16. Will You Be the Primary Photographer on the Day?
From the Hitched article, it says:
"National agencies have multiple photographers on their books so you want to know the person you’re talking to is the photographer you’ll get. Even if they are at the wedding in a second shooter capacity, make sure you meet the primary shooter in person before you pay a deposit."
I mean, yikes! Don't hire anyone who is an agency to shoot your wedding! A wedding is a very very personal intimate day, you want someone who you can meet face to face, who can get to know you and what you'd like to have on the day. I feel that an agency might be impersonal, as the photographer might care but the agency might see you as just another invoice.
So in answer to the question, yes I'll be the primary photographer on the day if you hire me! I occasionally have a second photographer if the couple request one, however it's always me that shoots and edits the wedding if you've hired me directly.
In the very rare situation that I'm not available (through illness or family emergency) then I'd organise you an associate photographer. So this is a person who is very similar to me in shooting style and probably personality. They would shoot the wedding and I would edit it afterwards. I've been an associate for a few other photographers and it's a specific process designed to make sure that the couple are happy. If I organised an associate I'd get them to meet with you and follow the same process that I do so you're completely comfortable.
As an industry we're quite happy to help other photographers if they get stuck. However, *touch wood* this won't happen when I shoot your wedding and my health will be good. It's just a back up situation so you know that you're covered.