Many businesses just starting out with a photo service, whether they sell photos or give them away, make an assumption that more photos results in happier guests. However this is absolutely not the case.
It's critical to always put yourself in the guests' shoes and think about what will make them happy, satisfy their needs, and make it simplest and easiest for them to enjoy and share their photos.
Which photos make guests happy?
The most important consideration for guest happiness is to meet their actual and perceived needs by providing a consistent photo service with standard locations.
Guests want to see at least one action photo showing them doing the activity. But the most important photos for guest happiness are posed photos where you can clearly see the guest's smiling face and they look great. Think about everyone's profile photo on social media. That's the photo that you want to deliver to your guests.
What's the downside to providing lots of photos?
You might think there isn't any harm in delivering lots of photos, even if you don't need to. In other words, "What's the harm in taking a bunch of extra photos if I have time?". Or you might think, "I'll just put take a bunch in burst mode to make sure I get a good one".
Taking burst mode photos adds the burden of either removing those before you deliver the photos, or delivering numerous essentially duplicate photos. This then places the burden on the guest to try to determine the best photo amidst a pile of similar-looking ones. If you want to be sure you got a good photo we recommend taking at most two of each photo location rather than using burst mode.
Providing more photos than needed only dilutes the value of the photos you do provide. It's counterintuitive but guests will be happier to receive a smaller number of great photos than a large number of photos that still contains the same great photos, but also bunch of mediocre ones. More is definitely not better.
Recommendations for single-day activities
If you operate a business that offers single-day activities, guided tours like zipline, kayak, scuba, or horseback tours, we generally recommend 5-10 photos as the right number to deliver to your guests. This lets you deliver a variety of photos and reduce the impact on your tour time. This aligns with the 5 foundational priorities of every photo service.
We have a free PDF download of 12 Zipline Photo Ideas that you can apply to your photo service, or adapt if you are operating a different activity. We'll be publishing more guides with examples for other activities in the near future.
Recommendations for multi-day activities
Multi-day activities like residential Summer camps, where campers participate over the course of several days, sometimes weeks, means that you will naturally end up providing more photos.
Still, it's important to operate a planned photo service so that you ensure you are taking photos of all campers, but don't overwhelm parents with thousands of photos.
You should make good use of labels so that parents can filter photos by activity, cabin, or other features. That way they can narrow down the photos simply and easily instead of having to scroll through the entire album.
We recommend that each parent receives around 20-50 photos per day. This should provide enough volume to include individual photos of their campers, group photos, action, and candid photos. If a camper attends for one week their parents will receive 100-250 photos which is enough to document the entire camper experience without overwhelming them with too many photos, or burying the great ones in the middle of hundreds of so-so photos.
There are always exceptions to any recommendations. We have seen some businesses provide a single posed photo because the volume of their guests or time constraints prevents them from taking more. As long as it's a consistently great photo, guests will still be satisfied.
We love helping businesses design the right photo service to maximize their results whether they are selling or giving away photos. Please contact us and we'll help you determine the right number of photos to deliver.