Outtakes From Your Photo Session: Why Does the Photographer Include Them?

Not every photographer includes outtakes, and we all have our own version of those anyway. Generally, when a photographer completes your session, he/she will go through them and perform a first cull. That’s to get rid of the unusable photos; weird faces, eyes closed, things that really don’t do anyone any favors. Past the first cull, photographers are vastly different in the choices we make in what to show (or now show) you in your proofs.

Personally, I love the outtakes. Sometimes they’re blurry, sometimes they’re framed incorrectly but show some context, and sometimes they’re just part of what happened that day that you might want to remember.

The first “real” photo session I had with my dogs was with Amanda Jones. I was so so excited to do this, and it was a day I’ll never forget. That shoot was with the OG smalls; Buzz, Gracie, and Lola. We shared a really special experience that day; I know the dogs felt it was different or “special” in some way, and I really did too. I didn’t get any outtakes of that shoot; for example, the hassle involved in getting my three beasties to sit next to each other for 1/150th of a second. And believe me, it was SO so difficult to do that! I love the photos that I got from that day, but I wish I had some of the chaos as well.

Chaos. You know I’m all about the chaos when it comes to shoot day. With kids or babies or dogs, there’s always chaos. I always tell my clients “nobody’s kids behave! nobody’s¬†dogs do what they want them to,” etc. etc. And it’s true. You’re not that special, you know. Your pack (whether they’re 2-legged or 4-legged) are bound to misbehave or stray from their mark, but sometimes those make for the best photos. If you don’t frame them, you’ll still look at them and remember the experience you shared, and that’s as important as what your final product is.

Because you’re not just coming for photos. You’re coming for an experience. It’s an event, you know, one that you should embrace and enjoy and forget about how you look or that you’re shy about having your photo taken. You should just try to relax and love the moment. Because that’s what the photos are supposed to reflect. You and yours. Everyday.

It’s all well and fine if you can get your child to sit up straight and smile and look right into the camera; we all want a photo like that. But don’t we also want the ones of them fussing or scooting out of frame to go investigate something much, much more interesting? You’ll look at that photo one day and so, “oh my gosh, that’s so like him to do that!” and you’ll laugh and have a great, warm memory. I know that I do, so that’s what I give my clients.

Here are 2 outtakes from 2 different sessions. I love these photos. Outtakes from your photo session tell me who you are, which is a nice thing to remember.



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