We don’t hear this question all the time but it certainly does pop up occasionally, and instead of addressing it solely in the forthcoming FAQ, it’s probably a good idea to explain a little why the discrepancy between ‘Photographs Taken’ and ‘Photographs Delivered’ not only exists, can be quantifiably very different but why also that is a very good thing for you.
Firstly, and as many Wedding Photographs will briefly explain, the reason why you do not receive ALL the images taken is purely down to matters of quality control.
A lot of us ( one would hope most ) take a great deal of pride in our work and feel that letting sub-standard images out into the wild will ultimately reflect badly on our brand. We’d also like to think that we’re mostly booked on account of the quality of our images and our service and that our couples generally value quality over quantity.
Invariably throughout the day, we’ll have instances of missed focus, bad expressions including blinks and overall moments which thought of at the time as ‘good’, clearly in the cold light of day, were not so much.
So not only are we filtering quality at the point of capture, we’re also doing it during selection of the images on our computers and again maybe during final retouch. This process takes time but it’s a big part of how we ensure you get a collection that’s a reflection of how much we respect you as our clients.
Adding ‘filler’ is for making up the numbers just for the sake of making up the numbers.
We don’t tell you that we’ll deliver 1000 images from your big day, not because we couldn’t deliver 1000 images, but because we choose to keep the level of quality above a point which is in line with your expectations of us.
Another, and perhaps a more interesting reason for a large ratio of ‘Shutter Count’ to ‘Delivery Count’ is because of a creative process of fine-tuning the shot we’re seeking by iteration. This idea became popular in Wedding Photographer circles a little while back and is definitely a product of the digital revolution which allows us to take many more photographs than we ultimately require with very little additional cost.
It also ties in a little with a belief I hold very strongly in the field of ‘Wedding Photojournalism’ / ‘Reportage’ / ‘Documentary Style’ which, although it’s somewhat ‘Out There’ for many, it is a big part of how I personally understand not only photography, but also our very reality, and that is, what we experience is a product of our imagination.
By offering ourselves the luxury of an iterative process whereby we capture a ‘safe’ version of what’s happening in our viewfinder as a starting point, our imaginations become freer to ‘Develop’ an idea as the micro-story unfolds to us.
By deeply imagining with a free and open consciousness, we can very often elevate the potential of an image by building on what we already have ‘In The Can’, the best version of that micro-story is quite often the final image of a sequence of images, each perhaps ‘Acceptable’ in their own right but ‘Dilutary’ to the power of the Final Image when viewed on its own terms which, if you haven’t already guessed, is the version you end up receiving.
So hopefully this goes a little way towards assuring you that when a photographer is cagey about saying how many images they will take on the day, it’s not because they’re ‘holding out’ on you – just that it’s kind of tricky to explain the process unless you’ve actually been there.
Ultimately, any Wedding Photographer worth their salt is working in your very best interests. They want to give you what is the perfect reflection of the way they saw your day and they know that ‘More’ in the context of surplus is always ‘Less’ – because when we are distracted from the best versions of anything by pale alternatives or filler, perhaps contrary to expectation, it does NOT allow us to appreciate more the ‘Superior’ in the light of the ‘Lesser’, but instead will lower the perception of quality across the board.
Few stories benefit from over-explanation.
True beauty is self-explanatory in simplicity.
Our version of Your Story always serves to honour each event by interpretation into its most beautiful incarnation.
If you understand this, we’d love to buy you coffee.