You deserve wedding photography you'll absolutely love. I'm Dan Cassuto, Seattle wedding photographer and videographer, and head storyteller at Sound Originals. We've earned 5-star reviews from 100+ thrilled couples across Washington State and Oregon. Seattle Bride magazine picked us as official storyteller for the "Best of" awards. I'd love to chat about your special day.
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If you start your search by looking for the best wedding photographer in Seattle, you're looking for the WRONG thing.
Forget about finding the best. Instead, start looking for the RIGHT photographer for YOUR wedding vision.
It's all about appreciating how different photographers bring different styles, approaches and personalities to their craft. When you discover the photography style and artistic approach that matches your wedding vision, it's time to consider the photographer's experience, availability and... yes... price.
It's easy to make a long, long, long list of photographers in the Puget Sound region. The Knot lists more than 900 photographers in Western Washington serving couples from Olympia, Tacoma and north to Bellingham.
We prepared this guide to help you appreciate the value of investing in a professional, experienced and highly-rated wedding photographer.
We hope you'll consider us. There's a reason Sound Originals earned the endorsement of 100+ thrilled couples across the Pacific Northwest. We also recognize we're not the right match for every couple. And that's OK! Hopefully you'll use this guide to find the perfect photographer to create the images you've always dreamed of.
Narrow down your list using these factors: Wedding Photography Style, Artistic Approach, Personality, Experience, Price, Reviews and Ratings, and Availability on Your Wedding Date!
Wedding photography from Golf Club at Newcastle in Renton, Washington.
Wedding photography from Roche Harbor Resort on the San Juan Islands
"My husband and I are so happy that we worked with Dan and his team for our wedding photos and videography. We 100% recommend Sound Originals. We will treasure our photos and film for years to come. The entire process from beginning to end of working with Dan was excellent. He always replied super quickly, and went out of his way to get us what we wanted. For example, we decided mere weeks before the wedding to hire a live stream instead of doing it ourselves, and Dan found us someone he had worked with before on very short notice and who was in our budget. And a month or two earlier we had had to reschedule the wedding and make some changes in the plan, and Dan was super responsive and helpful in getting us rescheduled. I had no idea planning my tiny wedding would be so stressful, and working with Sound Originals was one of the least stressful aspects of the whole experience. And then afterwards, he got the finished product out SO quickly!! Just a few days after our ceremony, our family (who could not attend as they would all have had to fly) were able to watch a professional-quality video of our ceremony. In mere weeks we had our photos and then the film, and this timeline just blew me away. In addition to being just beautiful works of art in general, it really comes across, especially in the wedding film, that he got a sense of who we are as a couple, and incorporated that feel into the final product. Thank you Dan and Sound Originals for immortalizing our special day!!"
~ Jen + Brandon
The cost to hire a wedding photographer in Seattle varies. A LOT.
If you're like most couples, you have a set wedding budget, possibly with some wiggle room. You probably want to prioritize where you spend your money to get the most value considering you'll also need to budget for your venue, DJ, decor, catering and other vendors.
Couples say they're surprised that wedding photography prices fluctuate so much. After all, aren't photographers providing a very similar service? Yes and no.
Many PNW wedding photographers are full-time professionals. Others consider it a side hustle or hobby, a way to earn extra income.
Prices will typically be higher for full-time photographers who rely on weddings to earn a living.
This is a good thing. A full-time professional takes your wedding seriously. They have to. Their business, reputation and livelihood are on the line. They pay taxes. They have insurance. They follow the law. A hobbyist may take pretty pictures. And they may be great, but they also may not be.
Wedding photographer prices reflect local costs of living within the larger Puget Sound region.
You might find value by hiring a photographer who lives and works primarily in a local region that's less expensive. For instance, the average cost to live in Bellingham is less than in Kirkland.
Couples often say that wedding photographer prices on the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas, and the Olympia area, tend to be lower than the Seattle-Bellevue-Kirkland area.
Picking a top wedding photographer is sort of like buying a car.
Why? You can find photographers with a wide range of prices, styles, quality and reliability. Same with cars. There's a big difference between a Jaguar and a Kia, a Toyota and a Ferrari. There's an even bigger gap in quality and reliability between a new Volvo and a $500 clunker you bought from Craigslist.
Even with all the differences, most cars still perform the same function. They transport you from place to place.
The same principle applies when evaluating the prices of Seattle wedding photographers.
Most photographers can take pictures, just like most cars can transport you. But that's where the similarity ends.
If you were embarking on the most important road trip of your life, would you buy the 25-year-old rusty used car with 264,280 miles from the stranger who posted an online classified ad? Probably not. The car might break down. It might be awfully uncomfortable, noisy and dirty. It might be unsafe. The steering wheel might snap off in the middle of your adventure.
Sure, you'd save a bunch of money, but you might not make it to your destination.
Seattle wedding photographer prices reflect their quality, reliability and experience.
Couples sometimes overlook the importance of reliability.
You can trust seasoned wedding photographers with great reviews. They'll show up. Their cameras work. They'll deliver your images in a timely fashion.
That's how we earn a living - capturing memories for couples on the most important day of their lives. At Sound Originals, wedding photography makes up the bulk of our income. It goes without saying that trust is everything. Trust is worth every penny!
Our friends at Seattle Bride Magazine wrote an article several years ago with their suggestions for wedding photographers, "A Moment in Time: 10 Photographers You Can Trust To Capture Your Big Day." We used the magazine's guide to compare pricing options for the photographers with investment costs posted on their websites. (Sound Originals was honored to be Official Storyteller for Seattle Bride's Best of 2020 Awards.)
Sound Originals photography pricing begins at $3000 for 8 hours of coverage. Please click here to view our pricing and package options for photography, videography and photo + video packages.
Are you searching for an affordable Seattle wedding photographer under $2000? Click here for some ideas.
What is a reasonable price for a wedding photographer in Seattle?
Wedding vendors caution against words like "reasonable" and "affordable," because they mean such different things to different couples. Based on our experience with PNW weddings and hundreds of wedding budgets, we think the "average" or "typical" rate for a trustworthy, reliable and experienced Seattle wedding photographer is in the $2000 to $5000 range. WeddingWire's guide says the U.S. average photography investment hovers near $2500.
Yes, you can find photographers who charge less (and more)! This is only a range - a baseline - where most PNW couples who value experience and quality seem to end up.
We also offer videography! Here's our comprehensive guide to Seattle Wedding Videography!
How much does a wedding photographer charge per hour?
Some of the best wedding photographers in Seattle only accept bookings for 6, 8 or 10 hours minimum of popular summer wedding dates. You could calculate the hourly rate, but this would be misleading, since you can't actually hire them by the hour. Package prices also includes so much more work after the wedding that's built into the price.
What is included in most wedding photography packages?
Photographers provide many other services in addition to taking pictures on your wedding day. These are usually built into the cost of the package, collection or hourly rate.
- Planning and consultation
- Visits to the venue ahead of time
- Preparing equipment and charging batteries
- Taking pictures on your wedding day
- Backing up photos
- Browsing, selecting and sorting the best images
- Editing, color-correction, stylization and post-processing of hundreds of images
- Uploading the best 500-1000+ edited images into online galleries
When you calculate all the extra hours a photographer spends for each wedding, they're working 20 to 40 hours! That's even when they were only physically present on your special day for 8 hours. So, asking what a wedding photographer charges per hour is somewhat misleading. It doesn't give the whole picture. Sound Originals offers a-la-carte photography packages. You can hire us by the hour. Rates begin at $500. (And, yes, this includes all the editing, color correction and processing of your images.)
Can you negotiate with wedding photographers?
Well, it depends on the photographer! It never hurts to ask. For example, some Seattle wedding photographers offer discounts for bookings in the fall or winter. Many photographers also have associates, or trainees, who charge less. Plus, if a wedding photographer is not booked on your date, maybe they'll give you a discount or an affordable rate.
Is 6 hours of wedding photography enough?
It might be enough if you're willing to give up photos of some key events, like getting ready or a grand sparkler exit. 99 percent of couples who choose Sound Originals to capture their special day book our 8-hour photo package. Some couples decide later to add extra hours at the end of the day to capture toasts, first dances, the father-daughter dance, open dancing, partying or a send-off with a sparkler or limo. We usually suggest the photographer should arrive one hour before the bride plans to get into her dress. This gives the photographer enough time to take pictures of the bride and bridesmaids getting ready, along with detail and decor shots of the robes, veil, dress, rings, invitations, stationery, suits, ties, shoes and other special or heirloom items.
Who pays for the photographer at weddings?
Traditionally, the groom's family pays for the flowers and the alcohol. The bride's family pays for the rest. Times are changing and so are wedding bills! Even Martha Stewart agrees!
To be fair, we don't really know who usually foots the bill for our photography packages. Most couples pay by credit card. Some couples open a credit card or checking account dedicated to their wedding expenses so they can rack up airline mileage or credit card points! It's possible that the parents of the bride or groom or partner could transfer money into various accounts or write a check back to the couple, so the couple can pay for our actual services on their own credit card.
How can we save money on wedding photography?
If your wedding photography budget is especially tight, here's an idea - add some of the services to your registry! Your loved ones might enjoy paying for something as special and important as photography. It would be a gift that lasts forever. You might also consider adding photography add-ons to your gift registry, such as heirloom wedding albums, wall art, canvasses or premium options like engagement sessions or elopement videos. This way, your family still pays for the basic photography package but you give your family and friends the opportunity to gift you the extras you otherwise couldn't afford. Hey, wouldn't you rather have a deluxe wedding album designed in Italy versus a toaster?
Click here to read more questions people ask wedding photographers.
Check out our video showing beautiful moments from recent Seattle weddings!
Here are popular services and deliverables from PNW wedding photographers.
- Telephone or virtual consultation meeting
- Wedding day timeline advice
- Wedding day portrait photography suggestions
- Engagement session
- 6, 8, 10 or 12 hours of wedding day photography coverage
- Editing and color-correction of photos
- Professional back-up of photos
- Sneak preview the day after your wedding
- Gallery of images optimized for social media sharing
- Fully edited images
- Print release / printing rights
- Online gallery to share photos with family and friends
- Downloadable images in high resolution
- Commemorative USB hard drive in decorative wooden box
- Fine art prints
- Canvasses, wall art, metal prints, picture frames, posters, physical products
- Heirloom album
- Parents or grandparents album
- Guestbook album with engagement photos
We invite you to check out our pricing options! Sound Originals offers wedding photography and videography, available together or separately. Photography begins at $3000, which includes 8 hours of coverge, digital images, full printing rights and a private online gallery. We also offer photography by the hour for $500 per hour.
Photographers have to apply and pay to be listed by Junebug. The editors are selective. They won't even consider photographers who don't pay for memberships and substantial monthly advertising dues.
01. Jonas Seaman Photography
02. Ryan Flynn Photography
03. Lukas Korynta Photography
04. Chelsea Abril Photography
05. Bri McDaniel Photography
06. Lindsey Paradiso Photography
We suspect Expertise.com uses an automated bot or algorithm to put together its list. Some of the photographers here are wonderful. The reason we're cautious is because Expertise has this exact same formula in cities across the country for a huge number of professions. In other words, it's kind of like a glorified Yellow Pages. It could still be a good resource for couples who want to check out dozens of websites and portfolios for great wedding photographers in the Puget Sound region.
Getting married in Portland, Oregon? Check out our guide to Portland wedding photographers!
Almost every engaged couple has heard of The Knot. Photographers pay to be listed. The real value here are the reviews from real couples.
01. Courtney Bowlden Photography (106 reviews / 5.0 rating)
02. Sound Originals Photography & Films (93 reviews / 5.0 rating)
03. Stefan & Audrey (80 reviews / 5.0 rating)
04. ElevenEleven Films (49 reviews / 5.0 rating)
05. Savanna Marlee Photography (45 reviews / 5.0 rating)
University of Washington Arboretum. Photos by Sound Originals.
DETAILS, DECOR & SCENERY PHOTOS
Venue, scenery, nature and landscape shots
Ceremony location, chairs, arch and flowers
Bride's dress, rings, shoes, jewelry
Hand-written vows or letters
Groom's suit, shoes, cufflinks, tie, bowtie, watch, rings
Invitations, stationery, envelopes with stamps
Newspaper with the couple's wedding date
Detail shots of the rings, earrings and other special items
Bridal bouquet and flowers
Cake, desserts, buffet, place settings, menu, tables
Reception decor and design
Welcome signs, gift baskets, favors
GETTING READY & FIRST LOOK PHOTOS
Bride and bridesmaids getting ready, hair, makeup
Bridesmaids in robes
Bride putting on dress, shoes and jewelry
Groom getting ready with help from groomsmen
Groom putting on tie, bowtie, shoes, cufflinks
First look (if you're having one)
Guests arriving at ceremony site
Wedding party's entrance and processional
Flower girl walking down the aisle
Groom anticipating the bride's entrance
Bride's entrance and procession down the aisle
Father giving away the bride to the groom
Vows, readings and ring exchange
Couple's grand entrance
Father and daughter dance
Mother and son dance
Open dancing and partying
Sendoff and grand exit with sparklers
Couple leaves in limo or fancy car
About Our Team
Best Spots for Engagement Photos
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Jobs & Careers for Creative Professionals
Seattle-area photographers like Sound Originals, Jenn Tai and Ryan Flynn earn 5-star reviews from PNW couples.
So many! We are biased, but we create gorgeous artistic storytelling for couples. The Knot and Junebug are good resources.
Of course! Sound Originals offers engagement sessions in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
"Absolutely beautiful. I can't stop admiring the images!"
rebekah & john
SARA + GABE
"Beautiful works of art. The entire process was excellent."
"Beautiful, Purposeful, Amazing!"
Cassie & jowell
jonica + kel
University of Washington
"We will treasure these photos forever. So thrilled!"
jen + brandon
"Captured the Magic!"