Multiple locations, traffic, parking, Ubers, dealing with all the people in the city... When I shot weddings in Kalamazoo, Michigan, it was a much more straight-forward day (logistics).

    Yes! I personally prefer to shoot with a second photographer for these reasons too and I always tell my couples it's one of the cheapest insurance policies they can buy...but for my couples who are planning shorter wedding days and/or are in 1 location for the whole day, being the only photographer there is doable (even if it's not my preference).

    Oh gosh yes. City weddings really do raise the stakes. I hadn't thought about that, but I've done weddings in a lot of cities--from NYC to San Diego--and having a teammate in those places is so helpful, even if they're just parking the car while I pop out to photograph the bride's entrance to the church. That said, the logistical support can also be accomplished with an assistant who is not a photographer. I have gone out of my way to hire an assistant a few times when I was shooting by myself and the schedule was super hairy.

    If you're at the same venue all day and there's a separate getting ready space for each half of the couple and the photographer can easily walk between them, then that's the best case scenario for getting away with only hiring one photographer.

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Featured Question

Q: Is there really a wedding mark up?

Do you feel like the industry charges more “because it’s a wedding” and they know it’s an emotional purchase?

Do companies think that they can charge more for weddings since the bride and groom may be willing to spend more on their dream wedding?

Hey wedding pros – is this higher price tag justified? Why? Do you charge more for your service if it is a wedding?

This is a taboo topic, whispered but not discussed… until now.

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    Robin Sloan, The Uncorked ProjectVerifiedRobin Sloan, The Uncorked Project

    I have been asked this so many times... does the wedding industry inflate prices when they hear it's a wedding?

    Here is my honest answer (as a former wedding photographer)... NO. Did I charge more for a wedding than a 50th birthday party or a family portrait session? Yes, absolutely. I charged A LOT more for a wedding.

    Was I taking advantage of the emotional sell? Absolutely not.

    The main reasons I charged more for a wedding were: the unseen amount of work involved in the 12+ months leading up to the wedding, the skill level needed on the day, the INTENSE pressure to create perfect "portfolio level work" no matter what the reality of the situation- but mostly it is to compensate for the time AFTER the wedding in post production.

    Little known fact about wedding photography - the real job is sitting at a computer editing photos. Photographers spend many hours behind the computer carefully selecting and editing photos. They make adjustments, crop, and adjust colors to ensure each image it's best. Don't forget the time it takes for batching, renaming, importing, exporting and uploading the photos and preparing them for delivery.

    Do you think this justifies why photographers charge more for weddings than for other types of shoots?

    AvatarCody Pettengill

    Couldn’t agree more! And on the videography side its an absolute ton of data + editing discipline.

    Its a double sided coin- weddings are extremely high pressure but also high reward when we nail it.

    Our products (photo video) in particular are the only thing that genuinely will last forever . Having fun and ALSO nailing the product is worth the price of entry and frankly more.

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