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Tori
Savvy December 2021

Photographer help! How many photos did you get from your engagement session?

Tori, on February 21, 2021 at 8:26 PM Posted in Parties and Events 0 14
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How many photos did you get back from your engagement session? Or, how many photos would you expect to receive from a 1 hour session (one location, one outfit).

My fiance and I chose a photographer, with about a year of wedding experience but a decade or more of experience in portraits. We are operating on a tight budget and neither one of us are very sentimental. The photos aren't what he expected, and we're trying to decide if we should break our contract. I am okay with our photos honestly (I think they are beautiful for what we paid and how many we got back), but my fiance expected and wanted more "usable" photos (ones he actually likes and thinks we both look good in). I did have my wrap dress tied too tight because I was trying to keep my cleavage concealed, which gave me an ugly fat roll in all of the photos, and I wish she would have told me, but it was my bad, I can't really blame her for that.

My fear is, we'll get the wedding photos back, and he won't be satisfied with those either. Then I'm going to feel bad.

He wants to spend a few hundred dollars on a second engagement shoot, because we originally wanted a photobook style guest book. I think we should just nix the photobook guestbook, take what we got, and roll with it.

What are your thoughts?

14 Comments

Latest activity by CountryBride, on February 22, 2021 at 6:24 PM
  • Givemeallthepups
    Expert February 2020
    Givemeallthepups ·
    • Flag
    How many usable photos did you get? I think we got 100+ edited photos back and we got 30-40 put into a photo book
    • Reply
  • Stacey
    Expert May 2021
    Stacey ·
    • Flag
    We got maybe 30-40, which met our expectation because our photographer communicated that ahead of time. We are really critical of ourselves though, so we probably only really LOVE 5-7 of them. And there’s nothing wrong with the rest photos...it’s just ourselves being hard on ourselves.
    • Reply
  • Ava
    Devoted May 2022
    Ava ·
    • Flag
    We decided to do a winter engagement shoot, so it was also only 1 hour with no outfit changes in order to avoid freezing to death! Our contract with the photographer stated we would receive 30 to 50 photos, but we ended up receiving over 90! Of those, I would say 40-ish were “useable” (ie, we both like them and we both look good in them). Probably another 20 are good, but just not as beautiful as the top pics. The remaining 30+ photos we either both didn’t like, or only one of us looks good.
    Whether you choose to re-shoot your photos is totally up to you guys, but if my fiancé really wanted better photos, I would probably oblige. The the fact that he wants to pay the extra money to have more taken says it must be important to him. Plus, if this is the same photographer you plan to use for your wedding, it may be a good idea to have a second shoot with her in order for her to understand exactly what you and your FH are looking for in your photos, so that she can deliver great ones from your wedding! I think it would be super helpful for her if you were to point out your favorite photos and what you loved about them, and maybe some of the things you didn’t love about the others. example: The fact that your dress was tied too tightly and created a bulge. Her knowing that small detail will tell her that you don’t mind, and in fact would appreciate, her pointing out/fixing small imperfections when shooting your wedding photos. The more she can learn about your likes/dislikes, the more likely she will deliver great photos from your wedding day. And if you do a second shoot with her and still are not happy with the resulting photos, it will give you a chance to find another photographer you think might better fit your aesthetic for the big day!
    • Reply
  • Tori
    Savvy December 2021
    Tori ·
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    Hey! We shot for one hour and we received 45 photos, but I only like about 20.

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  • Tori
    Savvy December 2021
    Tori ·
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    Thank you so much for this thorough, well thought out response!

    Do you think it would be appropriate to meet with her over coffee closer to our date to go over photo likes/dislikes etc? Or do you think it would be best received over a message?

    You're right. Maybe my fiance and I should save and put the money aside for a second shoot. We can aim for later this Spring, since our first round was in the snow and it would be nice to have some variation. And like you said, if he still doesn't like the photos, it gives us the chance to go with someone else.

    • Reply
  • Lauren
    Devoted July 2021
    Lauren ·
    • Flag
    The engagement shoot for me was a trial run for both us and the photographer. We got to get comfortable in front of the camera and learn how she liked us posed so it be easier on the big day. She got to know what angles worked best for us and our styles/personalities. I would use this to show her what you like and don’t like in the photos. Any insecurities you may have or angles you want to avoid you should let her know now. It was most important to us that we had a good rapport and felt comfortable with our photographed. If you felt comfortable and overall think he work is good, then try and communicate the changes you want. If you feel it’s necessary, do a small second shoot (even if it’s for holiday cards!) just to make sure she got the point.
    • Reply
  • Ava
    Devoted May 2022
    Ava ·
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    I think I would probably start with a message. Maybe just let her know that, while there were some great photos, there were just some things that you didn’t quite love about others. And since you plan to use the photos for your guestbook, you want to make sure you really LOVE them. And for that reason, you would love to set up another photo shoot with her. At that point, you could offer the option of meeting in person for coffee to discuss. You could say something to the effect of: I’d be happy to discuss the shoot further over the phone; or if you have time to meet up, I’m always down to chat over a latte (my treat)! I would just make sure to keep it lighthearted and positive.
    • Reply
  • Hanna
    VIP June 2019
    Hanna Online ·
    • Flag

    We had a 1-hour engagement photo session and got 100 edited photos back. I think I'd say we liked about 20 to 25 of them. That being said, I'm pretty critical of myself in photos. If you got 45 photos and liked 20 of them, that's nearly half--that's a fantastic ratio! I think a lot of brides expect to like a higher percentage of their photos and most of the time that just doesn't happen. If you're concerned though, you can always talk to your photographer.

    • Reply
  • Molly
    Devoted August 2021
    Molly ·
    • Flag

    I did a 30min shoot, got about 20-25 photos with one outfit change, and I personally only like 7 of them.

    I'm thinking of having another photoshoot because weather didn't play out how I wanted. Instead of a summer photo session, it turned into a fall shoot. I wanted to wear a nice dress with heels, but instead did a sweater dress with boots. Now that we are also planning on changing our date this may give me that reason to re-do our engagement shoot and send out new save the dates!

    • Reply
  • Givemeallthepups
    Expert February 2020
    Givemeallthepups ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    I would definitely say that’s on the low side for an hour.
    • Reply
  • Mrs. Spring
    Master April 2021
    Mrs. Spring ·
    • Flag
    Our engagement session was 2 hours long and we received 180 photos. Included in the price was editing for 20 of the photos.
    • Reply
  • Dedicated June 2021
    Online ·
    • Flag
    We got maybe 200-300 from our 1 hr session and out of that batch there were only 70 we collectively liked that we felt the both of us looked great in. I was honestly most to blame for a lot of pictures not being usable, I hate pictures and taking pictures and am so awkward in front of a camera and it showed. (Majority of my pictures with fh when we first started dating was me hiding behind my hands lol) But I am grateful for getting at least 70 good shots with fh. All images were beautifully edited though with a large variety of creative edits. Our photo shoot was more of us doing something for us. If covid wasn’t a thing we most likely wouldn’t have done pictures but due to covid and how much we and so many other couples are sacrificing, we decided to get the most out of our engagement experience and do as much as we could for memories to look back on. For the wedding I will practice on my poses and smiling so we can get way more good shots.
    • Reply
  • Tori
    Devoted October 2021
    Tori ·
    • Flag

    We had about an hour session and got to do 2 outfits. We got around 70ish pictures back and that was plenty! I just wanted a few usable ones to print as well as use on our Save the Dates and website.

    If you're having doubts, definitely talk to your photographer. Let them know things for her to lookout for on the wedding day. Didn't like certain poses? Let her know. And same if there are any problem areas you want them to look out for. The more communication, the better you'll feel on the wedding day.

    • Reply
  • CountryBride
    Expert April 2022
    CountryBride Online ·
    • Flag

    I had booked a one hour session and she gave us 50 photos

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