We are often asked about second photographers for wedding dates and have been doing it long enough to have it down to a real science. In many cases we’ll be asked about another photographer but find that the details of the wedding day don’t justify the need of 2 photographers. To help you determine your need it would be best to talk to us about your wedding day but in the meantime we wanted to give a definition of what you can expect for certain levels of photographer and provide a bit more information that will help you understand how it works in the professional photographic industry.
An assistant is someone that helps to make your day go smoother by helping the photographer be more efficient. That means they carry bags, hold light stands, or run back and forth to grab necessary gear. They can also at times be helping *you* if for instance we’re out shooting portraits away from the house and you forgot your comfy shoes or need a drink of water. We choose our assistants based on their motivation, social skills, and work ethic but not necessarily photographic ability.
We consider our professional assistants to be not only capable of being a friendly and capable pack-mule but also someone who understands the different camera lenses clearly and lighting angles for the most beautiful shot. A professional assistant is commonly able to be that “second photographer” when you don’t need one the entire day but would like a photographer in the balcony or additional angles for the bouquet toss. It is very common that photographers sell a professional assistant as a second photographer when it’s a husband/wife team or internship situation. Although there is great value in both of those options, we find it best to not over-sell the capabilities of a hobbyist or student.
We see a lot of value in our associate photographers. These are folks who take beautiful photos and have great social skills but may be somewhat newer to our team or not be comfortable being able to “nail the shot”. It’s absolutely imperative to us that any full photographer be able to leave a shoot with no excuses. We know a lot of photographers or clients who have talked about not catching the kiss, forgetting the rings, or missing a shot of the groom alone; in our minds these photographers were a great “Associate” but not necessarily someone to capture the day on their own. Associate Photographers are great covering the other person getting ready, the second angle for group shots, or capturing any of those other times when you want two perspectives.
Second Photographer / Partner / Principal Photographer
We have formed great relationships with other photographers and even created several partnerships with other studios and photographers. These are photographers that are as qualified and talented as us PERIOD! We respect their work and hold it to a very high standard so we feel very comfortable that a second photographer would be able to take over the day if needed and in the case of our partners are very skilled at being able to pass a situation back and forth effortlessly for greater selection and creativity. Along with Ben Pancoast and Karl Rouwhorst, Dan Terpstra has created the Photography Team which includes several other highly skilled photographers in a vast number of cities throughout the US including Detroit, Chicago, Columbus, Baltimore, LA, Denver, and much more. This helps us choose a great person for any event no matter where it is!
Every version of an assistant or second photographer will help raise the efficiency of our jobs on your wedding day which helps to make things go more smoothly. Please arrange your complimentary consultation to discuss your wedding day and if an assistant or second photographer is necessary!