Quality over quantity – your wedding photography.

Way back in the mists of time there was this thing called film. It came on rolls, usually with 36 frames per roll and your photographer would turn up with 20 or 25 of these rolls. Or possibly your wedding photographer was really posh and used a medium format camera which had even less capacity. Every time the shutter was fired another frame was committed to film. Every time your wedding photographer pressed that button, it was because they were absolutely sure that everything was right. Each frame mattered!

Digital and cheep cards

Then came digital and then came cheap storage cards. Now it didn’t matter so much financially to the photographer if they shot more than was necessary. After all, the cards can be reused right? It’s a one-off cost and each time a photographer takes a picture it doesn’t cost them actual money right? Well, actually it does, but that’s a discussion for photographers to heat about behind closed doors 😀

What this has lead to is that photographers have become engaged in a type of wedding photography arms race. One wedding photographer has offered you all day coverage with 200 images? The next one offers you 1000 images, 3000 images, a million images. I once photographed a wedding where the Bride and Groom had had another ceremony in Greece. Their Greek photographer supplied them with, seriously, 3500 images across 4 DVD’s! In her own words “after the 1st DVD we stopped looking at them”.

Where does it all end?

On a high!


So how does this effect you?

After all surely, all things else being equal, having more must mean having better right? Well think about it like this – if you go to an all you can eat buffet, you don’t expect Michelin quality food. Everything is O.K, but it’s not amazing food that you dream about for weeks after. It’s just mass produced food, not lovingly crafted dishes that tantalise and caress your tastebuds.

[box_light]Using the number of images a photographer will supply you shouldn’t even be a consideration when you’re looking to hire a photographer. I could, in theory, present you with about 6000 images. But do you really want 6000 machine gunned (a term photographers use when someone shoots by simply holding down the shutter and continuously shoots 15 or 20 frames every few seconds) images that become the photographic equivalent of an all you can eat buffet after a Saturday lunchtime? Does that make my photography inherently better than the guy who says you’ll realistically have around 150 images? No, of course not. If anything, the opposite is true.[/box_light]

So if the number of images isn’t a quantifier, what is?

That’s simple – the photographers work. Choose the person whose entire body of work moves you. Whose work makes you want to have that wedding you see in their images. The work that makes your mum cry when you check out the portfolio. The wedding photographs that take your breath away. The photographer who makes you feel comfortable and secure. The album that just oozes quality. The photographs that have meaning and beauty. The photographs that speak to you. The photographs that you love.

Don’t go for the buffet unless you don’t care!

Author: Alex Kilbee