Choosing Images to Deliver to Wedding Photography Clients

example images to show wedding clients photographer lin and jirsa

In selecting images for delivery to the client, we want to make sure we’re delivering enough images to tell the story of the wedding day while making sure that we’re not overwhelming the client with too many images. The purpose of this article is to provide a few objective guidelines to help with the very subjective image selection process of the wedding photography workflow. In general, we should be aiming for around 800-1200 per wedding, but there is no magic number and each wedding will have unique circumstances.

Overall Guidelines

The overarching question you should be asking yourself as you go through the images is the following: “What is the purpose of this image?” Each image needs to have a purpose. It needs to portray and emotion or idea, whether it be passion, love, romance, beauty or happiness. The exception might be family formals or some detail or venue shots. Sometimes, …

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Photo Shoot Do’s and Don’ts

outdoor engagement shoot photographer zach and jody gray

Photographers – when was the last time that you were in front of the camera? No, not for a quick snapshot with Grandma by the Christmas tree, but an actual photoshoot. Doing photoshoots is like 2nd nature to us because we do them all the time, but we often forget what it’s like actually being in front of the camera.

For most of the clients we all shoot, it has been awhile since they have had their photo professionally taken (it may even be the first time for them) and many times they come to the shoot insecure and wondering what it’s going to be like, and worried that their photographer might not get a good shot of them (not because you as the photographer aren’t good, but because they don’t like how they look or they are worried because their fiance isn’t really into having a photo session …

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How to Use Photoshop to Get Your Blog Images Ready- FAST!

using lightroom to export to photoshop in layers

Everyone knows how a regularly updated blog can be great for your business. Everyone also knows how time consuming writing blog posts and exporting images can be. I created this quick tutorial and Photoshop action to get you thinking about ways you can expedite that process. One thing that used to take us a considerable amount of time was creating the 2-up vertical images with our logo at the bottom. I used to have an action that simply added the logo (or watermark) to the bottom of the image but no really fast way of combining two selected vertical images. Take a look at the video below and the included action, it just might get you thinking about ways you can speed up your bloggin workflow!

Blog Ready, Vertical Images – Fast! from Phil Thornton on Vimeo.

In my workflow I use Bridge, but this can also be done in Lightroom (shown …

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Photosynthesis: A Simple Guide to the Magic of Photography

photosynthesis photo book

There’s one thing we all need more of: less.

Great gear is good; marketing is important; networking is necessary.

Now, strip all of that stuff away.

Vision‚ your singular vision, is the bedrock of your photography business. Vision is the cornerstone of marketing, it turns networking into relationship building and it transcends gear and gadgets. It’s the simplest concept to understand and the most difficult to master.


I think it’s because unearthing your vision requires vulnerability. It takes courage and humility to delve into aspects of your life, your upbringing, your mistakes, your experiences, your fears and your joys that make you who you are today. Who you are is the most important thing about photography.

If you’re looking for a place to start searching for your vision, begin with Bryan Moss’s book Photosynthesis. It’s the only photography book I’ve read that has more to do with life than with photographs.

Bryan is like the Joe …

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Questions to Ask When Developing an Associate Photography Brand

Though our wedding photography business has always been a boutique studio, over the last two years, we made a decision to build and develop associate photographers. We looked at this as a market opportunity as we continued to grow our business – especially in our home market. We wanted to offer a service line that would be accessible to more clients, while adding to our bottom line as a business.

Since this is such a common subject of discussion, I thought it might be helpful to break down some of the important questions we had to answer when diving into this new area of business. Here are a few of the steps we took as we learned the best way to bring on Associate photographers.

1. Will your associates operate under your brand, or a separate brand?

This is one of the most common questions – whether you should market your …

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How We Educate Our Wedding Clients on the First Look

first look wedding photo photographers the youngrens

In my last article here on the Pictage blog, I walked everyone through The Youngrens perfect wedding day schedule, which is built on the couple seeing each other before the ceremony. Not surprisingly, there were questions about how we get our couples to do a First Look.

These days, most couples come to us already wanting to do a First Look, but it took a few years for that to be the case. In the meantime, I had to become pretty adept at educating couples about them. (Notice how I say ‘educating’ and not ‘convincing.’ BIG difference.)

In my experience, there are normally two reasons that a couple doesn’t want to do a First Look: (1) they don’t know what actually happens during a First Look, or (2) they know what a First Look is, but have their heart set on that ‘walk down the aisle’ moment.

In light of these two reasons, …

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Nailing the Correct Focus- Servo Mode vs. One Shot

focus mode al servo

Have you ever been shooting your client and they start moving or running and all of a sudden all your images start coming out blurry? Or, on the other hand, have you ever been shooting your client and you press the shutter half-way to focus on their face, and when you recompose the shot the camera then changes focus on something else? Well, there are tons of little factors that play into how your camera focuses, but one thing we need to understand is the focus MODE that our camera is set to and how that effects the way it handles focusing.

One Shot: When you have your camera set to one shot (check your specific owner’s manual for how to do this), the camera will focus when you press the shutter button half-way down and lock it in, and then you finish pressing the shutter button …

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Pricing and Packaging- Determining Your Start Price

Pricing and Packaging. It’s no one’s favorite topic, but it’s so very important. There is a science to pricing yourself as a photographer, and getting it right can make a huge difference in your bookings and revenue!

The first decision every photographer should consider is whether to price based on a Package method or an A La Carte method. Both have advantages, and can be used effectively to present your services. Packages give the client more guidance on your suggested services, while A La Carte gives them more freedom and flexibility. Packages can be easier to book and manage, but A La Carte can have a lot more profit potential. Either way you go, you should pick a pricing method that fits your personality and sales style. In the end, every person has a unique way that they “sell”, and finding the pricing …

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Mastering Reception Lighting, Forever.

Reception Off Camera Lighting - Photographer Mike Larson

I’ve had this problem for years when it comes to an entire wedding collection I would post on my website.  Great getting ready, great portraits, beautiful ceremony, and the light is sweet, then we grab the stellar sunset shots and then the reception hits and I’m left with horrible lighting when the DJ turns the lights down low.  I was never really happy & satisfied with the quality of the light on the images with my on camera flash and therefore I just hated to use the images.  So my slideshows stopped with the first dance.  As the years went by I got on camera flash down, but off camera flash was always touch and go.  I could get some of the shots to turn out great, but when the action kept moving and people got in the way of the flash units, things just didn’t come out consistent enough.

That …

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My $430 Blender: A Lesson in Running My Photography Business

Life lessons come in all forms and usually when you least expect them, and this was the case when I was, oddly enough, shopping for a Vitamix blender. How does a blender have anything to do with business and photography? I’ll get to that.

After going through an unexpected cancer experience in 2009 I decided that it was time to step up my health and I was going to achieve that goal through fruit and vegetable smoothies. I picked my random mental number that I didn’t want to exceed ($100) and started shopping around online. After all, $100 was a lot for a blender and it seemed like a fair budget, right?

The more reviews I read, the more I decided that I wanted an industrial strength Vitamix blender with its impressive warranty, fantastic reputation and tried and true fans. The problem was it was over 4 times …

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