If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’re either in the process of planning a wedding or you’ve already had your wedding and you’re super excited to see the photos. Either way, you’re likely wondering how long it takes to get your wedding photos back.
The short answer? It depends on the photographer. There are countless variables that factor into a photographer’s turnaround time. Let’s take a look at those variables and hopefully you’ll get a better idea of how long you can expect to wait.
EDITING wedding photos
Some photographers “shoot and burn,” which means they don’t edit their photos at all. They simply shoot a wedding and hand over the unprocessed images. Turnaround time is almost instantaneous for these folks.
Other photographers meticulously hand-edit and retouch every single image. If you hire one of these photographers, you could we waiting up to two or three months (or more) before you see your wedding photos.
Most photographers fall somewhere between these two extremes. For more details on what editing actually entails, check out this post on wedding photo editing.
OUTSOURCING wedding photos
Following up on editing style, some photographers outsource their editing, either to an assistant, or to another photographer, or to a commercial editing company. If this is the case, turnaround time is going to depend on the schedule and process of the person or persons actually editing your photos. And that’s anybody’s guess!
NUMBER OF WEDDINGS
The number of shoots your photographer does in a year is also going to have a huge impact on how long it takes to get your wedding photos back.
Furthermore, how spread out are those shoots? If your photographer has one wedding per month for 12 months, that leaves ample time to edit and deliver each wedding in a timely manner. On the other hand, if your photographer is shooting four weddings per month, they’re spending most of their time planning, shooting and communicating with couples, and it’s going to take longer to get your wedding photos back.
TIME OF THE YEAR
Following up on the number of total shoots a photographer does each year, the time of year you’re having your wedding will also dictate how long it takes to get your wedding photos back.
Here in Colorado, our busy season is May through October, so turnaround time increases during the summer months. We don’t typically shoot too many winter weddings, so if you’re getting married in January, you’ll likely receive your wedding photos quite a bit faster than if you’re tying the knot in July.
WEDDING photo COVERAGE
Finally, the wedding photo package you purchase will likely have an effect on your photographer’s turnaround time. For example, if they’re shooting for 12 hours on your wedding day, you’ll receive more photos, but it will take longer to edit them all. If they’re only shooting for six hours, you’ll receive fewer photos, but you’ll likely get to see them sooner than later.
Check out this post for more on how many wedding photos you should expect to receive for more info.
OUR TURNAROUND TIME
At this point you might be wondering how long it takes to get your wedding photos back if you hire us (J. La Plante Photo) for your wedding. Good question! In the summer months, it typically takes around 4-6 weeks. In the winter, it’s more like 2-4 weeks.
If you’ve hired a different photographer for your wedding, just be sure to ask this person what their turnaround time typically is so that you’re on the same page. This way, you’ll have a good idea of how long you’ll be waiting after your wedding to see your photos.