With Respect, No You Can’t…

When Couples Ask to See All Their Photos

Can You Have All the Files? Respectfully No!

On more than one occasion, I have been asked by wedding couples if they can have all the images I took at their wedding. Even the bad ones. Why don't I hand over all my clients files?

As part of the service I offer to my clients, I spend a lot of time sifting through the images. I spend time taking out ones that don’t make the grade for whatever reason:

  • Blurred
  • Underexposed
  • Totally unflattering to the subject
  • ...and so on

To be honest, most of the images I remove are either duplicates of photos I have already included. Or at least so similar there is no point in giving both. They are sometimes test shots that I have taken at various times throughout the day.

Shots that really have nothing to do with your special day but are simply to test exposure etc.

At times, I come across images that you really don’t want to see. Images that would definitely not be included in your photobook or slideshow. On the odd occasion that I have included images like this, knowing the couple were great fun and wouldn’t mind seeing them, they have also stated that they wouldn’t be showing the images to anyone and would most likely delete them.

Why I don't hand them over...

When booking a professional photographer for whatever job you need doing, it is important to understand that not all images will be handed over. This isn’t because we don’t want you to have them but more because we don’t necessarily feel they are suitable.

  • They could be unflattering
  • You may get offended
  • They certainly wouldn’t always show us as photographers in our best and most creative light

Check out this image of Beyonce in concert. Tell me if you think that she would love to have this hanging on her wall or displayed in a magazine somewhere. Online for all to see is bad enough!

So, to summarize

If ever you think you are being hard done by or duped by your photographer for not always handing over all the images, please, and with respect, understand that vetting them is part of our job.

P.s. This is an image I would normally delete on the day (when someone jumps in front of my shot), but I have used this particular shot on many training sessions when teaching wedding photography.

About the author

Nick Stubbs is a professional photographer, filmmaker and drone pilot with over 35 years experience in the imaging business. Still as passionate about his work as he was aged 13. Married with two kids and living in the beautiful town of Weymouth in Dorset.

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