‘How many photos should I send you?’
It’s the most common thing photographers ask me when asking about being their album designer. My answer is always, ‘Send me everything! 500 to 2,000, it doesn’t matter. Everyone will be happier that way!’
I’ve yet to come across a photographer who doesn’t like that idea!
Other album designers ask you to only send a selection of the wedding photos, usually a few hundred. Or, if they will select from the whole collection of photos, there’s an added charge. There’s very good reasons that make sense for those policies. But for me and my clients, and how I like to work, I strongly recommend sending me everything.
Read about the 3 really good reasons I have for asking for everything below!
Revisions get done faster
That is by far the biggest reasons I prefer to get all the wedding photos that your client gets. Even if your client selects all the images for the album, more often than not, in the revisions process, the client may ask to have other photos added in that weren’t in their original selection list.
If I only received the images that your client selected, I have to email you to send me those images and wait for you to email me back. Depending on your schedule, that could take a day or two! Which puts the revisions back that much also. And since I typically do revisions on Mon/Wed/Fri, if I email on Monday, and don’t receive the files till late on Wednesday, it could be Friday before I’m able to get to the revisions. That’s a week that your client is waiting!
When I have all the photos right from the start, the whole process moves along like a well oiled machine. If I get revisions on the weekend, I’ll take care of them and have them up and ready for your client to view on Monday.
Your client is happy that their revisions are up quickly, I’m happy to check that album revision off my list, and you’re happy that I’m not messing with your inbox-zero zen!
Selecting photos for the album is the hardest part of the album process for some photographers
Some photographers are great at selecting photos for an album; amazingly fast and decisive, they make their decision about what photos best tell the story and move on.
And some are not; it’s nothing to be down about! One of the things that my photographers like best about working with me is that I happily take care of the album culling process; most say it’s the most stressful and time consuming part of the album process (closely behind revisions!).
And shouldn’t the whole idea behind working with an album designer be to make your life easier, not harder? If I’m asking you to choose which photos might make it into the album, I don’t feel like I’m doing that.
For me, it takes an hour or so to go through a whole wedding start to finish and select the album photos. That’s even for one of my (favoritest!) clients, who always sends me 2,000 or more photos! It’s become quick for me to decide what works and what doesn’t. I’m not attached to the photos the same way you are as the photographer, I’m looking at them with fresh eyes and looking at them more critically, and I edit in, not out.
How long does it take you to select photos for the album? No, you can’t count the times your client picks them and all you have to do is pull the files 😉
You will get a better looking, more cohesive album
You’re going to like the way the album looks, I can almost guarantee it! *cue the Men’s Wearhouse commercial that drives everyone nuts*
But seriously though, albums where I do the photo selection usually look better. They’re more cohesive and consistent. (We’ll disregard the fact for now that sometimes clients ask to put in some photos that don’t fit during the revisions process.)
I liken it to putting together a really great meal for a party, that you’ve decided to cater out, because you’re smart. It doesn’t make sense for you to look through your massive pinterest board of recipes, decide the menu, make the shopping list, and buy the ingredients. All the chef has to do is cook the meal; that seems like at least only half the work, if not just the easiest part. But maybe you bought the wrong type of ingredients, or the dishes you’ve selected don’t really work well together. And now your party that you were excited for is kinda feeling deflated; you’re not excited and your guests aren’t excited.
That’s not why I’d hire a chef; I’d want her to take care of all the hard work of deciding the menu, doing the shopping, and putting it together. Otherwise, what’s the point? You’re doing a big chunk of the work for her, and maybe not doing as good a job at it as the chef would. And for me, because it’s something I’m emotionally invested in, I’d spend far too much time picking and choosing and rechoosing and still probably not be as happy as if I’d just given the chef the whole task to begin with.
So I’m the chef, the party is the album, and the guests are your clients. Almost always, everyone is happier when I do the photo selection from the full wedding collection. The album looks better, the story is told better, and you’re not doing a big part of the job.