Another great question which I am often asked, [client] "do you have a second photographer?" My answer is typically a polite "no". This then follows by [client] "But we want both bride and groom getting ready shots?!"
NOT A PROBLEM!!
This is where careful planning and timing comes into consideration. Included in my packages is the essential consultation session; in this meeting we cover a detailed timeline which includes car travel between locations and making sure we know exactly what time you are getting into the dress so I can be there.
SO, HOW DO YOU ACHIEVE BOTH SHOOTS?
My normal morning sees me at the brides house first to cover the "product shots" and some general playful shots whilst your bridesmaids are having make up. Then I will buzz over to the boys, and will have organised a "mock getting ready" at a specific time when they can all be there. Now, not only is this piece of mind for the bride (making sure they are all there and not chained naked to a lamp post somewhere) and guaranteed the boys will whinge about this but, it is a great way for them to check that they have all the right clothing, everyone has a tie, the right shirt sizes, check that all the buttons are stitched on their shirts (last week - lol), and not to mention the fact that yes if a shirt comes out of a package it will need ironing!! If there is anything missing they can quickly shoot down to Myer and sort it out. Following an hour or so of this I will then come back to the brides house for her makeup and hair tweaks followed by getting in to the dress (at a pre determined time).
I like to have fun during my bride/ groom shoot, crack jokes, make people smile and generally make people feel relaxed that I am there. If this means sharing a champas' with the girls or a sneaky export with the boys then so be it - my arm can be twisted :)
Whilst you are focusing on my hilarious witty sense of humour I am focusing on the candid special moments which I count as the most important. I also love to play around with creative ideas for photographing the rings and you will often see me using a the father of the bride to flash an iPhone or torch to get that perfect bling shot!
IN MY OPINION
Having full morning coverage at the grooms will only lead to 500+ semi decent photos of the boys either playing playstation, watching Simpsons or UFC, and drinking beer in their jocks (all recent weddings - you know who you are!), one or two are fine, but not 500!!
On the Bride's side, do you really want a photographer
a) taking countless photos of you with no makeup (normally til mid day ish)
b) being around all morning and potentially spoiling the mood with your girls?
90% of my weddings see the couple using around 250 photos from the day, either for prints or in the album. I shoot on average 3000 during a full day, and I'm not ashamed of that as I like to make sure I cover as much as possible and I can handle the culling process. BUT, if we include a second shooter then you can potentially double that and then some (due to inexperience), and that doesn't mean that they are all of good quality. As you receive ALL images from the day (minus crappy out of focus/ guest photo bombs) it can mean you end up sorting through over 5000 images to get to your 250 selection - not an easy task, and also very time consuming.
BUT WHAT ABOUT AT THE CEREMONY?
I like to think of myself as a photography ninja! I always scan crowds for candid emotions and off the cuff laughs, my focus is not 100% directed to the couple at the alter. I move around a lot, and I mean a lot, I'm pretty sure there would be guests at the back with a sore neck from tracking my movements throughout the ceremony, and this is all unbeknown to the couple saying their "I do's"! I use long, high quality professional (and bloody expensive) lenses to achieve this stealth like ninja style of shooting, and I haven't had any complaints about it to date!
I'm not your usual snobby photographer who doesn't appreciate the great photography teams out there, they are there and I will recommend them if we are not suited. Having a second just doesn't fit my style or business model, I aim to be a "one man band" and try to keep costs down as much as possible whilst providing an excellent service. If I could split myself in two then I could guarantee that the Nick Thake Photography style of shooting would exist in my second photographer :)
That said if having a second photographer is the absolute draw card in taking a booking, and you are adamant that I should shoot your wedding, then yes I will organise someone, someone awesome (not a student for example), but at additional cost - which is annoying as it is really not required!
Finally, I have many brides which have offered recommendations and the option to speak to potential brides directly should they have any questions about how I shoot on the day :)