How many pictures do you look at at a time? One, two, ten?
More than 10? I doubt it. How many times do you sift through 400 pictures? Not often, right? But after that, how many do you look at? So, what will you do if you have a thousand pictures? You won't look at them. It will be too much work; too much effort. Not only that, but all the pictures that aren't that great will dilute the quality of the pictures that are that great.
Have you ever looked at a fine art book? What drew you to the book? The best shot was on the cover. You could spend hours viewing the book, but it's one or two really great photographs that stand out.
QUALITY IS NOT QUANTITY.
I find myself staring at a few pictures in a book that entice me. When you go back over your photographs, you too will find your same few that you really just love. One of my favorite books, National Geographic Greatest Photographs, has at least a thousand pictures in it. I flick through the book, because honestly, many of the pictures in there are just mediocre. We think it came from National Geographic so they all must be good. But, two or three really strong photographs will stand out, and I'll mark the page and go back. If you shoot 100 pictures you will look at ten of them. If you shoot 1,000 pictures you'll barely look at 100 of them. Throwing clients a great number of pictures just for the sake of some arbitrary number to prove you've done your job does a disservice to the photography profession.
How much are one or two fantastic pictures worth to you that are close to your heart? The next time somebody offers you a 1,000 pictures, say that's lovely, but how many of them are going to be great pictures?
Less is ALWAYS more.
Steve Whysall has been a professional photographer serving Washington, DC, Northern Virginia and Maryland for over 17 years.