The One About Beautiful Wedding Photos & Sneaky Weasel Words

Here’s a story I heard from an acquaintance wherein weasel* words created a situation that is not dire, but truly annoying. See if you don’t agree.
Photo by Pexels via pixabay

Acquaintance’s mother recently married.

Acquaintance’s mother had a lovely, perfect wedding that included hiring a well-known local professional photographer to take photos.

Beautiful photos.  Many of them.

But here’s the thing, what acquaintance’s mother did not read [or understand?] in her contract was that this photographer would not use his expertise to discern which photos were the best ones, instead giving acquaintance’s mother the opportunity to see all the photos he took of the wedding.

In practical terms this means that acquaintance’s mother has a problem.

She is now forced to sort through 3,000 photos and decide which ones she wants to keep and have put in an album.  In many cases there are 20 or 30 photos of the same thing like a bouquet… or of acquaintance zipping up her mother’s dress… or of the cake from a gazillion angles.

As you can imagine this sorting process has become a tedious burden for acquaintance’s mother.  It’s overwhelming and is an unwanted game for acquaintance’s mother as she tries to figure out which photos are the best ones.

Acquaintance’s mother is flummoxed by this situation.

It’s not as if she has the time, or the eye, to fuss around with three thousand wedding photos that she’s has contracted for, assuming the photographer would narrow down her choices.

Acquaintance has offered to help her mother, but she can’t intuit which photos her mother and new stepfather will want, nor can she wrap her head around how this happened.

Can you imagine…?  What would you do with 3,000 photos of your wedding day?  

* Oddly enough this has turned into animal week here at The Spectacled Bean.  First ducks, then squirrel, now weasel.  I didn’t plan it this way but go where the road stories take you, I guess.

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Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Pleasantly crazy. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Wordy.

115 thoughts on “The One About Beautiful Wedding Photos & Sneaky Weasel Words”

  1. Pick a few pictures and move on, not worrying about if they were the “best” ones. Perhaps this is why neither the photographer nor the bride asked the husband to participate in your wonderful post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Zen-Den, yes, there was no mention of the stepfather being worried about this situation. But I could see how this would be overwhelming if you were inclined to be a perfectionist… which I think acquaintance’s mother might be.

      [Edited your comment because I couldn’t figure out what you were trying to say, btw.]

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    1. rivergirl1211, well then you’ll never need to worry about the weasel words in a photographer’s contract. One weekend, 1,000 pictures? You are quite the shutter bug… or crazy lady… not sure which! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

          1. The newlywed should hire someone (e.g., Rivergirl) to cull the photos down to a manageable level. Or let her daughter do it.

            If they want to end up with 60 photos, the culler could select about 200- 300 (10%) photos from the pack for the bride’s perusal.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Obviously a case of mistaken understanding of what a professional photographer is contracted for…I think most of us assume the photographer ‘s job to be culling out the chaff from the wheat – if for no other reason than to protect his/her reputation as a quality photographer 😉
    However, in this day and age when quantity of photographs is easy to amass, add to that the propensity of the pro to snap with abandon and I think it’s even more important for a portion of those photos to be presented to the client in some form other than a basic file folder of ‘photos taken at x’s wedding’. Offer a few selections of the pile of photos of that cake from a variety of angles not 10 images of it with the same lighting, angle, and perspective…
    That said, it’s a done deal and the way I’d tackle my unexpected mound of photos would be one subject at a time – starting with the most important subjects because after a while I’d get tired of the whole thing and cut more than keep and who cares about that cake taken with a hazy, orange lens for special effects?
    Good luck to your acquaintance’s mother!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. laura, you’re right that this is a case of a mistaken understanding about what acquaintance’s mother was paying for. There’s a lesson in there, I do believe. But the reality is this is her problem now and she’ll cope.

      I like your approach to how to tackle this [what seems to me to be] monumental amount of photos. One subject at time is a sensible way to get going on this project. And is how I sort through any photos that I take for this blog or for IG.

      I suspect that once the shock of what she has before her wears off, acquaintance’s mother will figure that out. 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Having gone through #1’s wedding last year, I wish we had this problem.

    In our case, the photographer did sort through the photos and selected the ones that were the ‘best’. The problem was that the ‘best’ were terrible. The photographer really bombed on that day. I could have taken better photos on my point-and-shoot 😕
    Personally, I would be delighted to sift through 3000 good-to-great photos. The alternative sucks.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Joanne, that’s right! I’d forgotten about your son’s wedding this year. You make an excellent point. It’s better to have too many great photos than to have a few lousy ones, well organized. I like your perspective on this.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. There is an epidemic, it seems, of people not reading contracts, not reading messages, not reading anything. Not everyone, but enough people to make life more annoying than it needs to be.

    3,000 pictures seems like a lot, but really, I could flip through those and just choose some and be done. Also mental note: if I ever get married again, tell everyone to take a few photos with their phones and email them to me.

    Is Ally Bean Ace Ventura re: the animals? They just love you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tara, I agree with you about people NOT reading what they need to read. This is a case in point, obviously. Fortunately this isn’t a serious problem, just an annoying one.

      I’m not much for photos of events, so I’d pick a few subjects that interested me, like the flowers and the venue and my dress, focus on those subjects– then just grab a few more of some people who were there.

      But from what I can tell acquaintance’s mother was really, really, really into this wedding and all the details about it. So she’s overwhelmed trying to make decisions about photos.

      I’d forgotten about Ace Ventura! Maybe I’m the blogging equivalent of Ace.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh, I don’t think I’d be the right person to decide about these photos, even if I know I could do it. Which was acquaintance’s take on all of this. She could do it for her mother, but didn’t want to get involved for fear of being blamed for something down the line. People + weddings make for weird emotional situations.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s funny because I’ve never heard a photographer not give access to all the proofs for an event. My sister in law looked at about 5000 photos on line from her kids bar/bat mitzvah…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LA, that’s interesting. Around here the norm is to choose from the best photos that the photographer has taken. The photographer only gives you access to those because he or she wants to make sure his or her best work is out there for the world to see. Different approaches, neither good or bad– as long as you know what you’re paying for. 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well…funny that you say that. The last time my sil hired a photographer for an event, she got physical proofs. She sorted through 5000+ printed photos. After the event, she kept asking “where are my proofs” only to find out that there would be no proofs, she had to look at them online. Yeah….it was fun listening to that story…..

        Liked by 1 person

    1. marian, it beats me why there’d be a need for so many photos, but I suspect that with digital cameras so easy to use many a professional photographer just keeps snapping pics hoping to get that one great shot. And then dumps all the photos on the bride to do the dirty work of figuring out which photos are the best. Just a guess.

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  6. Like some of the above Commenters, this isn’t a problem for me. Especially if the photos are grouped, like 50 of the bouquet, 50 of the bridesmaids, etc. Truly, it wouldn’t take all that long. It sounds way more tedious than it really is, I think. She’s lucky to have the editorial say.

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    1. nance, to see 3,000 photos would freak me out at first. However, I don’t care much about photos of events or people, so I’d go through them quickly, but I can understand how some people would feel this was a burden to do. Especially if they assumed the photos would be only the best ones from a photographer’s point of view– and they didn’t trust themselves to decide.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Mmmm a big problem on both sides. If AM does not like professional photographer’s selection then she could ask to see them all? I’ve heard of the bride not liking the selection. Soooo, if AM not happy she could divide 3000 photos between between 50 of her BBF so BF’s get 60 each from which to select. Though this may be a short cut to alienation of BF’s who choose not to be involved in the drama? This existential problem is going to bother me all weekend. Never mind. Have a great weekend Ally Bean –

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Susan, it is an existential problem. I got a chuckle out of acquaintance telling me about this because she wanted to show her mother emotional support, but she didn’t want to be responsible for making the decisions about which photos to keep. There is no definite win in this problem, only many ways of approaching it. And all of this is predicated on the idea that wedding album photos are something of great value. I’d suggest otherwise. 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I should hire this guy for my squirrel shoots in the park. On a good day, I’ll only come home with between 200 to 300 pictures I have to cull through. I like having more choices. I want to see all of my squirrels from every angle possible. I fear he may have trouble getting them to pose, but as a professional, I’d expect him to come through for me…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You take 200 to 300 photos of squirrels at one time? Uh huh. I don’t whether to admire your tenacity or wonder about your sanity. Maybe both. Still good to know what floats your boat, so *yay* you!

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  9. I am not sure this all that uncommon. With digital photography, it seems to be the norm to continue to shoot & shoot & then pick out the best shots. I would try not to get too stressed about culling through the 3000. Look for blinking eyes & not so great smiles….delete, delete. Chose the ones that speak to you & voila, you’re done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lynn, I bet that you’re right that this is more the norm than the exception. I only know that the quantity of photos surprised both acquaintance and her mother. Their expectations were for fewer, professionally culled photos. However now that the 3,000 are here, I think your advice is perfect. Pick what speaks to you– because in the end that’s what is most important about the ceremony, right? 🤷‍♀️

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I received over 900 photos (on disc) from my 2010 wedding, to sort through. I can’t imagine over 3 times that! I think it would be best to sort them by time or group, and then go through each sub grouping to pick the best of each batch. Then work on this new selection, and so on. It’ll be a process, that’s for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb, 900 photos are a huge amount of photos, if you were to ask me. I think your approach to sorting photos by time then subgrouping them is a great way of working through what could be an overwhelming project. As long as you don’t let the paralysis of over-analysis stop you, you’d keep going along smoothly.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. It was different in the film days, I guess: we didn’t have anywhere near that many pictures to go through, so we had a tenth of that, and even that seemed a bit much. Japanese tourists on vacation in Hawai’i don’t take 3000 pictures in a week, much less in six hours at a wedding. Why would he think the bride would want ANY pictures of the table decorations, or of someone zipping up her dress from every possible angle? I’d be a jerk, find one picture out of the 3000, and say “we’ll take this one.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. John, back when film was the only way to take a pic, you paid for a photographer’s skill. Now I think you pay for a photographer’s cleverness in taking unique heartwarming photos along with some formal shots. Digital cameras lend themselves to pics of table decorations and mother/daughter moments. I can’t explain why people want so many photos of themselves and their events, but they do. I could see you being an ornery old cuss who’d only order one picture. Made me laugh with that idea, btw.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. One from column A, one from column B – just don’t pick any ugly ones, but who cares which photo captures the essence of the centerpiece. That’s a bad photographer. No one should have to sort through them all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dan, I agree. This photographer’s approach to wedding pics seems lazy to me too. You’d think he’d be concerned about having only his best work out there for people to see, so he’d offer only the best photos as possibilities. But apparently not. I feel sorry for acquaintance’s mother who thought she was getting more for her dollar than she did.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Yes, I do understand. Well, more or less. I have six banker’s boxes of photos, slides and movies of my and my brother’s entire childhood plus a couple of boxes of family photos on both sides that no one bothered to label.”Oh, those are the Cupits who moved to Colorado” is not a particularly helpful reference.

    My current plan is to browse quickly and choose by instinct which photos make me smile. I think the biggest risk is getting caught up in trying to find the perfect picture out of the dozens of any given shot. I really think it was the photographer’s job to narrow down the choices but I’m sure someone complained that they needed to see every single photo. I can only imagine if digital cameras were available 50 years ago. I threw away a bunch of printed albums and deleted file after file of pictures of flowers and mediocre sunsets already.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. zazzy, I, too, have been weeding through old family photos and have come to the same conclusion as you have. Toss them if they don’t instantly make you smile at [or sometimes reflect upon] what you see in front of you. I need to get back to that project but find that old photos, covered in decades of dust, make me sneeze.

      I agree, the photographer should have culled the herd of photos, but apparently that’s not his thing. Or maybe it’s not the thing to do anymore and acquaintance’s mother didn’t know that.

      You also remind me that I have thousands of photos in computer files. I wouldn’t mind deleting 90% of them, because they don’t prove a darned thing… only that I have a digital camera and know how to use it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. After syncing my photos and realizing just how big the problem was getting, I started deleting them. The first cull was about 2000 photos. I only have 5000 some odd left. I probably care about 50-100 of them. Digital cameras are the devil.

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        1. You said it, digital cameras are the devil, tricking you into believing you’re a way better photographer than you are and that you need to focus on yourself all the time. Good for you on making progress toward a more reasonable number of photos.

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  14. I have mine tucked away in a box in the basement, all many thousands of them. Never did get that album put together. Who wound look at it again anyway? Someday, that task will fall to my sons and their offspring. I hope they have a blast. Fun post. I’d forgotten about those.

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    1. Janet, our wedding photos are in an album created by the photographer who took the pics. I’ve looked at it maybe once in the last 20 years because wedding photos aren’t my jam. But if you cared about your wedding photos and only wanted the best ones, then I can understand how 3,000 photographs would be overwhelming.

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    1. Lacey, I like your approach. I’m there with you. I cannot imagine how anyone could take 3,000 photos to begin with, let along dump them onto someone else to sort through. Yet that’s the story…

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        1. That’s sort of where acquaintance was with this conversation. She thought it was mean [almost deceitful] of the photographer to dump these photos on her mother. Yet that’s what the contract specified, so there shouldn’t have been any surprise about this– but there was. 🤷‍♀️

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  15. My daughter and SIL had 400 to look at, and the photographer(her cousin) had already gotten rid of the awful ones. If that had not been the case, making a plan of attack is good. Eliminate the terrible ones first, then go through the dups and choose the best one, if there is a clear one. Finally, it’s a matter of which ones are important in illustrating the day. Priorities. 🙂

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    1. Margaret, to receive 400 photos seems reasonable to me. Sorting through that number would be fun. I agree with your approach, delete the terrible ones, decide on some pretty ones. But the bottom line is you’d have to do it, and I think that is where the problem is. Mutual acquaintance’s mother thought the photographer would do this for her.

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  16. Ally, I mentioned this before — you are an incredibly gifted creator of titles! Of all the blogs in my inbox today, this one jumped out and said “Read Me First”.
    About the photo dilemma, I kinda agree with ZD. Don’t overthink it, choose the photos that first appeal, and don’t look back. Or, get the new husband to do it. Either choice works for me. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Donna, thank you. I do try to create interesting titles, kind of for the challenge of it. I also agree with Zen-Den. I know at first I’d find the project daunting but I think in the end I’d go with my gut responses to the photos. The pics only matter in the sense of what they mean to you. Or at least in my worldview that’s true. I cannot speak for acquaintance’s mother who has this problem on her hands.

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    1. ….still thinking. (button got pressed too soon). I think the “bride” should tell the photographer that she didn’t read the “fine print” (because, really, someone her age shouldn’t be meant to”) and would he/she please just help the hapless bride out and pick the best of the bunch. That’s my advice!

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      1. Pam, that’s not a bad idea. Dump this mess back onto the photographer who should be able to instantly pick the best photos– not to mention that by doing so he can guarantee that his best work will go out into the world. Smart thinking.

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    1. L. Marie, yes I have my doubts about this photographer’s ethics, but apparently his photos are so wonderful that dealing with 3,000 of them by yourself is worth it. I still cannot imagine…

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  17. I have similar problems with every concert I go to as I take easily 200 to 300 pictures depending on where we are sitting and who is playing. My suggestion is similar to Laura’s above in that I would break the wedding down into pieces and take a little time getting a few selections of each “event” that is part of the day. Also, sometimes the “best” (ie, clearly focused or centered or whatever) are not always the “best” in capturing the memory or the feeling that the picture brings to mind. As with all huge projects, breaking things down makes it so much easier.

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    1. Janet, you’re right. Breaking this down into smaller pieces will make it doable. I like your idea of focusing on the events that happened throughout the course of the day. I also agree that the best picture [as in elicits positive emotions] is not always the best picture [as in museum-worthy photo]. I don’t know what acquaintance’s mother will do about this situation, but it is an interesting one to think about.

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  18. My niece had the photographer put her photos on line and then sent an invite to all guests to select what they wanted ~ all included in the price.

    I flipped through them all and selected 60 or so with no problem. I just saved them to my computer printed 3-4 for an album.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed. I’m sure it’ll catch on with other photographers.

        It was pretty easy to choose the general subject matter you wanted ~ so one or two of the cake, a few of the ceremony, a few of the processional, a couple from after the ceremony, one or two of each “special” guest, etc.

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        1. I think it’s inspired. It takes the pressure off one person to choose photos for everyone and would be fun as a guest to remember the wedding as you looked through the photos.

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  19. It is very annoying. Too many choices is a problem in so many areas of life! If it were me, I would get an album I loved of whatever size and layout fit nicely on my shelf, and pick the number of pictures that fit in the album. My wedding photographer contracted for a relatively small number of pictures, and included an album of a set size, I think it was maybe 30 photos. I picked the 30, that was that. It’s a nice album and just right to look through 20 years later.

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    1. K.L. Allendoerfer, we had a similar process with our photographer. We had an album picked out with him and he showed us his choices for what should go in it. We may have changed one or two photos, but it was no big deal. And there weren’t 3,000 photos from which to choose. This whole situation seems over the top to me.

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      1. Over the top–yes. It seems to me as if the photographer is not really doing his job. He’s an artist and part of the “art” of photography is choosing the photos (IMHO). Otherwise you could just put a camera up there to take photos every 5 seconds too. You’d end up with 1000’s and some of them would probably be good just by chance.

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        1. I agree with you. I don’t quite get why this photographer isn’t doing the sorting but some commenters have said that’s how it is where they live. I’m getting the feeling that professional photography is in flux as to what is expected and what is received. I’m just glad I don’t need to hire one for any event. It all sounds much too complicated to me.

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  20. Too many choices especially when there’s an emotional attachment can be a daunting thing, but most photographers I know who do weddings go the same route. It’s a PITA for everyone but ‘most’ couples these want to see all the shots for fear of missing something. For our wedding in 2010 we had our guy cull the herd down to his top 50, plus he provided the rest of the shoot on disc for us to check on our own. We didn’t disagree with a single one of his choices and we only added about a dozen other shots to our final wedding album.
    BTW 3000 pics should take 3-3.5 hours to sort through in 3 rounds of review. Round 1 – eliminate all the losers and ID all the winners. Round 2 – ID the best of the rest. Round 3 – decide which of those you can’t live without. It’s not easy but it’s not days worth of work. Maybe your friend could do the first 2 rounds for her mom and then get mom involved for round 3?

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    1. Norm, you’re right about the emotional attachment on these photos. I suspect therein is the problem, the bride not wanting to miss even one magical photo so she’s lingering over all of them. 🙄

      Interesting to learn that this is the way most wedding photographers now approach the deciding part of the photographs. I wasn’t aware of that until today and people began to comment here. When we got married the photographer gave us a few choices of his best work, and that was pretty much it. No labor intensive, emotionally fraught deciding process involved.

      Your plan for whittling down the choices is a good one. Thanks. It makes sense and gets the job done in a reasonable amount of time.

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  21. I am going to have an unpopular opinion, I’m sure, but I would LOVE to have 3000 photos of my wedding. What I have are 50 photos of my husband’s family at my wedding, his creepy uninvited uncle in most of them. Then I have about 70 of blurred bridesmaids, blurred cake, blurred us, blurred everything really. There are TEN good pictures and the best one is me and Papa. Nice, but one good one of the couple would have been better. I don’t even know. Have I mentioned we should have eloped? I believe I have.
    Anyway, if kind and helpful third-party has the chops, she should just do what feels right. It’s not like mother will ever know.

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    1. joey, our wedding photos aren’t that great either. I haven’t looked at them in years and couldn’t tell you how many we have. If having had 3,000 pics would have made you happy then I’m sorry you didn’t get them.

      From what I can tell getting the photos you want from your wedding is pretty much a crap shoot. I think it’s all about expectations and in this case acquaintance’s mother expected something she didn’t get. I agree that if acquaintance could just narrow down the number then her mother could take it from there.

      Also agree that eloping is a great idea. Did not enjoy much of anything about our wedding except getting hitched to Z-D. He’s a keeper.

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      1. Well poo. I’m sorry you had a similar experience. I feel like if there had been 3000, the odds of getting good ones would be increased. I’m not good at math, but that’s how I feeeeeel.
        And you’re absolutely right — the men are far more important than the photos and I’m glad we got THOSE good ones 🙂

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        1. You’re right, with more photos we’d get a larger selection of good pics, but in the end I figure it’s the marriage itself that counts the most and the pictures are just blurry moments in time.

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  22. Yikes! 3,000 photos from one wedding is a lot! Not adding anything new here, but the best approach is to break them down in chunks. That way the mother knows that she has to identify at least one “best” picture from each part of the event. If it takes a week or two, so be it. Any large task broken down into smaller bite-sized pieces is easier to tackle.

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    1. Janis, I think it’s a lot of photos, too. So does my acquaintance, but it’s not her place to criticize this situation– she wants to help her mother get through this. I agree about breaking it down into small tasks, done over time so that none of this becomes more of a burden than it need be. Still this situation and the comments here have been an interesting insight into how wedding photography works and what people expect from their photographer.

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  23. I wish had time to read the comments – because I am curious about feedback. I did skim a few – and well – my opinion is that it is better she gets to pick.
    Tastes vary –
    and she should just set aside some time.
    My husband’s cousin used to photograph weddings in the 1990s and I remember her making albums to “upsell” –
    like she had this little photo album with 50 pictures of shoes lined up, or hands, and of misc. shots – and the bride and groom usually bought the “extras” – and I think she also let them pick their top photos (from maybe 50 – not 3,000)
    anyhow, maybe the digital options made this tougher – hope it works out

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    1. Prior…, opinions on this issue vary. Like you some people in the comments think it’s better that the bride [+ groom] see all the pictures, while others think it’s sensory overload to sort through 3,000 photos.

      From what I can tell the bottom line is that you must understand exactly what you’re paying for when you work with a professional photographer so that there aren’t any surprises after the wedding. I’d prefer for the photographer to limit the number of pics I’d see because I’m not much for photos of events and people, but if you like those things then going through 3,000 photos would be a-okay.

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      1. Oh wow – you all are so right about the sensory overload! And that mental fatigue is no joke – while also in the throws of wedding – where so many other things are stimulating –
        And a lot of us will take away the lesson to double check for this (seriously good tip to be sure to check in on this detail Ian’s other details to know exactly what is included)

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          1. Yeah – but sometimes people need to clarify….
            This is different – but relates –
            Back in 2001 we bought this gorgeous pool home in FL
            I say gorgeous and it was well built with imported tiles in the bathroom off the pool (man was this a quality build) but we also had a budget and so after closing we walked in and the stove was ripped out!
            This huge gaping hole greeted us –
            And we went back in to the contract and where it listed the appliances “all” included there was one little line that said “except stove” – it was almost deceptive and just a small factor – but we had a knot in our gut and so many other things to do rather than buy a friggin stove –

            And so for your Friends- not knowing ahead of time does matter and the news like that feels worse when there is so much more to do (like sleep) ha

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            1. What a story! I can imagine what a shock it was to not see a stove where a stove should be. Yours is a great example of making no assumptions when you sign a contract– but to not give you a stove seems petty, considering the quality you were paying for. You live, you learn…

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              1. It was petty and I think in a way it has made us more generous at times – like generous to strangers if that makes sense – because this lady was a stranger and it just seemed greedy – and even tho this was a nice build – it was a low price point relatively speaking – she bought the house a year earlier and then met a man and the hiuse was too small for her (the big downside is it was single story and three bedrooms – it was fine for us back then but I could see it feeling cramped later) anyhow – the new stove was put in that day but man….

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    1. Mei-Mei, if you’re inclined to enjoy sorting through photos then this situation would be no big deal. But acquaintance’s mother thought she’d be getting a professionally curated selection of photos from which to choose, and she didn’t. It’s one of those misunderstandings that can happen– especially when there’s all the other wedding stuff going on in your planning.

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      1. Yeah, it’s no wonder she’s a bit frustrated. I certainly don’t think the photographer at my wedding took 3000 photos! That seems maybe excessive, and definitely excessive to dump on the client.

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  24. Oh goodness!! As someone who is prone to shooting LOTS of similar shots (yay digital photogrpahy!) and sorting later, group all like photos together. Lay them out, select the one you’re most drawn to in 5 seconds (or less) and put the rest away. Agonizing over WHICH is the technically the best is a waste of time because they’re so many factors that go into it and the best is the one you’re emotionally drawn to anyway.

    Poor acquaintance and acquaitance’s mother.

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    1. katie, I think your plan of attack is perfect. In the end it’s the images that draw you in that are the best ones for you to keep. Once acquaintance’s mother gets over her initial shock of 3,000 photos I’m sure she’ll do okay with this. Or at least, that’s the story I’m going to stick with.

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  25. I am now happily incorporating the term weasel words into my vocabulary. I plan on using it often and with great delight – thank you! With regard to the photos my plan of attack would be to set a timer, trust my eyeball and brain to pick what makes my heart happy and dump the “best shot” expectation. Never make life harder than it needs be is my current motto.

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    1. Deborah, your current motto is inspiring and definitely one that acquaintance’s mother needs to adopt as her own. If this were me once I got going with this project I’d have no problem following my heart, so I hope that’s how things work out for acquaintance’s mother. *finger crossed*

      Weasel words is a good term to know. Glad you’re aware of it now! Use liberally.

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  26. Categories, baby. If that were my situation I’d first get a stiff drink. Then I’d decide on the categories BEFORE looking at photos. That way I’m not swayed. Like bride on staircase, bouquet, wedding party, bar mayhem, dancing, stuff like that. Then sort all photos into appropriate categories. Pick 10 from each category and whittle down from there. The poor thing. I do feel for her! Too bad the photographer wasn’t more clear on this duty.

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    1. Kate, you’ve got a great plan… particularly that stiff drink first part. You’re right in that if you know your categories up front, then sorting through is easier. I, too, feel sorry for acquaintance’s mother but if she’s like her daughter, then mom will get this done.

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    1. Judy, I haven’t looked in our wedding album in probably 20 years. Of course, our photos were lousy, but I tend to agree with you in principle. Unless you need to remember every nuance of your wedding day, I’d say go through the pics as fast as you can and take whatever/who calls to you.

      [And yes, fine print… rarely read… says every honest person… on earth. 🙄]

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  27. At least there are pictures – and hopefully there’s 1-5 that really stand out among all the superficial posing/casual moments.
    What is making things more difficult for many is that the imagers are not printed, but al on line so you can no longer sort and group by subject, then sort into 2-3 piles of “ok”, “good” and “best” (and then finally select from the top groups). Viewing on line is especially difficult for the tired, the overwhelmed, and the ones who lived without computers and can see differences better when physically in print and not on screen (Who can really see the differences when looking at thumbnails or flipping back and forth on screen?)
    I think offering so many images is simply a way to sell more pix.

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    1. philmouse, I hadn’t thought of how difficult it’d be to pick photos off the screen if that’s not what you’re accustomed to doing. I’d guess that acquaintance’s mother would be more comfortable with actual physical pics. Good point. And I agree, offering so many images from which to choose is a way of getting a tired bride-that-was to buy more pics than she needs. What a situation, eh?

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    1. Sheryl, if I was in this situation I’d prefer a curated bunch of pics rather than 3,000. I would want the professional photographer to give me his best work, not all of his work. But some commenters have said that they’d want to see all 3,000 photos before they’d make their selections, so it’s an individual thing about what works best.

      [I kind of say elope and avoid the whole issue!]

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  28. As I have at least two huge albums full of photos of our wedding (many duplicated a few times as other people who took pretty much the same photos sent them to me thinking I hadn’t seen them… I mean, there are only so many positions you can stand to see a tired just-married-woman cutting a cake) if I had to have as many as 3,000, I think I’d just paper a room with them (and then sell the house!)

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    1. Val, what a practical idea! No one has mentioned it, so you win the prize for ingenuity. I really cannot fathom how much work it’d take to go through 3,000 photos of anything, let alone your wedding. I’m sorry this happened to acquaintance’s mother, but I’ve learned, once again, to never assume anything.

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