“HELLO, CAN YOU PLEASE TELL ME HOW MANY PHOTOS I WILL RECEIVE? DO YOU HAVE TWO PHOTOGRAPHERS? OUR BUDGET IS QUITE SMALL, LET US KNOW WHAT YOU CAN DO.”
I want to address the hot-button issue of the number of photos that the bride and groom will receive from their wedding. Whenever I receive emails like the one above, I often try to put myself in the bride’s position. I envision that she has several windows open in her web browser and is sending the exact same message to several photographers. I’m assuming she’s looking to get the most bang for her buck, so she’ll probably end up choosing the photographer who says they will provide her with the most pictures, regardless of whether she actually prefers someone else’s photography style. When it comes to photography, you need to choose the vendor whose style you LOVE. After all, this person will be creating the wedding memories that you will be cherishing for the rest of your life.
“So how many photos do you take at a wedding? “ There is no way of knowing. What I do know is that when I go to a wedding, there’s myself and one other photographer, and between us we have; 4x Camera bodies, 4-6 different lenses, lighting, more batteries than you could ever imagine can fit in a belt pack and about 500 gigabytes worth of memory cards (yes, half a terabyte, which is a lot), and then a few extra just for safe measure. I’m always prepared, and ready to spend 8-16 hours watching the day unfold through my viewfinder, clicking my shutter at every possible opportunity.
The key phrase in that last sentence was, ”EVERY POSSIBLE OPPORTUNITY” The amount of photos I take at a wedding depends on:
- The length of coverage on the wedding day
- The length of your formal photo session
- The amount of activity going on throughout the day and evening
- The amount of little details and accents that make your day unique
So just how do these four key-factors play into your final image count?
The length of your wedding day:
If you chose a 5-hour wedding package, logistically, you will not receive the same amount of photos that someone who chose a 14-hour package would have. The amount of photos you receive will be somewhat relative to the length of time your photographer is present.
The length of your formal photo session:
Some brides and grooms schedule a large portion of the day for family photos, wedding party photos and formal bride and groom photos. Couples who have 20+ combinations of family photos, have incredibly large wedding parties and want to visit multiple locations for their formal couples shoots will have more photos than couples who choose to take a handful of group photos and then do a quick 20-minute bride and groom shoot.
The amount of activity going on throughout the day and evening:
This is where the candid shots come in. Candid shots are a wonderful way of capturing genuine emotions and reactions on your wedding day. If you choose to get ready in the morning with just two or three bridesmaids, there will be fewer people to take candid photos of. If you choose not to have a receiving line, a cocktail hour or even dancing at your reception, there will be fewer candid opportunities. But maybe that’s what you want, and that’s okay too. Candid moments cannot be artificially created by the photographer – they must occur naturally throughout the day and if the events taking place on your wedding day lead to only a few opportunities for candid shots, there may be fewer candid shots in your final image total, but moments to cherish nevertheless.
The amount of little details and accents that make your day unique:
Part of every wedding image collection are the detail shots: shoes, rings, jewelry, the dress, centerpieces, flower arrangements, cake, decorations, food, etc. If you choose a wedding package that does not include morning coverage, you will be missing out on many of the morning-of detail shots. Also, if you choose to save money by not decorating your reception hall, again, there will be fewer detail shots in your final collection.
For full-day weddings I’ve taken up to 2,000 quality photos. Quality photos are taken with a purpose, and are taken to capture a particular moment or a particular detail. Will everyone’s wedding have a final image count of 1,500+ photos? Absolutely not. It all depends on the aforementioned factors. However, in any event, there are many ways to get the most out of your wedding photography and getting the most out of your photos will help increase your image count, and ultimately, the memories you have of this day.
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