How many photos do I deliver & why?

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When people are trying to find a photographer, often their first questions are “how much?”, “how long?”, and “how many photos?”. Every photographer ranges widely in these three areas, and as my business continues to grow, I put a lot of thought into these three numbers. Since “how many photos?” is one of the most common questions I get, I figured I’d explain what number I’ve found works for me and why I chose that number. 

In this post, I've also included photos from my anniversary session with Haley (@haleyyjacobson) & Chase (@chaselevo). They showed me around Mt. Tam and brought this cutest truck-bed set up. 

First things first… How many photos do I deliver for a regular session?

For about every hour of shooting, I guarantee a minimum of 25 photos. Some photographers will guarantee twice as many while others will only guarantee half. I’ve found 25 is a great number for me, and here’s why: 

  1. After shooting my fair share of photo sessions, I’ve found that I can always get at least 25 really good photos for an hour of shooting. When I deliver the minimum of 25 photos, this allows me to include a variety of poses, include sets of photos that tell a story, and allows my clients several options to choose from. I recognize that everyone sees themselves a little bit differently, so I like to give clients options, since I never know which will be nearest to their hearts. 
  2.  (I hope I don't get a lot of hate for this, but....) In a world of social media, people don’t tend to use much more than 25. Outside of wedding and event photography, I have never seen anyone use more than about 30. Now don’t get me wrong, I know a lot of people still create albums and display work around the house, but I’ve found that a lot of people won’t use much more than 10 or 15 unless they are making a photo book. In an instagram world, most people only use 3! 
  3. I would rather deliver 25 AWESOME photos than 125 mediocre photos. Not only does sticking to 25 save me time (and therefore saves my clients money), but I have actually found that people like their photos MORE when I stick closer to 25. When I was starting out, I’d easily send 80-100 photos, but as I look back I realize that this didn’t mean I was giving my best work. Including 100+ allowed for a lot of mediocrity in my photo albums.   **On a side note: Personally, I have always felt that I would rather only see photos that I look great in and none where I’m looking like a mess. I’d rather have 10 photos where I look like a superstar, model, hottie then see 100 photos where I only look like a total babe in 10% of the photos. 

I definitely don't think there's a wrong number to choose or a wrong way to decide, but I have felt pretty comfortable around this number. I think it's also important to note, that I NEVER keep a photo I think you'll love. If that means that I deliver more than 25, that's not a problem at all! I'm glad to do it. 

I hope this post cleared up a few questions on why I deliver how many photos I do. If you have any comments, questions, or critiques, feel free to comment those below. Thanks for reading! :)