Who is the right portrait photographer for you?
There are a lot of ways to describe portrait photographers, but one question every client should ask themselves is if they want a volume portrait photographer or a photographer who is focused on quality. There isn't a right or wrong answer, but it's important to know which you prefer as this will help you pick the right photographer for your needs. Although it's possible, very few photographers fall into both camps.
A volume photographer shoots and delivers a very large quantity of images as the final product to the client. For example, if a photographer delivers 50+ images as the final product, this is often a volume photographer. If the photographer says that they "edit" their images and are giving you 50 or more images, more questions should be asked about their edit process and what is specifically done to improve the photograph after it's taken. It's likely that the photographer toned the images and maybe did some quick cropping. Sometimes you will see photographers apply a "preset" or maybe over-expose an image and call it done. Although this is an edit, it's a bit of a stretch. However, if you are looking for a large volume of images, then a volume photographer is a great option. As a client, you will get lots of images at a lower price.
A photographer who focuses on quality will deliver fewer images. However, each image is of much higher quality after the photo has been taken. This working of a photo after it's taken is called post-processing or post-production. Many photographers, myself included, do all of our post-processing in Photoshop. Quality-focused photographers often address the following: skin blemishes, skin color variation, tone differences, teeth, and the eyes. These adjustments are all done by hand and they take time. In general, quality photographers will work on a subset of the very best images taken during the session for the client. The images delivered will be fewer but typically of much higher quality, assuming the photographer is good at their post-processing (not every does this well btw). The caveat is that post-processing takes time and quality-focused photographers' rates will reflect this increased investment in your photo.
So which am I? Read below...
I am a Quality Focused Photographer
I focus on quality. During a session, I generate a lot of images as I am constantly looking to take the best image. As my client, you pick the very best from the gallery and this is what I edit. Every portrait is worked to magazine quality (I have over 120 publications in 26 magazines). I believe most clients would like a handful of exceptional photos vs a large volume of OK photos. Only a few photos get used in grad cards, printed for home, etc. Don't you want those photos to be of the highest quality?