A common question that I am asked is how many images will there be to choose from in a portrait session.

There are two types of portrait sessions that I focus on. There are standard studio sessions and then there are portrait sessions on location where a family might want more candid shots of kids running around.

So here I will give you a run down on how many images to expect from different types of photography sessions.

Newborn Photography in Studio

Most professional newborn photographers will show you between 20 and 40 images from your shoot. Personally I average about 27 images per shoot. There are some top newborn photographers who religiously stick to 25 images every time.

For me, the final number depends on how big your family is. If you bring multi generations to the photoshoot, of course there will be more. Parent shots are always included in my sessions and if Grandparents come along then these are too. I have certainly shown more than 40 images in cases where multi generations are present. If your newborn has siblings then there will be sibling shots and some photographers will also take photographs of siblings on their own too. I certainly do this whenever I can, while baby is taking a break feeding for example.

In terms of photos of the newborn, there are a number of variations of photographs that can be taken however the number will vary in each photoshoot. In an ideal world a Photographer will move through a number of “poses” (positions) for a newborn. These may be on a blanket/beanbag or in a basket or other decorative item and these may include other props as well as hats / wraps / headbands. Detail shots are usually taken of feet / hands etc.

I mentioned that this will happen in an ideal world (and in my case it usually does). But of course on occasion there are days when a baby is less settled and the amount of these types of poses or positions that are achieved is limited.

Even in an ideal situation, we don’t want to move babies around too much and if older siblings are involved, they have a limited time span as they are usually toddlers.

Lifestyle Newborn Photography on location

In these types of sessions, I travel to my client’s homes and take photographs of them as a family in their home environment. There are usually a higher number of photos presented, anywhere between 30 – 50. Sometimes there are more. The style of photographs is different, more candid and often I hang out a bit in the background taking shots of families as they go about their every day tasks. As well as this, I also take some more directed shots that I know my clients will love.

Family Photography

For family photography I present anywhere between 20 to 200 images.

Obviously this is a huge variation. In the case of 200 images, recently I did a photoshoot with a very large family. Four generations were present. There were grandparents and five families with children and children of children who ranged from 10 months to 26 years old. We conducted the photoshoot outdoors and it was a lot of fun. Of course in this case there will be a load of images taken. It was a fun family day out for them and we focussed on capturing mostly candid shots. It was more like covering an event as opposed to a standard portrait session.


For a typical family shoot in my studio with two to three children, I will present around 25 images.

For standard family sessions on location it may vary from 25 to 100 as an outdoor location allows for more variety, some running around chasing balls or playing. Again this depends on the type of session and the size of the family.

For Make-over Styled Photography Sessions

I have recently started offering these sessions and they are a lot of fun. These sessions involve a hair and make-up artist and often a couple of changes of outfits. I work with you to achieve flattering posing and create some images you will love.

I usually present around 25-30 images for these sessions.


When I do a portrait session purely for headshots, I have already asked my client how many they want and what they are for, so we tailor the session to suit their needs. If someone wants literally one or two photos, I have a special rate for 3 shots for someone and we keep it very basic and quick.

However I have found that when it comes to corporate branding these days, many men and women have opted for a full styled session with a make-up artist. They get to keep some gorgeous shots of themselves looking amazing that they can treasure and give as gifts to loved ones. On top of this, they also have a range of shots that can be used for their business on an ongoing basis. It makes a lot of sense in today’s online world where business people are looking to post content on blogs and social media. Having a library of different images of yourself comes in very handy. In this case, it is similar to a standard portrait shoot and there will be between 20 and 30 images presented.

Choose a Professionally Accredited Photographer

When it comes to the question of how many images you can expect to view from your session, I can only answer for myself. The amount of images that I present to clients is on par with most professional photographers. As a member of the AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photography), I am lucky enough to have access to some top professionals in our industry. They set an amazing standard in technical, artistic and business standards.

In terms of family photography, how many shots do you really want? Most people want one good one to hang on the wall. Maybe they want a set of three, or maybe they want a beautiful set of 20 images in a book. But amongst all of these, we still want that one good one. We want at least one of ourselves looking our best, or a great one of the family together. This “good one” is much better value than 500 photos of you all running around in a park where you might not like your double chin in some of them or the background in others isn’t ideal. Amongst those 500 photos, there may be a few cute ones but is there one outstanding photo that you love? For me, I would pick quality over quantity every time.