If you inquired with us for your wedding photography in the last few months, you might have seen we now have the option to hire either Joe or Britney individually. Yes, this is new! If you’re having a smaller wedding and don’t want two extra bodies in the mix or if you just can’t afford to have us both but you still want the best quality in photography, this might be the solution for you.
Couples have been asking us, what’s the difference? How do I know if I need two photographers? What are my options? These are valid questions, but ones that have a lot of answers. We’ll start with the process of elimination first.
When do you absolutely need two photographers? Our answer is if you’re having 175 guests or more, or if the each half of the couple is getting ready in two separate locations and you want coverage of them both. The same would be true if you want coverage of other portions of the day in separate places, such as certain religions that only allow women or men in the room at certain times.
So for all other situations, do you hire one of us or both of us? That’s a personal choice. We’ll discuss the benefits of hiring two wedding photographers here to give you the information you need. The primary benefit of hiring both of us is two angles, two chances, and two different lens choices. I’ll talk about two different angles first. Sometimes, it’s obvious. We’re shooting at the same time here and getting two very different scenes. They’re of the same action but show off different things.
Next, lens choice! In Kate and Drew’s wedding ceremony, we each covered one side of the church. In addition to each playing different sides, we also mixed up our lens choices. During portions of the day in which we can’t talk easily, we’re constantly aware of what the other is doing to try and complement each other. I went for a wide, scene-showing image and Joe for a closeup on their faces.
Having each photographer in two different places is a huge plus. Sometimes this is really important! While we can plan and plan until we think it’s foolproof, sometimes we’re in the wrong place for a perfect image – in this case it’s great to have another photographer on hand to back you up! In the images of Mike below, Joe just wasn’t at the best angle to get a great image of Mike’s awesome reaction to his friends hoisting him up into the air. And as you can see, the dance floor was way too crowded to move quickly and grab that frame. This is a perfect example of a great storytelling image that could have been lost.
In the same way, I hung back at the beginning of Liz and Lee’s ceremony because they had a great backdrop of lower Manhattan and I wanted a good, wide image that showed the dramatic view. Joe had just finished photographing the processional up front with their rabbi asked them to turn and look at all the guest around them. He reminded them that these people all came to celebrate their union and I love the looks on their faces as they take in the smiling friends before them. I was simply in the wrong place to capture this image but Joe was not and nailed it.
Other times, we simply just know we can’t be in two places at once and we split duties. In the following example, Joe photographed the processional from the front of the church. Desiree, another working pro photographer, second shot this wedding for Joe. She photographed from the rear of the church, capturing the custom aisle runner Tifini had made for the ceremony.
There are times of the wedding day in which Joe and I are taking nearly identical shots. It doesn’t happen often, but it occurs. Sometimes this is during a portrait session and results, though taken only 3 seconds apart, still look very different. Though we were near each other, our lens choice was different and still offered a small amount of variety in the following two images from Paul and Esther’s engagement session with their dog.
First things first, we need to point out that both Joe and I are prime photographers. If you’ve read up on our history a bit, you know we each had separate photography studios when we met and only later started shooting weddings together. We’re each fully capable of photographing a wedding on our own and were each doing so over ten years ago. A lot of photography teams consist of one full time photographer and assistant taking photo classes or a spouse they taught a few things to so they could photograph together. In that situation, there’s always a lead photographer. In our situation, since we’re both fully trained photographers, we can each take the lead when necessary. This is most common while we’re pressed for time creating wedding portraits. We don’t each get the time to create something, but make variety in what we’re already doing so we can move on.
Another benefit of fully trusting our shooting partners? Experimentation. As an artist, this is probably the most valuable to us. As a couple that values really great photography, this also matters to you. If we’re only able to concentrate on getting a consistent image, there’s not much leeway to play and create a show-stopping image. If you want your wedding photos to look like everyone else’s, maybe this is not as important to you. But it’s our goal that every wedding shows the individuality of the couple, so this is a big deal for us!
Two photographers isn’t for everyone. At Kim and Patrick’s wedding, one photographer was perfect. Here’s an excerpt from an email she sent me after seeing all of their wedding photos:
“Finally, we LOVED your blog post. It tells a great story and has a super sweet sentiment. We sent it to a few friends/family (some who couldn’t make it to the wedding) and I am told you had a few of them in tears. I originally didn’t want to hire a photograper for the wedding (but was quickly talked out of that idea) because I wanted to stay true to having things more homespun and organic. I just wanted to have maybe a friend or two designated to make sure to take some photos with our “good” camera. I am so so so happy we found you, first for your excellent professional photographs, but also because you made it feel like you were another friend coming out for our wedding. I think i said this before, but I really appreciated the combination of your laid-back style and professionalism.”
We’re happy to work with you and photograph by ourselves. We’ve been doing quite a lot of it lately and it’s fun to rise to the occasion and see how close we can get to a two-photographer level of coverage with only one of us. Go ahead and see a wedding that Joe photographed alone and also one I, Britney photographed alone!