If you’re just starting your own photography business, or you just want to shoot some events as a side gig, then you’ll run into the question “how many photos will I get?” As a photographer, this can be a hard question to answer, especially in the beginning of your career.
So, how many photos are enough for event photography? While it varies on the event, on average you should deliver around 20 quality photos for every hour that you shoot an event. However, there are several factors that play into how many photos you can deliver, including:
- The type of event
- The freedom you have to move around
- The weather (if it’s outside)
There are a ton of reasons why event photographers don’t promise a certain number of pictures before an event shoot. There are a lot of factors beyond the photographer’s control, and these things have to be understood before an event takes place to keep expectations realistic. Surprise your customers with these photo books now on sale at amazon, they will love them!
Why Promising a Number of Photos in Event Photography Are Difficult
It seems easy—just point and click the camera, and you end up with amazing shots, right? Any photographer knows this isn’t true, and it’s important that every client you work with understands this idea.
While you might get anywhere from 60 to 100 shots an hour, you can’t guarantee that all of these shots are going to be quality, and you might not want to give them all to the client for the sake of your own business.
Before looking into any of the following things that affect your photo quality, make sure your client is aware of the work you put into editing the pictures you take. This will make them understand you’re not only doing work while you’re at the event, and they’ll be more likely to understand your job.
You’ll also want to make them understand why you can’t just give them every single picture you take. The quality of the pictures you take is a direct reflection on your work as a photographer, but you can’t expect 100% of the shots you take to be quality; that’s part of the creative aspect of your job!
Make sure you understand how each of the following things affects your ability to deliver perfect pictures every time the shutter closes; this way you’ll be able to tell your clients upfront the process it takes to get beautiful photos.
Things That Affect Your Photo Quality and Quantity
- The Type of Event
Some events are easier to photograph than others, and this means that you’ll get many more high-quality pictures compared to events without a ton of focal points.
Here are some examples of events that are easy to photograph:
- Bar Mitzvahs
- Prom Portraits
- Engagement Shoots
Here are a few events that are going to produce fewer pictures:
- Birthday Parties
- Business Events
During the events that are easy to photograph, you’ll have key moments the entire time you’re taking pictures, such as pictures with specific family members or even major parts of the event, such as the vows in a wedding ceremony.
However, when you’re photographing events like birthday parties that don’t have much direction, then you’ll have a harder time finding quality pictures—while this isn’t necessarily going to affect how many raw pictures you’ll take, it will definitely have an impact on how many quality ones there are.
The activities taking place at each event also have an impact on how well your pictures will turn out. For example, when you’re photographing a child’s birthday party, you’ll notice that messy kids are cute, and these pictures are fine to give. However, kids aren’t easy to photograph, so you’ll spend more time looking for the perfect shots than actually taking pictures.
On the flip side, adults are much easier to photograph. However, if there is any alcohol involved, then things get exponentially harder. It can be difficult to get flattering, quality photos of people who might have had too much to drink.
There are trade-offs at every event, but be clear about what parts of the event you’re about to be working with could inhibit your photography skills.
- The Freedom You Have to Move Around
Another thing that’s going to have a massive impact on how many pictures you’ll get from an event is how much freedom you have to move around.
In many cases, photographers are given the ability to move around and take pictures as they please; that’s part of trusting a photographer to do his or her job well, and you’ll probably notice that most photographers honor this by keeping a dark-colored wardrobe for shooting days and try to be quiet as possible.
However, there are clients that want photographers to stay in one general area to ensure that guests aren’t disturbed by someone walking around with a camera. While this isn’t ideal, you can still get great photos—you just won’t get near as many as you would if you had the freedom to walk anywhere you want.
A huge part of photography isn’t just capturing the perfect image, it’s setting up the perfect image. Most times you’ll need to find the perfect angle and perfect timing to create beautiful photos, and it’s not necessarily something that’s going to come from one angle the entire time an event is going on.
Even if you have the freedom to move around, some environments aren’t suited for walking around. For example, many people rent areas to host events at, and sometimes they’re packed. You’ll end up with fewer pictures if you can’t get around the room quickly or if you’re trying to protect yourself and your equipment while you’re hurdling over chairs and tablecloths.
- The Weather (If It’s An Outside Event)
The weather plays a huge impact on your photography, and it’s more than just rainy weather versus nice weather. The most ideal weather you’ll encounter as a photographer is overcast weather.
When it’s raining outside, you have to worry about your equipment, such as the lens. Plus, most people don’t enjoy standing out in the rain to get pictures taken. In most cases, you won’t have to worry about events taking place outside—most people will cancel before this happens.
Sunny weather isn’t exactly ideal either. If you’re taking pictures facing away from the sun, then you have to try extra hard to make sure everyone’s not scrunching faces and eyes because of the sunlight. The sun tends to cast awkward shadows across faces as well, so this can make it difficult to get great shots.
Taking pictures while facing the sun isn’t helpful either; in most cases, you’ll end up with images that are off-balance and, in some cases, a ruined lens. Make sure you’re protecting your equipment while you’re working outside or else a simple job can cost you thousands of dollars.
Your best bet is overcast weather. While it’s not exactly the beautiful backdrop that you’d love to see in your pictures, it gives you great lighting without highlighting spots on your subject’s faces or rendering your camera useless.
While the weather has a much bigger effect on outside events compared to inside events, don’t forget to mention that the weather can also play an impact on indoor events that have lots of windows. For examples, many churches have large windows that are beautiful; these can let in a lot of sunlight, which will have the same effects inside as they do outside. Make sure to mention this to your clients, so they aren’t blindsided in the event of extreme weather conditions.
Deliver Quality Over Quantity
Making sure you provide your client with enough photos will be less stressful when you make sure to deliver photos that will wow them. So, focus on getting the best shots, and you’ll be amazed at how many photos you are able to give with pride. The question how many pictures should a photographer deliver, should always be approached with quality over quantity in mind.