How many photos does it take to get one final image?

I am occasionally asked by my clients if I deliver all of the photos I take during their session.  The quick answer to that is simply, I do not.

But why not?

Here is a quick example from photos I took of my very own little dude at the farm this weekend.  In 5 minutes (4 minutes, 38 seconds to be exact) I took 23 photos of my son.  He is two.  He moves, he wiggles, he talks non-stop and he makes silly faces instead of smiling.  He is easily distracted by others and he also has Photographer’s Child Syndrome (PCS)–yes, it’s real–at least I think so.  Of those 23 photos, not all 23 are perfect.

From the photos I take, I select the best images.  That means the best smile(s), the most real moments and the most technically sound pieces of my work.  From there, I hand-edit your pictures correcting tiny blemishes, softening skin.  Sometimes if multiple children are in the photo and they don’t want to smile at the same time, I swap faces.  There is a fair amount of time spent after photos are taken to make them perfect and something you will hang on your wall for years to come.

So how many of those 23 photos of my son did I deem keepers?

Five.

Five (5) final photos of twenty three (23) raw, unedited photos.

Some of the pictures are close to identical so I picked the better of the two.  I really wanted him looking at me instead of away.  While I picked two of the cute photos of him looking at something in the distance, the ones of him making eye contact are my favorite.

It is also important to note that when I share these photos took me 5 minutes to take, I’m talking about when I started pressing the shutter button to when I finished.  I’m not accounting for the time it takes to set up.

I had fun with this little exercise and I actually surprised myself with the fact that I was only actually taking photos for less than 5 minutes.  It felt like much longer.

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