it doesn’t happen very often, but every now and again, I get a request for all of the photos I’ve taken during a photoshoot
Want to hazard a guess as to what I might answer?
But for a moment, I’ll step into your shoes, as the client.
You’ve seen the stunning photos in my online portfolio and have gotten in touch to book a session. You’ve paid good money to have me ‘take your picture’. You hear the shutter button click a couple hundred times and you think “She’s got a fancy camera, I’m going to get a couple hundred photos out of this!”
And then I deliver 40 images.
And you (as the client) say “What the!?”
I have 3 reasons for this, and they are as follows:
1. I shoot in RAW format.
I take all of my photos in a file format called RAW, which captures all image data recorded by the camera’s sensor when I take a photo. When shooting in RAW the photo isn’t processed within the camera, consequently preserving all the information in all the pixels within the image. RAW files are significantly larger (because they are retaining more data) than JPEG files (which captures data and then forms an image file composed of the compressed pixels).
In effect, the RAW file is a draft – a digital negative – and just like you need a photo processing lab to develop a film negative, you need the right software (I use Lightroom, just in case you were curious) to develop a RAW file.
2. The photos that aren’t chosen to be edited are left behind for a reason.
As part of my role as your photographer, I am responsible for eliminating repetition, bad shots, test shots, and eyeblinks. Not every photo taken on the day is going to be perfect. You need time to settle into the photoshoot and feel comfortable being photographed. And I need time to help you do that, so some of the photos from the beginning of the shoot may not be so good. Equally so, by the end of the photoshoot, some members of your family may be starting to get a little over the whole thing, and aren’t really cooperating…
Sorting through these couple hundred photos that I’ve taken takes time. What I’m looking for during this culling time is the best of the best, in order to create a beautiful collection of unique images for you, because, after all, that is what you have paid me to do.
So there’s a certain degree of trust involved. You trust that when you hire me as your photographer, you’ll get the same quality of image that you’ve seen here on my website. You’ve paid for my skills as a photographer, and that includes everything after the shutter click as well.
If you think of the RAW images as cake batter, my finding the best of the best is the baking of the cake. The frosting and sprinkles are coming, trust me!
3. I want to give you my best work.
Photos are more than just files and be burned to a usb, for me. Once the culling process is done, then begins the editing. I will now spend time on each and every final image that I will be giving to you, working with each of them by hand to tone the colour, smooth any imperfections, and produce heirloom pieces of art that are up to my artistic standards – the same quality of work you saw in my portfolio. The frosting and the sprinkles – ta dah!
Each of the final images that I present to you represents my talent, creativity and experience. And I want the most beautiful and stunning images from the day to be the ones that grace the walls of your home.
So, while I will listen kindly to your request for all of the images, my answer will remain the same, a no, and I will stand firm on this.
I hope that this post helps to explain why I don’t give all images from a photoshoot to you.