Editor’s Note: The Ultimate Wedding Photo & Video Summit is a weekly post where the some of the Hudson Valley’s top wedding photographers and videographers share their insights on the most commonly asked questions about wedding photography and videography. Each week through December, you’ll learn from the very best so you can make smart and educated decisions when it comes to preserving your special day. Click on any photo to be taken to the photographer’s website. Bios are featured at the end to give credit to the photographer for their time and participation. This is not a sponsored post; no compensation was received or exchanged for the purpose of this blog post or for the promotion of the photographer.
Today’s blog post is written by Jeremiah Shaffer, Photographer
As a professional who has himself experienced a wedding of his own, I know how important it is to capture every special detail of a wedding day. That being said, I spend a lot of time clicking away as events unfold, and then sorting through to select all the photographs that best represent the magic of the day as it actually happened. How many pictures I take is a very loaded question filled with ifs, ands, and buts. There are a lot of factors that go into how many pictures I take during a wedding day and I’d like to break it down the best way I can, in relation to how I shoot.
Now please keep in mind, other photographers may not do things like I do, which is great. Variety is the spice of life. There are certainly a lot of really fantastic photographers in our beautiful Hudson Valley, and I know that they all do their own thing a little differently and have very happy clients. They might take more photos or fewer photos, depending on their shooting style and what they guarantee their clients.
What determines how many images are taken?
For me, there are three big factors that will impact how many images I will ultimately take.
First, I generally always shoot with a second photographer but sometimes at smaller weddings, a second photographer might just be redundant. If I shoot alone, I naturally have about half as many photographs at the end of a wedding.
The second factor in how many images I take is for how long I’m booked at a wedding. You’d be right to think that I take more images when I’m booked for 10 hours compared to an eight-hour booking.
The third factor is the size of your bridal party. Obviously, if you have six bridesmaids and six groomsmen, you’ll receive more photos than someone with two and two.
How many photos are taken and why so many?
Generally during a wedding day — from me arriving, to me packing up — I will snap anywhere from 3,000 to 6,000 pictures. But please beware, this is a very skewed number. Every time I take a photo of people (which is primarily what I’m doing all day) I take three or four shots of that one photo. Why? Because someone will ALWAYS blink. This is something that I learned very early on in my wedding career. I’d get home and start editing a wedding and in some of the best portraits of the bride and groom or guests at the wedding, one or more of the people I was photographing in a shot was blinking. Or mid-blink. Or about to blink. Or sneezing. And we can’t do them again. EVER. So, a trick I learned was taking three or four snaps each time I took a photo of people. So, with that being said, there are maybe about only about 1,500 to 3,000 actual individual shots. I don’t set limits for myself on how many photographs I take, rather I leave it up to how the day plays out to ensure I capture all the memories that may occur.
Do we get all those photos?
Not quite. Of those, maybe my camera’s focus was off for a shot or maybe the shot was a bit too dark. Maybe Uncle Tommy has a piece of cake hanging out of his mouth in the background of a picture. Those images will never see the light of day (unless it’s one of those “too good” pictures). I don’t give couples a “magic number” of photos that they will receive. What my clients will get is 500+ fantastic images of their wedding day.
If there are more, they get more. I see no advantage to me holding onto awesome pictures and not releasing them. So, if I’m your photographer, and you book me for 10 hours with two photographers and you have a medium-sized bridal party, you could expect to receive 600 to 800 final great images.
How many images do I need to pick for my wedding album?
Again, another loaded question and here’s why: Typically, when a client gets an album from me, I have them choose 30+ images to put in it. That’s about 20 pages worth of photos. However, your album can be as many pages as you want and there are a bunch of sizes available. They can be anywhere from 6” x 6” to 12” x 15”. And you’d be right again to think that I can put more images in a 12” x 15” album than I can a 6” x 6” album.
Please join us next week when we hear from another great Hudson Valley Photographer answering the most common photo/video questions couples have