No on the first, and definitely not the second. I’m lucky to get to triple digits; just ask my wife. Actually, that's the number of wedding images you can expect to receive from me, give or take a few.
Why? Well, it’s kind of complicated, and it has taken a couple years to settle on this number. Here's my reasoning:
I’ve been trained to curate.
My education was in film–fictional narrative, documentaries, short films. Now I focus solely on photography. But they’re both storytelling: The right amount of details make for the best stories. Not enough, and you lose the flow. Too many, and the story becomes overburdened.
When an artist is creating an exhibition, or a band is recording an album, they choose a number of polished pieces that fit together. The songs have a definite flow. The artwork is a cohesive collection. They strip out mediocre work, because it would dilute the overall experience. Your wedding photos are the same: I pick the best ones and deliver a curated suite of images.
No one wants to slog through thousands of images.
Two friends of mine got married about seven years ago. They received more than 2,500 wedding images from their photographer. They still haven't seen them all. Why? They got bored with their own wedding photos. Who wants to sit through that? It’s like being forced to watch your aunt and uncle’s Hawaii slideshow that’s out of order, has duplicates, and repeatedly features their hotel’s bathroom.
Some shots just don’t turn out.
Someone blinked. My camera settings weren't quite right. The groom made a weird face. Each of these happen at every wedding. They make the images unusable. You’re not going to print a really dark photo. It doesn’t look good. And I’m not going to give you one, because it doesn’t look good on me, either.
300 just fits.
It tells the entire story of your day without dragging it out. You still see all the events, family shots, portraits, and even the quiet moments. These photos hold your memories so you can go back. I want you to love your wedding day and the memories you have from it. Not hate them, or worse, feel apathetic.
And who knows, in the future I might settle on a different number to give. But for now, I’ll keep it Spartan.