When couples are looking for the best wedding photographer to capture their day, they often don’t think about how long it will take that photographer to deliver their product. Be it digital images, prints, or wedding albums. Of course, that becomes a much bigger deal after the wedding day, and the couple has been waiting weeks, if not months, to see their photos.
Why do some wedding photographers take so long to deliver their files?
I have a few ideas.
#1. Overshooting the wedding. Taking thousands of images of the day often compensates for the fact that the photographer doesn’t know what they are doing. They are shooting burst mode and taking a hundred photos of the bride coming down the aisle to get that one image. Or bracketing every shot because they are unsure of getting the correct exposure. Other things like not cropping in-camera, exposure errors, or not knowing how to use flash to fill in the shadows. Correcting these mistakes in Photoshop takes time, especially when you have 3000 images. Then, if you have another wedding the next weekend, there are another 3000 images to go through.
#2. Photography is a sideline. I’m not judging here, I worked at the business part-time for several years before I went full-time, but you have to be dedicated to it. You need to treat it like a business because no matter how fun and creative wedding photography is, it is a business, and you need to treat it so. People are paying you good money to do what you do.
#3. Unorganized workflow. I always felt I was kind of lucky. When I started in the wedding business, I knew I needed to be organized to deliver my photos to my clients on time and still have a life. Whether it’s fast food or wedding photography, any business must have systems to do the job. If you regard wedding photography as a fun endeavor and don’t take it seriously, then you are in trouble from the start, as are your clients.
Delivery time frames at Roy Dressel Photography
Digital files: You will see your digital files three weeks from the wedding date. We will post low-resolution files to the cloud and provide you with full-resolution files from which you can make your prints on a USB stick. If the package you selected has a press book or wedding album, we will send you a PDF order form for those books.
Wedding albums and books: Two weeks after we receive your book/album orders, we will send you a link to the book’s layout for approval. Once we get the go-ahead, we will send it to our professional lab; you will have your book/album three weeks later.
Prints: Same day (depending on workload) to two weeks. We produce our prints in-house for sizes 13×19 or smaller. Sometimes we can make your print the same day you order it, but normally it’s a three-day turnaround. Larger prints, canvas wraps, and metal prints are outsourced to our professional lab and can take anywhere from one to two weeks. We will always let you know when it will be ready when you place your order. By the way, our in-house prints are processed on a canon professional inkjet printer using archival inks.
So there you have it, our turnaround. Does your photographer give you those turnaround times?