Say you do a shoot. Say, you set up lights, have a model or setting, and spend a few hours shooting, and you end up with 300 images.

The question? How many are good when a pro is shooting?

The answer is: it depends on the shoot. Sometimes I make 4 exposures and 3 are great. But typically, I take as many angles as I can, which results in a few hundred images.

I then rate them:

  • One star: technically lousy
  • Two stars: technically passable but not a great shot
  • Three stars: suitable for sharing with client
  • Four stars: Great shot in this shoot
  • Five stars: Portfolio shot

You may be surprised that for me, a typical shoot has something like 300 shots, of which:

  • One star: 3 shots
  • Two stars: 35 shots
  • Three Stars: 230 shots
  • Four stars: 30 shots
  • Five stars: zero to two shots

So while almost all shots are technically good and most are also suitable for going to the client, fewer are great shots and I am delighted if one or two are portfolio shots.

So do not feel discouraged if you do not get 150 great killer shots out of every shoot. I tend to share many shots as you all know, but most photographers only share their very very best only. You may be better than you think!


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