📸 Skai Chan Photography

How Many Photographs Should a Photographer Give?

This is a broad question, which depends on the kind of photography and whether it's a paid or collaboration shoot. Eventually, it depends on the agreement.

However, you should read quality and quantity of photographs to understand more. Do note that it's easy for a photographer to return his client a large quantity of photographs simply by including the bad and similar ones.

Paid photoshoot

Portrait photoshoot

For professional portrait photography, the photographers may need to spend hours on post-production (editing) for just a photograph. Therefore, the photographer may charge the client based on per photograph, which can be expensive. Eventually, it depends on the request and budget of the client. In this case, it's quite straightforward.

From my experience, for a casual portrait photoshoot that no lighting equipment is used (lighting needs more time for setting up and testing), the client can expect receiving around 30 good photographs per hour if the duration is well utilized, for example, no travelling in between.

Event photoshoot

For event photography and in some cases of portrait photography, the photographers would charge by hours and promise to return certain numbers of photographs. The numbers would vary, depending on individual photographers. However, the actual number of good photographs that can be produced will depend on many factors, which makes estimating the number extremely difficult.

For an event shoot, 50 good photographs per hour are very good for journalist style of shoot, given that there’s no bad situations (guests are eating or waiting for group shots). However, some experienced photographers snap mainly the important parts of the events, such as cake-cutting and VIP giving speeches. Therefore, everyone should look at the photographer's portfolio to judge and determine whether to engage the photographer.

The usual clients would not question over the number of photographs as they would trust the photographers to do their best to capture as many good photographs as possible. The people who are overly concerned about quantity usually don't appreciate good quality a lot.

Interior photoshoot

For interior photography, photographers would usually charge by per photograph or per hour. Sometimes, the photographer would estimate the effort and charge by per hour. A professional interior shoot requires the use of a tripod stand, which takes time to adjust for each snap. For a budget project, the photographer may not be using a tripod stand in order to save time and but the quality of photographs won't be as good.

For a normal interior design company that wants to engage a photographer to take interior photographs of their finished projects for their portfolios, they may need a few number of photographs, depending on the scale of their work. Some of the interior agencies in the past need only up four photographs if it's not a full house renovation. For example, two for living room, one for kitchen, one for a bedroom.

Most other clients don't really know what they want to capture and thus they would leave everything to the photographers. The number of photographs will depend on the size of the place. For example, a 4-room HDB flat may need living room x 2 (2 angles), bedrooms x 3, kitchen x 1, bathroom x 2, which total to 8 photographs.

If the client requires the photographer to capture some special parts of the house, he will have to state in advance.


The usual collaboration for photography projects are between photographers, models and hair and makeup artists (HMUAs). The numbers of final photographs depend on the agreements before the photoshoots.

Professional photographers usually provide only a few top quality photographs due to the amount of time and effort required. The rates for professional photography are after all, not cheap. Professional photographers should have stated the rules properly before the shoot.

For me, I have stated One to six photographs for three outfits. However, depending on various factors on the photoshoots, I may give more. Examples, if the photographs are easy to be edited, there are many good outdoor backgrounds or if it's a special album like a bridal shoot that I need to showcase a big varieties of them to potential clients.

For hobbyist photographers who usually work with aspiring models, they may tend to be pressurized by the models to give them more photographs at the sacrifice of quality. Some of the arrogant aspiring models may demand for 15, 30 or more photographs while some may even demand the photographers to give them the raw photographs because they think they can do better post-production work than the photographers.

You may be interested in:
- Quality and quantity of photographs - contributing factors
Photo post production/ processing (editing)
- Misconceptions and myths in professional photography
- Why can't professional photographers take up cheap jobs
- Differences between professional and casual portrait photoshoots
- Top modelling mistakes that models make

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Page last modified on Tue, 23 March 2021