I’ve gotten multiple inquiries over the years from brides asking “how many photos” they’ll get back. It makes sense that potential brides see that as a relevant factor in their decision for photography, but I have a secret for you….It doesn’t really matter! Before you decide that I’m crazy— keep reading below to let me explain why;)
It always makes me a little bit sad when brides ask me “how many”, because I know for a fact that there are photographers who promise literally DOUBLE what I do— but I also know for a fact that those photographers don’t spend even half as much time editing as I do, and I hate to deter potential brides with something as insignificant as the number of photos…stay with me…I know it sounds weird to say the number of images is irrelevant!
Here’s the first thing I have to say about it:
QUALITY over QUANTITY.
in the words of Michael Scott:
Would you rather have a medium amount of good pizza? or all you can eat of pretty good pizza?
Don’t end up with a “hot circle of garbage”;)
(If you don’t get the reference, go watch Season 4 Episode 3 of The Office “Launch Party” this pizza scene starts at minute 23…though if it were me I’d watch the whole thing because its 28 minutes of laughs)!
But in all seriousness…
If you’re comparing photographer options by cost per guaranteed image, you’re overlooking the cost of experience, talent, education, and the most relevant factor—do you love the photographer’s style and portfolio?
**Don't get hung up on the "number of images".
I once had a professor who WOULD NOT give us a mandatory length for essays. Her requirement was "write as much as you need to cover the subject"
That guideline made it so the essays we wrote (and she had to read…) weren't rambling with barely relevant, meaningless paragraphs just to meet a quota. It forced us to think “Have I covered the subject thoroughly, is there unnecessary fluff? Is there enough information? Is it all good writing?
Photos are the same way.
The reality is that every image “costs” your photographer a certain amount of time, so if your photographer is a hasty editor they might be willing to edit more images for you for the same price as someone who spends more time per image.
If you are really concerned about how many images you're getting back you'll probably end up choosing a photographer who is less intentional with her shooting and editing. Pick your person based on style and experience -- I guarantee if you love your photos, you won’t care how many there are. If someone gave you a million photos and you didn’t like any of them, you would have been better off getting 10 photos that you really loved, right? Hire a photographer you trust and a photographer who’s style speaks to you regardless of the amount of images they commit to give you.— an experienced photographer who cares about her work, and cares about you, is going to give you plenty of photos! Promise!
** Especially with wedding day photos, most photographers under promise and over deliver-- they aren't going to delete awesome photos. They'll keep all the good ones. So don't stress about the number of photos as a major reason for who you select to be your photographer; you’ll get as many photos as it takes for your day to be fully and beautifully captured.
Something I like to do…
One way that I have found to make sure my clients get all of the photos they want and need, and make sure that I am able spend the amount of time per image I feel is necessary for the quality of photos I want to produce, is: I include proof galleries for engagement and bridal sessions in my rate. This way my clients get to see all the photos from bridal and engagement sessions before I fully edit them, and they get to choose each photo that they receive back in their final galleries, so I know they love every single one! This makes it so I don’t spend editing time on images that my bride isn’t going to print or post, and I can focus my processing time giving them exactly what they are hoping to get back!
**Just a disclaimer: The proof gallery system works for me and my brides, but proof galleries may not work with other photographer’s workflow, style, system…etc. and that’s ok! You don’t have to get a proof gallery to love your photos regardless of the promised number. Remember that if you want to get the most out of your photos, pick a photographer based on their style and experience because any amount of money, no matter how large or small, spent on something you don’t love is money wasted.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; the most important thing I can tell you is: If you want to love your photos—love your photographer. I cannot stress this enough.
Check out this blog post about how to choose your wedding photographer here.
Looking for a wedding photographer who spends lots of time per image? I’m your girl! Let’s get in touch!
I hope this was helpful! If you have insight or thoughts, feel free to share them in the comments section!