the f stops here: where are the rest of the images?

We all know it, we've all answered it. It's the question that professional photographers dread hearing from clients. “Where are the rest of the images?” Typically, photographers provide clients with an estimated number of images they can expect to receive from their session. However, they also shoot a lot more at the session.

So why aren't those shared? What if you don't think you see an image you imagine you would love when it was shot? What if you feel that something was just missed? How come you can't make the final call? In short, you hired a professional based on what you saw in their portfolio, and their ability to replicate that consistently in their gallery presentations. You really just have to trust that the photographer has made the correct call in what to show you.

“Fine. But honestly, where are the rest of the images and why can't I see them? I heard you shooting almost 2-3X as many as are in the gallery.”

Photographers overshoot - the degree to which they do that, depends on the photographer, and the type of session. Some photographers have a low shoot ratio (low number of shots in relation to number of keepers), and some have a high.  The reasons behind over-shooting can range from uncertainty about a situation or lighting, the inability to perhaps capture that one great family shot (eye blinks, expression changes), gear issues (trying a shot with a couple of different apertures, crops or angles), or simply not wanting to miss anything at the session. Whatever the reasons, the photographer never believes at any point in time that they will show you everything they shoot. Add to this, sometimes the photographer is testing out the light or just getting a feel for how you look behind the camera. Sometimes they want to shoot and move around you, to figure out just what makes you look best. Sometimes, especially in group shots, they are shooting quick because they are hoping that the one person whose expression or behavior isn't cooperating will turn it around without them having to address is, and that additional swapping and merging won't be necessary. Sometimes they are trying something new and there is never an intention that it will be shown, unless it surpasses their expectations. And sometimes, the shot just isn't good. Maybe there was action blur. Maybe your eyes were closed. Maybe a zipper was undone or a hand was not where it should be. Maybe they could see something inappropriate that required adjustment.

But whatever the reason, the photographer is showing you a gallery of images that has been culled and edited based on their experience of what will best represent their work that you hired them to create. For every gallery that comes out where the client wishes they saw “more,” there is a client that wishes their photographer had more carefully edited down. When clients are shown too many images, unless all are spectacular, they are left with the feeling of “These 5 family shots are all identical, I wonder if she felt she had to include them all because she didn't like the rest?” If a gallery is comprised of a few great shots and the rest “filler,” you will not feel any more satisfied than you would if you saw ALL the images.

And inevitably, if the photographer decides to include a sub-par shot from a series, that is the one shot the client will focus on and remember. So unless you feel that entire segments of your session are truly missing, or your photographer has provided you with no explanation, but less images than they promised you with your session fee, trust that they have culled their images, edited out the unusable or exact duplicates, and provided you with the range that they feel most represents their style. Quite often, asking for “more,” just because you believe more were shot, and for no other reason, will not net you with anything else that is usable, or that you would want.

As a client, do your homework and invest in someone that has the experience to create consistent galleries with variety... discuss your session goals, as well as what you can expect to receive as an outcome (not just volume, but a general idea of what is included in the gallery), and put your faith in that what you are seeing is the best of the best and enjoy what you receive rather than question or wish for what you did not!

~ The F Stops Here is an exclusive collection of articles by Design Aglow, designed to be used and shared by photographers. Look for this column twice monthly here on the Design Aglow Blog and feel free to grab & share on your site, blog and/or social media pages with a byline and link to DesignAglow.com.




Also in Design Aglow Blog

Cinema Week 2017: Meet Natalie Hind
Cinema Week 2017: Meet Natalie Hind

0 Comments

Ola! I run The Auburn Hour Film Co. We’re all about creating modern, energetic and fun wedding films. After graduating university and bouncing around aimlessly for a few years (yes, I have a useless arts degree hanging in my home!), I found my way into the fashion and event scene, and eventually wound up second shooting wedding videos for friends I had gone to uni with. I had heard from a number of sources that I should never get into wedding films if I could help it. I would hear tales of bridezillas, endless stress and and backlog of overdue films up to my ears. And I was starting to believe it! 

Read More

What The Pros Are Saying: Heirloom Family Portrait Albums
What The Pros Are Saying: Heirloom Family Portrait Albums

0 Comments

We created this stunning charcoal linen 12x12 album for a new client to showcase their family studio portrait session. WIth 20 pages printed on gorgeous Fuji Crystal Archive paper (about as far away as giclee/ink-jet printing you can get). These albums are meant to enjoy, collect, and treasure for generations to come. What family or grandparent would not love one of these for the holidays?

Read More

Cinema Week 2017: Meet Nate Puhr
Cinema Week 2017: Meet Nate Puhr

0 Comments

I never really intended to be a wedding photographer or cinematographer. I’ve always had a huge love for movies, and the idea of getting into that industry intrigued me, but I didn’t really know where to start. When I graduated with a degree in communications in 2006 and figured I'd just be at a typical 9-5er for the rest of my life. In 2011 a friend posted on Facebook that she needed someone to videotape her wedding ceremony (happening the next day). I borrowed my brother's canon Rebel and that was my first official wedding. A year later I quit my day job and was shooting weddings full time.  

Read More