It's probably one of the top questions most couples ask before booking their photographer or some time during the whole process. Recently I was asked personally by a bride how long they should wait for their photos. This particular bride said they felt nervous that they'd been waiting so long. She said she felt uneasy for reasons she couldn't really express. She loves the photographers work and was very happy with how their engagement photos turned out. She referenced her uncle who had taken photos at the wedding and had them up online in a couple days after the wedding. I'm sure there are some of you out there that wonder this very same thing...how could a professional take so long?
A seasoned photographer like ourselves can take somewhere in the area of 3500-6500 photos. In our case we end up narrowing down to around 900-1500 (I take lots of duplicates in an attempt to get the absolute perfect shot)!! It's a LOT to go through!! It takes time to find just the right ones, and then after I've found all the right ones, to go through and make sure all the skin tones look good, that all of the exposures are great, and that the colors and contrast are just right. It's pretty easy to whip out 100 photos or less in a day when there weren't many to begin with and they were all taken in similar lighting conditions, but weddings often include a much larger variety of lighting conditions, exposure challenges, and color balancing that needs to happen for them to look good. In this day and age of digital photography we've also become perfectionists about our work and every single image! There are times I could spend an hour or two to produce 10 images as a "quick preview" for a bride & groom. Can you imagine the time it takes to do 180? 1800?? I know it's a lot of time but I also think that the quality of my work reflects this extra time versus just trying to pump them out quickly so I have less on my 'to do' list.
It is almost always hard to make a promise for a certain deadline, because it means I have to limit my creative process just to be finished by a certain time, rather than by when I feel like everything is the way I would want it to be.
Sometimes, as a bride or groom, you may feel some pressure from parents, paired with some unpleasant wedding day experiences that have wreaked havoc on your emotions about the final outcome. After my wedding day, I know all I wanted were my photos to relive my day again. There were so many what-ifs running around in my head - like, did they get this or that? Did I look OK? Did everything turn out? What could possibly be taking so long? Is there something I don't know about? And honestly- my anxiety just continued to grow until I was able to see everything!! Once I saw everything, I felt so much better and I realized that a lot of the 'what ifs' or I wishes' we're just me being overly anxious about things that in the end were the best moments of my life.
So - I TOTALLY understand what you're going through and as maddening as it seems right now, it's actually a very common feeling which will likely dissipate once you get to see all of your photos. Just remember your photographer cares about every single one of your images just as much as you do. Your photographer worked hard on your wedding day and the best reward for them is simply your gratitude and you walking away with a smile.