We recently surveyed 1,850 professional wedding photographers to answer the question:
How long does it take to deliver wedding photos to clients?
We also wanted to know whether the expected delivery time was usually communicated to the client.
…and more importantly, how often the time was exceeded!
(On a personal level, as a wedding photographer with a decade’s experience, I was especially interested in the comparison.)
What we uncovered in the survey surprised us, and today, I’ll share our findings with you.
Take the HARD Photography Quiz! 🤯
Now it's time to really test your photography knowledge!
(99% of people can't get all the questions right...)
📸 Summary of Our Key Findings 📸
- Most wedding photographers surveyed take 2 to 4 weeks to deliver photos to clients
- 11% of photographers take over 8 weeks
- The main reason for the time taken to deliver the photos is an existing editing workload
- The majority of photographers do not outsource the editing of wedding photos
- The majority of photographers always communicate an expected delivery time to their clients
- Most photographers do not exceed the delivery date
- 11% of photographers do exceed it
- Most photographers deliver between 500 ~ 800 photos to clients
Share this Image On Your Site by Copying the HTML Content Below:
The Time Frame: When Can Clients Expect Their Photos?
The General Consensus
The overwhelming majority of wedding photographers in our survey said they take between 2 to 4 weeks to deliver photos to clients.
This seems to be the wedding photography industry standard and offers a balance between providing quality work and ensuring timely delivery.
Delays Do Happen: What’s Causing Them?
Interestingly, 11% of photographers reported taking over eight weeks to deliver.
The primary reason why it takes so long to deliver wedding photos? An existing editing workload.
It seems that many photographers prefer to take the time to perfect each image rather than rush the process or do more than one editing job concurrently.
To Outsource or Not: Editing Practices Among Photographers
A significant revelation from the survey was that the majority of photographers choose not to outsource the editing of wedding photos.
Most wedding photographers surveyed believe in maintaining the authenticity of the images, ensuring that the final product genuinely reflects the couple’s unique day.
Setting Expectations: Communication Is Key
The majority of photographers always communicate an expected delivery time to their clients.
This clear line of communication helps set realistic expectations and prevent potential disappointments.
Meeting Deadlines: Do Photographers Deliver on Time?
While most photographers in the survey reported not exceeding the delivery date, about 11% did admit to crossing it.
On a personal note, my average delivery time is between 1 to 2 weeks, and I make it a priority to always meet or beat this deadline.
Quantity vs Quality: How Many Photos Do Clients Receive?
The survey indicated that most photographers deliver between 500 to 800 photos to clients.
Drawing from my personal experience, I usually deliver around 600 meticulously edited photos per wedding.
While the number might seem extensive, I believe in giving couples a comprehensive visual narrative of their special day.
How Much Do You REALLY Know About Photography?! 🤔
Test your photography knowledge with this quick quiz!
See how much you really know about photography...
How the Survey Data Was Collected
After creating the survey using JotForm, we shared the link in various places:
- Facebook Groups
- Shotkit email subscribers
- Shotkit Facebook followers
Among other questions asked in the survey to pre-qualify the respondent as a professional wedding photographer, here are the questions related to the delivery of the photos:
- On average, how many wedding photos do you deliver to clients?
- How long does it take you, on average, to deliver the edited photos after the wedding day?
- What factors can influence your delivery time?
- Do you usually outsource the editing of your photos?
- Do you use AI to assist in the post-production process?
- What software/tools do you use to speed up the post-production process?
- Do you communicate the expected delivery time to clients before the wedding?
- How often do you exceed the communicated delivery time?
The world of wedding photography is vast and diverse.
But whether it’s the time taken for photo delivery, the number of photos delivered, or the editing practices, it’s clear that the industry leans towards quality and authenticity.
As I reflect on these findings, I’m reminded once again of the immense responsibility and privilege of capturing one of the most important days in a couple’s life.