How many is too many?

I read somewhere recently that the fewer images you show your clients, the more sales you will make.

I think about this a lot. I think about it pretty much every time I’m putting together images from a session to show a client.

Let’s say that we shoot an engagement session together and from that session I have 200 images. On the first pass I’ll probably narrow that number down to about 80. On the second pass I’ll begin to drop images that are in the same style and the same pose ( there’s no reason to have 12 images of a couple sitting the exact same way.) By the time I’m done I might have 30 to 50 images left to show.

Is that too many? I think that if you asked a lot of photographers most of them would say “yes.” But, here’s my problem: I don’t think I have ever shown a selection of images to a client where the client didn’t pick out at least one image that I personally think is not good.

It never fails.

So you see my problem. I think that if I showed fewer images I might possibly make more sales because if they were only looking at 10 images they might be tempted to buy all of them. But when you show them 30 images right away they know they can’t buy them all so they just buy a few. On the flip side, I feel I have an obligation to my clients to give them the opportunity to pick out the images which are most special to them. And since it is obvious that I cannot be trusted to always make the correct call when it comes to someone else’s pictures, I’m forced to show them any picture which can reasonably be considered good.

I still wonder if I should show fewer images.

On a side note I would also like to point out how extremely frustrating it can be when there is one image that stands out among the entire batch as the premier image, the one that is far and above the best image of the group, the one that elevates my art form to a new level and catapults me to new heights as a photographer and… they don’t buy it. It’s especially frustrating when they take a pass for a reason that I can’t see. Last week the best image from a shoot was passed over because the subject said her arm looked fat. Seriously? Your arm!? I was forced to call “fat-foul,” which is a penalty I invoke on brides who say the word “fat” too many times. I threaten to photoshop a mole in the middle of their forehead.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. It is very important never to give more than what is the bare minimum…the clients invariably have no clue, often get confused and end up choosing the weakest frame. So per item, I would preferably offer not more than 5..sometimes even less..if the client has no exposure and from engineering or accounting background. I prefer to politely and firmly tell them.

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