Breaking Down the Session Images

Where are the rest of the images?

This is a very common question for clients. So today I wanted to break down the images I took in one of my most recent sessions, the winter picnic session with Stephanie and Jordan.

During our one hour session, I took a total of 219 photos. Sounds like a lot, right?

After sorting through all of the images I took, they fell into 6 categories:

Final images - The shots I loved the most, which I edited and gave to the clients.

Duplicates - Images that were identical to the final images. Duplicate images may seem unnecessary  but some people blink a lot and children are always looking away from the camera.

Similar images - These shots weren't technically duplicates, because I moved in or moved back or changed my angle slightly. But yeah, they're basically duplicates.

Leading up shots - These images were ones that led to better images. I would suggest that they move a little closer, or I would change my angle to a composition I liked better. They're not bad images. I just didn't like them as much as the ones that came after them. 

Blinks - I call this category blinks, because that's what happens the most often, but weird facial expressions also fall into this category.

Out of Focus - This category of images could also be called photographer mistakes. Usually these are out of focus shots, but other mistakes include images that are too dark or bright. I also put two session images in this category that I didn't like because of the background or the angle I shot from.

Now, how about a pie chart?

The 219 photos fell into the categories like this:

Final images - 53

Duplicates - 46

Similar images - 33

Leading up shots - 59

Blinks - 18

Out of Focus - 14

So really, I could have given Stephanie and Jordan all but 32 of the images I took, because they're perfectly good images. But it's overwhelming to receive 187 images from an engagement or family session. If you're printing images for your home, you have to narrow that down to your favorite 4 or 5. Even if you decide to make an album from your session, you would only use 20-40 images.

So instead of overwhelming my clients with dozens of almost identical images, I narrow it down for them, so they get a complete set of session images without spending a couple hours narrowing them down.

The final number of images that I give to my clients really depends on a lot of factors, including the weather, how long our session is, and how much time we spend walking around. During Stephanie and Jordan's session, we kept around the campfire because it was so cold that day, so I was able to take more images than if we had walked around a park shooting in a couple different areas.

 Sessions with children involve more down time to keep the kids relaxed and having fun, so those sessions would have fewer images as well. 

I will always give my clients at least 20 images, unless we had to cut the session short. But most clients will see somewhere between 30 and 50 images.