"We loved having you at our wedding, the coolest photographers ever! We're absolutely delighted with our wedding photography"
"Allister and Joshua were with each of us from the very beginning of our wedding day, we were understandably preoccupied and nervous with the wedding however they put at ease straight away. They both had a knack of blending in, which meant that the photography was not in any way intrusive. The moments captured are extraordinary and really display the emotion and character of our wedding day."
Beliz and Tim
Ordinarily, I would argue against the benefits of a two photographer package over one, at least with the more 'hands off' reportage based styles of wedding photography. However, over the past few months I've been working more and more on 'Two View' weddings; a two photographer setup offering consistently high-brow, dual perspective coverage. I spent the majority of 2010 teaching my now key associate photographer, Joshua Archer, everything I know. From preparing for a documentary wedding commission, building rapport with subjects, style, ethos and approach before finally, producing the finished, edited body of work; the shortlisted, strongest and most relevant selection of photographs from the commission day, or days with our large Asian weddings.
Shooting alone, without doubt, minimises the amount of exposure guests have to the camera. The solitary photographer does less 'rounds', it's simple logic. In addition to this, one photographer is substantially easier for the camera shy to deal with. They're much less intimidating and altogether more approachable because they are deemed less of a 'supplier' and more as a member of the wedding; the initial milestone in order achieve my particularly personal style of reportage wedding photography and photojournalism.
This is especially so with relatively small weddings. For instance last Saturday's commission was at a small Mayfair hotel and it consisted of just thirty people, including the bride and groom. For this wedding it would be irresponsible for me to have two photographers attending, no matter how well practised. Irresponsible because I know we would not be able to achieve the standard of photography that my customers expect, that same level of trust and comfort would be lost due to overzealous coverage; something that seems to be happening a lot in the industry lately and really is just another element of the 'snapshot wedding photography' scene I've been discussing in previous articles - quantity over quality, as opposed to the other way around.
Is your wedding big enough to cope with two photographers?
Would the photographers produce to the same standard at a small wedding as they would a large?
These are key elements to clarify, I would certainly never recommend having two photographers with a wedding of less than 120 guests and even then the venue would need to be forgiving enough to accommodate 'pockets' of guests, not just one or two rooms which inevitably would make for an uncomfortable evening reception. Imagine lethargic, desert-filled and slightly tired yet tipsy guests being continually photographed, perhaps at the same time by both photographers. No, there is definitely a right and a wrong wedding for both one and two photographer teams. Rest assured, we always give couples an honest, responsible answer for either. We need to know that we have everything in place in order to create our particular style and recommending 'Two View' for every wedding would be detrimental.
Now that I have a key associate; a highly talented documentary wedding photographer in his own right, I can see these very clear exceptions. Beliz and Tim had a fairly average wedding in terms of numbers - probably 130 wedding guests in all, however if you've ever been to Bovey Castle you will appreciate the castle's design - with several key rooms, corridors and seating areas in addition to it's exterior areas, really offers itself to our 'Two View' package. Because of this setup, people will never just settle in the one room. Therefore we can, very successfully, operate our 'Two View' documentary coverage; working as a team and yet completely independently from one another, allowing us to both remain approachable and low-key within the surroundings.
Naturally, every photographer, no matter what style they follow, will differ. For instance, Joshua now offers a remarkably similar product to me in terms if it's quality and target customer and yet there are very evident differences within the style, particularly the interpretation of a moment. The benefits of this on a two photographer package, a 'Two View', are self-evident. You get the best work from both photographers. Not only do you get double the amount of images - thanks to the high quality photography produced by both, but you're also getting a very slightly different perspective; a unique interpretation and capture of a moment from each photographer. A Two View.
The object of this Two View is not to have two identical images of the same event, it's about capturing strong and unique images that can stand on their own. It can allow you to capture two different events at the same time, particularly important for Asian weddings or where coverage of the bride and groom in separate locations is an absolute must. The finished product is a more comprehensive and complete reflection of the day.
Below are just a few of our favourites from this Bovey Castle wedding.
Two View prices start from £3800 for a full days coverage.