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Sunday School for Brides… Do I need an Assistant Photographer?

One of the most frequent questions I get from brides and grooms to be is why or if they should get an Assistant Photographer.  Here are some important points I raise in response:

An Assistant Photographer is helpful for the following reasons:

  • I can’t be in two places at once- so if I am shooting the bride coming up the isle, I can’t also be in the back getting the wide shot with the back of the dress.  A second photographer can be getting different angles.  It also provides extra photographs in your edit.
  • An Assistant can be shooting the groom getting ready while I am with the bride- this is especially helpful if the groom is getting ready in a totally separate location.  The photo below is one I shot as a second photographer.
  • During the first part of the cocktail hour, I generally need to be shooting the details in the reception room before the guests go in.  A second photographer can be covering the cocktail hour until I join them later after shooting the room.  This is especially important for weddings with 100+ guests.  In fact, I am generally not comfortable shooting a wedding of 100+ people without an Assistant, simply because it becomes difficult to make sure I cover all the guests.
  • If (heaven forbid) I have an equipment malfunction in the middle of an important moment that cannot be stopped (such as the first dance, or a Horah) I can call upon my second to cover everything while I get my backup equipment up-and-running.
  • Though I can’t ever guarantee a replacement for myself if something were to happen to me at the last minute and I was no longer able to shoot your wedding, having an Assistant booked already is helpful because at least there would be one person who is already committed to their schedule to be shooting your wedding.  If they are Assisting me, they are trustworthy and technically competent photographers.  It can offer real peace of mind to know that when you book me with a second photographer, the likelihood that you will have coverage on your wedding day in case of some emergency is very good indeed.

When inquiring about an Assistant for your wedding, be sure to clarify if the Assistant will be there as a second photographer, or just someone who aides in the holding of bags, lights, setup, etc.  My Assistants are second photographers.  They spend the majority of the time shooting.

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