There are 2 types of photographers:
1. The artist kind: Hired for their art and creative skill.
2. The service kind: Hired to do what they are told to do.
I’m particular about how I present the story of a wedding while also keeping in mind photos that are important to the client (i.e. photos of the details, guests, etc.). The average number of photos I deliver for a full day wedding is 600. For engagement sessions it’s 50. I choose and edit the photos.
But what if a client wants more?
One time I had a potential client ask if I could deliver a minimum of 1500 photos from their wedding day. They said they had spoken to another photographer and he guaranteed them 1500. If this was the beginning of my career and I really needed the money I would have. You do what you gotta do to pay the bills! I was lucky that I was in a position that I could say no, so I politely declined. If quantity was what they were looking for, there was a different photographer out there who was a better fit for them.
To me, the difference between a good photographer and a great photographer is the ability to creatively cull and tell a story. Anyone can learn how to technically use a camera, take thousands of photos, and hand them over. My feeling is – there’s no art in that. It shows a lack of quality and confidence in your work.
When I hire people, I hire someone I trust. For example, when I send something to my graphic designer I say, “Do whatever you think looks best.” I’ve seen her work and know she is 100 times better at what she does than I am – that’s why I’m hiring her. I also know that she cares and is anal when it comes to doing a good job, similar to how I feel about photography. She often says, “Forget other people, I am my own most difficult client!”
Everyone is different. Some people like quantity and prefer to see all the photos the photographer takes. Some don’t want to sift through thousands of photos and only want the best “usable” photos. If you are looking for a photographer, find one that delivers something you feel good about.
If you are a new photographer and aren’t sure how many photos you should deliver, think about what kind of photographer you want to be. The artist kind, the service kind, or as I prefer to be – BOTH. 🙂 Whichever you decide to be, you will attract the right clients.