How many photos do you give for engagements?

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by alwin_lai, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. Just wondering on a typical 2hr session, how many photos you take and how many do you aim to give to the couple?
  2. Usually around 50-100. You'll want to keep in mind that my wife and I shoot, and we shoot a combination of photojournalism and posing. So this may be a little more than people who just pose.
  3. Around a dozen, max. They are carefully selected and finished by me, cause I'm the guy who knows what they should see from the sitting.....Robert
  4. 20-30. They only need one great image. Why overload them with less than stellar images? Too many just dilutes the whole session. I don't think your style of photography has much to do with it.
  5. I'm in the 20-30 camp, too. Even if you shoot 100.
    I do like Robert's suggestion of a dozen.
  6. I agree - sometimes 30 is waaaay too many. :)
  7. Number totally depends on what the client is interested in. Last three I did where more story line themed than more traditional engagement shoots, and also includes environmental portraits as well as regular ones.
    1) Walked around where the clients went to college (U of M), lived, and where they met. More candid, journalistic in style with a few portraits thrown in.
    2) Met clients in the small town where they lived for some time, and shot them at their favorite resturant, the farmer's market, their coffee house, etc.
    3) One was done at the oddity museum that the Groom's family owns ... that was a blast.
    More of a "memories shoot" than just an engagement session with the usual stuff. Something they can look back on decades later. Plus, I've suggested to clients that an opening spread of their album be dedicated to this subject ... which has been very popular.
    So, having a fixed number isn't part of the equation.
  8. I can't imagine a 2 hour session.....typically about 30 minutes is more than enough time to get some good engagement shots including a few nice individual portraits. Are couples really paying for 2 hours worth of professional photography?
  9. Typically I take about 70-100 and deliver around 15-30, depending on the number of scenes we shoot.
    Reasonable point, David, about the time factor. Like the OP, I tend to shoot for 90-120 minutes for an engagement session. I use this time to build a relationship with them that I find helps me manage the wedding-day interactions better. You've been doing this a lot longer (you dinosaur), so you may just be faster at building that relationship than I am. Or perhaps your approach does not rely on that as much as mine does. One of these days, I want to drive out to Chicago and watch you on a shoot.
  10. David, I agree, 2 hours is a bit much and I try to keep it to an hour not including travel time ... except the times they are a changing. It seems that many couples are not as interested in a newspaper announcement shot for the society page anymore, as much as a set of pictures for their personal pre-wedding site or Facebook page.
    Often, it actually works to the photographer's advantage because those type of social sites are pretty viral, and all their friends see what you shot for them and hear how much fun they had with you.
  11. Yes Marc, when I started the engagement shot was typically a portrait of the couple that included a greyscale image they could give to the local newspaper for the announcement page. It took longer to set up the backdrop and the lighting than it did to take the shot.
    I have a local park less than 5 minutes from my front door that I typically use, I can put together a story book session with 30-40 final images after taking 60-90 total shots and be back home in less than an hour. My concern is that many new shooters will spend several hours on an engagement shoot and many will throw in the rehearsal (which adds another couple of hours) without pricing this into the wedding package price. While some may include this in all of their packages, I'm wondering if they are really charging fair market value for the additional hours of shooting, prep time, and post-processing. Once you offer many of the B/Gs the option of a package with these services or a package several hundred dollars less for just the wedding many will pay the extra money? Bottom-line, I think the answer to this question is highly dependant on your business model. Newcomers developing a folio and loving the opportunity to shoot may be willing to spend several hours with little or no compensation while an experience pro can appreciate that their "time is money".
    Ian, I don't shoot weddings very often anymore but if you're ever up Chicago way, feel free to give me a call and stop by for coffee and I'll share some of my wall portraits, albums, and experiences with you......
  12. Just saw some other wedding forums that couples are receiving 200-300 photos. Someone even mention 400! All this in a e-shoot?! That's ridiculous. If I am hiring a professional photog, I am expecting this individual to have the creativity and smartness to only give me the very best. Unless I ask for it and I know I will not, I want to see only the best.
    Are these photogs spraying away?
  13. Most of the people here seem to say 20-30 photos. I'd say this is fine for traditional style photos, but I prefer to shoot less traditionally and focus on creating a story with the couple I'm shooting. I want to give our clients the most bang for their buck. Having an engagement session for me, is getting to know your client, and getting them best pictures possible. I've gained clients this way and gained the trust of clients who've already booked a wedding for me. Here's an example of how 50-100 photos works out in the style that I shoot.

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