Wedding panorama portrait at the Scansonia Ferry.
The wedding of Kelly and Shaun, Skansonia Ferry, 2008

Save Money on Seattle Wedding Photography

Most people planning a wedding are learning as they go and one of the things they discover in the process is that really great photography seems to be very expensive. Part of the fun in planning a wedding is discovering a whole world of details from finding the right dress to the perfect bouquet. The point to keep in mind though is after every thing else is long gone, years later the only two things you will have are the rings and the photographs to remind you of all the special moments of the day.

Because of this, wedding photography is one of the most important decisions you will make in planning your wedding. If you scrimp on the photography you will most certainly regret it in years to come. Depending on the area you are in, the minimum you should expect to pay an experienced professional photographer is $1,000-2,500. For someone who is really good it is more likely to be in the range of $2,500- $4,000, and this is just for the photography. Add on custom designed leather albums and additional prints and hours and the budget should and will easily shoot past $6,000.

There are ways to save on the photography without sacrificing the quality of the pictures if you take your time and use it to plan well in advance. One smart way is to select a day that is not a prime wedding date. In Seattle, Saturdays in July, August and September are usually booked 6-8 months in advance. By selecting a Friday a Sunday for your wedding, or picking a date outside of prime wedding season, you can often get a significant discount on not just the photography but on the venue too. For more savings plan your wedding on a Wednesday or Thursday.

Look around your area to see how many different photographers there are offering their services. Go online and go through their websites and really look at the photographs they display there. Check out their packages and see what they offer in each package and how much they are priced at.

You will most likely find a bunch of photographers of similar experience levels and packages but at a different price point. Compare and contrast the ones you are drawn to and narrow them down to a handful. Then set up meetings with them to find the ones you would want to invite to your wedding. Their photos might be outstanding but if their personalities do not fit with yours, you will not want them there on your wedding day. Next, examine the details of the package.

The amount of time the photographer is present is the most significant component. The longer the time the more expensive it will be. If your budget is constrained you should consider getting a package with the time limited to five or six hours. That is about the minimum for getting some photos of you getting ready, the ceremony, some formal posed shots, and some at the reception. You have control of the timeline now in making your plans. Plan your reception so that the toast, cake cutting and first dance happen early on. Once these events have been captured and the photographer has a few dancing photos he can depart and not miss any crucial moments, and you will still be able to have an album that tells the story of your day.

Another way to stay within your budget is to just get a basic package without prints and an album. Make sure it includes all of the photos on a DVD and a web based photo gallery for you to see the photos. Having an online gallery is a great way to share the photos with all of your guests, family, and your friends who could not make it to the wedding.

With these digital negatives, you can have proof prints made at a local lab. Or you can go online and put together a book yourself using blurb or mypublisher.com. Or you can just wait a year or so until you have saved enough for the photographer to make you that beautiful custom designed leather album. Many people do just this. In fact it is helpful to spend a year or so, living with the photos before you decide which ones you want to keep in an album.

Seattle Wedding Photographer and Wedding Photojournalist

Daniel Sheehan is a Seattle wedding photographer. His Seattle wedding photography is created in an artistic, editorial fashion with classic photojournalism style. He photographs weddings using a subtle, unobtrusive, story-telling approach and creates artistic documentary wedding photojournalism. Photograph above by Seattle Editorial Photographer and Seattle corporate photographer Daniel Sheehan. In addition to weddings, Daniel specializes in photojournalism for publications and corporations and is a Seattle portrait photographer. Visit his child portrait photographer and family portrait photographer website called Great Kid Pix.

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Photos by Seattle wedding photographers A Beautiful Day Wedding Photography