Why Second Shooters Are Important

There are a few things I’ve learned since doing my first wedding in 2013. One thing that has completely changed the game for me is including a second shooter in ALL of my regular wedding packages! The only weddings that I do completely alone are elopements. I used to offer a second shooter as an add-on to any package, but I eventually realized that a second shooter was necessary for me to have at all of my regular weddings. In today’s blog post, I’m sharing five reasons why I think second shooters are important!

Getting Ready

This reason is usually the most obvious. During the getting ready part of the day, the couple is typically getting ready at the exact same time, although in different rooms. I obviously can’t be in two places at once, so I used to either plan out timelines so that one would get ready before the other, OR timelines where I could bounce back and forth. I hated doing it that way for a couple of reasons.

1. I never knew if I might miss something important in one room while I was in the other.

2. It made me feel a lot more rushed, ESPECIALLY in timelines that were shorter than ten hours. With a second shooter, I’m able to be in one room while my second is in the other. We’re able to photograph the getting ready part of the day simultaneously without missing any crucial moments! 

First Look

It is so important for the first look to be captured from two angles and perspectives. We also photograph the first look on two different focal lengths so that one of us is shooting a little more close up in order to get all of the emotional expressions on your faces! Depending on how we set up the first look, I can’t always get both of your reactions on one camera. This is why it’s great to have two shooters so that every moment of the first look is captured!


During the portraits part of the day, my second shooter is such a great help! She fluffs dresses, adjusts ties, helps with positioning, and keeps me on track with our timeline. During family portraits, I shoot off of a list that my couple has sends me before the wedding. My second shooter reads off the checklist so that we can make sure every family photo is taken care of in the best order possible. All of the little things that my second shooter does throughout the day adds up to saving me so much time. With that extra time, I can focus on taking even more beautiful photos!

Jayna Biery Photography / Jayna Watkins Photography / Tennessee Wedding + Lifestyle Photographer Based in Knoxville, Tennessee / Knoxville, Tennessee Wedding / Knoxville Engagement Session / Knoxville Wedding Photographer / Tennessee Engagement Session / Tennessee Wedding Photographer / TN Engagement Session / TN Wedding Photographer / The Press Room Wedding Photographer / The Press Room Wedding Venue / Wedding Bounce House / Wedding Bouncehouse


During the ceremony, my second shooter and I use lenses with different focal lengths. We also position ourselves in different areas. For example, I focus on the bride walking down the aisle, and I’m typically positioned at the front of the aisle near the parents and bridesmaids. My second shooter focuses on the groom’s reaction, and she is typically seated in an aisle seat a few rows back. This allows us to capture both people in one of the most important parts of the entire day!

After the processional is over, we position ourselves at various spots in the back and sides of the ceremony site. This way every moment of your ceremony is being captured from different angles and focal lengths, giving a lot of variety to your photos! When it’s time for the first kiss, we’re both at the back of the aisle to capture that and the recessional, still using different focal lengths. (I typically shoot pretty tight on the couple, and my second shooter gets a wider shot.)


During the reception, SO many things are happening. We both capture the first dance, parent dances, cake cutting, etc. However, during open dancing, we are usually capturing moments on opposite sides of the dance floor! One of us might be getting some posed shots of guests, while the other is taking photos of guests dancing. We try to keep our eyes out for any cute moments happening throughout the reception. Having a second shooter there is crucial to make sure that you don’t miss any picture-perfect moments.

I hope this blog post on the importance of second shooters was helpful!

Want to see more wedding planning tips? Click here!

I’m a wedding and lifestyle photographer based in Knoxville, Tennessee but available anywhere. If you have questions about booking me for a session or wedding, click here! To follow me on social media, check out my Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Wasn't that fun?

Check out more blog posts below!


[…] Each of my wedding packages include a second shooter! We are apart during the getting ready portion of the day so that you and your partner can get ready at the same time in two different locations. During portraits, my second shooter will shoot different angles and also act as an assistant by fluffing your veil/dress, gathering family members for portraits, and helping to corral the wedding party. During the ceremony and reception, my second is shooting as well! I’ve written a blog post on the importance of a second shooter – you can read that here! […]


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.