The planning never stops when it comes to wedding ceremonies. Anything can happen on such short notice and you would have to be prepared for it. In some cases, you might need to have an alternative wedding photographer in place at your wedding ceremony.
Irrespective, there really is no special rule for choosing a perfect backup wedding photographer. Many times, your main wedding photographer will have his or her own alternative. While you might be tempted to take the word of your main guy for it, it is not the best advice out there. Take some time out to know who your alternative guy is. Again, the same rules apply.
Below are some of the things to look out for when choosing or interviewing an alternative:
You should watch out for two slightly different kinds of experiences here. The first is if the photographer has ever worked as a wedding photographer of your type and size. No holds barred. You should drill the person the same way you have drilled your main wedding photographer. Chances are that he or she has worked in that capacity. So, you might not need to worry too much about that.
The second—and more relevant experience—is if he or she has ever worked as a backup wedding photographer. It takes a different skill not to interfere with your main wedding photographer. Most photographers cannot keep their cool and will go ahead to do things that inhibit your main photographer from working properly. Except, of course, you want two “main” photographers at your wedding, you should know if the person to fill that position has the experience and maturity.
Style and Gear
If you want varieties in your wedding pictures, then the style of wedding photography of the alternate wedding photographer is important. But if you want homogeneity, then ask questions about the styles he or she can see. Ensure that you see proof of those styles too by asking for a portfolio.
Your backup photographer must be ready to step up if anything happens with the main guy. So, his gear should be top notch and ready. He should have enough SD card and a back up camera too. In short, he should be as prepared as the main photographer would be.
The alternative wedding photographer needs to be someone who has a lot of patience and restraint. He has to understand and listen to your instructions. Like Sarah and Kristeen at https://fotomakiphotography.com/ said, your wedding is “only happening once. So, [you should] make it unforgettable together”. This includes your wedding photographers too.
There is every chance that he becomes jumpy and wants to do the jobs of the main photographer. But you want to prevent this kind of friction or clash. It is important that he signifies being comfortable taking second place.
If it helps, you can invite the main photographer to meet with the alternative photographer and even ask questions. It is a good idea for both of them to bond before the wedding day. This will prevent the “first-meet” awkwardness.
Do you trust him or her? If not, search for someone else. You should be able to bond with the photographer the same way you bonded with the main photographer. Really, there is no difference between choosing the main photographer and a backup wedding photographer. The same rules and scrutiny apply. It is also important that the alternative wedding photographer is excited and enthusiastic about taking pictures at your wedding—even as a backup to someone else.