How many Prints should I offer ?

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by hjoseph7, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. I have been trying to figure out how many prints I should for my wedding albums. Of course the more hours of
    coverage you offer, the more pictures you have to offer. I heard of photographers offering about 300 pictures for 4 hour
    coverage, that sounds like allot of work to me. That's like shooting a picture every minute for 4 hours and this is not
    counting the throw-aways. Is this possible ?

    Considering that a typical album can only hold about 150 4X6s without adding any 5X7s or 8X10s, what's the sense
    of shooting all those pictures ? What would be the typical amount of prints. I have a list of "must-take" pictures and it
    amounts to about 55-60 pictures. The rest are Candids, special effects, B&W etc. So if 55-60 pictures are the
    minimum I have to shoot for an entire wedding, and since a typical wedding album can only hold about 150 pictures,
    what is the sense of offering 300 or 400 pictures ? Please help I'm kind of new at this.l
  2. I am not a professional photographer, but I did a wedding 2 weeks ago and the point of taking photographs of someone's wedding is to document the customer's special day not get shots to fill a wedding album. "Shooting all those pictures" (I took 2000+ shots in just under 8 hours)" gives you a thorough story to give back to the bride and groom and you owe your clients all the shots you can muster. And, if you are there anyway why not just keep shooting. The best shots are had when you least expect them. And if shooting 300 pictures in 4 hours sounds like a lot of work, maybe you should think again about wedding photography. Granted, I have only done one wedding and I am sure the first one is the most stressful of any but after about 4 hours I about had an anxiety attack. It is a lot of work but that's the least you can do for one of the most important days in the B/Gs' lives. My 2cents for whatever its worth.
  3. Huh? Why let the size of a wedding album limit the number of pictures you take - or the number of pictures you offer your client? Of course, it depends on what you and the bride have contracted for, but you should be trying to capture every worthy moment in the celebration. And since you never know how many that is going to be..and you likely will take lots of throw-aways to get a few good ones...shoot away and sell all the good ones!
  4. And decide on the album(s) AFTER she sees the proofs. It also sounds like you're thinking matted or slip-in albums... Consider magazine-style albums as an alternative. You have a lot of flexibility in number of images for a set number of pages.
  5. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    80 to 100 high quality Finished 5x7 or 20 to 30 HQ Finished 10x8 plus (about) 40 5x7 is a ball park for the B&G wedding Album.

    That is around the general output from the studio for which I work.

    But, some businesses offer `1000 images on a CD`.

    There are different businesses and there are different client`s requests and demands.

    A client who is seeking out to buy a Wedding Album package, is a different customer to one who just wants the 1000 images on a CD. Also, not all customers necessarily want a Full Documentary style of coverage.

    Typically, I would take about 400 digital images and around 60 x 645 film images (Formals).

    From those, the client usually sees about 350 to 380 digital images and about 45 to 50 film images.

    An average total of around 400 to 420 images for a full coverage, from me, start to finish.

    That output and my quality, suits my clients. Frankly, to give them more images from which to choose is not what they are seeking (Client`s comments, not my guessometry).

    It all depends what business one is in, what the product offer is. There is no `right` or `wrong` way of covering a Wedding, and it is limiting (and not wise business) to assume what the Client wants regarding the amount of prints in an album (and also in what general style they want too, IMO).

    In that regard, it is sensible, IMO, when offering albums, to have a general print number, but flexible enough to easily accommodate a greater number, at little extra cost to the client.

    But that is about Pricing and Client Value Add . . . and a different thread I think.

  6. Harry,

    You have an excellent question. I shoot over 40 weddings a year and generally question whether or not I
    am giving enough or too many photos. I shoot around 600-800 photos for a 4- 6 hour period. I try to capture
    every detail of the wedding day. I do not use the shot-gun version of photography. I look at the situation and
    take the shot that I feel will help tell the story. I also know exactly what sells and what does not. I offer
    several packages and several different album choices. My photo count is in-line with my hours of coverage. If I
    shoot a 4-5 hour wedding, I offer 100 edited and printed photos. I can tell a story with 100 photos. If I shoot
    more then 5 hours, I offer 200 edited photos. Now, I retouch ever printed photo that goes into one of my albums.
    I do not offer unedited photos unless someone takes my budget package. Now, I have not sold that package in the
    past 2 years. Most couples want edited wedding photos that tell the story of their special day.

    Now with all that said, it is all about economic. I do not agree with Amy. I will never give a couple 2000
    images unless they pay for 2000 edited printed photos. Based on my current packages, 2000 edited photos will
    cost my couple an additional $6650.00. Like I said, it is all about economics.

    My next point is quality. Unless you are one of the top photographers and you have an ideal situation, you will
    need to do some post processing of your photos. I could not even imagine processing 2000 photos.

    Therefore, I only offer edited photos. I have the ability to capture every detail of the couple's wedding day
    and tell their story in less the 200 edited photos. I offer one style of traditional album that holds either 100
    or 200 photos. I offer Flush Mounted and Magazine Style Coffee Table Books that can hold approximately 100 -200
    photos. This is my comfort level and I am able to keep the cost down for my couple, tell their story, and
    produce a quality product.

    Just remember, many guest have point and shoot cameras and they will offer the couple as many photos as they
    want. They will be unedited. They will be good enough. If you provide a few quality photos at a reasonable
    rate, the couple will feel they received a value. If you use the shot-gun effect to capture everything and
    anything and give the couple un-edited files, you will not separate yourself from the Uncle Bob's.

    You should take a look at your bottom-line and determine how many quality photos you can provide your client and
    still make a profit. More is not always better. Just remember, once a photo leaves your studio, you can not
    control who sees it.

  7. Great answers, I guess you have to be flexible. Cost wise and quality wise, I guess the less prints the more pictures and the more pictures, the less prints. I was thinking from a point of view of wedding albums not coverage. The wedding album's main purpose is for those must-haves and what you and the client agreed upon. The rest you can throw in as 4x6s ?

    I was also taking into consideration "the nuisance factor". I mean how many pictures can you take at a wedding, before you start getting in the way of the wedding ? Combine that with how long are my batteries flash cards and flash head going to last and you are limited, unless you made arrangements to overcome those obstacles.

    I originally started by offering 250 pictures for 4 hour coverage, then I stoppped by the local camera guy to take a look at some of his album covers and most could only handle about 150 pictures, so I revised my count, but as you guys recomend it's not all about album covers.

    Some photographers offer 2 album covers one for the bride and groom and one for the parents. That would make it 3 album covers ! Now I see why some wedding photographers charge top-dollar for their services, it can get costly.

    I'll have to check how many pictures I took during my last full-coverage wedding. I was working as a second photographer so I'll have to estimate how many pictures I actually missed. I think I took about 500 pictures, before my batteries sarted giving out and my flash cards became full. Out of those 500, only about 250 I would consider printable.
  8. I now only do weddings on a limited basis. I don't even offer prints (I will print a couple enlargements however). I simply offer my Photoshop edited shots on DVD's in nice cases. I offer one DVD with downsized images for the web (and a musical slide show), and another DVD with full sized images suitable for printing. I charge enough to not worry about loss of reprint sales but provide a competitive price. It simplifies my work and the customer is happy. I had shot weddings for over 30 years so I understand what you are going through. I agree with other posters when they say shoot the event for best coverage, not worrying about how many shots will go in an album. At least today you are shooting digital versus medium format film when I started.
  9. While I took 2000 images, I most certainly did not keep or offer all that I took. My point in replying was to say that Harry should not be looking at his job of documenting this wedding as a means of getting his album filled.
  10. >That's like shooting a picture every minute for 4 hours and this is not counting the throw-aways. Is this possible ?

    Umm...yes. I routinely shoot 3-20 frames per minute at a wedding. It's normal for me to walk away from a six hour wedding with 2000 to 2500 frames.

    I edit those down to 300. The result is that the final 300 are really good. I tell people that the goal is to make your throwaways just as good as the keepers of other photographers.

    > What would be the typical amount of prints.

    I do 300 albums on a six hour wedding.

    > what's the sense of shooting all those pictures?

    To document the wedding. Dude, just forget albums. That's old school.

    In my view, the job of the photographer today is not to produce a boring album from a list of photographs.

    The job is to document the day and help the couple remember it for many, many years.

    Only half of my couples care about albums. The other half want to have someone who can help them remember their wedding day.
  11. "...Umm...yes. I routinely shoot 3-20 frames per minute at a wedding. It's normal for me to walk away from a six hour wedding with 2000 to 2500 frames.
    I edit those down to 300. The result is that the final 300 are really good. I tell people that the goal is to make your throwaways just as good as the keepers of other photographers..."
    Or you could be more "old school" and take your time - select the shot - and take 900 to 1200 shots per wedding and deliver 300 to 350 images to the bride and groom that are really good.
    Photographers that grew up and learned on film will usually shoot less and obtain the same results as the younger photographers that are almost shooting at "video" speed. It's really all about selecting your shot at just the right moment IMHO.
  12. e almost shooting at "video" speed. It's really all about selecting your shot at just the right moment IMHO.
    Video speed would lead to 24*3600*4 = 0.35 million shots in four hours. I think even with the "almost" you're exaggerating slightly. ;-)
    Choosing the moment is just one aspect. Composition and light are others. If you want to get shots where the best light coincides with the best expressions of multiple people in the frame, have the right framing, and nail the focus, shooting a lot increases chances of success. The cost of this practice is the massive editing and post-processing effort that is necessary. I sometimes do focus bracketing, for example, when I shoot at wide apertures with manual focus, and this leads to additional frames but some of them are better than what I could get without bracketing.
    I sometimes feel that people who do not shoot in the same way think shooting a lot is somehow a lower form of art than theirs. If I found posed expressions acceptable then I would shoot less, too, but I don't, so I do what I need to do, to get where I need to be.
  13. The question in my mind really is: how is it possible to shoot only 500 images during a wedding day, and capture everything that is worthwhile to anyone present? It is only, like the OP said, one shot per minute. Is it that among e.g. 150 people, during a special day like this, only one moment per minute is good enough for an attempt for a worthwhile photograph? I can't really buy that idea. The quality will go up, as you shoot more. It's just a question of how much time you are willing to put into editing.
  14. Surely you take as many shots as are needed to document the wedding. Everyone will be different in that regard,
    just in the same way that every wedding will also be different - there are no rights or wrongs here.

    But most photographers take several hundred and edit them down to provide a good and complete account of the
    wedding day. I usually set a rough editing limit for myself regarding how many images I provide to the couple as it
    makes for a decisive editing process and ensures that only my very best work goes forward.

    The couple will then decide on the photos they want for their album from my selection - I use matted bookbound
    albums on the whole, so of course there are limits as to how many images a couple can have in their album - but
    this is not usually a problem. However, I also provide the complete post-edit selection on CD nicely presented so that
    the couple get the best of both worlds. I find that this balance works well for my clients as well as myself.

    But I would never limit the number of images that I shoot at a wedding based on album capacity!
  15. [I was also taking into consideration "the nuisance factor". I mean how many pictures can you take at a wedding,
    before you start getting in the way of the wedding ?]

    Photography is a part of the wedding day - there are times where you have to be assertive and get the required
    shots; when you are doing the candids (usually at the bride's house or reception) you have to be able to stand back,
    anticipate and then shoot, quickly and quietly. If you start getting worried about always being in the way, you'll never
    get your shots (or make any money). That's part of the job, you have to be able to do this.

    [Combine that with how long are my batteries flash cards and flash head going to last and you are limited, unless
    you made arrangements to overcome those obstacles.]

    Yes - so make those arrangements. Don't limit the B&G's results around your own limitations or laziness. Do the
  16. A photographer who works hard throughout the day, doing the best they can at every moment to
    record the emotions, expressions, and events (not just the primary events, but also the expressions of the child
    of a friend of the cousin of the bride and the child's grandfathers looks towards the child), will end up with a
    higher quality and more comprehensive product than the same photographer who just snaps a few formals & cake
    cutting, and packs his bags, enjoying the meal with his camera turned off since they "already got awesome photos,
    why bother to do more than is necessary?" There is alwaysroom for improvement. There are always
    opportunities to try harder. 500 clicks is just a few shots per person involved. How can you possibly have
    recorded all that happens during the day. If you haven't recorded everything you could have, then how can you be
    sure that the end result will be as good as it can possibly be? It can't, and it isn't. That doesn't mean it
    isnt' great photography, but it's the best it could be.

    I like film, too. Film vs. digital has nothing at all to do with how much to shoot.

    The photographer has been chosen. After the
    photographer has been chosen, it is a question of whether the photographer will do his utmost and work hard, or
    not. I never said that it is necessary to shoot as much as possible. I think it is good to try to do your best.
    Doesn't mean clicking away at all times. I can see a lot more than 1000 pictures in a wedding day. Doesn't mean
    that everything works out the way I want to. Doesn't mean that an "adequate" result can't be produced with fewer
    shots - I am sure it can be done with 100 images. But an artist never stops looking.

    The quality is also affected by the photographer's willingness to work hard and look at all times.
  17. I think the quesiton is really up to you. If you do shoot fewer shots than the next photographer than you should
    choose the BEST of what you have to offer. I do not offer 4x6 prints at all to my clients. I actually make a hard back
    bound book with images printed on the pages. I will give 300+ images in my book. That price is included in my
    price for weddings that I shoot. I do agree with the ones who have talked about making the day a story to be told.
    My books do not just have images in them. They have the story of the couples day. I will not tell you what I put in
    them because I don't want to give away all of my secrets : ) but I will tell you to not only use your eye at a wedding,
    but use your ears as well. I take anywhere from 800 to 1000 shots and I devote at least 8 hours to my clients if the
    wedding lasts that long. Each photographer is different, that is why there are so many of us to choose from. What I
    would say do is with each shot you take plan on it being your BEST image of the day, and with every shot you take
    it will make your next one that much better. Keep reaching for perfection! Then once you set down and look at all
    the images you took that day, break them down into bad, good, really good, and best. The ones that are your best
    will be the ones that you want to offer to your clients. Never let them see ALL of them, because to them everyone of
    the images are special. You are the "Boss" so you show them what you want them to see, as well as purchase.
    Good luck and I hope I have helped you with your question.
  18. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Harry wrote:

    `Great answers, I guess you have to be flexible.`

    There is no guesswork in it my friend. You are in a SERVICE industry. One of the keys to success is being flexible.

    In this thread I wrote: `Typically, I would take about 400 digital images and around 60 x 645 film images (Formals)`

    Yet on Jun 22, 2008; 08:13 p.m. I wrote: `I shot more than my average: about 700 frames on digital and 11 rolls of
    120 / 645. My Assistant Photographer shot 300 or so digital frames.`

    [ ]

    Each Wedding is different and each client has different requests: one of the methods of being `awesome` in the
    EYES of THE CLIENT, is to satisfy THEIR needs / requests.

    The Wedding is about THEM and THEIR wants and needs, IMO.

    To approach any where near a satisfaction level, there MUST be flexibility.

    But, on the other hand there are many successful businesses which snap out Wedding Photography with a set
    formula: that too is a viable approach.

    I wrote earlier: `it depends what business you are in` . . . But, typically, from my experience, those businesses which
    offer (expensive) Wedding Albums also offer extensive follow through and assistance choosing the images for those


    On another point, but it goes to being flexible, I note with interest Conrad Erb (whom I respect) wrote:

    `To document the wedding. Dude, just forget albums. That's old school.

    In my view, the job of the photographer today is not to produce a boring album from a list of photographs.

    The job is to document the day and help the couple remember it for many, many years.

    Only half of my couples care about albums. The other half want to have someone who can help them remember their
    wedding day.`

    I think that might have been an unfortunate choice of words.

    I agree that it is quite silly to approach any Wedding with a list of shots, simply to fill.

    But IMO it is not very business savvy to on the one hand to state: `just forget albums. That's old school.`

    and on the other hand acknowledge: `Only half of my couples care about albums`.

    That seems to imply NOT addressing the cares, wants and needs of half of your clientele.


    Personally, I do care how many captures it takes any photographer to get it right for the client.

    I have seen the results of one particular chap who posts his weddings for comment. The results he posts are indeed
    `awesome` by any artistic definition.

    But, as I understand it, he shoots 2000 + images and from that he uses far fewer, which he digitally edits and is
    subsequently the body of his work. That approach to me is just as `awesome` IF it satisfies his CLIENTS . . .

    To me the `awesome` factor is all about the Client, not what I want, and certainly not what I pre conceive the client
    wants, be that decisions on Albums, Documentary coverage, B&W or . . . whatever.

    But if I cannot suit a prospective client`s needs, such as one who WANTS 2000 images on a CD, and I cannot re
    direct their thinking to include the range of services which I do offer, then I do not take on that client. To do so would
    be silly.

    I take a more metered and planned approach to get my outcomes: but then again I take a more metered and planned
    approach in that I meet for a few hours with each couple. I might take fewer images than many and that works for

    But I grew up counting frames I had remaining in each film camera, and planning when I had time to change rolls
    (and that is with 15 or 30 frames per roll on 645). So I cut my teeth on careful planning and execution; for example
    shooting in sets, for most consistent and easier colour balance in the lab, later.

    All these methodologies I have transferred to the Digital world. I still use two (and three) cameras, I still shoot in sets.
    I still shoot a conservative number of images, (by modern `digital` standards). I still shoot a conservative number of
    Weddings (about two a month, on contract, not for myself anymore). Personally I do not consider myself an
    `awesome` artist. And I do consider that there are `awesome` artists that have taken the Digital Medium and
    developed much of their `awesome` results in the Digital Editing Room, but that does not deny they have the
    `awesome` eye through the viewfinder either, to consistently get good product to work with, in the first place.

    I prefer to extend myself and get it better at the front end of the production line, and spend less time (and money)
    editing (specifically culling, not digitally enhancing).

    If that is `Old School`, so be it.

    It works for me, and more importantly it works for my clients, and they pay the account, they have to be happy.

  19. I think the question is not about how many you shoot.

    The question is more about how many you "see" and then shoot.

    Some people are talented at "seeing" the photo ... some of those talented people like to see and shoot 2000 images at a wedding and others like to see and shoot 700.

    All levels of talent and abilities exist ... there is no "right" way or right number.

    Could it be more about artistic style and preference and the photographers energy level and vision? I don't see that the number matters at all.

    Does the end product emotionally move the bridal couple and family? That's the winning formula ... and the bridal couple and family should have inspected the photographers portfolio ahead of time so they are educated on the style of the photographer they invite to the celebration to shoot whatever the number of images that he/she "sees".
  20. We actually do not offer set prices or packages. Every couple is unique therefore we cater to what they want. Some wedding couples have a small budget yet others what the works, such as engagement photos, sign in boards, 2 or more parent albums, there own album, several wall size, framed, prints, wallets to put in the thank you cards.

    I have a 1 hour wedding this weedend. Who knows what they will buy, if anything. Actually I'm having someone else in the studio shoot the wedding. I was hired to photograph a motorcycle race. This will be a nice break from weddings.
  21. Now, I have
    spent sometimes as a Videographer and when I did, I videoed at 30 frames per second. As a Wedding Photographer,
    I would never try to capture an event like a video. To be honest, most people would not complain about a video
    that was shot at 15 frames per second, so a photographer who shoot 20 frames per second, is in the wrong

    Now with all that said, lets take a look at what we are really saying. During a very special and sacred moment
    your bride's and groom's wedding, they are concentrating on every word the officiant is saying. However, they
    are distracted by this noise coming from the shutter of the professional photographer's camera. This is the
    person that is suppose to capture every detail of their wedding day and preserve their happy moments. But,
    instead of adding to the joy of the day, their photographer is clicking faster then the Minister can talk. What
    they do not realize is the photographer believes that they must shoot hundreds of photos to be sure they get it
    right. What they do not realize is, their photographer has no clue what is good and what is not. What they do
    not realize is their photographer is hoping to get it right by snapping everything and anything. What they do
    not realize is they hired the wrong photographer.

    Here is my take on this discussion and then I will leave it to rest. Harry asked a question that many other's
    should have asked before they called themselves wedding photographers. When clients hire wedding photographers,
    they do it for several reasons. The first reason is based on budget. If you have the right price, then you are
    hired. The second reason is word of mouth. If someone refers you, they are more likely to hire you too. Third
    is quality. If you have the style and quality that your client is looking for, then you are the one. Very few
    clients ask how many photos will you produce. If they did, then I would state, as many as
    you want to purchase. This may sound bad, but I was married 25 years ago, and I received 20 photos in my wedding
    album. Those 20 photos tell the story and I am very thankful today that we hired a professional. I use that
    album as my standard today. It is an awesome wedding album because it was professionally produced. I think this
    should be our goal. We should produce a professional product that our clients can rave about.

    This is what I tell my bride and groom. I tell them that, if their great-grandkids are not fighting over their
    wedding album
    when they die, then I did not do a good job.

    Well, I can shout now and a tell all that will hear. My wedding
    photographer was a true professional and if I had to hire someone to photograph my wedding today, I would hire
    him all over. Just as it was stated so well before, quantity does not equal quality.

  22. I do not agree with the people who saying that they shoot 300 and get print only 100 or 150, if you are going to print only about 125-150 hten you should be able to click the best 170 odd shots only, you are photographer, not a editer, who just knows wha to delete or what to include... Earlier when film was only the medium, every photo taken was get printed and that was the golden period of photography, where photographers did knew that what to click or not, they only used to utilized their skills behind the cameras.... not behind the computer screens,

    suppose, if you are going to shoot 5 or 6 contigues weddings, will you afford the time behind the computers to edit the scraps, which just happened because now you have stopped thinking so much before clicking a photograph......??????
  23. OUCH, touchy question. Some wedding photographers are shutter happy, then they have a extra shooter. I saw this bride's album, she had 97 shots during the ceremony. A normal, traditional ceremony. 97, should be 15 or 20. . After someone looks 500 photos, they lose interest. I will admit, I am from the old school of wedding photography, carefully posed, ties/flowers/dresses straight, backgrounds clean, & correctly shot. BUT I really do enjoy more artistic wedding photography than posed. Also, having shot medium format film cameras @ $1.00+ per click, I am still mindful of everytime I shoot a pose. I am 90% digital now, will be 100% by the end of the summer,,,I sure will miss my hasselbald,,,
    But to finally answer your question, my experience is that some, not all brides do not want 500-1000 pics, I have some that all they want is 100-150 poses,,,
  24. Yes, the correct answer depends on what the bride wants and that should be determined well in advance of the wedding day. Those brides who want only the traditional posed shots along with the bread and butter ceremony/reception shots usually want far less than those who prefer a more photojournalistic style with lots of candids and detail shots. Of course you can only shoot so many traditional shots but the opportunity for candids is endless because people do amazing things every minute of the day and especially at weddings.
  25. There are only so many key moments.
    But I am not talking about "key" moments. I am talking about making extraordinary images of human character, where people are portrayed in such a way that the guests will say "this is the best picture of my son/friend/cousin/father I've ever had". How could you capture the character of a person you've never met before in such a way? There are many other people at a wedding apart from the "key players". And they're also interested in high quality images of themselves - just being themselves, as opposed to playing a silly role accoriding to some tradition. And the reactions of people to the key events can so often be more interesting than what you call the key events themselves.
    I have every one of them sharp, in focus, and in the air so it looks like they are flying.
    That's great. Weddings are different. Can you tell what that child is going to say to his mom, and what is her reaction, because all of that is going to affect the subsequent expressions that you may or may not want to record. Can you really predict what people are going to do?
  26. There are successful wedding photographers who shoot thousands of images at a wedding. There are successful wedding photographers who shoot hundreds of images at a wedding--even less than a hundred, if the wedding is very short. The key is--each photographer is paying attention to his or her clients and fulfilling his or her contract (what the photographer promised in style AND number) with the client. There are reasons for shooting a lot that have nothing to do with level of photographic skill. There are reasons for not shooting a lot that have nothing to do with level of photographic/artistic/PJ skill.
    Harry--if you can make your numbers work, do it. The test is--do your clients buy your product? If so, I guess you are successful. If not, change your product.
  27. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Yikes indeed.

    I forgot to post my comments I had in respect of Amy`s postion, here:

    `Those brides who want only the traditional posed shots along with the bread and butter ceremony/reception shots usually want far less* [fewer images] than those who prefer a more photojournalistic style with lots of candids and detail shots. Of course you can only shoot so many traditional shots but the opportunity for candids is endless because people do amazing things every minute of the day and especially at weddings.`

    * [fewer images] is my understanding of Amy`s meaning of `wanting less`.

    I agree that, in the separation between `Formal` and `Photojournalistic`, generally there will be more scope for more shots in the `Photojournalistic` area: but, remember that many Weddings have a period set aside for the `Formal Cover`, the posed B&G and Wedding Party and Close Relations etc: this is a request from me 95% of the time. This is what I referred to in my post above as the 60 Formals.

    The remainder of my coverage is what I refer to as the `Story Book`, and whilst it has some intervention from me, from time to time and therefore cannot be referred to as `Pure Documentary Reportage`, it does have linkage between the images and contain its own motion and flow.

    My Assistant Photographer will take more a third eye view, mostly purely candid capture, except at the Church, where sometimes I will make special requests of him, because of local rules or Chapel size or low light, etc.

    I specifically wanted to address these comments, because they flow from the first post where there was mention of working very hard when shooting over 2000 images, which were later culled. And that was linked to implying that perhaps taking only 300 images was not, as difficult a job or did not require as much hard work.

    Later on in the thread, (as often happens), this `amount of work` perception being equated to quantity output was picked up upon and was morphed into packing up bags and sitting on one`s bum, tucking into the food for the night.

    The original comment was honestly and openly noted being by one with the experience of only one Wedding:

    In that regard, please note, I totally understand the sentiment, intent, and passion of the original comment, by Amy. So when Amy reads this, to her, it is a genuine comment for her digestion and consideration, and perhaps growth; just like my comments to her about `where is the ball` . . .

    Make no mistake: I work excessively hard and with 100% focus and Dedication to extreme Customer Service to produce my 400 digital and 60 film images, which amounts to the average output of my total Wedding Coverage.

    If any particular coverage requires more images it gets more images: I carry enough cards and film to shoot about 4 to 5 times my `average`: and, moreover I a have a 135 SLR a 45mm snub with enough film to cover the whole wedding again, just as backup.

    And mostly I work with an Assistant Photographer, who carries enough cards to do about three Weddings.

    I have very little tolerance for Professional Incompetence or Mistake from my staff and less tolerance of any Personal Error.

    There are many ways to skin a cat, and many elements to doing it. As I stated plainly earlier, I do not care how many images any Wedding Photographer takes: I encourage all to satisfy your clients.

    But, IMO it is very silly to think that quantity equates to hard work, or for that matter, quality.

    And it is sillier to think that quantity will, of itself, necessarily give the results to address the requirement of the client.

  28. WW, You are great and I do have the utmost respect for you and I take your comments with the highest of consideration. I apologize for starting this thread.. a hem. Had I left out that little number, possibly this thread would have gone nowhere but then what would be the point of this forum. I apologize Harry- if you are still reading this- for implying that your pure number of shots equated to a lack of quality and that was not the intent of my original response. The part of your post that bothered me was the attitude that all those shots sounded like a lot of work. What is important when undertaking anything is your approach, whatever it is. Do it and do your best.
  29. My answer is a little long only because this isn't an easy question. However, I will add that the number I shoot depends on the client. I've learned several disciplines and incorporate accordingly. Within my ability I shoot photojournalistic, artistic, traditional, a little fashion, and still life styles in any given day. I ask my client's to tell me what it is they envision when they are looking through their album/ images after the day is done. In my experience, different requirements are necessary to successfully document the big day, and I allocate my time and the number of exposures between the aforementioned styles to meet the customer's needs. That said, I will say that PJ leads to a higher volume of shots. Also, in my experience when I push off into the artistic side I tend to shoot a little more, only because I like having a backup in case the customer likes the scene but not the treatment in post which dictated the original exposure (meaning aggressive exposure, shallow depth of field, extreme angles, etc.) Also, (little OT) I don't add too many of these types of shots on my site and keep it 'middle of the road' in an effort to attract a broader base. This I am rethinking this though.

    ANYWAY, back on topic, all of that said I can typically tell a story in 100 - 200 pictures. Now, an example of a recent wedding I ended up with 1253 shots after culling out approximately 60 outtakes. I provided the customer with a page of 200 shots
    These same 200 images go into their 4x6 'proof' album that also holds their DVD's. This particular bride and groom really just wanted documentary coverage, the must have formal portraits, and a documentary style photo walk that let me catch them enjoying each others company at a distance. This is my comfort zone,and allowed me to visualize my shots and particular scenes which reduced the number of outtakes at the end of the day. However, if they wanted more artistic (very subjective and if I miss the mark I have a bunch of photo's they won't like) I would have shot a lot more, rapidly adjusting shutter, aperture and perspectives to ensure that any gap in my idea and their idea of 'artistic' is covered; hence, much more volume.

    Also, having more than 400 images opens up the options when creating customized photo books

    I've seen some photographers put more than 20 images on 1 page! So, once again, it depends on the client's needs, their intention of use for the final produce, and your offering and restrictions of their use.

    I know this is a long way around answering your question, but hopefully you will derive from all of the input here that there is a balance between style, customer's needs, workflow and man-hours, and potential product sales (based on current and possible future offering) that will define 'your number.' ;)
  30. My two cents. Wedding photography is a business. Thus the concern should be what will the customer buy? I found out that a good pre-wedding interview would let me know what the customer is looking for in coverage. Depending on circumstances, 2000 images might not be enough and 200 images could be sufficient. I'm in Maryland and lived just down the road from the late Monte Zucker when he was living in the area. As luck would have it we used the same lab and he always had his work displayed (one reason I got into wedding photography - his work was inspiring). One day I was talking to an assistant that was dropping off a wedding shoot. There wasn't (by my memory) more than 25 rolls of 120/220 film.

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