So, I have heard this question bouncing around the photography and wedding communities quite a bit since opening my business. I have also heard that this issue has caused a lot of tension between photographers and their clients in the past. What is this issue? Well, some photography clients are mad or upset when they receive their photos. Why? Maybe they feel like there should have been more pictures. Or, perhaps they know a certain shot was taken that was not in the final gallery. What's the deal with that? Or maybe it was another reason or issue that lead you to ask: Why can't I have all of my photos? This is an understandable and valid question. You want to get the most out of the money you spent, and you want to remember every detail of your wedding, including the things going on that you may not have been witness too. Weddings are busy. There are many people to talk to and entertain. You could not have possible been in every place at every moment. It completely makes sense!
Photographers can run their businesses in many different ways. Some shoot all candid's and provide all photos, some photographers edit and some do not, some photographers like to narrow down the photos before sending them, and so on and so forth. Different photography businesses are run in different ways. Nothing is wrong with any of these options. They all have benefits and you should always try to find a photographer that fits what you are looking for by looking over their work and listening to their testimony.
Below, I am listing three possible reasons that the photographer you are dealing with is not sharing every single photo with you upon delivery.
#1: It could be overwhelming.
You would be shocked at how many photos are taken on your wedding day. Way more than you need to see or sort through. Super important moments require lots of shots to ensure that the best ones are there when it is time for your photographer to edit them. And the good news is, by not having every single one, you aren't missing out. Photographers dig through their photos and choose the best to edit and send to you. What does that mean? All of those blurry photos with half of your bridesmaids blinking won't make it into a frame on your wall. Spend the days after your wedding relaxing, and not stressing while you dig through thousands of pictures (literally).
#2: You might not be happy.
Thinking about owning thousands of photos of every single second of your wedding day sounds great. But there is an issue with this. Not every photo is pretty. It just doesn't work that way. Some photos have bad angles or bad lighting that isn't noticed until they are blown up on a computer screen. This is one reason that you may see your photographer take several shots of the same things. Having a backup shot is important. Sometimes hair blows in someone's face, or the sun disappears for a second and changes the entire look of a photo. These photos are typically automatically deleted before editing even begins. Having all of these mixed in with your completed wedding gallery would surely diminish its "wow" factor.
#3: It might feel unprofessional.
Let me be very clear - this opinion does not apply to every photographer and every style of photography. There are plenty of very successful and professional photographers that do not edit photos and send their galleries as is and do an excellent job with that. However, if you are hiring a photographer that does edit their wedding galleries and you have that expectation, then we are looking at a different situation than that. Photography is a form of art. An incomplete gallery just wouldn't have that same effect! Seeing a finished and edited gallery with all of the bad shots deleted is a great feeling, and something that you, as a photographer, feel proud and excited to send out! Your photographer likely wants to maintain the level of professionalism that they have established and provide you with the best quality product possible.