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First Look? Second Photographer? Let’s chat.

You have a lot to consider when you start planning your dream wedding day. We want to arm you with the best info so at least a few of those decisions can be a little easier. And please know that even though the advice below has been gained in photographing over 400 wonderful New England weddings, that sometimes even we know “too much.” It’s your day, do you think feels right.

Along those lines we have put together a little checklist on the two most frequently asked questions.

Should we do a First Look?

  • This is a very personal decision. Don’t let anyone (even your photographer or planner) dictate this to you. It’s not about timing or convenience. It’s about how you envision your day together.
    • Do you envision that “threshold” moment down the aisle? Then forego the First Look and let the day unfold naturally. Any talented and experienced photographer can joyfully accommodate this for you and capture all those special moments naturally.
    • Or, on the other hand, are you more laid back and/or just plain private and would rather see each other for the first time alone? Then by all means, do a First Look – it can be a special time together before the whirlwind begins.
    • Some couples are VERY, very nervous before the ceremony. So be honest with your personality and if this describes you, a First Look may not be the best option because you will be too nervous to enjoy it and the photos may reflect that.
  • Is it very important for you to attend the entire cocktail hour? Then I would recommend a First Look.
  • Are you getting married in a very picturesque area with lots of locations? AND/OR do you want A LOT of photographs of you and your spouse to be in and around the different locations? Then I would highly recommend a First Look.
  • Do you want “Just the facts Ma’am” type photography (greatest hits only in a very relaxed, natural way) – then forego the First Look.

Long story short: The First Look can be a wonderful way to get the most out of your photography day–but it’s not required and it’s def not for everyone. Most experienced photographers offer either 1/2 day or Full Day coverage and a First Look does add both time and usually $$$ to your day.  There is no right or wrong answer. If you are on the fence about – discuss it openly with each other and your photographer to see what makes the most sense.

Do we need a second photographer?

This is an interesting one.  Just a few short years ago almost no one had a Second Photographer. And while there are definitely some reasons to consider one (we’ll get to that below), there are just as many reasons not to have one.

  • Are you both getting ready in separate locations AND you do you want 100% want full coverage of both of you getting ready/prep? Then you will need a Second Photographer. The second photographer usually becomes “The Groom’s Photographer” – which for the right groom and group of groomsmen (not to mention logistics) can be a wonderful upgrade for your day and memories. We offer Full Day as well as hourly Second Photographer coverage so you can get the coverage you need and no more or less.
  • Do you want FULL COVERAGE of the cocktail hour while you are doing portraits? Then you will need a Second Photographer.
  • Do you have more than 75 guests AND you want FULL COVERAGE of just about every single person present at your wedding? Then you will need a Second Photographer.
  • Do you have a very detailed/designed wedding with multiple venues, specialized lighting, and choreographed main events (and probably the budget that comes along)? You MAY want to consider a Second Photographer who just concentrates on this.
  • Do you want more than 10 hours of coverage? Then you will need a Second Photographer.
  • Be wary of photographers who automatically have a second photographer included – esp if the price for two photographers is what most photographers are charging for one. Most experienced wedding photographers should be able cover your day beautifully by themselves and might even prefer to – after all, it’s a very intimate day that requires an artistic vision to stand the test of time.
  • Make sure your primary photographer is hiring a very qualified and artistic second photographer and not just a glorified assistant. All of our second photographers usually own their own studios already and are just as qualified as the primary to shoot your day (we like to help each other out – second shooting is actually REALLY FUN).

The long and short: If you answered a hard YES to any of the questions above, then a second photographer can be a wonderful upgrade and addition to your day, but it should never be required. Just hire the best because If you are going to pay the extra for a second photographer and have them be with you all day, then you want those photos to shine too.