It’s crazy to think I have now been doing photography for nearly 8 years. And when I first started out on this journey I remember I was shocked to see how few images some photographers would include in their portrait and wedding services. I was very much convinced that the best service meant delivering the highest volume of images for their hard earned investment and that would make me the best value photographer. It took many years of hard work, education and editing before I finally reached one very simple conclusion.
Less…truly is more.
Now you might be wondering how that could be possible when it comes to photography. Obviously the more photos you have from your portrait session or special occasion, the better right? Well It’s actually not that cut and dry and I am using todays blog to explain why.
Let’s begin from a logistical & mathematical place to start. Anyone who has taken a selfie or photos of their family and friends has learned that not every photo is a keeper. Rather its blurry, dark, someone was making a weird face or forgot to smile, your toddler keeps getting distracted or you get hit by the photobomber, there are tons of photos that meet the inevitable DELETE button or, at best, are just “ok.” With 60 minutes in an hour, & some cameras offering bursts of 7 or more frames per second, it is certainly possible to capture tons of images within the given time frame. HOWEVER… capturing that many deliverable & QUALITY images for your client is highly unlikely. Therefore, from a mathematical stand point, the promise of delivering hundreds of photos per hour is just not practical. To achieve such a high volume would mean either delivering all the bad photos that should have been deleted or sacrificing quality in order to rush for getting enough “ok” images.
And that brings me to the quality position in all of this. I have found over the years that sometimes great photos just happen on a whim and are completely unplanned. However many great photos are achieved through great set up and composition before the shutter button is even pressed. Rather its perfecting that family pose so that everyone looks fantastic or taking a few minutes to bond with a shy child who needs to feel comfortable before they can smile for the camera…some things just require more time and more set up before taking the photo. So I ask you, would you rather I sling your wedding dress over a door so I can deliver 5-10 just “ok” photos of it? Or would you rather I take the same amount of time to locate the perfect spot and attentively arrange the fabric in the best way possible to provide you with 1 or 2 truly stellar photographs to cherish? As a skilled carpenter would prefer to measure twice, cut once, a seasoned photographer prefers to line everything up for the shot and get it right the first time rather than spend precious minutes on average results or grueling hours fixing it later in post processing.
I won’t lie. It has taken quite some time to come to this conclusion. After 100 weddings shot and countless hours of editing, I eventually realized that no one NEEDS 300 photos of the same 20 people dancing. As a photographer, our job is to capture the story. No one NEEDS thousands of photos to tell that story. Because ultimately amongst the thousands of images, there are only a few hundred gems. Images that truly capture the style, spirit, love and laughter of the day. I can photograph that flower girl & ring bearer dancing for the entire song but instantly know which shot is THE shot. The one that will melt hearts & find its way into a photo album. I don’t want to just stack your wedding bands on top of each other and snap a photo. I usually can be spotted hunting the reception hall for all types of cool objects and decor only to spend another 5 minutes fussing with their position and perspective until it looks stunning. In these moments, time is my only friend in the process of getting it right.
So just remember, while you are shopping around for photographers, you may encounter a huge variety of what is offered in terms of the quantity or types of products but just remember that there is no wrong or right. Each photographer has to offer what they feel will be most beneficial to the client experience and still continue a successful business as well. So when you see a photographer who seems to offer less than another, you now understand why they may have come to that decision and that in some cases Less truly is more.