Let's talk about a standard portrait session. An amateur would generally give you 40-50+ images "edited", and generally a legitimate professional photographer would offer anywhere between 2 to about 8 final/retouched images.
The reasons why professionals give less is many reasons, listed reasons as follows.
- Logistics; each final/retouched image (depending the type of photographer if they specialize in composites or not) could take an average of 30 minutes to a few hours of each image to edit. This would also depend who the image is for, a non-commercial client you generally wouldn't need intense editing on a single photo vs. a commercial client where it would be featured in magazines or other advertising channels would be worlds apart in time spent on editing a single photo. Now if a professional photographer would need to retouch 40 images that could take 20 hours to 120 hours. This is why professional photographers choose the minimal best from a photoshoot, especially if they are the ones editing the photos. These times do vary, as an amateur photographer can do it in much less time, or a master retoucher could obviously perform quicker in these times. Hence is why amateur photographs do look "unedited" they're done in 1-5 minutes per image or batched edited.
- Diversity; to many professional photographers less is more method makes the less look better overall. If they edit/release 40 images vs. 5 images that are amazing it would make that 5 look better than the 40. Generally in the 40 images you'd see a lot of duplicate photos that "look similar". Meaning only very slight differences, which are generally worthless by giving final/retouched edits to a non-commercial client where they do not have a trained artistic eye vs. a commercial client may have an art director that can choose the best and then send it to their retouching editing team if they have one, if not then the photographer can do that for them. Sometimes a commercial client may get that option depending the negotiations before production of the photographs.