Should you hire a second photographer for your wedding day

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Should you hire a second photographer for your wedding day

While looking for a photographer, you might see the option to add a second photographer to a wedding package (myself included). I thought it would be helpful to breakdown some of the roles that a second photographer plays, as well as the pros and cons of hiring one, which will hopefully allow you to consider whether or not hiring a second photographer is right for you:

Overall Responsibilities:

This is going to look different for every primary photographer, but for the second photographers I hire, their responsibilities can include going to the groom’s getting ready location (while I stay with the bride), show up early to the ceremony to capture guests as they arrive, cover different angles than me during the ceremony/portraits/reception, and throughout the day help keep everything running smoothly.


Knowing that, here are some things you can expect when you hire a second photographer:

Pro: More photos

Okay this one is kind of obvious, but an extra person + an extra camera is going to end up with more photos. And not only that, there is more variety to the photos. For example, while I’m at the front of the aisle as the bride is coming down the aisle, I have my second photographer placed at the back taking photos of the bride from the back (while getting another angle of the groom’s face). Or, while I’m getting photos of your best man during his speech, my second is getting reactions from your guests. They are also grabbing different angles during portraits, making our time together more efficient.

The photos the second photographer takes will all be edited and delivered by the primary photographer, so you don’t need to worry about the photos looking different.

Pro: I can be two places at once

Okay not really, but you get the point ;)

If getting ready photos are important to you and your partner, having a second photographer here is a huge benefit. As mentioned, while I’m photographing the bride getting ready, my second photographer is over getting photos of the groom getting ready. This is especially helpful if your getting ready locations are far apart, or if the timeline is too tight to travel in between each location.

Another example is during cocktail hour. If getting lots of candid photos of your guests is important, then I can send my second photographer to capture those while we’re finishing up with portraits of the two of you.

Pro: Backup

Not only does a second photographer act as another layer of backup equipment in the event anything happens to my equipment + backup equipment, they themselves are a backup to me! I only choose second photographers who are capable of shooting weddings themselves, so if anything were to happen to me before the wedding, they would have the necessary information/details and the capability to step in and shoot for me. 

Pro: They help cover more ground

If you have a lot of guests at your reception, or if it’s in a large space, it might be beneficial to have a second photographer help cover ground. While I wish I could figure out a way to be everywhere at once, sadly, I haven’t figured that equation out yet ;)

Pro: Helps contribute to an overall positive experience to your day

From helping wrangle family members for portraits, holding umbrellas, keeping us on track with our timeline, to asking people in the background to kindly step out of the frame, having a second photographer helps the day run smoothly and allows you to enjoy your wedding that much more.

Con: Cost

Obviously hiring a second photographer is going to be an additional cost because not only are you paying for their time and expertise, it also increases the number of photos the primary has to go through, edit and deliver (in order to help with that, I’ve recently adjusted my offerings to allow you to tailor the number of hours you’d like a second photographer for). Something else to remember is that they also will require a meal if their coverage extends past dinner.

FYI: Sometimes photographers use student photographers or those just starting out, and while this may be a more affordable option, you might miss out on some of those benefits listed above. Not to say there’s anything wrong with going that route - just something to consider!


While I’ve shot the majority of weddings myself, I am always thrilled to have another person at my side. I’m never going to push you to hire a second photographer - all I’ll do is encourage you to sit down with your partner and decide if it’s something you want to invest in.

Hope you found this information helpful! If you have any questions on what it’s like to hire a second photographer, please don’t be shy! Reach out to hello@deannarachel.com and I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

In your corner helping you plan your wedding thoughtfully + intentionally,

Deanna


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How to Create Your Perfect Wedding Day Timeline

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How to Create Your Perfect Wedding Day Timeline

Spoiler alert: every wedding timeline is going to (and should) look different. There are a lot of factors to consider when creating a timeline that will actually allow you to enjoy wedding day, and I’ve outlined a few of them below:

First step: decide what’s most important to you and your partner

I put this one top on the list because I believe it’s first thing you should consider before getting to the nitty gritty details of your timeline. One of the keys to being intentional (in all areas of your life) is to take time to consider what’s most important to you. If all you can think about on your wedding day is your five course meal that you chose, give yourself plenty of time to enjoy it. If you want to start the day relaxed and feeling pampered, schedule an hour or two at the spa with your girlfriends. If you want to drive a little extra further to get portraits at that really epic location that you love, schedule it in. What better way to spend your wedding day than doing the things you love and skipping the things you don’t.

Consult your photographer/videographer

Reach out to your photographer and ask them how long they recommend for each portion of the day. Some photographers work quicker than others, while others may require more time to get those really epic shots. So ask them how long they typically require for family photos, bridal party and bride + groom portraits. If you’re hiring a videographer, something else to consider is how your videographer and photographer will work together - some videographers prefer get footage while the photographer is posing/directing, while others prefer to have their own time to give direction. If it’s the latter, you will need to give yourself more time during your portrait session to give both vendors they time they need to get you the great work you hired them for!

Give yourself more time than you think

This one isn’t groundbreaking, but it’s always a good reminder. The more time you can give yourself, the better. Chances are, something is going to run behind schedule, so if you can give yourself a little extra wiggle room, you won’t need to stress when you hit a bit of traffic or you lose track of groomsman during your portrait session.

Don’t forget travel time

Speaking of hitting traffic, something people often forget is to incorporate travel time between locations. If your photographer says they need minimum 30 minutes for portraits, make sure the 30 minutes you’ve allotted for portraits doesn’t include travelling from your ceremony location to your portrait location (and then your portrait location to your reception location).

Schedule some quiet time

Quiet time isn’t just for toddlers and introverts. Trust me, your wedding day is going to FLY by. Before you know it, you’ll be sitting down for dinner and it’ll be the first time you and your now spouse (!!) will have a chance to breathe. Whether it’s ensuring you have a vehicle to yourselves throughout the day, or going for a short walk just the two of you before dinner, I love the idea of scheduling some time alone for yourselves to spend some time together (uninterrupted), let the reality of day sink in, and you know… maybe make out a little.

Throw the rules out the window

Go ahead, have your dinner before your ceremony. Take your portraits the day before or the day after your wedding so you can have more time with your friends and family. If you haven’t heard it enough already, this is your wedding day. Why do it on someone else’s terms?

In your corner helping you plan your wedding thoughtfully and intentionally,

Deanna

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How to Elevate Your Getting Ready Photos

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How to Elevate Your Getting Ready Photos

I often get asked what my favourite part of the day to photograph is. And while portraits of the bride and groom are an obvious first choice, the photos I take during the getting ready portion of the day are a close second. There’s so much anticipation and excitement, often the brides are surrounded by their closest girlfriends and/or family, and there are some really beautiful moments that happen as the couple is getting ready to marry the love of their life.

While you don’t need to get ready in the fanciest hotel room to get great photos, there are a couple of things you can do to elevate your getting ready photos. I’ve outlined some tips below:


Light light light

Having a place to get ready in that has lots of natural light is the most important thing to consider. Not only will your makeup artist thank you, having great light is the first step to really beautiful images. If the natural light is limited, try placing yourself as close to a window as possible when getting your hair and makeup done, putting your dress on, etc.

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Tidy up

Before your photographer arrives to take photos, ask your girlfriends or whoever is getting ready with you to quickly tidy up the room you’re getting ready in. Hiding clutter, throwing away the tissues and putting away breakfast dishes takes away distracting elements from the background of the photos and puts the emphasis back on you!


Gather up your accessories for your photographer 

I always ask my brides to gather the accessories they want photographed in the morning before I arrive so when I show up, I can get those done and out of the way. By doing it beforehand, you’re staying that much more organized, there’s less chance of us forgetting to snap a photo of your grandmother’s bracelet, and you won’t need to be interrupted and can relax and enjoy getting pampered. 

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Write your spouse a letter

Some of my favourite moments are when the couple writes letters to each other to read before they see each other. This is especially great for those who are forgoing the first look and seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony. 

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Let everyone else get dressed first

Allow your bridesmaids to put on their dresses before you get into your dress. That way, when they see you for the first time in your dress or help put on your shoes, they’ll be looking their best. Same thing goes for your mom! I love to grab shots of your mom putting on your necklace, etc so allow her time to get into her outfit too (trust me, she’ll thank you for it!).

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And that’s it! Just a few simple tricks to get the most out of your getting ready photos.

In your corner helping you plan your wedding thoughtfully and intentionally,

Deanna

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Kananaskis Engagement Session: Jason + Meredith

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Kananaskis Engagement Session: Jason + Meredith

Have you ever seen a more smiley couple than Jason + Meredith? Oh man, these two would not stop giggling during their engagement session in Kananaskis, where they introduced me to a new location with a beautiful bridge, told me stories of how they first met, and *playfully* disagreed on when their first date actually was. I so cannot wait for their wedding next June!

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Glenmore Sailing Club Wedding: Zoe + Simon

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Glenmore Sailing Club Wedding: Zoe + Simon

What to say about this wedding other than I loved everything about it. From the most relaxing morning (where Zoe’s mother gave her a necklace made from an earring she wore on her own wedding day), to the city views of their first look location (thank you Z+S for trusting my vision to shoot on top of a parkade!), to Zoe being SO eager to marry Simon that she was walking down the isle before he was even there ;) to their gorgeous outdoor dinner party at the Glenmore Sailing Club. Zoe + Simon, thank you for allowing me to witness such an incredible celebration of your love. Wishing you two all the best for your life together!

Vendors:

Ceremony Venue: St. Mary’s Cathedral

Reception Venue: Glenmore Sailing Club

Florals: Fall For Florals

Cake: Decadent Brulee

DJ: DJ Sonidef

Hairstylist: Michaela Howie

Catering: Fresh Kitchen

Bridal Boutique: Blush and Raven

Coordinator: It's All In the Details

Officiant: Father Bob Deliassan

Second Photographer: Shirley Lynne Photography

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Summer Priddis Wedding: Jennifer + Greg

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Summer Priddis Wedding: Jennifer + Greg

While it wasn’t the sunny, summery day they might have imagined, Jennifer + Greg’s wedding at Priddis Greens Golf and Country Club was beautiful all the same. I don’t know how they managed to time everything so well with the weather, but they were able to at the very last minute make the decision to have their ceremony outdoors (props to the Priddis team for pulling it off!) AS WELL as get all of their portraits in in between between rainfalls. Their reception was laid back, forgoing the speeches and program to instead just relax and enjoy a meal with their friends and family. Everything went off without a hitch and I am so grateful that I was invited to celebrate with them!

Vendors:

Venue: Priddis Greens Golf

Florals: Incredible Florists

Band: Kaley Kinjo & the Hypocrites

Hair: Melissa Shaver Hair

Makeup: Jesica Morgan

Bridal Boutique: Sweet Pea & Noelle

Officiant: Don Higa

Second Photographer: Kaity Body 



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Scarboro Community Centre Wedding: Andrea + Matthew

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Scarboro Community Centre Wedding: Andrea + Matthew

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.. I am ob-SESSED with these two.

We couldn’t have asked for a better day. The sun was shining, the peonies were in full bloom at Central Memorial Park where we took bridesmaid portraits, and the a small breeze helped cool everybody off at their ceremony outside of the Scarboro Community Centre. These two put so much time and effort into making their wedding unique and special to them - but the highlight of the day had to have been Matthew’s surprise song that he wrote and performed for everybody. I am honoured these two asked me to document their day - I could not be happier to now call these two friends.

Florals: Costco

Catering: Manna Catering

Ceremony + Reception Venue: Scarboro Community Centre

Table greenery: Amborella Floral

DJ: Paul Worth

Hairstylist: Keara Penton

Makeup: Madi Leigh Makeup Artistry

Bridal Gown: Enzoani

Bridal Boutique: Durand Bridal

Men’s Attire: Moore's

Officiant: Matt Moore

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Burnaby Hart House Wedding: Kaiyi + Jason

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Burnaby Hart House Wedding: Kaiyi + Jason

Where to start with this wedding… from our very first meeting, to their engagement session at Moraine Lake, to their wedding at the Hart House in Burnaby, I have so loved getting to know both Kaiyi + Jason. They are so easy-going, kind and fun to be around - and their wedding was no exception.

The day consisted of door games (which are always a favourite of mine to witness), a traditional tea ceremony, and a first look under a willow tree (um, yes please). Deer Lake made the perfect backdrop for portraits and their ceremony on the lawn at the Hart House. The day went by effortlessly (huge shoutout to Eron of Encore Events for helping make it all happen!) and was an absolute dream to photograph. Kaiyi + Jason, their friends and family, and the incredible team of vendors they put together made this a day to remember. I cannot thank them enough for allowing me to be part of it.


Vendors:

Florals: Kathleen Chiu - Proline Decor

Venue + Catering: Hart House Restaurant

Bridal Dress: Callablanche

Bridesmaid Dresses: Lulus

Paper goods: Patti Paper Co

Welcome sign: Hand Lettered Love by Bev

Videography: Grey House Visual

Day of Coordination: Eron of Encore Events

Officiant: Joel of All Seasons Weddings

Second Photographer: Shanna Erinne Photography

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Quarry Lake Engagement Session: Kari + Travis

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Quarry Lake Engagement Session: Kari + Travis

I was thrilled when we finally had a warm weekend so I could meet these two in the mountains for their engagement session. While it was a pain waiting for the polar vortex to make it’s way out of town, it was so worth the wait - we all agreed that we couldn’t get enough of the sunshine on our faces. Hanging out with these two was so fun - they were so relaxed, down to earth, and I absolutely cannot wait to celebrate with them at their wedding in October!

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Stewart Creek Winter Wedding: Allie + Jesse

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Stewart Creek Winter Wedding: Allie + Jesse

Their engagement session brought pouring rain, and their wedding day brought freezing temperatures and yet, that didn’t stop Allie + Jesse from committing to forever (and having a heck of a time doing it).

Stewart Creek Golf Course made the perfect backdrop for A+J as they said their vows, ate with friends and family, and danced the night away. It was so much fun getting to hang out with these two and their families, I’d wouldn’t hesitate to sign up to do it all over again (but maybe skip the polar vortex).

Congratulations Allie + Jesse on your beautiful day! Hope you guys have the BEST time in Cuba on your honeymoon! Bring back some sun for us!

Vendors:
Hair: Meili Beauty
Gown: Embrace Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses: David's Bridal
Suits: Moores Clothing
Venue: Stewart Creek Golf Course
Officiant: Patrick Smiley
DJ: Sounds Unlimited
Second Photographer: Laura Nadine Photography

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My wish for your wedding

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My wish for your wedding

My wish is that your wedding is not just a party where you get to show off your pretty dress or drink really good wine. Instead, my wish is that your wedding day is a genuine expression and reflection of the love and devotion that you have for one another; that it's a celebration of the unique and beautiful journey that has brought you to this moment; and that when you look back on your wedding day, your remember how it felt to be surrounded by your community, reading your promises of commitment and devotion out loud, and holding your loved one as close as you possibly could.

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Canmore Engagement Session: Rachel + Ben

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Canmore Engagement Session: Rachel + Ben

This time of my year is my favourite time to shoot in Canmore - there’s a perfect dusting of snow on the mountains, the colours have softened and the crisp air means my couples have to get close to stay warm ;) It was so much fun getting to hang out with these two at Quarry Lake Park. I can’t wait to hang out with them at their wedding in just a few months!

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Moraine Lake Engagement Session: Kaiyi + Jason

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Moraine Lake Engagement Session: Kaiyi + Jason

I was so excited when Kaiyi reached out to me about photographing her and Jason’s wedding. Not only was Kaiyi a bridesmaid in Carmen' + Jeramy’s wedding last year (my favs!) but their plans to get married out in Burnaby had me jumping at the opportunity to head west next summer.

And just as I fell in love with Carmen + Jeramy, I fell in love with these two. Moraine Lake made the perfect backdrop for Kaiyi + Jason’s engagement session. They were up for anything - climbing up boulders, braving the (incredibly) cold winds, or battling it out with an intense rock skipping competition (I’ll let you guess who won based on the photos at the end). Not to mention, they had come all the way from Red Deer for this session. Both being optometrists, they also gratefully and patiently answered all of my optometry-related questions on the drive up to the lake.

I absolutely cannot wait to celebrate with these two next summer!

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East Village Engagement Session: Sam + Tony

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East Village Engagement Session: Sam + Tony

I love a good wind-swept hair shot, however I don't think any of us were prepared for the strength of wind we got at Sam + Tony's session. And yet, it still wasn't enough to stop these guys from being oh-so-adorable. Thanks Beach Beauty for making Sam look all kinds of fabulous!