Wedding clients asking for more photos.

Started Jan 3, 2011 | Discussions thread
Michael Thomas Mitchell Forum Pro • Posts: 11,615
Re: Wedding clients asking for more photos.

This topic comes up every so often. I've encountered it from time to time and tried various things, generally with some success.

One of the most important issues here involves EXPECTATIONS. Clearly, they like your work but expected more images. We know this because, well, they are asking for more. So, making certain that your clients have accurate expectations is important.

My solution, which has worked very well these past two seasons, is to simply give them "everything" up front. Every image I shoot? Of course not. Taking more images than is required is a part of my process to accomplish the job no different than selecting a lens, an ISO setting, or a particular moment to press the shutter. Thus, I make an initial cull (generally 2 passes), cutting perhaps as many half of my shots. But then I make a third cull, placing them in a folder labeled "outtakes". (I also divide other images into folders, such as "portraits", "ceremony", etc. Makes the album design especially more efficient.)

For example, a typical wedding shot last October had about 700 initial captures. About ten got deleted up front as unusable (accidental shutter release, no flash, etc). After two culling passes, the number was down to about 400. Nothing UNIQUE, however, is culled. These are just simply weaker shots, most often part of a series. The third pass, however, is designed to leave the cream of the bunch, and the 100 or so images removed went into the "outtakes" folder. There's no "gold" here, mind you, and certainly nothing unique, but they do offer the client an alternative to my own top choices. I even use these images in the back of the album, in index form, attractively labeled as outtakes. The client is simply instructed that "these are images which were not my first choice and not used in the main body of the album". I've never been asked about more images since doing this, and I would have no problem insisting that the images they received are all that are available.

In your circumstance, you need to address an issue which was apparently unclear from the start. Whatever the case, it should be said upfront that anything you do without financial compensation is done as a "courtesy". This keeps you from unintentionally accepting any obligations or liabilities in this matter. And in this case, I would indeed just pick out some images and give them to them "as a courtesy". No processing or corrections, and, if you wish, only low resolution versions. Don't give away any you are ashamed of as a photographer. In fact, if you have any of those, delete them. That way, you are truly giving them "the rest of the images" which you have. (Why do you need bad images from someone's wedding, anyway?) Because you've done this as a courtesy, it will seem more reasonable if you actually charge them for 1) processing and corrections, and 2) higher resolution files, in the even that they want them.

Best of luck

Adam51980 wrote:

Hello, in the 3 years I have been shooting weddings I have been blessed with some really great clients. Some of whom I have become good friends with and who have referred a lot of work to me. A recent wedding that I shot in October went well and the clients have raved about how happy they are with their photos. However, I received an email from them today asking very nicely for more photos. After their wedding I delivered 300 fully edited, color corrected photos on disk to them and I really feel that that is a sufficient amount of photos to tell the story of their wedding. They did not purchase a print package from me.

They are now asking for color versions of the photos that I delivered in B&W. They are also asking to look through all of the photos I took at the wedding and reception so they can choose more for their wedding album. I shot about 1100 photos in a 12 hour day at their wedding and I am not comfortable with my clients having photos that are not my best work. I obviously want monetary compensation for any further editing to be done. This is the first time that I have had anyone request anything like this and I am just wondering what other wedding photographers do in similar situations? On one hand I can look at this as an opportunity for more sales but on the other hand I am really finding this to be an annoyance.


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Michael Thomas Mitchell

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