How many pictures do we get?!
Great question, the packages say three hundred and four hundred, but this really is a minimum. My philosophy on what to deliver has changed somewhat over the years and it was all triggered by an email exchange with a previous client.
In their final gallery I had decided to leave in a picture of the bride hugging one of the guests. It was shot quite wide, but you could clearly see the happy expression on the guests face and the warmth of the embrace could easily be identified in the image. Beyond that, not much else I happening in the frame. No big laughs, no one falling over, the hug is the only action in the image, the surrounding people and setting are for context only. As a rule of thumb, images like that wouldn’t have typically made the cut in the past, not enough excitement for me. This could have been born out of excessive pride, thinking that I would be judged on this image and deemed to be a mediocre photographer, but thankfully, these thoughts no longer plague me. By the way, you can learn more fun facts about me here.
Fast forward a few months after the wedding and the bride reaches out to me to say thank you, this is not abnormal i’m sure you’ll be glad to know. It was abnormal in this case however as many thanks had already been sent my way. It transpired that the gentlemen depicted in the aforementioned photograph had very sadly, and very suddenly, passed away. The image that I had taken of him was the only photograph they had of him. Isn’t that an incredible thought. We can lose images through house fires, computer crashes or degradation of paper over time. A entire family history can effectively be wiped out by one disaster, it helps put into perspective the importance of photographs, and the importance of proper archiving!
It helped me understand an element of photography that had been in front of my eyes the entire time, but i’d never been able to see before. That is, the images that people cherish are rarely the ones that you expect. They may be composed poorly, be technically poor, or slightly out of focus. Look around your parents or grandparents home, the photographs are never technically perfect, but they either define a moment, capture a personality, or are the only image of a person in existence.
To that end, I include a lot more images in the final gallery. Because who knows, although it might not meet ‘my artistic vision’, you wont care if it’s the only image you have of a lost family member. You won’t critique it if the lighting isn’t great or if there’s a hint of movement, you don’t see the technical flaws, you see the person. I’m glad I’ve come to this realisation early on in my career, the images are never about me, they are about you and the people you love.
This is a long winded answer isn’t it?
400 is an absolute minimum. I include around 50 prints in the box, 300 images on the highlights slideshow and then the gallery will be 400+. The biggest collection I delivered in 2018 was 1168 (bear in mind that these images are still of quality, I don’t bombard you with nonsense), if I deem it to have value to you, or depicts a family member otherwise not captured in the rest of the images, then it makes the cut. There is no upper limit!