I heard the camera clicking hundreds of time during the shoot, but we only saw 30 images. Where are the rest?
During a typical portrait session--whether it's senior pics, a whole family, or a 1 year milestone shoot-- we try all kinds of different poses, variations in the location, and strategies to get the best and most flattering images. I usually end up shooting 500+ images in RAW format per full length session so once we're all finished on location, I upload those images and narrow them down to between 30-50 images. First, I go through the session and eliminate images where eyes are closed, someone is making a funky expression, lighting test shots, and other images with distracting elements that don't reflect the highest quality. I spend time hand-picking and enhancing each remaining image until I've molded the perfect final gallery of beauties for you to view.
When I'm shooting, not every image is going to a stunner because I'm making real-time adjustments and managing technical aspects while pretending I'm not managing technical aspects. I also sometimes shoot in burst if there's motion involved to ensure there's one in a series of movement where eyes are open or hair is out of the face, etc. Basically, I'm trying to connect with and direct my subjects in the most personal and natural way possible while minimizing the presence of an intimidating camera pointed in their faces. When you're shooting candidly like that, there's bound to be awkward moments when she's starting to talk, he's scratching his nose, or someone's eyes are mid-blink. By eliminating those moments behind-the-scenes and only processing the images that have true potential for a "love it" reaction, I'm able to show you a more streamlined final gallery. As a result, our time together at your reveal is not wasted sifting through a gazillion images with minuscule differences or definite "no's," but comparing and reflecting on the most flattering, most genuine images from the whole session.
Think of it like this: a writer never publishes the first draft of a novel, and a chef usually doesn't stop with the first toss of seasonings. These steps are necessary to begin an artistic process, but there's more and better adjustments to be made that will yield a more enjoyable product.
At the end of the day, I always just ask that you TRUST me as the professional you hired! I swear I'm not throwing away precious memories or blindly discarding half your shoot because I don't feel like editing them. It's the opposite, really. Each shot that is not included in your final gallery is simply a rough draft for the final, enhanced image that is included. I shoot with intention and care, but with my style of interaction and candidness, the need for a narrowed selection becomes necessary for creating both a better overall experience and the kinds of images you want to see on display. By taking on that elimination process in my workflow, you're able to choose your true favorites and artistic moments from your session without being overwhelmed.