Toronto Wedding Photography by Ten·2·Ten Photography
Advice for Couples

Wedding Myths: 2 Mediocre Photographers vs. 1 Amazing Artist

The topic of “1 wedding photographer vs. 2” has been a hot one for several years now.  If you do a quick internet search you’ll find several thousand articles will pop up in a matter of milliseconds as people throughout the globe have debated this very topic.  I myself have even written an article about whether or not you need a second photographer.

Since I wrote that last article, I still believe that many brides truly do not need a second photographer.  In fact, I still continue to believe that brides choose to take quantity over quality when it comes to 1 versus 2 photographer packages.  I’m sorry brides, but it’s true!

The key word in that last paragraph is “quality”.  For those photographers who offer two, highly-trained, professional quality photographers (with the proper price tag associated with it), I tip my hat at you for keeping quality an important aspect of your business model.  However, for those photographers who offer 2-photographer wedding packages for mere pennies, I simply must shake my head and think “Why?  Why are you doing this to the industry?!?”

All too often you see two mediocre, shoe-string budget photographers partner up and offer “two photographer wedding packages” for half the cost of the competition.  Sure the photos might be under/over exposued, crooked and off-coloured, but for some reason they still manage to be fully booked every weekend of every year.  Why?  Because they have recognized that the “quantity vs. quality” bride has made her mark in the wedding world and are taking advantage of that.

But here’s the open and honest scoop about this type of scheme.  Two mediocre photographers still aren’t as good as one amazing photographer.  One amazing photographer can capture your entire day including formals as well as candids and can edit those images to sheer perfection.  Sure, they can’t physically be in two places at once, but they are damn good at weaving in and out of crowds with their ninja-like skills and capturing your memories unobtrusively and naturally.  They’ve built their reputation as a one-man (or one-woman) show and have built a successful career around their artistry and talent.

Still not convinced that 1 pro is better than 2 so-so photographers?  I’m not going to beat around the bush anymore – you want that super-cheap 2nd photographer?  Well here’s what you’ll probably get:

  • The 2nd shooter is simply an avid amateur posing as a true professional
  • The 2nd shooter is a highschool or college student getting their co-op hours
  • The 2nd shooter is an untrained friend of spouse of the primary photographer
  • The 2nd shooter simply responded to a Kijiji ad request for a 2nd shooter job that offered a few bucks and may have never worked with the primary photographer before (No relationship between photographers = many photo bombs!  Do you really want to have that happen?)
  • The 2nd shooter probably doesn’t have pro level gear and probably has no backup gear, either!
  • The 2nd shooter more than likely doesn’t have liability insurance
  • Did you want that 2nd shooter because you wanted each photographer in a different place at a different time?  Well…
    • The primary photographer may still insist on shooting everything themselves (ie: groom in the morning + bride in the morning) because they know the 2nd shooter can’t pose people as well as them and that their work isn’t consistent or reliable
    • This means that your wedding day schedule will end up the same as it would have been had you simply hired the 1 amazing photographer instead!

These shoe-string budget photographers who offer 2 photographers for the price of 1 won’t be around in 3 or 4 years – how would you feel if your “cheap and affordable” wedding photography went out of business before delivering your final product to you?  Their work will never be good enough to build a decent reputation nor can an individual run a business, replace equipment and pay for basic living costs with the little money that these “budget friendly wedding packages” bring in.  We need to see a re-emergence of the quality over quantity bride – the bride who values the true artistry and talent in her vendors.  The wedding industry showcases some of the most exquisitely talented individuals; whether it’s chefs, photographers, decorators or florists, and these talent vendors are taking a hit with the disappearance of the quality bride.

Finally, I want to address the issue of “missing moments”.  I often hear from clients that they feel like they need a 2nd shooter because they are afraid that the primary photographer will miss some of the candid moments.  Although I understand that your wedding day is important to you and that you want to capture as many of the memories as you can, I truly believe that someone who wants a 2nd photography simply to get “a few more shots from a few different angles” is best off with hiring a videographer instead of a 2nd shooter.  Videography tells the story of your wedding day, as does photography, but it also has the benefit of movement and sound (which is what many of those candid moments are all about).

Toronto Wedding Photography by Ten·2·Ten Photography
Toronto Wedding Photography by Ten·2·Ten Photography
As the solo photographer at this wedding, you’re shooting with 1 eye and looking for the next shot with the other eye. As our bride was putting on her earrings, I noticed her aunt sneaking up for a peek into the transformation from niece to bride so I quickly repositioned, recomposed, and got the shot.

So, is it really better to have 2 mediocre photographers rather than 1 excellent photographer?  Let’s put it this way:

If you think hiring genuine professionals is expensive – wait until you see what it costs you from having hired the amateurs…

 

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2 Comments

  1. Very good article and so many true points. Seems more so in the GTA and Oshawa area have become infamous for the $350 2 photographer deal.

    However only one tiny point I have to argue. My wife and I from time to time both shoot at the same wedding (we’re business partners and equally experienced/seasoned).

    It has come to be INCREDIBLY handy when the bride is getting ready at point A, and the groom and the guys are getting ready at point B 60 ish kms away.

    Now in Toronto traffic, 6kms can sometimes take over an hour to travel, or from small town to small town, even a 60 km drive will take 45mis to an hour depending on limits/conditions.

    We all want to be at all places at once, but 2 photogs do offer some value add..

    again though, pro vs am. huge difference. 10 crappy photographers cant replace 1 pro. so I agree with you there.

    1. Hey Kyle! Thanks for the comment; I don’t disagree at all regarding your point. Yes, there absolutely are times when one photographer cannot physically be in two separate places at once and it is necessary to have a 2nd shooter if you cannot accommodate your schedule to make things work with 1 photog.
      The clients who truly DO need 2 photographers are the ones who have the toughest decision to make; do they spend the extra money and hire two AMAZING professionals or opt to save and go with 2 mediocre photographers. I would certainly hope they understand how important quality is but like you said, there are so many “cheap photography duo’s” around the GTA and Oshawa region that it’s scary to think what kind of sub-par photos brides and grooms are getting as a result.
      Thanks for your comments! Keep in touch!!
      -Erika

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