How many photos should you give for a wedding?

taking photos

So, the big day is soon around the corner. You have everything ready to go if not, no worries. It takes a lot to plan for a wedding. The last thing you want is to invest money into something and later find that you got snipped. Today let’s talk about wedding photos. How many should you get?

All Photographers Are Different.

That sounds like a blatant statement, but it is true. Not all photographers will take the same amount of photos. You want someone who likes the art of taking pictures. Someone who likes to capture the moment. A lot of your photos can be put on a disc. Let’s go over everything that a wedding photographer should do.

If you are planning a wedding photoshoot the common question that will come in your mind is, how many photos can you expect from a wedding photographer? A wedding the photographer takes a large number of raw photos but delivers a lesser number of photos after picking and editing the right ones. A professional photographer picks high-quality photos, for example, 200 photos out of 1000-2000 of raw photographs.

The quality of the photographs is always more important than their quantity. In the article, we will answer the queries related to the wedding shoot, how many photographs you can get and the things you should keep in mind while selecting a wedding photographer.

With so many Wedding Videographers out there it can be confusing to choose the right one.  Check out our top picks here.

Things to Think About

taking photos

Quality, Not Quantity

In theory, having a lot of photos can seem like a good thing. But, there is certainly a point where the number of photos can be excessive – especially when they seem redundant.

At the average wedding, combined we take roughly 4,000 photos. As a solo wedding photographer, we take about 2,000 images individually.

Most clients would not want all 2,000 or 4,000 of these pictures. That’s crazy!

If you have someone looking to get all the RAW images or something – we would suggest steering clear. We’ll cover the why of this in our next section.

Ultimately – you could deliver less wedding photos than average and still have super happy clients if the photos are all great.

Photographers Cull Their Photos

Remember the 4,000 photos we just mentioned that we take during a wedding day? When we get home, we upload them to our computer, and then we cull them down to just the “keepers.”

There are plenty of reasons why we want to scale back the images we have taken. These include:

  • Removing photos that are unappealing (i.e., people making weird faces, poor lighting, etc.)
  • Taking out repetitive images (i.e., too much reception dancing photos, too many walking down the aisle shots, etc.)
  • Removing out of focus and poorly exposed images

This culling process is essential to any digital wedding photographers workflow. It’s easy to be trigger happy and shoot a lot of pictures – so reducing the number of images you’d want to share with your clients in the end product is key to this process.

Photo Storage

We begin this process while we are shooting.

We use cameras that allow us to be dual write our images to 2 SD cards. This gives us peace of mind that we are not going to lose any images between shooting the wedding and getting them uploaded to our computer at home.

Once home, they are immediately uploaded to our external hard drives as a backup. This is 100% mandatory for any wedding photographer!!

Get the Images the Client(s) Want!

While it’s good to know how many photos should be reasonably expected, knowing that you are to deliver ~400-800 photos for a standard wedding day only tells part of the story.

In truth, most clients want a good distribution of images, so they encompass ALL of their wedding days effectively. If you provide five getting ready photos and 200 reception photos, it may seem that something is a little off.

Keep this in mind when photographing the wedding.

And of course, before the wedding day, consider reaching out to your client(s) directly and asking them what is most important. 

You can read about how we use questionnaires to get the most important details from our clients here, along with other great wedding photography tips for beginners!

When you fill a wedding gallery with the most important shots and wedding moments for them, they will end up much happier with their images regardless of the number they receive.

Showcase the Photos Beautifully

Picture-review-gallery-preview-screenshot how you display your client’s wedding photos is just as important as the photos you provide them.

We’ve seen some newbie wedding photographers load them into a hard to navigate and visually boring platform like Dropbox. While this is a great cloud storage site for an assortment of files – it’s not so great for making a good first impression.

To get the best bang for our buck, we use dedicated wedding online photography galleries. We switched over to Pic-Time due to some appealing features. You can sign up for Pic-Time today (it’s free to start), and use promo code FORMEDFROMLIGHT to receive one bonus month on any upgraded plan.

Of course, some photographers still like to provide their digital photos in a physical medium – so selling albums, prints, and USB flash drives is a great way to go. You can read more about our trusted print shops here, and if you need custom USBs – WoodyWoodClick is our favourite!

Define Your Image Count in a Contract

The single most important thing when it comes to the number of images being provided is to set the expectation in writing.

Clients can often get confused, even upset when this information isn’t known upfront. It’s an easy mistake to make – especially for a beginner. The easiest way to counteract this frustration is to dictate how much should be expected! Simple!!

We set the bar low, and often over-deliver!

Some wedding photographers do this and then treat the extra images as an upsell.

The sky is the limit: but writing it down removes all concerns upfront.

If you’re a photographer who wants to provide 50 stunning highlight images, you can do that and still retain happy clients by being transparent about this fact from the start.

What Should A Wedding Photographer Do?

A good wedding photographer is key here. You will want plenty of pictures of your wedding day, but not of bad quality. No. You want great quality pictures. Ones that you will want to hang on the wall look back 50 years and think of how beautiful it all was on that special day. This is more than just capturing an event; it is capturing a memory.

Here is a lost of the things that a great wedding photographer will do:

  • Meet with his or her clients.
  • Set up a great scene.
  • Survey was to take the best photo shots.
  • Be skilled at what he or she does.
  • Edit the photos.
  • Place them on a disc and turn them into a slideshow with music from your wedding.

You can find more information on wedding photography at They have the info on how even to become a wedding photographer, so you know that they will have the basic information there.

How Much Do Wedding Photographers Cost?

A wedding photographer will charge based on different packages. Now editing can take some time, and that is where the work comes in along with setting the stage for a great picture. A good wedding photographer can cost up to $3,000. I know it sounds like a lot to snap a photo, but it is a “get what you pay for” thing. The price can go up from there. The higher-end is up to $10,000.

How Much Of The Wedding Will A Photographer Cover?

A wedding does not usually last more than 8 hours. The great news is that a photographer for weddings usually will capture up to 8 hours worth of work. So, the charge is usually set for that time frame. It can cost more if you are looking to have a wedding photographer around for more time than that.

Check out our list of wedding videographers to help you capture your special day.

How Many Photos Does That Make?

According to River and Me Wedding Co, a Gold Coast wedding photographer, the average amount of photos can be around 1500. Now, just because that is the average does not mean that your particular photographer will give out that many photos. Often there is a contract that will be signed. You should always ask the photographer you plan to hire how many photos they will be giving you.

How To Save Money?

There is a lot of fraudulent activity out in the world today. Your best bet is going with a photographer that you know or trust. A lot of photographers will have portfolios that you can check out. There are several ways to protect yourself from being charged way too much. Let’s go over some simple tips.

Some Simple Tips To Save Money On A Wedding Photographer:

  • Decided on the package that you want before you purchase.- Some photographers will try to upsell you. This is selling you more than what you want or need. Decide on how many photos you want then look for a package deal accordingly.
  • Just because it is written on their paper does not mean it is set in stone. You can negotiate terms before you sign or buy anything. Don’t be afraid to negotiate.
  • Ask questions. This is your big day and your money. Do not hesitate to ask questions. By doing so, you will know exactly what you are getting. This will make you content and pleased, in the end, knowing you knew what you were getting into.
  • Hire someone in town. The best way to ensure a good photographer is to go local. No one wants a bad rep in their town. They want to build clients. They get out by word of mouth too. Going local can save a ton of money and help your community too.

How to Prepare for an Amazing Wedding Photoshoot

Time, venue and weather conditions of the wedding event or a photoshoot are the most important factors that can affect the result of your images. Make all the wedding preparations earlier and do your makeup and hairstyling that also looks good on camera. You can also arrange a trial makeup session before the wedding to eliminate the chance of error on time.

If you have planned for an indoor photoshoot or event, select a big room with a lot of natural light and where your photographer can capture images from multiple angles. Make sure that all the important people are there for the wedding portrait.

Things That Can Make Your Wedding Photoshoot Better

Pre-planning and hiring a skilled wedding photographer is necessary for a good photo shoot. You can ask the photographer about the suggestions that can be helpful to create a perfect shoot.

Right timing, weather condition and fascinating location are the important factors that can do wonders. Be extra careful when deciding on the location and timing of your wedding event or photoshoot.

Do I Need a Second Photographer for My Wedding Shoot?

If you want photos from a different perspective, do not worry about it because most of the time, your photographer will come with a coworker (another photographer). They will have more cameras and will take photos from different angles.

When Should I Book a Wedding Photographer?

If you want to have the services of a professional wedding photographer, you may need to book him one year prior to your wedding event. Most of the professional wedding photographers have a booked schedule for the whole year. It can be very hard to find and select your favourite photographer just before the wedding days.

What Is ‘Shoot and Burn’ Photography?

When you are deciding on a wedding photographer for your wedding photoshoot, you may hear about the term’ shoot and burn’. In this process, photographers directly burn your wedding images onto a CD without editing them. It will be cheaper, but the quality will not up to the mark due to the omission of the editing step.

Do I Need to Tip My Wedding Photographer?

It is appreciated if you want to tip your wedding photographer. There is not any hard and fast rule about giving tips. A generous tip of $50 to $100 is fine if you have a good budget. You can give more or less if you want, but it depends on your budget.

How can I make sure I look good in my photos?

Relax. Trust your wedding photographer.

If you’re relaxed, it’ll come through in your photos.

Leave some breathing room in your schedule, so you don’t feel rushed — I recommend a minimum of 30 minutes for family and wedding party photos and an hour for the couple portraits.

Oh, and get plenty of sleep and drink lots of water the night before.

Take it easy at the rehearsal dinner. Wedding-day hangovers are not fun.

How to Get a Good Wedding Photographer on a Reasonable Budget

A wedding is one of the most memorable moments of the bride and groom’s life. However, if you have a short budget and want a good wedding getting a photographer, it can be a difficult task. An average price that a photographer in the US charges for a wedding photoshoot is around $2000. However, this price can get lower by keeping the following points in mind.

Pricing and Packages

See the timing and pricing packages of the wedding photoshoot. Photographers can sometimes charge an extra price for travelling to a distant location. In a wedding package, most of the photographers usually include the hours of the photoshoot. If they stay longer, they will, in the end, pay you more so be aware of this. Please ask for every detail as it is very important for both sides to satisfied.

Photographer’s Staff

In a few cases, professional photographers hire extra staff or assistants for help. It increases the cost of the package. Some clients prefer more than one photographer for wedding shoots which also increases the cost.

Wedding Album or Printed Images

If the wedding photography packages include a wedding album, they have a huge impact on the overall cost. Many professional photographers offer separate lines of services. For instance, you can exclude printed photos and ask for the digital or online format of images to cut down the additional cost.

Ask the Students or Personal Connections

Another way to get a good photographer for your wedding event is to ask your connections and students or interns who are taking a professional degree in the field of photography. You can also ask for referral discounts.

Avoid Peak Wedding Days

If you are planning a wedding event, you can select a working day of the week to cut down the cost of a wedding photoshoot. Feel free to ask for discounts if you have an off-season wedding.

Avoid Unwanted Add-ons

Ask for the discount packages and make an effort to customize it according to your demands. You can omit unnecessary services from wedding packages. Select the format and hours of wedding coverage according to your budget.

However, the prices of the wedding photo shoots vary from pro to pro. You can arrange meetings to select the perfect photographer.

Check out our post on Should I hire a wedding videographer?


How many photos should a wedding photographer give their client? The short and simple answer is ~100 per hour of shooting or roughly 800 photos for 8 hour wedding day coverage.

As we explained, this figure is not some industry standard that all wedding photographers have to stick to. Different styles and approaches to photography will lend itself to a different volume of pictures at the end of the day.

Ultimately, if you are upfront with your clients about the number of photos they should expect and create great work, however many you decide to give in your wedding packages will work.

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