How many is to many?


TPF Noob!
Jun 24, 2007
Reaction score
San Diego, CA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Well, I had nightmares all night that I would take a picture...look at my LCD screen and every single shot was blown beyond recognition. Thats NOT how my first session went. It went great! Aside from a moody two year old and a 3 year old who hates the camera I got 80 (after I elimenated 100 yucky ones) focused, propperly exposed pictures of a happy loving family.

Now for my question. How many proofs do you usualy present? Just for those who don't know this was a portfolio building session, no session fee. Not that that really matters I would still like to get an idea of what apropriate to offer clients when I get to that point.
family portraits? - 5 to 40 - depends on your style, the family's style, i.e. are they outgoing and charismatic or are they just standing there forcing a smile despite your instructions. i usually give those sessions 10 - 20 if they're just looking for family portraits and that includes some of the same pic with different styles (bw, soft, etc)
There are about 10 pics 3 different poses where it's just the family together looking at the camera. Then I have some shots of the dad and his sons, mom and her daughter, mom and dad together. Most of them are fun "in the moment" type shots, not possed. I was thinking 20-30 sounded like a nice number, not to overwhelming to choose from but still several options.
You want what you think is your best work out there. So choose what you feel best represents you and present them to them. A photographer told me a long time ago, 'they only think they want a lot of choices, it actually frustrates them to choose'. I found him to be mostly correct in that statement.
20 - 30 sounds ideal.

i show about the same sometimes a couple less or a couple more

show them your best
Another question. What kind of edits do you do for proofing if they are online? Just sharpin for web and resize, edit further if needed when orders are made?
For a typical portrait session I tell my client my goal is to create 20 photographs to show them. Then I deliver 25 to 35.
I usually generate 15-20 from a child shoot, 20-25 from an adult shoot. I do some sharpening and contrast adjustment, and some cropping for the proofs.
I stick to what I did with film, if I had 36 keepers, they got 36 proofs, if there were only ten, then thats what they get, you cant help it if they look goofy or have their eyes closed on every shot, I know you can change them today but your'e talking a lot of work and then they may only pick a couple anyway, so, give em only the best and they've nothing to grumble about. H
Ideally, I like to choose only the best one from each pose or grouping. So that might be 3 or 4 shots...or it might be up to 20 etc.

Of course, with kids, each shot is practically a different pose so I try to pick out the best and give them a few more options to choose from. Sometimes the parents see something that they like, that we would never have chosen.

Occasionally, when they have purchased the final images on CD, I will include most of the files as 'untouched out takes'...just so they can see all the funny faces.

As for how much work I would do to the proofs...I don't let the clients see the files until I'm happy with I do all the work that's required. The exception being that sometimes I show them the images on their TV (via the video out), right after the shoot.

Most reactions