Every once in a while, I’ll have a client ask me if they get all of the photos I take at their wedding or their photo session. My answer is always the same. Trust me when I say, you really do. not. want to see all of the photos I took of you. Here are some more specific reasons why I edit down the photos that you will get.
- I take a lot of photos. And when I say a lot, I mean a LOT. You may think you want to see a lot of photos, but think about getting your pictures back and seeing that you have to go through 2,000+ images. That’s a daunting task, and right now I’m JUST talking about the volume. Don’t even mention the fact that some of the photos will be out of focus or over exposed, or too dark, or there will be like 10 images of each family pose just to make sure everyone’s eyes are open. Now, I’m getting better and better as the years go by about taking less photos. When I first started, I would take like 3 or 4 thousand photos at a wedding, and about 900 at a portrait session. Those were the days (not).
Seriously though? These are all basically the same, except at least one person is probably making a weird face in all of these. You just need a few cute ones that look like this:
- When I deliver your final images, I want you to see the best photos. You chose to hire me for a reason, and sometimes I have to use my best judgement as a professional to decide if a photo is not up to my standards. I want you to love every single image you get. So I chose not to give you photos that don’t represent my brand or do justice to you/your day. This doesn’t mean that I am going to take out all of the photos that you think may be important to you, but not to me. I do not limit the amount of photos I give you for that reason. If these are your wedding photos, I err on the side of giving your more rather than less photos. I don’t know who all of your guests are and what they mean to you. I’m not going to delete a photo of your Great Aunt Sally because it’s not going to win awards or be published in blogs. I may delete that photo if it is completely out of focus, or she’s blinking, or maybe it’s just not a very flattering photo.
- Continuing with your Great Aunt Sally, I may take 2 or 3 photos of her talking to your mom, or giving you a hug, because I want to be sure to get a great moment both technically and aesthetically. So when I’m going through your photos, I will keep the best one, and get rid of the others. I don’t expect you to have to go through and do this yourself.
- It’s a lot of work to pick the best photos! You have to go through sets of very similar pictures (sometimes, I’m extra careful and take more than necessary if the lighting is tricky so that I am sure to get the correct focus) and zoom in to see which one is the sharpest. My very least favorite part of going through wedding photos is picking out the best family photos where everyone has their eyes open (some people have a serious blinking problem). It’s those big groups, man. So. Many. Pictures. And they all look the same! I’m not about to ask you to look at all of those and decide which one is the best. You hired me to do that for you.
- It would probably take you weeks to go through your photos if I didn’t do it for you first. Since I’m a pro, I’ve gotten pretty quick at it, but you are not the one who should have to work to pull out the best of the best.
I feel like these points make it sound like I take a ton of awful pictures, so I’m kind of second guessing this blog post now… but it’s the truth! I’m not perfect, and sometimes I make mistakes, or take test shots, or even press the shutter on accident with my hip (this really does happen. I’ll go through photos and see one that’s just grass, or my foot and be like, what is that? and then I realize… oops). It’s editing, and it’s necessary. You don’t read unedited books, and you don’t watch hours and hours of un-cut film; you read the finished story, and you watch the two hour movie that has been perfectly put together according to the director’s vision.
Sometimes it takes a few extra frames…
To get to the winner:
I take a lot of pride in my work, and I take more great photos than terrible ones, but you really never need to see the ones that didn’t make it into your hands (or onto your computer screen). Trust me. 😉