How many photographers should I hire?
It’s not about quantity, but more about the job assignments for each photographer and what kinds of pictures a couple wants and what it takes to get there. There are different types of weddings - mostly determined by size, but other factors play into it as well:
- The Charming, Bohemian Destination Wedding
2 photographers should do the job, with no assistant needed (most of the time). They will be able to cover different ceremony angles and moments like the groom getting ready. If you’re at a beach location or a Vermont farm, chances are the timing is right and we’ll be able to work with the natural light. This cuts down on the equipment we need and we’ll be able to shoot mostly from the hip. That said, if the wedding is very small (under 50 guests) and there’s a consideration of extra travel expenses, 1 photographer could do the job alone.
- A Mid-Size Wedding at a Great Venue
This is the 150 person wedding (give or take 50 or so). It’s the type of wedding where formal family portraits are expected and the bride gets ready in one location and the groom in another. Here we have our standard configuration of 2 photographers + 1 assistant. The assistant is necessary to help with the lighting gear and general logistics like helping the lead photographer move from one scenario to the next.
- The Big Blowout Bash
This wedding can start at around 150 guests, but it’s typically a larger wedding with 250+ guests. Here the studio has a different configuration and the team is more job focused.
The lead photographer is focused on the bride and shoots her for a mini-fashion shoot. The other 2 photographers take the more photojournalist approach and cover the groom and candids that take place while the lead photographer is with the bride & bridal party. With this team, still life setups and decor shots are photographed to a greater level of quality (vs the off the hip approach).
This team is supported by one more assistants to help with a lighting setup. Often a lighting setup is necessary, especially when indoors and in the winter; but also outdoors to get that extra lighting quality.
Most importantly, it makes sense to have the right coverage for your wedding whether you have 50 guests or 350. 3 photographers for a small beach wedding definitely is overkill, whereas 2 photographers for a big bash would likely miss things.