What do professional Seattle wedding photographers charge?
Seattle wedding photographer pricing is pretty standard for large cities. That means you can expect to pay $3500-$8500 for a day of quality wedding photography in Seattle. Finished and edited digital images will likely be included. Items that you might want include wedding albums, guest books, additional photographers, photo booths, and an adventure engagement session just to name a few.
For me, a single wedding requires at least 40 hours of work just to sort through the THOUSANDS of photos I shoot, make color adjustments, upload the photos to a proof site, design a wedding album, and more. Shooting photos is the best part; after a wedding is the real work! There is also a mountain of hidden work that goes into wedding photos. Everything from helping with your timeline, promptly answering emails, replacing old equipment, and continuing my education in photography is necessary to make sure you get the best photos!
The typical wedding in Seattle costs $34,492 or more. On average, photography accounts for 10%-20% of a typical wedding budget. Although for couples who value photography, placing it as #1 or #2 on their wedding priority list, their average investment can be higher. For me, many couples may or may not spend $35,000 on their wedding, but great photography is their #1 priority. It’s just as common for one of my couples to have a $12,000 wedding budget as a $120,000 wedding budget.
Washington sales tax
Washington has a destination-based sales tax that is typically not yet included in listed pricing. It’s good to budget an additional 10% for sales tax on top of wedding photography. If your wedding is outside of Washington state, there may be exceptions to that law.
Destination wedding photography
Typically travel for destination wedding photography is charged at cost. The easiest way to save money in your wedding budget can be by trimming your guest list. Sometimes that is a little easier in faraway locations…
Digital photography has done a lot to improve the quality of wedding photography. Couples now receive more and better photos than ever before in human history! This is great but one of the drawbacks can be in deciding how to publish and make use of your amazing wedding photography!
Many photographers also offer wedding albums. This may be included or it may be an additional $1200-$4000 depending on the book materiel, size and how many albums you purchase. Talk there specifics of these options out with your photographer.
Here is how a typical wedding timeline breaks down:
It works well and helps to keep the day calm and relaxed if I arrive at the tail-end of your getting ready process.
- Allow at least 60 minutes for getting-ready photography and details of the dress, shoes, jewelry, etc.
- Plan on 60 minutes for your first look. This allows us time to get to a pretty location. And for you and your love to spend a little quality time together after you see each other.
- 60 minutes to 2 hours with your bridal party is ideal. This is probably the most time you will have with them all day, so think about having fun and photos will come naturally. Think about this in terms of the experience you want to have. Plan on doing something fun with your bridal party. If you’re in the city, why not stop by your favorite bar for a cocktail and toast?!
- 30-60 minutes for family photos works well. If we do these just before the ceremony then you will be able to attend most of your cocktail hour. 🙂
- About 30-60 minutes for your ceremony should be accurate. Even 5-minute ceremonies take a bit longer when you count the time it takes right before and right after.
- Cocktail hour – 60 min. Perhaps we slip away so you can have a moment of quiet together?
- 60-120 minutes for dinner and toasts.
- Plan on 30-60 minutes for the first dance and other formalities. I consider these things pretty critical. If anything else is behind schedule, this often runs a bit behind schedule.
- Open dancing. This could be anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours of coverage. Not all dancing is created equal. What are your friends like and what type of photos do you want?
Wow! So it takes a bit of time just to be there for key moments. Plan on 7-9 hours of photography. After all, good photography is based on being at your wedding to capture moments as they happen.
My wedding and elopement pricing.
My rates start at $3950 for Inclusive Wedding Collections, $2550 for A La Carte options and $1695 for Elopements. Use the contact link and we can talk in more detail.
Important things to look for when checking out photographers.
Seattle is full of photographers who work a full-time job and photograph weddings on the weekend. Consider these questions when deciding if they are worth trusting with your wedding. Particularly after Covid-19, many photographers have gone back to school or taken 9-5 jobs.
- Does their portfolio include any full weddings or images shot in low light? It’s pretty easy for someone who has only shot a couple of weddings to have a few great images. Ask to see more to confirm how they shoot an entire wedding day.
- Do they have back up gear for when something breaks? (This is a when not an if. (Trust me on that one…)
- How do they store your wedding photos before they are delivered? how many hard drives are they kept on?
- How do they back up your wedding photos? How many hard drives do they use and are your photos safe?
- What are their reviews like on Yelp, Wedding Wire, the Knot, Google and other sites?
- Do any of your other wedding vendors recommend them?
- How long has the photographer been in business?
- Do they have a business license in Washington?
- Do they have liability insurance?
- Is the photographer full time? Will they be able to give you their full attention?
I could go on. But you get the idea and I am happy to walk you through this info and a whole lot more.
Shoot me a note to talk more!