When it comes to the cost of wedding photography in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle wedding photographers charge anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000 depending on several factors: experience, hours of coverage, number of photographers, deliverables and of course, quality.
It breaks down, roughly, to $400-$500 per photographer per hour for off-season hours, and $500-$600 per hour peak-season. This rate includes some deliverables, like the license for the digitals AND the time we’ll spend working on your images AFTER your wedding.
Post-production takes around an hour for every hour spent on photography.
Our collections are made up of these three components:
- Coverage (the time we spend making your photos, including engagement photos)
- Post production (editing, curating, finessing, laying out of albums etc)
- Digitals (high res, licensed JPGs royalty-free and in perpetuity) stored online and delivered via a flash drive
- Tangibles like prints and albums
Most weddings typically run an average of 7-8 hours, with cultural celebrations running all day up to 12-13 hours. A micro-wedding or elopement would be around 3-4 hours for fewer than 30 people.
Here is a general breakdown of how much time is needed for wedding photography:
- 1 hr Getting Ready photos: This covers the happy couple, starting from the tail-end of hair/makeup, to getting into the dress/suit/tux, photos of friends and fam hanging out, a bit of set up. We love these prep photos because they set the tone for the day and start the story of your wedding day. These photos also make for great openers for your wedding album and slideshow.
- 1 hr First Look with Portraits of the Happy Couple: This is where the couple sees each other for the first time on their wedding day. Logistically, doing a first look helps tidy up the day and makes it less stressful, grouping formal portraits to the front part of the day so the couple can enjoy their ceremony and reception without worrying if all the key photos have been dealt with.
- 30 mins Group formals: Family, wedding party group photos! Usually it’s immediate family, with extendeds happening after either after the ceremony or the during the reception.
- 30 mins Ceremony coverage: This is the average time for a simple ceremony. Catholic masses, Muslim services, Jewish weddings, Indian ceremonies and other cultural festivities can take up to an hour.
- 1 hr Cocktail Hour: Happens right after the ceremony, usually for an hour. Couples may rejoin after signing their documents, or go off with us for more photos since the light is often better later in the day. Whatever you decide, we’ll help list down all the pros and cons.
- 3 hrs Reception coverage: This covers dinner service, toasts, cake-cutting and dancing. If you decide on a sparkler exit or fireworks, more coverage may be needed.
- 1 hr for transition buffering: For weddings with more than one location (e.g. Hotel to church to reception venue), travel takes time. There’s driving through traffic and parking, some walking perhaps. The fewer transitions, the more time we have for photos!
Our studio makes sure to deliver only edited, finished high resolution photographs in digital and print. This means using the latest post production software and tools, as well as archiving services to preserve and protect your photos online and offline so you have peace of mind. We also provide album layout services so you can enjoy your wedding photos for many years to come in a professionally handmade heirloom book with archival photo papers that can last up to a century. Post-production takes about 6-8 weeks after your wedding.
We offer both digital and tangible products, such as non-watermarked JPG image files you can view on any system both online and offline via a flash drive that’s mailed to you after your wedding. Our tangible products offered range from prints, books, albums to canvas wraps and framed and matted museum-grade fine-art prints.
Our online gallery system offers 24/7 shopping where you can access all these products easily for a worry-free shopping experience – AND you can share it with your family and guests as well so they may purchase digitals and/or prints or books themselves.
If you are planning a destination wedding, travel fees will apply depending on the number of hours/days needed. It is best to sit down with your photographer to determine how much coverage you actually need.
Wedding photography typically makes up 10-20% of your wedding budget. According to most wedding blogs, a budget of $30k is the typical spend for a wedding in Seattle these days, so putting aside $3-6k for your wedding photography is a good start.
Last but not least, if you reside in Washington, there’s a sales tax. The rate changes periodically but hover around 10% in Greater Seattle, depending on where you live. If you live out of state, we are not obligated to collect.
To nail down your coverage, check out our guide on planning your wedding photography.