I like answering dumb questions because they make me sound smart.
But really, we should be nicer to people who ask what we think are “dumb questions.” Because they’re trying to learn about what makes our business work and why we value our work. I would rather a client ask a ton of idiotic questions and make assumptions about being a photographer than have someone who only cares about price.
I get a lot of questions from my friends about hiring photographers – so I figured I would turn it into a blog post. or five. (Please see: Ways to blog more without really blogging more) The more people know about hiring us, the more they will come to value and respect our work.
Like, omfg, all you do is push a button and you get paid that much?? Well, I probably accomplish a lot more than you do in a workday, seeing as how people spend so much time online while they’re at work.
How many photos will I get?
This one is common. I’ve had people ask how many they’ll get for a portrait session that’s an hour long; this usually accompanies a request for a break on price if they cut their session time. The more time you have to shoot, the more photos you’ll have, sure. But if you only want one photo, I’m going to assume you want the best photo of the session. To do that, I would probably shoot more than an hour, to make sure I have several great shots for you to choose from. I’m going to burst a bubble here but I do get rid of pictures of your kid that I don’t like, that don’t represent my work well, or that I just plain don’t like. A normal portrait session for me normally results in around 25-30 final images for you. We delete, edit, delete, pick and choose the best, because we only want you to have our best work.
Weddings are a little different. Some photographers provide a certain number of images per hour; some provide a set amount. What’s most important is that you receive the story of your wedding. I provide anywhere from 400-600 images. I shoot well over 1200 images for an 8 hour wedding. Add my second shooter’s shots to that. Again, we choose the very best that will sufficiently show your wedding day. Some people think that we should give them all 1200. Even 500 is overwhelming. How are you supposed to choose your favorites from 500 photos. They aren’t each individually meant to tell a story. Each photo is a part of a series of images a photographer provides to tell your love story. But people fear they’re missing out on important images that are still on my computer. Not really. Some photos are just plain redundant, or just badly taken. My aim is to tell your story; and all the small details, emotional shots and beautiful poses compile into one story with a wave of emotions.
In short, the right amount of images for your money is going to be the number of images that tell your story, convey the meaning of the day, or tell you who a person is. Its about quality rather than quantity. And the quality of your images is gong to be the most important factor you want to consider when choosing a photographer to capture your feelings.