Post 11: Why I don't give the client every photo I take
One of the things I probably bump heads with clients the most is the amount of photos I hand over from a session. This usually happens with clients who are more interested in quantity over quality, but repeat/frequent clients might also be wondering why I don't hand over all of the photos I take or why I only offer, for example, 10 photos instead of 100.
One of the reasons my clients don't get every photo I take is because some of the photos don't meet my standards. When I'm working, anywhere from 25-50% are keepers. This means that if I take 100 photos, anywhere from 50 to only 25 of those will most likely get edited. Photos won't be keepers for any number of reasons, but I usually delete photos because they either didn't look how I thought they would, or the subject isn't tack-sharp.
Once I've gone through the photos and deleted the ones that aren't keepers, I usually edit the ones that are left. After editing the ones that are left, I go through and look at ones that are so similar, they're almost the exact same photo. I compare the photos that look the same and usually narrow it down to a photo or two. After this process, I again lose about 25-50% of the photos I took, so I'm down to about 12/13-25 photos. My clients usually receive a predetermined number of photos, so there's no point in handing over photos that are almost exactly the same. If two photos are too close that I can't make the decision, I'll usually throw in both of them and count them as one.
Before any of the editing happens though, I'll usually give the client a few options for how many photos they can receive if they don't already have an idea of how many they want. This is usually where the butting of heads occurs, and here's why: I'll offer the client anywhere from five-15 photos and give them an estimate, but they expect hundreds, and sometimes even thousands of photos for the same price.
I'm all for getting the most bang for your buck, but, personally, I can't even imagine receiving hundreds, let alone thousands of photos. I run into clients who want way more photos than they need quite a bit, and I think the reason why is because there are a lot of photographers out there that don't know what they're doing quite yet. These photographers take any amount of money, don't take the time to edit their photos, and just drag and drop the photos onto a CD and hand them over. The client then receives all of the throw-aways that I would have gone through and gotten rid of. This means the client saves time with me and receives a much more refined product.
I've always worked with the mindset that the client is paying for the time and effort that goes into editing and taking the photos. Depending on the type of photos, it can take me anywhere from one to three hours to edit all of the photos from an hour of shooting. I feel the time and effort I put into editing the photos also makes them worth more. I like to make sure my clients receive the best results, and this usually means less photos than those who don't edit their photos and just push a button. Editing the photos takes more time and effort, but I can't imagine doing it any other way.
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Dan Pomykalski (PAWM-I-KALS-kee) is a portrait photographer based in Madison, WI. Dan works with both individual clients and larger organizations, such as the Wisconsin Alumni Foundation, the Janesville Jets, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and the University of Wisconsin-Rock County. Dan was also the photo editor for the student-run newspaper at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, the Royal Purple, for the 2013 Spring and 2013 Fall semesters. Although Dan's clients are mostly from the Dane County area, he is more than happy to travel wherever necessary.
Although Dan is primarily a portrait photographer, he has ample amounts of experience in other types of photography such as weddings, events, product photography, real estate, and sport photography.
In 2016, expertise.com ranked Dan Pomykalski Photography the 2nd best portrait photographer in Madison, WI out of 204 others in the area.
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