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Choosing a Photographer: Quantity vs. Quality

You’re shopping for family portraits, checking out all the local photographers’ websites and trying to compare offerings. Prices are all over the board and what is offered does not appear to correlate from one photographer to the next. One photographer with a low price is offing 75 pictures. Another is priced high and is only offering 30 pictures. And another’s price only includes the session with all the prints and digital files sold separately. So, how can you compare to find the best value? Let’s go through some of the different things to consider when selecting a photographer.

Quantity of pictures

How many pictures should you expect from your photographer? Why do some promise only 25 and others may promise 100. That is a big difference…is one trying to short sell you or is the other overselling themselves? Is the one offering 100 pictures really a better photographer?

There are several things that go into how many pictures a photographer shows you in the end. Sometimes it is skill level—he knows that he can only promise 25, but then frequently over-delivers and gives most customers 35. Sometimes it depends on how the photographer works: is he familiar with the location and knows he can get a lot of different looks in a short period of time, or is she looking for new original, creative shots on every session? The photographer’s method of selecting the final images to show also contributes to the number of pictures you see in the end. Does he show all different looks and each picture is clearly unique? Or, are there multiple pictures that are nearly identical, making you play “Spot the difference” when selecting your pictures? Sometimes the photographer is saving you a lot of time by only showing you one of each rather than 3 pictures with only slight differences in expression or the angle of a head. The last thing that factors in is the amount of editing the photographer does. Is it just color balance and basic exposure? Or, does she spend time on each piece to create a custom artwork of each photo? This type of editing takes time. The more you pictures you are promised, the less time can be spent on each individual photo.

Length of the Session