Who is Northern Lights Photography?
Northern Lights Photography is a collective of three very talented photographers (Cheryl, Kelly, and Toni), our hard-working studio manager who keeps things organized, and a wonderful group of assistants / second shooters. From start to finish, you’ll work with one of our photographers to bring your wedding vision to life! We invite you to view our Portfolio – a collection of images from our photographer’s work. Discover how we record the story of your wedding as it unfolds — with all the unscripted moments, laughter, and tears along the way! Not just an ensemble of poses, the images we deliver will capture the time, atmosphere, and your loved ones — all from an instinctively artistic perspective.
Should we meet you before hiring you for the wedding?
We would love to schedule a detailed in-person consultation with you to go over your wedding details, chat about your ideas and vision, and give you an opportunity to pour over our many sample albums! Please inquire with us to setup a date and time. We’ll let you know which of our two photographers is available for your wedding date, and arrange a one-on-one meeting with her. We’ll listen to what you are looking for in a photographer, and strive to meet your needs. We look forward to getting to know you!
Where are you located?
The Northern Lights Photography studio is located in the historic area of downtown Ballard in Seattle. See our Location page for more information, including directions and address.
Will you photograph all types of people and weddings?
Most definately! We love diversity in all forms and enjoy new experiences and challenges. If you are in love and getting married, we want to capture it!
What are your pricing/packages and what do they include?
Do you provide the digital negatives?
Wedding coverage includes print-ready full resolution digital images of your wedding day along with permission to make as many reprints as you desire.
Are prints included?
Wedding coverage includes the edited full resolution digital images that you can make your own prints from. You may also purchase prints, wall portraits and canvases separately. Prints include retouching, are printed on professional grade paper, and sprayed with a lasting protective finish.
Is a second photographer included?
We have a wonderful second shooter/photojournalist who comes along for a small additional fee. The second shooter captures your wedding day from different angles and view points in mostly a documentary approach, as well as helps organize group photos and attends to other details. If you have an extra large wedding party, having a second shooter really makes the difference!
Can you shoot our engagement portraits?
Yes, of course! These are not only great photos for the both of you, but a great time to get to know your photographer and start planning your vision for your wedding day.
What is a boudoir session?
Boudoir, also known as a glamour or pinup, are intimate portraits of the bride. These boudoir style photographs are a rising trend among brides and are often used as a gift for the groom and may also be used as a keepsake for the bride. One of the talented photographers with Northern Lights Photography, Cheryl, has one of the only boudoir-specfic studios in Seattle! Visit her boudoir website for more information.
I love black and white photographs, do you shoot in black and white?
Yes, we love black and white photographs too! All images are delivered in both color and black and white versions.
How long have you been shooting weddings?
Regardless of which photographer you choose at Northern Lights Photography, you can rest assured knowing our photographers have 7+ years of experience shooting a variety of weddings, shooting conditions (because in Seattle — you never know when the weather changes), and venues. We are well experienced and prepared to capture yours!
Do you have insurance?
Yes, we carry comprehensive equipment and business insurance often required by venues in the Seattle area.
Do you use film or digital equipment?
Our equipment includes a variety of digital cameras, lenses, flashes, additional lighting, reflectors, memory cards, batteries, and backup gear sufficient to deal with the possibility of equipment failure. We find digital equipment lends to the creativity and flexibility to better serve our clients best. All images on this website and those shown in albums and prints were captured digitally.
What are the differences between proofing systems?
Proofing is mechanism that allows you to select which images you would like to purchase prints of and/or include in your album. Online proofing is included in all collections and allows you the ability to preview, select, and order prints online. You can also order a complete set of 4×6 print proofs or a preview book which is a spiral bound book containing thumbnail versions of each of your images along with the image number for easy reference.
Do you travel to my wedding location?
We love to travel anywhere! We can provide special (very reasonable) pricing for destination weddings. Northern Lights Photography primarily covers weddings in Washington, Montana, Oregon, and Arizona. Weddings located within 80 miles of Seattle area are not subject to an additional travel fee. Please ask for a custom travel quote if your wedding is outside of the Seattle area.
Can we upgrade our package later?
Yes. Our coverage is unlimited and can easily be customized to allow as many extra add-ons as you’d like, whenever you’d like. If you add extra services (such an engagement session, the photo booth, 2nd photographer, Fine Art Wedding Album, or a boudoir session) to your contract at signing, you can save up to 25%!
My ceremony and reception are at two different locations, is there a travel fee?
There is no restrictions on the number of locations or time. Typically weddings centralized to one location can be covered in 7-8 hours and weddings that take place over multiple locations may require 9-10 or more hours of coverage. We have been in the business long enough to know what amount of coverage is needed for particular events so please consult with us while developing your wedding timeline.
We absolutely love your photos, but what we want is not in our budget, are your prices flexible?
Most past couples rank photography as one of the highest priorities and invest a generous portion of their budget to photography. To help you, we offer payment plans that extend your final payment until after the wedding date. In addition, each wedding collection includes a personalized online gift registry for you to send out to friends and family.
What is the gift registry?
Many past couples have paid 50% or more of their collection this way! Tell your friends and family how much you’ll treasure your wedding photos by sending them to your personalized online gift registry – which contributes towards the cost of your coverage or album. Friends and family really enjoy knowing they’re contributing to such a precious gift that will last a lifetime. And as an added benefit, they are also more involved and cooperative on the wedding day! On request, we’ll provide small insert cards for your wedding invites that provide a link to your online gift registry. You can also share this link in emails or Facebook posts. You’ll be notified via email of gifts received and see a personal note from the gift giver. Gifts are automatically deducted from your wedding balance and you can check your balance at anytime to see how many gifts have been given. It’s an easy way to expand your photography budget!
How do I book the date?
You and your fiance must sign a contract and put down a $1000 non-refundable retainer to hold your wedding date. Your wedding date is not reserved until we have received both items. It is important that you send these items in a timely manner to ensure your date is secure. Many times there are multiple couples looking to book the same date and priority is give to the first contract and deposit received.
Will you hold our date or call us if someone else requests that date?
The date is not held until we receive a signed contract and deposit. As a courtesy, we will always make an effort to let you know when someone inquires about your date. However, sometimes dates are booked over the phone or on the spot and the only way to make sure you have the date is to send in a contract and deposit.
What is your payment schedule like?
The remaining balance (minus the initial deposit) is due 14 days prior to your wedding date. If your budget is a concern to you, we can also work out a payment plan that extends the final payment until after the wedding date. Typically the balance is divided in half, the first 50% due 14 days in advance and the remaining 50% due 30 days after the event. No images are delivered until payment has been made in full.
Do you take credit cards?
Yes! You can pay via credit card at our Location or securely via our online scheduling calendar.
Should we meet before the wedding to discuss the details?
All collections include a detailed consultation to go over your wedding detail. This is often done over the phone or even through email, but in person is prefered. It is best to chat 2-3 weeks before your wedding as many of the details will have been finalized by this time. We can also help guide you in planning your timeline so we have sufficient time for pictures.
How long do formal portraits take?
It is generally best to do family group portraits all at once either before or after your ceremony. Each grouping takes about 1-5 minutes to arrange and capture, depending on size. It is very helpful to have someone designated from each side of the family who can assist in preparing family members for the grouping. If everyone is ready on time, it typically just takes 20 minutes.
Will you be able to take photos of our guests during the reception dinner?
In most instances your photographer is able to take candid photos of most guests enjoying themselves during dinner. Sometimes this is difficult at weddings with a large number of guests, buffet style dinners, and receptions that have many events occurring at the same time. Your photographer’s priority is to capture the story and events of your wedding day first. We suggest a second photographer or arranging to have the photo booth available at your reception which ensures you capture all of your guests presence and personality. It also makes a really awesome spread in your album!
The reception might run later than anticipated, will you stay longer if needed?
No worries, that’s why you’re getting “all day coverage” as things sometimes run longer. If you want your photographer to stay all the way to the very end of the reception (beyond one hour after dinner ends), the additional fee for coverage is $350 per hour and $175 per half hour and will be billed after the event. Your photographer will always let you know as they are wrapping up and ask if there are any remaining shots you would like so that we don’t miss a thing.
What attire do you wear at a wedding day?
Our photographer’s attire is simple - comfortable black shoes, black slacks, and a blouse (often also black). Your photographer will also wear a camera bag, of course.
How many photos will we end up with?
We do not limit the number of images captured. Coverage typically results in about (+/-) 700 photos.
Can I send you a list of images I want or samples of photos I like?
Of course! We will ask you for a list of family formal groupings – but that’s not required as we are very experienced at organizing groups. Your photographer will always be present at key moments to capture everything that happens! Feel free to suggest shots such as a four-generation shot that may not naturally occur or emphasize shots of things that are most important to you. It is our pleasure to accommodate exactly what you envision for wedding photos!
How quickly will we be able to see images from our wedding? And how long does it take to get our album?
Generally images are posted online and/or delivered on a disc within 4-6 weeks of your wedding. After receiving your images, you will be asked to provide us with your absolute “must have” favorite images and we will design it from there, adding images as needed. You can then view the design and make any changes you would like. After final approval of the design, the album will take just 2-3 weeks to create.