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  • William Lane

How many photos should a wedding photographer give you?

Are you being short changed if your photographer delivers you 200 photos? Is over 1,000 photos too many?

When it comes to choosing a wedding photographer, many couples tend to focus on the number of photos they can expect to receive. And it's understandable to be curious about this aspect. After all, as wedding photographers, we know that our services make up a significant portion of some couples' budgets, and you want to be sure that you're getting the best value for your money. So, it's only fair that you ask about how many photos you can expect to receive.

Well, here’s my opinion: the best wedding albums aren't based on the number of shots your photographer takes, it's all about the quality of those snaps that counts. Trust me, you don't want to be scrolling through hundreds of bang average pictures that don't do justice to your special day. Instead, focus on finding a photographer who can deliver a collection of images that will make you want to jump for joy, shed a tear or two, and cherish every memory.

Here’s how I see it: back in the day, wedding photography was a very different process. Photographers were limited to the number of exposures they could take on a roll of film (usually 36 per roll), which meant they had to be very careful about how many shots they took. As a result, most couples received a smaller selection of photos, but each one was carefully curated to ensure that they were truly stunning.

With the advent of digital photography, photographers can now take as many photos as we like without worrying and I think this is a fantastic thing! It allows us to be more reactive, more focussed on the action of the day rather than worrying about running out of frames to use.

A groom spins his bride while her dress flows through the long grass during golden hour at their summer wedding

And let's be honest, social media has raised the bar when it comes to our expectations of what a wedding photographer can deliver. If you stumble upon a wedding photographer's Instagram page and see thousands of stunning shots, it's natural to wonder if that's the amount of photos you'll receive.

So if you find a photographer who has lots of images you like and who promises you an album with 1,000 of these photos, you’re on to a winner right? Well, tread with caution.

Here's an example: let's say your photographer promises to deliver a minimum of 1,000 photos from your wedding day. But, during the editing process, they find that only 600 of those shots are “keepers” (600 is still a massive number of photos by the way and what my albums tend to average out to). In that case, they're going to have to make up the numbers by filling your album with some mediocre shots. And who wants that? It's much better to have a smaller collection of amazing photos that truly capture the essence of your big day rather than a ton of forgettable snaps that just take up space.

A newlywed bride and groom walk through a shower of petals and confetti being thrown by their guests

Does this mean that photographers who promise a minimum number of photos are automatically wrong or bad at their jobs? Absolutely not! I’ve worked with many great photographers who know that they can easily deliver on the number of promised photos every time and that all the photos meet their standards.

However, as a candid wedding photographer, I believe that placing strict limits on the number of photos I take can be counterproductive. I know that some clients can become fixated on the number of photos they will receive rather than the quality, style, and "feel" of my work. That's why I prefer not to make any strict promises. Instead, I focus on capturing the essence of your special day in a way that truly reflects you as a couple.

And most importantly, regardless of how many photos your photographer takes, the most important thing is that they all meet your standards of quality and truly capture the essence of your day. It's important to communicate your expectations upfront and ensure that your photographer is on board with your vision for your wedding album as early as possible.

Ultimately, the choice of which wedding photographer to hire is a crucial one, so make sure you pick someone whose work speaks to your heart and captures the unique essence of you. Remember, your wedding photos will be cherished for a lifetime, so it's worth investing in a someone who truly understands your vision and can translate it into stunning images that you'll treasure forever. Choose wisely, and the rest of your special day will fall into place with ease.

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