first wedding--question

kdotaylorkdotaylor Major grinsPosts: 1,263Registered Users Major grins
edited July 7, 2014 in Weddings
I recently shot my first wedding (I'll post some photos later for c & c). My question is: how many finished, edited photos do you typically give the bride/groom on a cd or flash drive? I took about 1200 pictures, but will want to weed out over half of these, I think.
Kate
www.katetaylor.smugmug.com
"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." Mark Twain

Comments

  • SamSam San Jose CA Posts: 7,418Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 18, 2014
    I would give them every unique, (meaning different pose, group, location, action, etc.), that is technically sound. I wouldn't worry about numbers. My thoughts would be did I cover the day and tell the story?

    What I don't like to see is 6 shots of the same pose. Pick the best.

    I also would provide one set of full rez jpg, and one set of low rez jpg, (think email, web posting).

    Others with more wedding experience will surely chime in.

    Sam
  • Matthew SavilleMatthew Saville Wedding Photographer Southern CaliforniaPosts: 3,352Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited June 19, 2014
    Sam wrote: »
    I would give them every unique, (meaning different pose, group, location, action, etc.), that is technically sound. I wouldn't worry about numbers. My thoughts would be did I cover the day and tell the story?

    What I don't like to see is 6 shots of the same pose. Pick the best.

    I also would provide one set of full rez jpg, and one set of low rez jpg, (think email, web posting).

    Others with more wedding experience will surely chime in.

    Sam

    I'll chime in, with a +1!!!

    This basically sums it up. If it's a unique moment, even if it isn't a perfect capture, the couple probably wants to see it. What they don't need is a zillion of a nearly identical pose, so pick the best 2-3 images from each portraiture scene / pose, and kill the rest. When I shoot solo, I usually deliver 40-50% of what I shoot, and I usually shoot 1500-2000.

    It also does indeed help to deliver a high-res, un-watermarked version for their own proofing purposes, as well as a collection of the best ~50-100 images in a "slideshow / web folder" that has your watermark on it. If you'd like people to know that you created their images, of course. If you're not chomping at the bit to shoot another wedding lol, watermarks are optional. ;-)


    =Matt=
    My first thought is always of light.” – Galen Rowell
    My SmugMug PortfolioMy Astro-Landscape Photo BlogDgrin Weddings Forum
  • kdotaylorkdotaylor Major grins Posts: 1,263Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 20, 2014
    Thanks, that helps. I went back and deleting several photos that were near duplicates.
    Kate
    www.katetaylor.smugmug.com
    "You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." Mark Twain
  • r3t1awr3ydr3t1awr3yd Lifetime Noob! Posts: 1,000Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 20, 2014
    Something odd that I keep in my mind when providing pictures to the bride...

    200 pictures at 5 seconds a picture = 17 minutes to view the pictures.
    500 pictures at 5 seconds a picture = 42 minutes to view the pictures.

    200 pictures at 15 seconds a picture = 50 minutes to view the pictures.
    500 pictures at 15 seconds a picture = 2 hours and 5 minutes to view the pictures.

    It might seem weird but if we photographers get fatigued looking at pictures for half an hour, I always wonder if the couple will too.

    Other than that, I agree with the yahoos above :P

    Oh, and you don't have to deliver on CD/Flash Drive (though you can if you're going to have an image printed on the CD and put in a nice case or get one of those fancy, engraved, wooden USB drives).
    If they need instant gratification, a lot of hosting websites allow a download of an entire folder or set too. I dropbox a lot of images to clients who want them ASAP and then provide them with ways beyond that to get them if they're interested.

    Just throwing out some other ideas for you (i know, off topic!)

    -Wally

    Hi! I'm Wally: website | blog | facebook | IG | scotchNsniff
    Nikon addict. D610, Tok 11-16, Sig 24-35, Nik 24-70/70-200vr
  • kdotaylorkdotaylor Major grins Posts: 1,263Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 20, 2014
    Remarks all make a lot of sense, thank you. I have about 400 photos to give them; I was thinking it was too few but now I'm thinking it's too many :D I guess I'm in the ball park.
    Kate
    www.katetaylor.smugmug.com
    "You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." Mark Twain
  • jgoetz4jgoetz4 Major grins Baltimore, MdPosts: 1,266Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 20, 2014
    RE:First wedding--question
    I remember my wedding way back in 1984. Our 'photographer' was a mechanic by trade, but moonlighted in the photography business. He used a medium format Mamiya, and shot about 2 dozen rolls of film for both the ceremony and reception. When we came back from the honeymoon, the pictures were ready. Hard to believe that after a week in Disney World, we were sitting in his 'studio' choosing the pictures and putting together our album. I believe we contracted for either 30 or 36 8 x 10's in a deluxe photo album. We also received 2 'smaller' 4 x 6 albums. Til this day, that album still stands out. The remaining 60 or so pictures were kept for 1 yr in case we wanted additional pictures.
    I know of at least 2 photographers who still shoot with a Canon 5D and a 4GB CF card. They make every shot count, rather then count every shot by just holding the shutter button and getting 6 or 7 fps of basically the same image. Yeah, I guess most wedding photogs do take well above 1000 shots in that case lol. BTW, that same 'grease monkey', as he called himself, also took my 1st grade pictures back in 1965, according to the name on the cardboard frame :D

  • IcebearIcebear Major grins Posts: 4,015Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 22, 2014
    Expectations
    In the past our clients had different expectations. Even 15 years ago, brides did not expect thousands of images from a wedding and reception. A wedding I shot decades ago resulted in a couple hundred 135 negatives and the bride was thrilled. Now, we have a different set of expectations to meet, and better technology that allows us to meet those expectations. Times change.

    IMO, when you're shooting a wedding/reception if you're not taking a break while the bride and groom are eating, you had better have your head on a swivel and be constantly pressing that shutter button. Last weekend's wedding shoot resulted in over 2000 images, and only about 300 were "tossers." I will deliver right around 420.
    John :
    Natural selection is responsible for every living thing that exists.
    D3s, D500, D5300, and way more glass than the wife knows about.
  • bike21bike21 Major grins Posts: 836Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 22, 2014
    Lot of good advice so far, personally we always delivered 200-350 depending on wedding size. Overkill wasn't our game and our clients were always very pleased.
  • jgoetz4jgoetz4 Major grins Baltimore, MdPosts: 1,266Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 22, 2014
    I work with a couple of laborers who are in their early 20's. Both of them know I dwell in photography as a hobby. They were married about month ago, maybe a week apart from each other. Both had complained about the number of pictures that were taken, and especially, the amount of time they had to spend retaking static shots, for one reason or another. When they received the proofs, they couldn't believe how many shots were taken, and how many of those shots were almost identical. They asked me if this was normal. I told them that although I am not a wedding photographer, many pictures are indeed taken but the actual amount will vary with the photographer and his skills. The retaking of certain shots was necessary and that they would appreciate them later. As for sending identical shots, I said no, that's not the usual procedure. Why complicate the issue by sending an additional 100 shots when they can't even pick out the 200-300 they agreed to? So far, neither one of them have completed their albums, and both of their wives apparently have brought in their moms for assistance. While it may have been the happiest day of their lives, I doubt that the aggravation involved was part of the contract...

  • GlortGlort Major grins Posts: 1,015Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 24, 2014
    jgoetz4 wrote: »
    Why complicate the issue by sending an additional 100 shots when they can't even pick out the 200-300 they agreed to?

    In my 30+ years of doing weddings, I am YET to find a couple whot though that getting more images to choose from was better. I have had plenty that have looked through what I have given them, started toi choose and realise that one page just took them 10 Minutes and they only looked at 8 pics, freak out and ask if I can do the album for them?

    Sure, Pages are $xxx ea, whats the limit of your budget so I know how many pics I have to get it down to? rolleyes1.gif
  • puzzledpaulpuzzledpaul low down bum Posts: 1,621Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 24, 2014
    Personally I (+ mrs pp) think the whole 'wedding spectacle', being sold on the 'unique day' aspect is just an excuse for all manner of extreme (and often overpriced) BS - and in this case, re pics ... quantity of same is just another factor dialed in to justify the cost.

    The - to my mind -excessive nos of pics mentioned reminds me of some London street markets where paintings are on sale ... almost always seemed to separate into 2 groups ... excessively large, gaudy (painted by Nos) junk in ornate gilded frames, sold by size / area ... compared with small, stunning oils / watercolours in simple, elegant frames.

    pp
  • IcebearIcebear Major grins Posts: 4,015Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 25, 2014
    Glort wrote: »
    ERRUMM....
    2000+ shot,
    300 " tossers"
    420 "delivered"..... WTF happened to the other 1280 odd shots taken? headscratch.gif
    Where did they evaporate to?
    I can only conclude they were in fact Tossed as well if they don't show up on the final image tally.

    From these numbers, 80% of the shots you take on the day are wasted/ no good/ bad/ not nessacary/ overkill/ double ups/ unacceptable/ failures/ retakes/ mistakes ..... Whatever. I can't get my head round such a high percentage taken but not used. ..... but 80% throwaway rate??
    My god if people did that with film they would have gone broke first job. And at teh end of the day, despite all the expectation etc, the B&G are still only getting -Maybe- 100 shots more than I would have given them back in the medium format days when we made every shot count.

    Not having a go at you, what you are saying is similar to what I have read many times, I'm STILL just trying to understand the whole logic behind this way of doing things and see what the advantage to the client or the shooter is. I'm afraid my confusion grows but my understanding shrinks.

    You're obviously a more accomplished photographer than I am. Apparently none of your shots have blinkers, bad facial expressions, dancers waving arms in front of the face you were focused on, soft focus, etc. The first thing I do after a shoot is go through and "toss" the shots that are technically or artistically inferior or potentially embarrassing to anyone in the shot. Yes, I do take multiple shots of similar subjects in order to assure myself of having one that I'm pleased with. Tell me, how do you take only a single shot of a group of 30 people and have no blinkers or "unfortunate" expressions?

    Simply put, the bride's family spent a lot of time and thought putting together their guest list, and then a lot of money entertaining them. Part of my effort involves trying to get a nice shot of everybody there. YMMV.

    A "tosser" never sees the light of day. "Non-selected" shots stay on my hard drive a few months in case I'm asked later, "did you get a shot of Aunt Tillie?" It's happened.
    John :
    Natural selection is responsible for every living thing that exists.
    D3s, D500, D5300, and way more glass than the wife knows about.
  • Matthew SavilleMatthew Saville Wedding Photographer Southern CaliforniaPosts: 3,352Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited June 25, 2014
    The bottom line is that BOTH "business models" (and the shooting philosophies that go with them) work very, very well. It just depends what type of photographer you are, and also where you live.

    In Southern California, 99% of the clientele I deal with thinks it's perfectly normal to receive 700-1500 images. Yeah. Some even expect it, or ask if we have more of this or that... It's just perfectly normal (and again, often expected) for us to be crawling all over the place, "covering" an event. What can I say, the upper-class / upper-middle-class likes to be treated that way. Maybe it's a mock-celebrity thing?

    Yeah, 20-30 years ago it may have been normal for the average wedding photographer to make good use of just 5-10 rolls of film, and that was it. Nice easy workflow, and business model!

    However I doubt that the "average" wedding photographer was able to command the prices that we expect today. Even adjusting for inflation, the market today is far bigger and more profitable, mainly thanks to digital. In other words, unless you're extremely famous, you kind of HAVE TO conform to this new expectation of, well, maybe not 1500 photos delivered, but at least 500-750 in my opinion.

    I will say this, though, as well. Personally I'm over it, and I'd LOVE to know where it is that Glort is going where they expect ~300 photos delivered, and the photog gets to go home early! Dayum, that sounds like a cushy job! As long as I could command $2-4K, that is, and have a significantly lower cost of living than here in Southern California.

    My point is, I understand how everybody feels here. Sometimes, there is in fact such a thing as "too much coverage". And I wince every time I'm at a wedding and I see other professionals swarming all over "the action", often times almost completely blocking the view of large numbers of wedding guests, and generally killing the mood.

    I would love to take a very laid-back, incognito approach to weddings. I'd love to not have to worry about spending 3-4 hours of every wedding shooting highly posed, stressfully orchestrated portraits. Unfortunately, I literally would go out of business if I tried to adopt that business model around here. Sure, I might be able to eventually over the course of a few years, but cold turkey? No. And I would have to take a significant pay cut, probably.

    =Matt=
    My first thought is always of light.” – Galen Rowell
    My SmugMug PortfolioMy Astro-Landscape Photo BlogDgrin Weddings Forum
  • Matthew SavilleMatthew Saville Wedding Photographer Southern CaliforniaPosts: 3,352Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited June 25, 2014
    Icebear wrote: »
    You're obviously a more accomplished photographer than I am. Apparently none of your shots have blinkers, bad facial expressions, dancers waving arms in front of the face you were focused on, soft focus, etc. The first thing I do after a shoot is go through and "toss" the shots that are technically or artistically inferior or potentially embarrassing to anyone in the shot. Yes, I do take multiple shots of similar subjects in order to assure myself of having one that I'm pleased with. Tell me, how do you take only a single shot of a group of 30 people and have no blinkers or "unfortunate" expressions?

    Simply put, the bride's family spent a lot of time and thought putting together their guest list, and then a lot of money entertaining them. Part of my effort involves trying to get a nice shot of everybody there. YMMV.

    A "tosser" never sees the light of day. "Non-selected" shots stay on my hard drive a few months in case I'm asked later, "did you get a shot of Aunt Tillie?" It's happened.

    This is my conundrum as well. Nailing focus at f/1.4, getting sharpness in horrible light, and shooting family formal photos when everybody seems to be incapable of looking at MY camera and not blinking, ...all of this leads to a 30-50% keeper rate, and there's no avoiding it.

    Like I said, I'd love to be able to throttle back and shoot ~500-750 photos, and deliver just 300-400, but my client's expectations, and my shooting style and standards, don't really allow for this. Yet.

    =Matt=
    My first thought is always of light.” – Galen Rowell
    My SmugMug PortfolioMy Astro-Landscape Photo BlogDgrin Weddings Forum
  • JonaBeth RussellJonaBeth Russell Major grins MauiPosts: 909Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 1, 2014
    To the original poster - I saw your shots in the other thread...quite stunning, IMO. Great work! As for the photo count, this is something with which I'm still struggling.

    You see, I've shot one solo wedding so far, and have been 2nd shooter on others. In 8 hrs of being 2nd shooter, I've averaged around 1,000 shots...with pretty much no idea how many made a cut or not. Therefore, I have no data to calculate keeper rate.

    In the solo event, I shot just over 2,000 in nearly 10hrs. I'll tell ya' now, it was mostly because I was more nervous than a preacher in a whorehouse on Sunday. I wanted to make absolutely certain that I got enough useable images to come good on my end of the deal. In the end, I probably instantly scrubbed about 300 photos, as I was still learning about low-light / large space photography...where the room is too damn big to bounce the flash off of anything. Hell, the cathedral was too tall to bounce a basketball up there lol. The bride REQUESTED all useable photo proofs, though she wanted only 50-60 for her album. This was also my first event with a new 7D body...and 7 fps shutters.

    The next few days, as I began the cull process, I remember thinking, "Who the hell needs 7fps??? That's a stupid ass feature for weddings..." Yes, I know it's functional in some environments, but it cost me a LOT of time later in the post world.

    I like all of the points of view in this thread. They're all valuable, and I can say, I like the "shoot what you see, see what you shoot" method for sure. I aim to get there, but I'm still fairly new in the wedding world, so I will probably still shoot a little more than necessary for a few more, until I hone the skills needed to whittle the numbers down. I'm not ashamed of my immaturity in the profession, but rather proud of my rate of success so far. I'd say, your first wedding and you had a few thousand shots, well that's alright. Now you know you can do it, and I'm betting the next one might result in fewer clicks because of it.
  • jgoetz4jgoetz4 Major grins Baltimore, MdPosts: 1,266Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 1, 2014
    The next few days, as I began the cull process, I remember thinking, "Who the hell needs 7fps??? That's a stupid ass feature for weddings..." Yes, I know it's functional in some environments, but it cost me a LOT of time later in the post world.

    That's where a 5D comes in handy. Half the frame rate, hence, half the time in pp, excellent iq and still a bargain at $500 :D

  • JonaBeth RussellJonaBeth Russell Major grins MauiPosts: 909Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 1, 2014
    hehe, yup. I could've set the 7D to half the rate...but I knew no better at the time :)

    Full frame is sure nice, for low light, I'd say. Eventually, I'll get there.
  • Matthew SavilleMatthew Saville Wedding Photographer Southern CaliforniaPosts: 3,352Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited July 4, 2014
    Glort, what I'm getting from your lengthy replies, quite honestly, is that it seems like you're over-exaggerating the other side of things to argue your point, and looking for ways to fit this into a "spray and pray" philosophy.

    The truth, of course lies somewhere in between.

    I'm certain you're not intending to sound this way, but just FYI, your choice of words and tone / attitude make it sound like you're calling us all idiots. Maybe I'm just seeing condescension where it isn't, though.

    I do know that I'm not (nor are most others) rattling off at 8 FPS all day long just because I can't time a candid photo. However, I do click numerous shots during candid moments, and I shoot a lot of cultural events where there might be a whole 3-4+ hours of extremely important things happening. Indian weddings in particular can generate 5+ extremely important images per minute for an our straight.

    Neither am I subjecting my clients to 3 hours straight of standing in a row, of course. That number was from adding up the time spent throughout the whole day, from pre-wedding posed images with bridesmaids etc, then a "first look" with the couple before the ceremony, then family formals after, and all the way through the reception with posed group photos at each table.

    I didn't say that my clients expect 2,000 images, nor did I say it was normal to do so. I don't know how you got that number from 500-750 minimum. But yes, based on hourly coverage, I'd say that my clients do in fact EXPECT nearly 100 images per hour of coverage. That's just perfectly normal for Southern California.

    I'm sure it's very different elsewhere, and like I said I'd love to move to one of those places! It would be a cushy job indeed if I could shoot less than half as much as I do now, go home an hour or more earlier, and then in post-production only have to focus on the ~50+ images that go into an album instead of having to perfectly color-correct 750-1000 images that will probably only get browsed once or twice.

    =Matt=
    My first thought is always of light.” – Galen Rowell
    My SmugMug PortfolioMy Astro-Landscape Photo BlogDgrin Weddings Forum
  • JonaBeth RussellJonaBeth Russell Major grins MauiPosts: 909Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 6, 2014
    This thread is incredible. I'm learning so much about differing approaches to the business, and loving it all! Thank you guys for this conversation.
  • jonh68jonh68 Major grins Posts: 2,711Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 6, 2014
    I would go crazy trying to present 500-700 images to a client for a wedding and I think most clients that CHOOSE me would to. I am with Glort on this one. I want to give the customer the one money shot that is glorious and then the rest support that picture. If a client wants 500-1000 images to look through then I am going to up my price because I want to at least give some basic editing to the pics in the proof gallery.

    I'm glad most of my weddings are one hour beach weddings. Maybe less money but sure is less stressful :)
  • jonh68jonh68 Major grins Posts: 2,711Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 6, 2014
    I'm sure it's very different elsewhere, and like I said I'd love to move to one of those places! It would be a cushy job indeed if I could shoot less than half as much as I do now, go home an hour or more earlier, and then in post-production only have to focus on the ~50+ images that go into an album instead of having to perfectly color-correct 750-1000 images that will probably only get browsed once or twice.

    =Matt=

    Sometimes its best to educate the customer, or even say no. I agree you have to meet customer expectations to a degree but it is better to get the customer that likes your style and way of doing things. More pleasant with the customer because the two of you are on the same page. I think it's foolish to spend time doing edits on 750-1000 pics when maybe 50-100 will actually be chosen. Let the customer pick from the proof gallery and then edit the ones that are actually chosen.

    To say it's a cushy job is an exaggeration. Because someone has found a way to balance their workflow to make it easier and more enjoyable doesn't mean they are finding "cushy" jobs. It means maybe they have found a better way of doing things.
  • jonh68jonh68 Major grins Posts: 2,711Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 7, 2014
    Glort wrote: »
    I have always tried to work smarter not harder.

    While some would say what I do is cushy, I'd say what they do would be unbearable. I'd go nuts in every sense of the word having ro edit hundreds and hundreds of pics. I'd be looking at then going " What a trucking waste of time, there is no way there will ever do anything more than flick past this shot let alone print it."
    The best I could see myself doing is like I sometimes do for event pics, write an action in PS and batch the buggers. IF one is off, I'll fix it if the people show interest or want it printed.
    Individual editing is not something I could do on that scale.
    That to me would be nothing short of torture.

    I try to keep those fill in shots to a minimum. Sure there are some you have to do that may not be used but they want to see but after a while you come to learn what they are and minimise them. Everything I'm reading suggests to me that regardless of the number of shots taken, the shots used in albums are very much the same. After all, there are only so many key parts to a wedding and so many shots people either want or can afford to see of themselves.

    You can work the same job, same hours, and make it easier for yourself in PP by being more selective with the photos you present to the client or how you handle the proof gallery. If they want a ton of photos to choose from then just put them SOOC into the proof gallery and then edit the ones they choose. Some may may need slight edits for sure. At the end of the day they usually pic from 30-70. No way am I going to edit 300-500 pictures.
  • trooperstroopers Major grins Posts: 317Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 7, 2014
    kdotaylor wrote: »
    I recently shot my first wedding (I'll post some photos later for c & c). My question is: how many finished, edited photos do you typically give the bride/groom on a cd or flash drive? I took about 1200 pictures, but will want to weed out over half of these, I think.

    Tough to answer without knowing wedding specifics, such as length of ceremony & reception, cultural/religious considerations, # of group photos, wedding party size, other specific photos requested by B/G, etc. With that said, 400 photos at the high end.
  • kdotaylorkdotaylor Major grins Posts: 1,263Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 7, 2014
    troopers wrote: »
    400 photos at the high end.
    Thank you...that answers my question.
    Kate
    www.katetaylor.smugmug.com
    "You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." Mark Twain
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