All of my session packages include a fixed number of fully edited images that are promised in a proofing gallery. For an hour long session it's usually between 20-30, for an Snapshot Session it's about 12. I am often asked "Why can't I see ALL the images from my session?" While this seems reasonable to someone purchasing a session who just watched me click away for an hour, there are several reasons why I can not accommodate the request. The first reason is - you don't want to! No, really - You don't want to! Because I deal with constantly moving and active children, most of the images I shoot end up getting thrown away due to blinks, weird expressions, movements, silly faces, blurs, etc. Part of my service is taking the time to cull through all of the images and determine which to throw away.
During an hour long session I shoot anywhere from 150-250 images. It's tedious, time consuming and boring work to review each and every photo. If I made you do it, not only would you be faced with a daunting, overwhelming task but you would most likely never seek out my services ever again after that. If you have ever watched a TV show like "Restaurant Impossible" one of the top complaints from customers is the size of the menu. Too many choices can be overwhelming for anyone, and reviewing hundreds of options is exhausting. By allowing me to curate your images, you are guaranteed a gallery full of phenomenal images.
Another reason you want me to do this is because I have the ability to see the potential of an image you might otherwise overlook. Here is a perfect example...this image is SOOC (straight out of the camera):
Technically, the image is sound but it doesn't move you, does it? There's a black object in the corner of the screen, the lighting is OK but overall it's quite boring. That's what an untrained eye sees. This image is one you would quickly pass by if you were culling the images, right? I wouldn't. I always look for the potential of an image and this one has TONS! The beautiful bokeh (creamy background), the speckles of light throughout, the sun backlighting her hair.... what I see in this image is THIS...
THIS is why you hire me and then trust me to do my job. I can discard images without potential AND find a diamond in the rough...which brings me to the other reason for not showing all the session images...
As I explain in my Enchanted Session FAQ, as an artist, I choose to only allow clients to see my finished, fully edited work. The original image right out of the camera is not representative of the final edit and allowing my clients to see those originals would serve absolutely no purpose. Take a look at this before/after.
The original image is nice, but after my edit the "nice" becomes a "WOW!" worthy of displaying on your wall. These edits take time and thought - it is all part of the process. The final image is my product and that final product is a result of the entire process of planning the session, taking multiple versions of this image and editing the best from the series.
I take great care in selecting the best images and then spend a lot of time hand editing (painting - no filters) each and every picture that makes the original cut. The photos I choose to not edit are left behind for a reason. When you hire me, you are placing your trust my eye, talent and skill.
While I work with every client individually to ensure their expectations from the session are fulfilled, as a professional, I have to stand firm to my policy and allow my unedited images to remain separate from the final product presented.
Think of it this way...we wouldn't ask J.K Rowling to show us her first draft of Harry Potter, would we? There is a part of the creative process that is meant to stay behind the scenes.