I get a lot of questions, so I’ve listed some of the most common questions here, along with my answers.
How long have you been photographing weddings?
I photographed my first wedding in 2006. As of October 2015, I have photographed just over 150 weddings in my career.
How soon do you book?
On average, weddings are booked 9-12 months before the event date. However, the months of July, August, and September are usually the first to book and usually go 9-12 months before each event. May-June and October-December typically book 6-9 months before. If you're getting married in the Pacific Northwest during the summer, you're best chance at booking your wedding or event is to contact me as soon as you get engaged. If photography is extremely important to you and you connect with my work, it's probably best to contact me even before you've booked your venue. I've photographed so many venues in Seattle and surrounding areas and can give great recommendations based on your personal style and aesthetic. So get in touch and let's talk about making photo magic together. If I'm already booked for your date, inquire about my Associate Photographer, Rosanna, who might still be available!
What kind of camera equipment do you use?
I shoot with Nikon D3s and D700 bodies and all prime lenses.
Why don't you include a DVD or thumb drive with your base package?
In 2014 and 2015, I had several couples contact me months after their event to ask for "replacements" for the thumb drives they added to their package. It became such a frequent request, I decided to survey my 2013 and 2014 couples and I learned a few things... After their weddings, the vast majority of couples did the following with their thumb drives: A) They lost them. B) They ordered an average of 6-10 prints from their local print shop, some of which were used as gifts to parents/grandparents. C) They put it in their desk drawer, where it sits to this day. I've had several couples tell me they wanted the thumb drive so they can use it to design a wedding album themselves. When I asked the ones who planned on making an album if they ever did, the answer was a resounding, "No." So I decided to take the thumb drive out of my base package, to give access to beautiful photography to more people, as well as grant them the opportunity to spend the money they would have used toward a thumb drive, on something they'd rather have, like an engagement session or a custom designed, fine art wedding album. It seems widely expected that a DVD or thumb drive comes with every wedding package, but the question is, "What are you going to do with that DVD/thumb drive?" If you're not sure what you would do with it or WHY you have to have it, then I would strongly encourage you to look at whether it's something you really need and if you'd rather spend the money on something more meaningful. Thumb drives are always available to purchase at a later date, if that's something you'd like to have later on. Additionally, for a limited time in 2015, I'm offering thumb drives FREE with the purchase of a custom designed 8x8 (or larger) hard cover, fine art wedding album.
Do you use an assistant or second shooter when you photograph weddings?
Second shooters are available as an additional service to wedding coverage. I recommend adding a second photographer if you're expecting more than 120 guests at your wedding, to ensure your guests are photographed candidly, all your details captured, and to capitalize on every special moment and artistic detail that went into creating your beautiful event. If you expect less than 120 guests, I’m comfortable capturing it all on my own, especially if it's all taking place at one location.
Do you travel for weddings?
Yes! About 20% of the weddings I photograph take place outside the Pacific Northwest. I've shot weddings in some beautiful places including Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, California, New York, and several southern states like North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas, and Virginia. I've also photographed in Puerto Rico and look forward to photographing more international destinations.
Are there fees for weddings taking place in the San Juan Islands?
Travel to anywhere in the San Juan Islands requires an additional $700 (covers two nights stay, gas, ferry, and meals).
How does the "Partnership Shooter" thing work?
So glad you asked! If I'm already booked for your event or if you're working with a smaller budget, I also have a partner photographer named Rosanna who ROCKS behind the camera! If I can't photograph your wedding, she can! Her visual eye and aesthetic is very similar to my own. She's also photographed several weddings with me as my "second shooter", so she knows my style, approach, and vibe (so she's well vetted). And while she would be the one to support, encourage, and capture you on the day of the wedding, all preliminary communication, scheduling, logistics, and planning would be provided by myself. Rosanna is always included on all communication of your schedule and plans for the big day and we schedule an in-person or Google Hangout session with her at the start of your booking process and a couple weeks before the big day. Additionally, all the photos Rosanna would take would be edited by me, using my artistic and unique eye for color and correction. Isn't that great? You get the full "Carly Bish" experience, even if I can't be there for the wedding. Believe me -- I'll be there for you in every other sense, and you can count on Rosanna to be there for you too.
Are you willing to provide the RAW files for a cost?
The RAW files are available for $15,000 (plus tax).
We don’t want to do a First Look. Is that cool?
After several negative experiences, I now require a First Look on the wedding day. My couples expect a certain amount of creative portraits and candid journalism in their final gallery and without a First Look, it’s almost impossible to provide them with optimum coverage. If this is a deal breaker, let me know! I can refer you to a handful of photographers who don’t have this requirement.
Do you offer a discount for “off season” or weekday wedding dates?
I'm happy to discuss possible options for your off season (November-February) or weekday wedding (Mon - Thurs only). Simply get in touch via the Contact Form or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why do you charge significantly more for wedding coverage while seeming to provide less coverage than some of the other photographers we’ve found?
This is a loaded question, so it comes with a loaded answer...
After nine years of photographing weddings, I’ve learned that I care more about the quality of service I‘m able to provide over how much I can pack into a single package. My base coverage is built on my experience of the “average” wedding and it more than meets a lot of couples’ needs. I‘ve learned that eight hours is too much for many couples, and seven hours seems to be the “magic number” that allows me to capitalize on the time my couples paid to have me, while eliminating “clutter” images from final galleries. So only the highest quality images are delivered.
My biggest priority is being fully accessible, highly communicative and involved with each of my couples’ planning process. So when your big day arrives, not only am I documenting your wedding as a photographer and as an artist, but as a friend who is there to celebrate with you as much as your friends and family, who love and support this huge decision to begin a marriage. I get to know my couples on a very deep level and that‘s how I choose to foster that relationship. Because when everything is said and done, your photos are the only thing you have left to remember and reconnect with the amount of love that went into creating the happiest day of your life. Which makes photos a very big deal!
If I’m busily trying to edit the photos I took, as well as a second shooter’s photos, your engagement photos, custom design your wedding album, create a slideshow, storyboard your blog post, burn your thumb drive, upload your online gallery, mail out your deliverables, while also trying to meet and book other potential couples, and doing it all for half of what I charge, I can guarantee you a few things...
1: My communication and response rate would decline. Right now, I pride myself on same-day responses.
2: Your photos wouldn’t be seen until 12-16 weeks after your wedding day. Versus the 6-8 weeks I currently turn them around during peak season.
3: The quality of image processing would also decrease due to the quantity of images needing to be culled and edited.
Worst of all, I would lose my passion for what I do and that isn’t something I’m willing to sacrifice.
So instead, I take on fewer couples during the year so that I can pour everything I am and what I do into providing them with full service and beautiful photos they will cherish forever. At the end of the wedding day, you get what you pay for and if another photographer can provide you with the same quality of work and service for less, then you struck gold! But if you want a more personalized experience with the one wedding professional who’s going to act as your “shadow” on your wedding day, to feel like that one person isn’t just documenting your story but who you’d also call a “friend”, then look no further.
Because that’s what I do different.
If you have any other questions, please email me at email@example.com! Thank you!